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02 Jun 2020

Compass Housing Welcomes National Cabinet Focus on Housing

One of Australia’s leading community housing providers says having housing as a National Cabinet subcommittee is a welcome first step to solving Australia’s housing crisis and stimulating the economy post Covid-19.

Group Managing Director of Compass Housing, Greg Budworth, said housing has been largely left to state and territories to administer and reform in different ways.

“National reform is urgently needed to resolve Australia’s undeniable housing crisis,” Mr Budworth said.

“Having state and federal ministers for housing sitting down to draft reform measures for the National Cabinet is a great framework from which to start,” he said.

Mr Budworth said leading housing experts, economists, academics, and welfare groups agree that a national plan is needed. 

“The first step of the subcommittee needs to be a national housing plan, linked to other infrastructure and economic plans, with agreed targets and key performance indicators.”

“Previously we have seen ad hoc reforms that haven’t delivered effective and lasting change for all housing users.”

Mr Budworth said the National Cabinet’s operation during the pandemic had shown what can be achieved if state and federal governments work together using independent, expert evidence.

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

Media information:

Craig Eardley on 0437477493

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21 May 2020

New, expanded report shows rental stress pre-COVID – need for housing reform

A new report, released today by Compass Housing Services, shows housing stress was a major problem for many typical Australian renters, long before COVID-19 lockdowns began to hit household budgets.

The Affordable Housing Income Gap Report found that, prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, typical renting households in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane, Hobart and some other regional centres earned thousands of dollars a year less than the amount required to avoid housing stress on an average home.  

The Report measures housing affordability for renters by establishing the amount of additional income a typical renting household needs to avoid housing stress on various types of dwellings in NSW, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia and Tasmania.

Report author, Martin Kennedy, said the report shows that housing stress isn’t just something experienced by people on low incomes.

“Even before the current crisis working families with average incomes often struggled to rent suitable properties close to jobs,” he said.

“Throw in the possibility of reduced hours or a job loss due to COVID-19 and things can become very tough indeed.  

“Although rents are expected to fall in the short term due to more stock coming on to the market, they may not fall far enough to become affordable for typical renting households.

“In some areas, rents would need to drop by up to 50% to become genuinely affordable, and that’s only if people manage to sustain their current levels of income.

“More to the point, it shouldn’t take a global pandemic, closed borders and widespread lockdowns to bring median rents more in line with median incomes.”

Mr Kennedy said the existence of the affordable housing income gap is part of a broader housing crisis.

“The problems facing renters are largely due to purchase prices being too high and social housing supply being too low.”

“Unfortunately, people who can’t afford to buy, and don’t qualify for social housing, have no option but to cut back elsewhere and try to manage as best they can.”

The Report’s recommendations include:

  • the construction of 500,000 social and affordable housing dwellings in the next 10 years
  • stricter controls on residential mortgage lending to keep borrowings to realistic multiples of household income
  • repealing stamp duty in favour of a broad-based land tax
  • relaxing urban growth boundaries which artificially ration the supply of land
  • scrapping first home buyer grants and stamp duty exemptions
  • giving renters more protection under state and territory tenancy laws
  • alternative allocation models for social housing.

Compass Housing is a not-for-profit, community housing provider with almost 7000 properties in NSW, Queensland and New Zealand. The report is available from www.compasshousing.org



Report Key findings

Hobart had some of the least affordable rental housing in Australia. There were no local government areas (LGAs) in the Greater Hobart area that were affordable for typical renting households seeking detached housing. Detached homes in the regional centres of Launceston, Burnie and Devonport are also unaffordable for typical renting households.

Median rents in some areas of Brisbane had fallen sharply, including desirable inner suburbs such as St Lucia, Highgate Hill and Yeronga. Rents rose strongly in other areas with approximately a third of postcodes experiencing rental increases above inflation.

There were no inner or middle Melbourne suburbs where the median rent on a detached three or four bedroom house was affordable for a typical renting household.

While the overall median rent in Adelaide’s LGAs is affordable for typical renting households in approximately 85% of cases, the median rent for detached three-bedroom homes is unaffordable in 70% of cases. All LGAs are affordable for typical renting households seeking a two-bedroom unit.

There was nowhere in Sydney’s inner or middle suburbs where the median rent of a 4-bedroom home was affordable for a typical renting household, and just three LGAs (Canterbury-Bankstown, Cumberland and Ryde) where median rents for a 3-bedroom home were affordable.


Least affordable LGAs/suburbs/postcodes

Most affordable LGAs/suburbs/postcodes

Greater Sydney

Woollahra, Waverley, Northern Beaches (Manly, Pittwater, Warringah), Mosman, Sydney

Campbelltown, Penrith, Fairfield, Blacktown, Hawkesbury, Blue Mountains


Brighton East, Brighton, Mt Eliza-Mornington-Mt Martha, Port Melbourne, Fitzroy, Carlton North

Melton, St Albans-Deer Park, Sunshine, Dandenong, Noble Park

Greater Adelaide

Walkerville, Adelaide Hills, Burnside

Playford, Gawler, Salisbury, Onkaparinga, West Torrens


City of Glenorchy, Municipality of Sorell

Municipality of Brighton,

City of Clarence, City of Hobart

Municipality of Kingborough, District of Clarence

Greater Brisbane

4516 Elimbah, 4520 Camp Mountain/ Cedar Ck/ Mt Glorious/ Mt Nebo/ Mt Samson/ Samford/ Yugar, 4069 Brookfield/Chapel Hill/Kenmore, 4037 Eatons Hill 4035 Albany Ck/ Bridgeman Downs/ Cash’s Crossing.

4184 Coochiemudlo Is/ Karragarra Is/ Lamb Is/ Macleay Is/ Peel Is/ Russell Is, 4106 Brisbane Market/Rocklea, 4111 Griffith Uni/Nathan, 4304 Booval/ Blackstone/ Bundamba/ Ebbw Vale/ Silkstone, 4102 Buranda/Dutton Park/Woolloongabba, 4303 Dinmore/ Riverview.


The Affordable Housing Income Gap for 3br homes and 2 br units by sections of capital cities


Annual income to affordably rent a 3br house

Amount above annual median income (AHIG)

Annual income to affordably rent a 2br unit

Annual amount above median income (AHIG)

Inner Sydney





Inner Melbourne





Inner Brisbane





Greater Hobart





Adelaide LGA







Media information: Martin Kennedy, Compass Housing on 0418 353 913.



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14 May 2020

Compass Housing Services Supports People Experiencing Homelessness during COVID-19

Compass Housing Services (Compass) is supporting a new resource to help Newcastle and Hunter service providers who are supporting people experiencing homelessness during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hunter Homeless Connect is distributing a 108 page printed directory this week which contains details of local support services with specific Covid-19 updates. Orica has funded the initial printing of 2,000 copies. Lake Macquarie City Council and the City of Newcastle are assisting with distribution.

Hunter Homeless Connect Day Co-ordinator and Compass Events & Community Relations Manager, Michelle Faithfull, said the directory is normally distributed at the organisation’s annual Hunter Homeless Connect Day event, which has been rescheduled to October.

Ms Faithfull said it is still uncertain whether the event will go ahead then so the committee’s priority is to continue to connect people in need with services and support now.

She said people experiencing homelessness are particularly vulnerable during this pandemic and need support more than ever.

“An increased number of people in our community have lost their jobs due to COVID-19 restrictions and many are now at risk of homelessness,” Ms Faithfull said.

“They face hardship and have no idea where to find support,” she said.

“They will also bear the impact of local support services being affected by social distancing restrictions. Support services are facing funding uncertainty, reduced volunteers and staffing availability.”

The Hunter Homeless Connect 2020 Directory contains information on crisis contacts, clothing, emergency relief, healthcare, housing, food providers, domestic violence, refugee services, drug, alcohol and gambling services, financial support, mental health, and pet care. There are specific sections for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, people with a disability and young people. A PDF copy is also available on the Hunter Homeless Connect website.

Ms Faithfull said Hunter Homeless Connect has applied for a grant to create a live, updateable online version of the directory on its website.

She said the directory is a compilation of current services available as at May 2020. It is not exhaustive and updates from organisations are welcomed.

Hunter Homeless Connect is a not for profit organisation initially founded by community services volunteers in 2009. For more information visit the Hunter Homeless Connect Day Facebook page or www.hunterhomelessconnect.org

Homelessness statistics

  • 145,000 Australian households are waiting for social housing.
  • 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.
  • 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.
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05 May 2020

Compass Housing to manage Qld Summer Housing SDA apartments

Compass Housing has been awarded a two-year contract to provide tenancy management and property management services at Summer Housing’s new Circa Three apartments in the fashionable and bustling Brisbane suburb of Nundah.

Summer Housing’s model is to pepper high support apartments within larger complexes.

Compass already provides such services for Summer Housing’s apartments in six other complexes in NSW and Queensland through its SDA fee for service management program. This includes the award winning Belle development in Lake Macquarie, NSW.

Applications for Circa Three are now open

Applications are now open for people with a disability who have SDA in their NDIS plans and looking for accessible, supported, modern, apartment living. People should apply through The Housing Hub website.

Nundah Village, just 8km from Brisbane’s CBD, surrounded by diverse shops, cafes, restaurants, services and transport links.

The ten spacious, open plan, single-level, apartments are designed for people with high physical support needs. The design achieves Platinum level certification under Livable Housing Design Guidelines and meets High Physical Support design requirements under the NDIS.

The apartments feature customisable kitchens, bathrooms and laundries, and wheelchair accessible private outdoor areas. They can accommodate customised home automation and communication technology and the future installation of ceiling hoists.

The average apartment size (internal area) is 71.4 square metres.

Beautifully appointed, the apartments boast European stainless steel appliances, stone bench tops, separate laundries, ample storage and large balconies. A landscaped alfresco area on the podium level provides residents with the perfect location to relax.

The delivery of Circa Three is the final chapter for the vision of a vibrant community master plan in one of Brisbane’s most accessible suburbs.

Compass also manages Summer Housing’s Belle SDA apartments in Lake Macquarie, NSW

The apartments are similar to the ones Compass manages for Summer Housing in the Lake Macquarie suburb of Belmont, in NSW.

The 10 apartments for people with disability are peppered throughout Belle, a 110 unit private development. There are two 1.5-bedroom, six 2-bedroom and two 3-bedroom apartments.

The apartments are close to transport, shops and community facilities. From the outside, the apartments are not distinguishable from neighbouring apartments.

Belle’s design also achieves Platinum level certification under Livable Housing Design Guidelines. A two-way communications system enables tenants to contact support workers in the event of emergency or unplanned support in each apartment.

This Summer Housing project, named Hunter Housing Project, was funded as part of the Hunter NDIS trial site in NSW in 2016 to provide accommodation for people with a disability inappropriately living in aged care.

Compass Housing offers fee for service SDA property and tenancy management

To find out more about our fee for service SDA property and tenancy management click here or call 1300 333 733 (Option5) or email sda@compasshousing.org

Keep Reading
01 May 2020

New report shows growth in SDA housing

A new report shows a welcome growth in the supply of, and confidence in, the SDA housing (Specialist Disability Accommodation) market in Australia but there remains a significant shortfall.

Specialist Disability Accommodation – Supply in Australia shows that close to 3,000 SDA places have been built or are in the pipeline. But it estimates 9,000 places are still needed to meet demand and many people with a disability currently living in poor quality homes.

The report says as at 30 September 2019 there were more than 1,766 new SDA places in the construction pipeline. The authors combined this figure with the 1,190 New Build SDA places reported in the NDIS Quarterly Report to calculate its 3,000 place pipeline figure. This compares to around 2,000 SDA places that were either new or in the pipeline in December 2018.

Much of the pipeline is for high physical support properties and there is still limited investment in robust housing, leaving a gap in the market.

A survey conducted for the report shows 50% of providers intend to build additional properties, with another 30% considering it. Almost three-quarters of respondents to its survey are at least somewhat confident in the SDA supply market. For the first time, the report investigated how SDA is being run – whether people with a disability are locked in to one provider or whether there is real choice. More than 20% of providers represented in the report are still not giving their tenants choice about where they live and who provides their services. 

The report  was produced by Social Ventures Australia (SVA) and Summer Foundation. As well as providing a snapshot on the growth of SDA supply, it shares insights on market sentiment and SDA management arrangements.

Compass Housing Executive Manager of SDA, Helga Smit, welcomed the findings and congratulated Summer Foundation and SVA for producing a report provides important planning data for specialist disability accommodation investors, developers, builders and providers.

Ms Smit agreed with the report authors that developers and investors need to consult with SDA providers and people with a disability to ensure accommodation is built where and how people with a disability want and need to live.

She said Compass was involved in bringing 65 new purpose built disability group homes online through Home4Life, with full completion expected by the end of 2020.

“We have more investors and developers looking to supply the market but we are working with them to ensure they build sustainably - to the needs of people, not build and hope they will come.”

She said the other issue is funding and eligibility for housing.

“People with a disability need to get SDA into their NDIS Plan to be eligible for housing,” Ms Smit said.

“Understandably, this process takes time for the NDIA to approve.”  

“Compass Housing currently has vacancies for some its high support SDA accommodation because people who need it are not approved.”

“You don’t have to have a specific property identified to get SDA in your NDIS plan.”


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