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07 Sep 2018

Hunter Residences Redevelopment Commences

Minister for Disability Services Ray Williams today announced construction of 69 new homes for people with disability living in the Hunter Residences will commence imminently.

“I’m thrilled to give more than 330 residents the good news that their new homes are one step closer to becoming a reality,” Mr Williams said.

The Home4Life consortium has been selected to build and manage the homes, comprising Compass Housing, BlueCHP and Lighthouse Infrastructure.

Charles Northcote, Director Home4Life, said he was pleased to welcome Lighthouse Infrastructure to the consortium, which focuses on sustainable infrastructure investment.

“Lighthouse Infrastructure invests in sustainable infrastructure assets, and strongly believes in environmental sensitivity and social responsibility, investing in assets which provide essential services to communities and contribute to the public good,’’ Mr Northcote said.

“All new Hunter Residences dwellings have been designed by expert architects for contemporary, community living and will be in accordance with the standards of disability housing set by the NSW Government and the NDIS."

Mr Williams said all people living in the Hunter Residences and their families will participate in detailed planning to prepare to move into their new homes.

“We have listened to what residents and their families want every step of the way in the redevelopment process,” Mr Williams said.

“Residents have told us where they want to live and many have taken this opportunity to move into a new home in other parts of NSW, closer to their families.

“I want to assure residents our top priority is their safe and smooth transition to community living.”

A select tender process for a Supported Independent Living (SIL) service provider will commence later this year, with families having the opportunity to meet with potential providers before a decision is made.


MEDIA: Hayley Ashburner 0429 891 159
Office of Ray Williams MP
Minister for Disability Services
Minister for Multiculturalism

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29 Aug 2018

Public consultation on graffiti art wall for Rutherford housing complex

Community members from Rutherford and the surrounding area are invited to share their views about a proposed local mural project on Friday (August 31).

Compass Housing is planning to have two graffiti art murals painted at its Churchill Crescent housing complex. A large mural on a fence and a second large mural on the side of the building.

The community consultation session is being held at Rutherford Skate Park between 3pm and 5pm.

Compass’ tenant engagement officer Melissa Hope said this is the last of five consultation sessions it has held on the project to seek input on the design as well as gather other ideas to improve the neighbourhood. Other sessions were held at Rutherford High School, Telarah Public School, Rutherford Public School and a session is also being held with its Churchill Crescent tenants.

Attending the session this Friday will be Newcastle based placemaking firm UP&UP, who are painting the mural, and Maitland/Dungog youth development officer Rhys Callaghan. Staff and volunteers from Youth Off The Streets will cook a BBQ.

The wall is currently heavily tagged with illegal graffiti,” Ms Hope said.

We want to create an eye catching art work that will be positive for tenants and the broader community,” she said.

People can simply turn up to find out more about the project and have their say.

Funding for the art project has been provided through the Social Housing Community Improvement Fund.

Compass Housing is a Hunter-based not for profit community housing provider.

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24 Aug 2018

More awards for Compass Housing’s business and tenant engagement expertise

Compass Housing has had its expertise in business management and in tenant engagement recognised once again, taking out five gongs across two different awards.

Our NSW Central Coast community hub – The Meeting Place took out the Tenant Engagement and Social Inclusion Award at the PowerHousing Australia Awards held in Canberra on August 22.

Earlier in the month it was announced that Compass had won four Australian Business Awards (ABA100).

  • Employer of Choice
  • Community Contribution
  • Business Excellence
  • Business Innovation.

These awards are on the back of Compass taking out a major award for innovation at the Hunter Business Awards on August 10.

The Meeting Place at Tumbi Umbi is was developed in partnership with Housing NSW to develop a whole of community approach to diminish the barriers between social housing and the general community through services, gatherings and capacity building activities. The hub offers a community garden, discounted “Shack Shop”, school holiday activities, market days, morning teas, free access to computers as well as training courses. Other services also come to the hub and it is a place where tenants and community volunteer.  Its success has seen the model expanded to Broken Hill where Compass has established the 123 Community Hub.

PowerHousing Australia is a national network of 31 community housing providers who together provide homes worth more than $16billion for more than 82,000 people. Its annual member awards consist of three individual awards and two team awards.

The Australian Business Awards are an annual all-encompassing awards program which recognises organisations that demonstrate the core values of business innovation, product innovation, technological achievement and employee engagement via a set of comprehensive award categories.

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23 Aug 2018

Excellence in Innovation Award for Compass

On the 10th of August, Compass Housing's innovative approach to providing social and affordable housing was recognised after being named the winner of the Hunter Business Chamber Awards - Excellence in Innovation Award.
Compass was also a finalist in the Contribution to the Region Award.

Group Chief Corporate Services Officer, Lyndall Robertshaw, accepted the award. Ms Robertshaw said  it was an honour for the Compass team to be recognised against other high calibre organisations.
She said Compass was continually innovating to improve services for tenants, the working environment for its staff and to be more efficient.

“We also innovate because we want to influence the future and to make the community a better place for everyone,” Ms Robertshaw said.
“Compass has a great culture of innovation with staff looking to do things better as part of their working day,” she said.

Ms Robertshaw thanked Pitcher Partners for sponsoring the Award and the Hunter Business Chamber for hosting the event to recognise and support business excellence.

Compass is no stranger to the Awards taking out two major awards last year. Compass Housing was crowned with the Business Excellence Award for large organisations and Group Managing Director Greg Budworth was named Business Leader of the Year.

The Awards are the peak accolade for businesses and organisations based in the NSW Hunter region and are heralded as the premier regional business chamber awards in Australia. This year 77 finalists competed for 14 awards in addition to a President’s Award. This year’s Business Leader of the Year Award went to former NRMA Chairman and current HMRI Chairman Kyle Loades. The event was a sellout attended by almost 500 people.

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22 Aug 2018

Compass Report: Shocking gap between renters; costs and incomes revealed

A new report has revealed the shocking gap between the incomes of typical renting households and the incomes required to avoid housing stress in Australia’s three most populated states.

The Affordable Housing Income Gap Report, released on Tuesday 22 August by Compass Housing, takes a new approach to the measurement of housing affordability for renters. The Report establishes the amount of additional income required to avoid housing stress on various types of rental properties in more than 300 suburbs, towns and local government areas across New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland. This amount is referred to as the Affordable Housing Income Gap (AHIG).

Compass spokesperson Martin Kennedy said in many cases the median incomes of renting households were tens of thousands of dollars per year below the level required to secure a basic two-bedroom apartment without experiencing housing stress. The situation for renters seeking a 3-bedroom house is worse, with median incomes up to $100,000 per year short of the level required to avoid housing stress in certain areas.

 

Annual income to afford a 3br house

Amount above annual median income (AHIG)

Annual income to afford a 2br unit

Annual amount above median income (AHIG)

Inner Sydney

$172,467

$78,139

$121,333

$27,005

Inner Melbourne

$130,000

$50,336

$93,600

$13,936

Inner Brisbane

$94,987

$17,299

$83,200

$5,512

 

Housing stress is experienced by households with incomes up to 120% of the median that are paying more than 30% of their income on housing costs.

Mr Kennedy said the Report proved housing stress isn’t just a problem for low-income households. He said working families with average incomes are struggling to afford suitable rental properties close to where they work.

“To avoid housing stress in Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane, a typical renting household often has to choose between living a considerable distance from the city or living in a one-bedroom apartment,” Mr Kennedy said.

“Neither of those things are practical for lots of families so they are effectively forced to accept living in housing stress. This can have a real impact on living standards because people in housing stress are less able to pay for other essentials like food, utilities, insurance, healthcare, childcare, and debt repayments.”

Mr Kennedy said that even in regional towns, where prices are nominally cheaper, comparatively lower household incomes mean renters in many areas still face significant affordability income gaps. The impact is particularly severe in “commuter belt” cities close to the capitals.

“The steady decline of housing affordability for renters is part of a broader housing crisis driven by a combination of low interest rates, preferential tax treatment for investors, rapid population growth, artificial rationing of land supply, high transfer duties, and a prolonged failure to invest in social and affordable housing.”

The Report recommends the creation of a national housing plan with initiatives crossing all levels of government. They include:

  • the construction of 500,000 social and affordable housing dwellings in the next 10 years,
  • reviewing the tax and transfer system to strike a fairer balance between the level of support provided to investors, first home buyers and renters
  • reforming state tenancy laws to provide greater security of tenure for renters and decrease demand for social housing.

Compass Housing is an Australian based not-for-profit, community housing provider that manages more than 4,500 properties in NSW, Queensland and New Zealand. The report is available from www.compasshousing.org


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

Full AHIG Report and media backgrounder are attached. Releases are also available for Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and other unaffordable key regional centres.

 

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