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12 Jun 2019

Compass backs Vinnies CEO Sleepout again to help end homelessness

Three Compass Housing Services staff are joining CEO Greg Budworth in this year's Vinnies CEO Sleepout to play their part in helping to end the cycle of homelessness for local people.

The Sleepout will be held in Newcastle on June 20, one of the longest and coldest nights of the year, at McDonald Jones Stadium.

This will be Compass CEO Greg Budworth’s fifth sleepout. Joining them is Michelle Faithfull, Prof David Adamson and Vanessa Khouli.

He says he supports the CEO Sleepout because homelessness is such a significant and growing issue. More than 116,000 Australians experience homelessness on any given night.

“By doing the Sleepout I hope I provide some awareness to my staff and others in the community of the plight of people experiencing homelessness and the disadvantage they experience,” Mr Budworth says. 

“Even though we are only sleeping out for one night, it does give you some perspective,” he says.

Mr Budworth encouraged people to donate what they can to help Vinnies to provide support to homeless people. $55 will feed a family for a day. $505 will provide emergency accommodation for a family in crisis. $300 will help relocate a person sleeping rough to accommodation services.

The Compass team will join hundreds of other CEOs, business owners as well as community and government leaders to sleep outdoors at 11 locations around Australia to support Australians who are experiencing homelessness. Last year, the Vinnies CEO Sleepout raised $6.9 million nationally.

Donate to Greg and the Compass team here.

Supporting the CEO Sleepout is one of a number of things Mr Budworth and his team at Compass  are doing to eliminate homelessness in the region.

Aside from its day to day business of providing social and affordable housing to more than 12,000 people in NSW and Queensland, Compass is a member of, and provides secretariat support to the The Big Ideas Homelessness Network.

The Network is working with local organisations to sign the Newcastle and Hunter Pledge to end homelessness.

Compass also provides secretariat support to the Hunter Homeless Connect Day committee which runs a one day event in July to provide one stop shop services and support to local people who are experiencing homelessness, or are at risk of homelessness. 

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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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03 Jun 2019

New provider for 1000 local social housing tenants from today

Not for profit community housing provider Compass Housing Services (Compass) today takes over the management of more than 1,000 social housing properties in the Hunter promising improved services and support for tenants.

The change is part of the NSW Government’s Social Housing Management Transfer which sees 14,000 tenancies currently managed by the Department of Family and Community Services (FACS) transferred to a number of community housing providers following a tender process. Compass will also facilitate temporary accommodation for local people experiencing homelessness and provide private rental assistance to those in housing stress.

Under the initiative Compass has obtained 1,825 properties to manage in NSW including 665 in Cessnock, 384 in Singleton, and 27 in Dungog. The remainder are on the mid North Coast. This takes Compass’ portfolio to more than 6,200 dwellings, making it one of the largest community housing providers in the southern hemisphere.

Compass’ Group Chief Operating Officer Lisa Tierney said as well as industry leading tenancy and property management, tenants in Taree will benefit from a range of Compass community development programs.

“At Compass we believe community housing is about more than just providing accommodation, it’s also about building community,” Ms Tierney said.

“That’s why we offer a range of programs that help tenants achieve better social and economic participation and foster a sense of belonging and connection to their homes and their communities,’ she said.

“The transition of tenants has gone very smoothly with 100 per cent of tenants agreeing to transfer.

“We’re excited to be able to extend our offering to our new tenants and look forward to having them as part of the Compass community.”

Currently around 19 per cent of NSW’s 144,000 social housing dwellings are managed by the not-for-profit sector. That figure will rise to 32 per cent under the Social Housing Management Transfer program.

Newcastle-based Compass has been operating for more than 30 years. It manages properties in Sydney, the Hunter, Central West, Far West, 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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29 May 2019

Compass Housing welcomes new ministerial appointments in new look Federal Cabinet

Local community-based housing provider Compass Housing Services (Compass) has welcomed the Prime Minister’s announcement of Michael Sukkar as Minister for Housing and Luke Howarth as Assistant Minister for Community Housing and Homelessness in his new look Cabinet.

Compass one of many housing experts as well as social services advocates and providers that have been long calling for a dedicated Minister for Housing as part of action needed to fix Australia’s broken housing system.

The Federal Government did not previously have a Minister for Housing.

Compass’ Acting CEO Lisa Tierney said housing is a basic human right and need and is fundamentally important to other parts of people’s lives including work, study, families and relationships.

Ms Tierney said given so many people are struggling with housing affordability or rental affordability and that homelessness is on the rise it is vital to have a national minister to focus and integrate action.

She hopes the ministers will work with other counterparts responsible for infrastucture, jobs and community services to develop national plans for housing and to end homelessness.

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Lexi Crouch Plastic Police and Compass' Jandy McCandless
11 Apr 2019

Compass Housing joins Plastic Police®

Compass Housing is the first Hunter based not for profit organisation and first community housing organisation to sign up to the Plastic Police® recycling program.

Compass is in the process of setting up soft plastic recycling stations - one at its Hamilton head office, one at Muswellbrook South State School and one at its Central Coast Community hub known as The Meeting Place.

Plastic Police® is a Hunter-based circular economy program that diverts soft (scrunchable) plastics from landfill to be recycled into useful products for schools, councils, businesses and community groups. It is an initiative of local business waste consultant Samantha Cross from Cross Connections Consulting.

Samantha said Plastic Police® is a more than just a recycling program. It is a community engagement program to close the loop on wasted resources. 

“At the moment, 300,000 tonnes of soft plastic are sent to landfill every year in Australia.” Samantha said.

“Our aim is to turn as much of this material as possible back into useful products, to avoid material ending up in landfills or oceans, or being shipped overseas to be recycled,” She said.

She urged local businesses and industry to join Compass Housing in thinking about opportunities to recycle soft plastic and incorporate locally made recycled plastic products into their production processes.

“We want to get organisations and businesses playing a role in purchasing or incorporating products made from reprocessed and recycled materials to ensure local end market demand,” she said.

Compass Housing Sustainability Manager Jandy McCandless said joining the Plastic Police® program represented another plank in the company’s growing sustainability platform.

“Compass is aligning its business operations to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to plays its part in ending poverty, protecting the planet and ensuring prosperity for all,” she said.

“Plastic Police® is a powerful and practical demonstration of the power of local action to create positive change.”

To find out more about Plastic Police® visit

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