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01 Aug 2019

Compass recognised in prestigious regional business awards

Compass Housing Services (Compass) is a finalist in four categories in the upcoming, prestigious Hunter Business Chamber Awards.   

Compass is in the running for the Contribution to the Region Award, Employer of Choice Award, Excellence in Business Award and the Excellence in Sustainability Award. Compass is a finalist in more categories than any other organisation or individual.

Group Managing Director Greg Budworth said it is an honour just to be recognised against other high caliber organisations.

He credited Compass staff for the organisation’s strong performance.

Compass is no stranger to the Awards. In 2018, Compass took out the Excellence in Innovation Award. In 2017 Mr Budworth was named Business Leader of the Year and Compass Housing was crowned with a Business Excellence Award.

For the first time this year, Compass is an award sponsor. It is sponsoring the Excellence in Social Enterprise Award.

The Awards are the peak accolade for businesses and organisations based in the NSW Hunter region. Organisers claim they are the premier and the largest regional business chamber awards in Australia. This year more than 100 finalists will compete for 17 awards. They will be announced at a gala ceremony in Newcastle on August 23.


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04 Jul 2019

Compass Housing to deliver investLogan’s Marsden housing project

investLogan’s innovative community-based housing project is now a reality after the property investment company announced the appointment of Compass Housing as its strategic partner.

Following detailed negotiations, Compass Housing has been appointed to operate and manage the housing project, alongside BlueCHP who will conduct the design, construction and certification. 

The successful partnership will deliver two, three-bedroom dwellings that can be used as National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) housing and also provide facilities for a Supported Independent Living Provider to be present on site.

The dwellings will be designed and constructed to the High Physical Support Specialty Disability Accommodation (SDA) Design Category, which is designed to incorporate a high level of physical access provision for people with significant physical impairment and requiring very high levels of support. This standard is equivalent to the Liveable Housing Australia ‘Platinum’ level.

investLogan Chairman Steve Greenwood said Compass Housing and BlueCHP’s proposal not only met the objectives outlined in the Expression of Interest but also aligned with investLogan’s values and its commitment to contributing to the local community.

“The SDA Design Category provides the maximum flexibility and adaptability in providing housing options for the community,” Mr Greenwood said.

“The design will be required to achieve the desired functional requirements while keeping in line with the local residential character.

“Compass Housing and BlueCHP both have strong track records of delivering disability housing for some of the most vulnerable in our community.

“We are humbled to be partnering with organisations of this calibre to deliver such an important and valuable project for the people of Logan City.”

Compass Housing Group Managing Director Greg Budworth said the organisation’s purpose is to help alleviate the hardship of housing stress for those in need.

“We aim to provide secure and affordable housing for disadvantaged people who are unable to access sourcing appropriate accommodation,” Mr Budworth said.  said. 

“We’re thrilled to be selected as the strategic partner for this invaluable project, which will have a positive impact on the people of Logan.”

Logan City Council’s investment arm investLogan called for Expressions of Interest in March and received five formal applications for the redevelopment of the former Logan City Council block of land.  


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27 Jun 2019

Compass Housing gets gold for sustainability

Compass has been awarded Gold Partner Status and one of its staff members named the 2019 Sustainability Champion in the NSW Government’s Sustainability Advantage Recognition Scheme.

NSW Minister for Energy and Environment, The Hon Matthew Kean, presented Compass Housing with the recognition at a ceremony in Sydney last night.

Compass’ Sustainability Manager Jandy McCandless was named 2019 sustainability champion at the event.

Compass’ Group Chief Corporate Services Officer Lyndall Robertshaw congratulated Ms McCandless and the entire Compass team for their efforts in making Compass Housing and local communities more sustainable. She said some of Compass’ achievements in this area include a 10 per cent reduction in CO2 emissions over three years. It is also the first not for profit organisation and first community housing organisation to sign up to the Plastic Police® soft plastics recycling program a part of its “towards zero” waste program.

In the Upper Hunter, Compass has commenced a pilot project to divert vacated properties’ waste from landfill to be repurposed, recycled or reused. The aim is to reduce the amount of waste going to landfill by 50 per cent.

Ms Robertshaw said sustainability is more than protecting the environment.

She said community gardens provide tenants with access to fresh fruit and vegetables, and create a platform for social inclusion and addresses good health and wellbeing on a number of levels.

Compass has taken a lead role in advocating for sustainability nationally and internationally particularly through the promotion of the implementation of the United Nations’ Sustainability Goals (SDGs) and New Urban Agenda. Group managing director, Greg Budworth, is vice president of the UN Habitat General Assembly of Partners. Compass hosted the International Congress of Affordable Living in Sustainable Cities in November 2018. 

“Compass is aligning its business operations to the SDGs to play its part in ending poverty, protecting the planet and ensuring prosperity for all,” Ms Robertshaw said.

“Sustainability is at the heart of Compass’ operations because it makes good business sense,” she said.

“As well as a sustainability manager and all staff have KPIs on sustainability and waste and emissions reduction.”

She said underpinning the commitment to sustainability is a belief that safe, affordable and adequate housing is a basic human right.  

“Compass works with its tenants help them to participate in  building resilient, sustainable and inclusive communities.”

“Sustainability is a normal part of doing business and measures are integrated into our strategic plan, business systems and our People, Place, Performance (PPP) programs to help deliver sustainable tenancies, social regeneration and increase social and economic participation.”

The Sustainability Advantage Program is a business support service provided by the Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH). The program helps organisations to improve their environmental performance, reduce costs and add value to their business. After actively participating in Sustainability Advantage for at least one year, and demonstrating achievements against each of the published sustainability criteria, members can progress through the recognition levels, starting with bronze. Compass joined the Sustainability Advantage Program in 2009 and successfully achieved Silver status in 2011.

Compass Housing more than 6,500 social and affordable housing properties in Sydney, the Hunter, Central West, Far West, Manning and Central Coast regions of NSW, as well as in Brisbane and New Zealand. It also runs community development programs in Australia, New Zealand and Vanuatu.


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13 Jun 2019

Compass a finalist in the Australasian Housing Institute Awards

Compass Housing Servcies has be named as a finalist in three categories the upcoming NSW and ACT Australasian Housing Institute Awards.

The not for profit community housing provider is in the running for the Excellence in Social Housing Award, the Leading Community Engagement Practice Award and the Leading Innovation Award.

Compass’ nomination in these awards is a result of its whole of community approach to its provision of social housing.

Under Compass’ Tenancy Specialist Model, tenant engagement and empowerment is embedded as a core element of tenancy management. Tenant satisfaction ratings are at a record high 94%, which is well above the industry average.

A practical example of Compass’ leadership ion community engagement is “Compass Community Gardens” (CCG) is a social inclusion program based on the Homegrown initiative developed by Vegepod and Dr Kate Neale from Southern Cross University. Utilising drought resistant Vegepod garden beds, the CCG program assists tenants and community members to create and maintain a community garden, develop life skills, reduce social isolation and boredom and increase community/social interaction.  The gardens installed to date have had positive results above and beyond the expected improvements in nutrition, and social interaction. Tenants in locations where community gardens have been installed also exhibit improvements in engagement on a range of other issues including sustainability, maintenance and access to ancillary support services.

Compass Housing does much more than put a roof over its tenants heads. By providing tenants with access to education, training and mentoring, Compass is helping to create pathways out of disadvantage

Other examples of its tenant and community programs include its Grow a Star mentoring and financial scholarships for young people in social housing, and its award winning community hubs.

Compass is also involved nationally and internationally in the improvement of the social and affordable housing sector. It created the “Towards a National Housing Strategy” framework which was expanded into the national “Everybody’s Home” campaign – a five point plan to fix Australia’s broken housing system. It is also involved in United Nation’s work programs to promote the implementation of the New Urban Agenda and the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Compass is recognised for its innovative approach to service provision. It is for its inaugural Affordable Housing Income Gap Report that is a finalist in the Leading Innovation Award. The report takes a new approach to the measurement of housing affordability for renters. It establishes the amount of additional income a typical renting household needs to avoid housing stress on various types of dwellings in NSW, Victoria and Queensland.

The awards will be announced in Sydney on July 4. The winners of the NSW Awards will join other state award winners at the national Australasian Housing Institute Awards in Darwin on August 27 to coincide with its national housing conference.

Compass Housing’s Group Managing Director Greg Budworth took out the national Outstanding Achievement Award for an individual at the 2017 awards.


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12 Jun 2019

Compass Housing supports Fifth Pacific Urban Forum

Compass Housing is supporting the Fifth Pacific Urban Forum (PUF5) to be held in Nadi, Fiji in July.

Compass’ Manager of International and Stakeholder Engagement, Ben Wong, is a member of the PUF5 organising committee. Knowledge Manager, Prof David Adamson OBE, will moderate a Forum special session on the challenges of providing adequate and affordable housing throughout the Pacific.

Following the adoption of the New Urban Agenda (NUA) and a renewed recognition of the many opportunities and challenges for the Pacific, PUF5 will review progress towards the Pacific New Urban Agenda. The Forum is an important pre-cursor event to the Asia-Pacific Forum in Penang in October 2019 and the World Urban Forum in Abu Dhabi in February 2020.

Participants of PUF5 will include regional organi­sations, national and local governments, non-gov­ernmental organisations, community-based organisations, traditional leaders, professionals, research institutions and academies, private sector, relevant development partners as well as media. Countries previously engaged in PUFs include: Fiji, Kiribati, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solo­mon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu. PUF5 aims to

  • raise awareness of the importance of national and regional policy frameworks
  • improve information exchange on sustainable urbanisation in the Pacific
  • obtain commitments from countries on the implementation, review and monitoring of the Pacific New Urban Agenda
  • develop new partnerships to support an enabling envi­ronment for urban development the Pacific.

The New Urban Agenda is the outcome document of the 2016 UN Habitat III global summit. It sets out a common vision and global standards for urban development and directly addresses specific issues pertaining to SIDS. At World Urban Forum 9 (WUF9) held in Malaysia in 2018, heads of Pacific island delegations and the members of the delegations, signed a statement reconfirming their commitment to the implementation of the Pacific New Urban Agenda and the New Urban Agenda in their respective countries and urged for remobilisation and reinvigoration of regional policy attention to urbanisation issues.

Compass has strong interest in supporting Australia’s Pacific neighbours to meet the housing needs of its citizens. It is in the process of Australian Council for International Development (ACFID) accreditation and has two completed storm shelter/community facilities in Vanuatu as part of broader planned humanitarian activities in the region.

Compass' support for PUF5 is also part of its advocacy for the implementation of the NUA and the UN’s sustainable development goals. Compass has gained special consultative status with the UN Economic and Social Council. It was one of a small number of organisations, outside of UN member nations, to make a statement on the NUA from the floor of the global UN Habitat lll conference held in Quito, Ecuador in October 2016. Group Managing Director, Greg Budworth is Vice President of the UN General Assembly of Partners where he is leading international efforts to implement the NUA. Compass Housing organised Australia’s first two conferences on implementing the NUA, held in Melbourne in 2017, and in Newcastle in 2018. Compass is also a Lead Partner with the World Urban Campaign.

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