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24 May 2021

Compass Real Estate Engagement Workshops

As part of our Real Estate Engagement Program, Compass Housing Services are hosting a series of workshops in the Hunter and Central Coast,
specifically designed to:

  • support property managers to enhance their skills and knowledge of the community services sector so we can put in place early intervention strategies and work together to sustain tenancies.
  • provide Real Estate Institute NSW training on resilience and emotional intelligence
  • provide a networking opportunity over lunch

These workshops provide 3-hour elective training for CPD by the Real Estate Institute NSW. *FOR ELIGIBLE ATTENDEES.

Morning tea and lunch supplied.


Wednesday 26 May 2021
The Bradford Hotel 358 New England Hwy Rutherford NSW
Tumbi Umbi

Wednesday 23 June 2021
Mingara Recreation Club 12-14 Mingara Drive, Tumbi Umbi NSW

RSVP TO larissab@compasshousing.org

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20 May 2021

Digital Storytelling Workshops

City of Newcastle’s Digital Library is hosting a series of workshops to teach local young people skills to share stories through modern mediums like virtual reality, augmented reality, and animation. 

Delivered through a partnership with Newcastle Libraries and Compass Housing’s Grow a Star program, the workshops give students the chance to explore these emerging technologies, develop new skills, and express themselves. 

The five-week program explores the theory of storytelling techniques and narrative development during hands-on classes which will equip students with the technical skills to create their own interactive and immersive worlds. 

Councillor Carol Duncan said the Digital Storytelling workshops encourage students to harness their creativity and imagination while sharing their experiences through modern story telling techniques. 

“The Grow a Star scholarship program provides young people living in social housing with opportunities that they may not normally have access to,” Cr Duncan said. 

“The workshops are an excellent way to increase digital literacy through creative digital technologies and ‘world building’ and, at the completion of the course, the students will have a portfolio that will allow them to pursue work experience and tertiary education opportunities.” 

“The young participants will also benefit from mentoring and will develop communication and teamwork skills by working together in small groups.” 

City of Newcastle’s Manager of Libraries and Learning Suzie Gately said the workshops are a perfect fit for the Digital Library which is home to a variety of technologies and tools that modernise story telling.  

“Immersive storytelling through innovative video is a powerful tool that can truly bring our imagination to life,” Ms Gately said.    

“At the end of this program we look forward to showcasing the students’ unique and creative stories on the Digital Library’s interactive story wall for our community to enjoy.” 

The program starts on 20 May and runs until 17 June involving 16 young people. 

Compass Housing’s Grow a Star program is a youth mentoring and scholarship program that helps young people from disadvantaged backgrounds overcome the financial or generational  obstacles that are preventing them from following their dreams. For more information visit www.growastar.org



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17 May 2021

Computer Skills for Tenants

Enrolments are now open for a computer skills course for Compass tenants, aimed to increase digital confidence and prospects of employment.

Where: Training will be held in a supportive classroom setting at the ATWEA campus - 100 Laman St Cooks Hill

When: Two days a week (Monday and Tuesdays) for 8 weeks starting Monday May 31st

Times:  9:30am to 3pm

Some catering will be provided by Compass.


ATWEA offers a dedicated student support service which can assist you to achieve your goals with personal support and encouragement.

Students will receive a Statement of Attainment for the following units (which can be credited towards any relevant certs or diplomas) plus benefit from some pathway planning for those interested in further study or employment.

  • BSBITU307 Develop keyboard speed and accuracy
  • BSBITU313 Design and produce digital text documents
  • BSBITU314 Design and produce spreadsheets
  • BSBITU312 Create electronic presentations

For more information, contact the ATWEA training Coordinator Cheryl Eslick on 0403 994 365 or click HERE to enrol.


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17 May 2021

Budget sticks to the same failed script on housing

The initial reactions to this week’s big spending budget have been relatively positive. Extra money for childcare, aged care and an extension of low and middle income tax offsets are all welcome. On the question of housing however, this budget falls well short of the mark.  

Yet again there is no meaningful investment in social and affordable housing. Instead, what we have is another counterproductive mish-mash of grants and subsidies designed to lure marginal or sub-prime borrowers into the property market.

As always, these measures are being pitched as a way of improving housing affordability. This is pure nonsense. Rather than improving affordability, a better way to think about first home buyer subsidies is as an admission that homes are so unaffordable that regular people can’t buy one unless the government helps pay for it. As affordability declines, the size of the government’s contribution has to increase, hence the extension of the First Home Loan Deposit scheme which helps buyers into the market with deposits as low as 5 per cent, and the creation of a new version for single parents where the required deposit could be as low as 2 per cent. 

The reason subsidies and deposit guarantees don’t improve affordability is because they’re not designed to control house prices – they’re designed to take people who can’t afford a house under the normal rules and bend those rules so they can afford one. And while it is true that subsidies improve affordability for those who receive them, the recipients represent a miniscule share of total buyers. At the broader level, subsidies do nothing to prevent prices from going up, in fact they do the opposite by enabling people to pay prices they couldn’t otherwise afford.

The other striking aspect of the budget’s approach to housing is the degree to which spending is skewed towards the private sector. In total, the budget contains roughly $905 million of new housing related expenditure. Of this, almost $775 million (85%) has been set aside for the HomeBuilder program, originally unveiled during the height of the pandemic as a way to stimulate the construction industry. But with private dwelling commencements running at their highest level in more than a decade, and prices rising faster than any time in the previous 30 years, it is far from clear that the construction industry needs additional support, let alone 85% of the new allocation. At the other end of the housing spectrum, the budget contains just $124m in additional money for the states under the National Housing and Homelessness agreements – this at a time when there are more than 150,000 households on social housing waiting lists across the country.

The Commonwealth would no doubt say that social housing is a state responsibility and point to the fact that it provides roughly $1.6 billion to the states each year to help take care of the problem. Technically, that is correct. The problem is that it isn’t working. The NSW Government already spends more than six times what it receives from the Commonwealth on housing and homelessness services, and there are still 50,000 households on the waiting list. The unavoidable conclusion is that this problem is beyond the ability of state governments to resolve. Without substantial intervention from the federal government, including the creation and oversight of a national housing strategy, we risk sliding into a neo-feudal model of society characterised by a shrinking class of highly indebted property owners, a growing underclass of permanent renters, and high levels of homelessness.

Adequate and affordable housing is a prerequisite for a thriving economy as well as a flourishing society. Most experts agree we need at least 500,000 new social and affordable dwellings over the next decade, merely to prevent Australia’s housing crisis from becoming worse. As well as helping relieve pressure on low-income households, a nation building investment in social and affordable housing would create a long-term pipeline of work for the construction industry, as opposed to the  short-term sugar hits from schemes like HomeBuilder.

This week’s budget proved that the government’s long-standing aversion to debt and deficits is a thing of the past. It is a shame the counterproductive approach to housing affordability wasn’t jettisoned at the same time.


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22 Apr 2021

Social and Affordable Housing Reaches New Heights in Wickham

Construction of a 16-unit social and affordable housing complex in Wickham is surging ahead with the “topping out” milestone celebrated today.

Minister for Families, Communities and Disability Services Gareth Ward said the project would provide safe and secure housing for people on low incomes.

“These new homes will not only provide people with a roof over their head, but access to support to help them improve their health and general wellbeing,” Mr Ward said.

“Today’s milestone brings the completion of this important project one step closer, with the first tenants expected to get the keys to their new homes later this year.”

The 16-unit complex is a partnership between the NSW Government, City of Newcastle, and Compass Housing.

Compass Housing chief corporate services officer Lyndall Robertshaw said Compass is delivering nearly 500 properties, across 19 Hunter and Central Coast sites, as part of the NSW Government’s Social and Affordable Housing Fund (SAHF).

“Rents have been rising sharply across the Hunter over the past 12 months and the need for properties that are affordable to key workers and people on low incomes is greater than ever,” she said. 

“Projects like this one show what’s possible when different levels of government work together and leverage the know-how of the community housing sector.”

Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said the initiative would help alleviate housing stress and provide more options for vulnerable people.

“This joint venture means more homes close to transport, jobs and other amenities and will ensure greater diversity of residents in our inner-city community,” Cr Nelmes said.

The SAHF is on track to deliver more than 3,400 homes across NSW, with 1,958 dwellings completed and more than 1,000 under construction. 


MEDIA INFORMATION: Craig Eardley on 0437477493. For Minister Ward contact Jordan Matthews 0409 317 892

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