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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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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 www.plasticpolice.com.au

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14 Mar 2019

Hunter delegation to attend Sydney rally to make housing a NSW election issue

A delegation of 30 people from various Newcastle and Hunter based organisations will travel to Sydney Town Hall on Thursday March 14 to take part in the Assembly on Affordable Housing, Energy & Rental Reform (#TownHallAssembly19).

The delegation, led by Compass Housing, includes representatives from NOVA for Women, Uniting, BaptistCare and members of the Hunter’s Big Ideas Homelessness Network.

Compass spokesperson Professor David Adamson said according to organisers, Sydney Alliance, the assembly is the largest public event about cost of living issues ever held in Australia. More than 2400 community leaders are now registered to hear from real Australians sharing their everyday struggle with housing insecurity, rental affordability and energy costs.

He said at the assembly, state and federal politicians will be asked to commit to a suite of housing and energy costs including:

  • at least 5000 new social housing homes a year in NSW to meet the housing needs of families on low and very low incomes in our communities;
  • more security for renters by removing ‘no grounds’ evictions in NSW
  • a real funded 10 year plan to end homelessness in NSW
  • increased targets for affordable housing in new developments
  • a review of Minimum Standards of Rental Houses and Energy Efficiency Standards.

“We thought it important for Hunter organisations to attend the assembly on behalf of Hunter people who are struggling to keep a roof over their head.”

“Housing is a fundamental human right that impacts everyone and is essential for people to work, study and contribute to the community.”

“With high rents and house prices, rising homelessness rates, and long waits for social housing in the Hunter and across NSW, housing issues should be a key election issue.”

“We need the NSW government to lobby and work with the Australian Government to develop a national housing plan.”

Last year Compass Housing published the inaugural Affordable Housing Income Gap Report which showed median rents in Lake Macquarie and Port Stephens are unaffordable given median incomes in those areas. The latest 2016 Census figures show homelessness rates are on the rise, up 12% in the Hunter since the last Census.

Professor Adamson said one way Newcastle and Hunter residents can help to keep housing reform as an issue across all levels of government is to sign up to the Everybody’s Home campaign at everybodyshome.com.au. People and organisations can also sign the Hunter pledge to end homelessness at bigideashomelessnessnetwork.org

Politicians and party leaders from all sides of parliament have committed to attend the assembly including:

  • Doug Cameron, Shadow Housing and Homelessness Spokesperson
  • Mehreen Faruqui, Greens Spokesperson on Housing
  • Don Harwin, NSW Minister for Energy and Utilities
  • Adam Searle, NSW Shadow Minister for Energy and Climate Change
  • Jenny Leong, NSW Greens Housing spokesperson
  • Alex Greenwich (Independent)
  • Paul Green NSW MLC (Christian Democratic Party).

END

 

Media information: Craig Eardley on 0437477493. Not the assembly is a registration only event, not an open public event. Visit https://www.sydneyalliance.org.au/

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