"> News & Publications | Compass Housing Services

News & Publications


Latest News


Compass Housing Services News Expand All Close All


Person sleeping rough
29 Jun 2020

COMPASS SECURES TOGETHER HOME FUNDING

Compass Housing Services (Compass) has been selected to be part of the NSW Government’s largest housing response dedicated to rough sleepers in the state’s history.

Minister for Families, Communities and Disability Services, Gareth Ward, said the $36 million Together Home project will deliver stable housing and wrap-around support for hundreds of people experiencing homelessness.

“Part of this initiative is about finding people a place to call home, but the critical next step is supporting them with the services they need improve their health and wellbeing, and to rebuild their lives,” Mr Ward said.

Compass is one of 19 community housing providers who will work with specialist homelessness services and healthcare workers. It will deliver the program in the Hunter region, including initially providing around 30 homes for those currently sleeping rough.   

Compass Chief Operating Officer, Lisa Tierney, said Together Home is different to programs run in the past because the funding will be managed directly by the community housing providers.

Ms Tierney said this is in line with the Housing First Model. She said it will help ensure both housing and support services are tailored to the individual.

“It is a similar approach to the philosophy of the NDIS – the funding is attached to a specific person to support their specific needs,” Ms Tierney said.

“With individual case management we can do case planning from the start of a person’s tenancy to help keep a roof over their head,” she said.

“A safe home is vital to people’s health and well-being as well as to help people to work, study and participate fully in the community.”

The program is being implemented as an expansion of the Community Housing Leasing Program (CHLP). Compass and other community housing providers will head lease properties in the private rental market to house people who are sleeping rough. They will engage specialist homelessness services and other support providers to deliver wrap-around, client centred, supports.

Together Home is a key initiative to support the Premier’s Priority to end homelessness and to halve street sleeping by 2025, and aims to transition clients onto a trajectory away from homelessness and into long-term, stable housing. The NSW Government has invested more than $70 million to prevent and respond to homelessness during the pandemic, on top of the more than $1 billion invested this financial year in housing and homelessness support.

Compass is a not for profit, Tier 1 community housing provider managing almost 7,000 properties in NSW and Queensland. It is a member of the Hunter Big Ideas Homeless Network and provides co-ordination for Hunter Homeless Connect Inc’s annual Hunter Homeless Connect Day.

 

Homelessness statistics

  • The Australia Bureau of Statistics (ABS) said that 116,42 people were homeless on census night in 2016, representing 50 homeless people per 10,000. 1,750 of those were experiencing homelessness in the Hunter region.
  • 28,000 Australians between 12-25 years old are experiencing homelessness every night.
  • A survey conducted by volunteers at the 2018 HHCD event revealed that for the third straight year, women outnumbered men among those seeking assistance. The 40-54 age group (combined) represented the largest number of attendees.
  • 145,000 Australian households are waiting for social housing.

ENDS

Keep Reading
Home being built
17 Jun 2020

Compass welcomes Queensland’s $267M Building Stimulus Package

Leading community housing provider (CHP), Compass Housing Services, has welcomed the Queensland government’s $267 million building stimulus announced on June 16 as a good start to boost economic recovery while tackling the state’s housing crisis.

Compass Managing Director Greg Budworth said the package will boost housing supply and support a range of housing users including the state’s most vulnerable people.

Mr Budworth said the Works for Tradies housing program will deliver 215 new, urgently needed, social housing properties homes by the end of the year across the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Cairns, Townsville, Mackay, Rockhampton, Gladstone, Wide Bay, Moreton Bay, Toowoomba and Ipswich.

He said the package could work harder for state taxpayers by allowing not for profit CHPs to manage the new properties.

“CHPs can attract Commonwealth Rent Assistance subsidies which they can leverage to build more social and affordable housing,” Mr Budworth said.

He said it was important that the state and Federal government’s worked together to build even more social housing.

“Queensland has 21,000 households on its social housing waiting lists and a report we prepared last showed these figures would be higher if everyone eligible applied for social housing.”

“Nationally, we have a shortage of more than 400,000 affordable homes for low income households.”

“Unlike the Federal Government’s Homebuilder Scheme, this package will stimulate new construction activity rather than just subsidising projects that would have happened anyway.”

He said the focus on regional Queensland was also welcome.

“There tends to be a focus on the high housing prices and rents in capital cities but our research shows that many people in regional Australia, who have lower incomes than those in capital cities, experience housing stress.”

Modelling by the Community Housing Industry Association and National Shelter, as part of the Social Housing Acceleration and Renovation Proposal, shows that investing in 30,000 new social housing homes over four years will create between 15,500 and 18,000 full time equivalent jobs per year.

Compass Housing is a not for profit, Tier 1, community housing provider that manages more than 7,000 properties in Queensland and NSW.    

END

 

Keep Reading
15 Jun 2020

Specialist disability accommodation changes lives but it needs to be in people’s NDIS Plan

Leading, Hunter based, provider of specialist disability housing, Compass Housing, says the region’s growing stock of specialist disability accommodation (SDA) will help to improve the lives of people with disabilities and their families.  

Compass’ Executive Manager SDA, Helga Smit, said some people remain unaware of the availability and benefits of SDA. Ms Smit said SDA needs to be approved by the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) and be in a person’s NDIS plan for them to access the housing.

SDA is available for people with a permanent disability who have very high support needs. SDA funding is paid to the person with a disability in their NDIS plan which they use to lease SDA housing or a room in a group home from a registered SDA provider.

Ms Smit said it is important for people to start planning for SDA early.

“It can take a long time to get SDA into a plan,” Ms Smit said.

“You don’t need to have identified a particular house to test for SDA eligibility and you can get SDA in a plan to use in the future. This is important if the health of the person with the disability or their parents starts to deteriorate,” she said.

Ms Smit sees, first-hand, people with disabilities thriving in this accommodation.

One resident of a property Compass manages is Chris. In state care since he was four, Chris, now 59, lives in a new, specially designed five bedroom home, with 24 hour support. Since moving in, Chris has built a chicken pen in the backyard. He tends the chickens, collects eggs and helps maintain the vegetable gardens with fellow residents.

“SDA is providing Chris and other people with disabilities the chance to live more independently, in the community, rather than an institution.”

A new report by Social Ventures Australia and Summer Foundation, Specialist Disability Accommodation – Supply in Australia, shows a welcome growth in the supply of SDA housing in Australia but says there remains a significant shortfall. But Compass Housing has a limited number of vacancies in newly built SDA properties in the Hunter and other parts of NSW.

Ms Smit said SDA also offers a solution to the problem of thousands of young people inappropriately living in residential aged care facilities.

She said Compass has a long and successful history of managing homes for people with high and complex levels of support. It is one of the largest SDA providers in Australia, managing around 1070 SDA places.

Compass also provides fee for service disability tenancy and property management for organisations. In March it won a two-year contract to provide such services at Summer Housing’s new Circa Three apartments in Brisbane. Compass already manages other Summer Housing apartments including 10 located within the Belle development in Lake Macquarie.

Compass is registered under the National Community Housing Regulatory System as a Tier 1 Provider and is a nationally registered SDA Provider with the NDIS.

It has produced a free five step guide to getting SDA into an NDIS Plan at https://www.compasshousing.org/getting-sda-your-plan

Keep Reading
05 Jun 2020

Homebuilder Scheme not as effective as social housing builds to boost jobs

The Federal Government’s new Homebuilder Scheme is a missed opportunity to tackle Australia’s housing crisis and create more real jobs for tradies according to leading community housing provider Compass Housing.

Acting CEO, Lyndall Robertshaw, said the scheme risked pushing up house prices and is inefficient because many of the $25,000 grants will end up being accessed by people who were planning to buy a new home anyway.

Ms Robertshaw said building new social housing would be more beneficial to construction jobs because it creates a pipeline of work that wasn’t there before. She said that this new pipeline of work can backfill the drop in demand for private dwellings and has the added benefit of providing much needed housing for vulnerable people.

Modelling by the Community Housing Industry Association and National Shelter, as part of the Social Housing Acceleration and Renovation Proposal, shows that investing in 30,000 new social housing homes over four years will create between 15,500 and 18,000 full time equivalent jobs per year. Not for profit community housing organisations can leverage these assets, using low cost finance from the National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation, to build 5,000 more homes to further stretch government dollars.

“Such housing programs have proven effective with 20,000 homes built, supporting 14,000 jobs, after the 2008 GFC,” Ms Robertshaw said.

“The disturbingly high social housing waiting lists mean demand is there and community housing providers have developers with shovel ready projects, so the stimulus is almost immediate.”

Ms Robertshaw said the housing need is dire.

  • There is a shortage of more than 400,000 affordable homes nationally for low income households.
  • Compass’ latest Affordable Housing Income Gap report shows that many renters were facing rental housing stress pre Covid-19.
  • There are 150,000 Australian households on social housing waiting lists. A 2019 Compass Housing report showed these figures would be higher if everyone eligible applied for social housing.

“People in housing stress cut back on other spending – suppressing consumption which is also bad for the economy.”

“Funding new affordable housing will do more to reduce housing stress for both renters and buyers than these grants.”

The Government’s establishment of housing as a subcommittee of the National Cabinet is a welcome move. The first task of the subcommittee should be a national housing plan with initiatives that, together, will have the biggest benefit for the most people.

Compass Housing is a, not for profit, Tier 1, community housing provider managing more than 7000 properties in NSW and Queensland. 


Media information: Craig Eardley on 0437477493

Keep Reading
02 Jun 2020

Compass Branch Offices Back in Business

With state and federal governments now easing COVID-19 restrictions, Compass Housing Services is transitioning back to normal operating procedures.

All Compass offices with the exception of Cessnock will reopen to the public as of June 1. The Cessnock office will reopen on June 9. The Compass community hubs in the Central Coast and Broken Hill will remain closed for the time being.

As we re-open our offices, strict social distancing and other precautionary measures will remain in place to ensure community safety. Face to face meetings with Compass staff will be available by appointment only, and all visitors will be required to undergo screening measures prior to entering the premises.

Screening measures may include:

  • Visual assessment for symptoms of illness. Visitors with obvious symptoms of illness will not be permitted to enter the office.
  • A temperature check using a non-contact thermometer. Anyone recording a temperature of 37.6 degrees Celsius or above will not be permitted to enter the office.

Clients who are unable to enter the office for any reason will still be able to access our services by contacting the Compass call centre on 1300 333 733, or via our website at www.compasshousing.org/contact 

Urgent and emergency maintenance work will continue to be delivered under the same social distancing and precautionary arrangements as have been in place since the beginning of the outbreak.

The safety of our communities remains our top priority. We will continue to monitor the situation in the weeks ahead and will provide further updates to our operating procedures as and when things change.

If you have any questions about any of this information, please get in touch by calling 1300 333 733.

 

Keep Reading
Accessibility ×
Interface
Adjust the interface to make it easier to use for different conditions.
This renders the document in high contrast mode.
This renders the document as white on black
This can help those with trouble processing rapid screen movements.
This loads a font easier to read for people with dyslexia.