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28 May 2018

Opinion - Tax Cuts Insignificant in the Face Of Australian Housing Crisis

Compass Housing’s Group Managing Director Greg Budworth has had an opinion piece published in the Fifth Estate.

Despite growing consensus Australia’s housing system is broken, it failed to rate a mention in this year’s federal budget. It’s a remarkable oversight given the threat the housing crisis poses to the economy.

Australia faces a shortfall of half a million social and affordable dwellings. Around 35 per cent of Australian renters are in rental stress. Aussie households have almost two dollars of debt for every dollar of disposable income. Home ownership levels among younger people have collapsed, and Australian real estate is the second most expensive in the world. Yet in terms of policies that would boost the supply of social and affordable housing, provide relief for private renters or improve home ownership rates, the budget contained nothing.

Instead, the big-ticket item was relatively modest cuts to personal income tax for low-to-moderate income earners, and the promise of bigger cuts in seven years’ time. While some tax relief is welcome, it pales into insignificance in the face of Australia’s housing crisis. For a median income family, the proposed tax cut of $515 a year would barely cover one week’s rent. It is equivalent to 0.04 per cent of the deposit required to purchase a median-priced home in Sydney. Better than nothing, certainly, but only just.  

The omission of housing from the budget is particularly remarkable given the threat out of control housing costs poses to the economy. Households in rental stress inevitably cut back on consumption as do those with heavy debt loads who face the added threat of possible interest rate hikes. Both groups are highly sensitive to cost of living pressures. Any substantial decline in consumption risks sending the economy into a downward spiral as businesses cut costs by shedding staff, thereby reducing economic activity even further. Reduced economic activity has a flow-on impact on tax revenue, increasing the likelihood of additional borrowing to sustain services.  


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Joe Williams Motivational Speaker
15 May 2018

Fighting the Enemy Within

Former NRL player and boxer turned mental health motivational speaker Joe Williams will be in the region this month to inspire local social and affordable housing tenants.

Mr Williams will be addressing Compass Housing tenants who participate in the community housing providers annual, local tenant forums.

His talk is also part of Compass Housing’s Shout Out program. Shout Out is the first mental health and suicide prevention awareness program specifically tailored to help social and affordable housing tenants. The NSW Government funded program includes a general awareness campaign for tenants as well as training for frontline staff and tenants to recognise and respond to suicidality and mental health issues.

Mr Williams is a Wiradjuri man. He was born in Cowra and raised in Wagga Wagga. He [played rugby league for the South Sydney Rabbitohs, Penrith Panthers and Canterbury Bulldogs before switching to professional boxing in 2009.

He said he was pleased to be involved in a program that helps people from lower socio economic backgrounds to be mentally healthy. He said after attempting suicide in 2012 he realised his purpose is to help others who struggle with mental illness as well as to prevent suicide and mental illness. 

“I will be sharing my experience with Compass’ tenants in a positive way to inspire them to overcome the challenges they face,” Mr Williams said.

Compass Housing knowledge manager Professor David Adamson OBE said having people like Joe share their stories was one important way to start the conversation about helping each other to have good mental health.  Professor Adamson said many community housing tenants have previously dealt with housing stress and other issues in their lives which negatively impact on their mental health.

“Shout Out is part of our broader community development programs that help tenants to improve their lives and to help them participate fully in the community,” Prof Adamson said.

“Shout Out is implementing suicide prevention strategies that have strong evidence, in line with the new LifeSpan Integrated Suicide Prevention recommendations,” he said.

The  2016 national suicide data shows eight lives are lost to suicide in Australia every day. About 100,000 Australians experience suicide ideation each year. Suicide remains the leading cause of death for all Australians aged between 15 and 44.

CLICK HERE to learn more about Joe and The Enemy Within

If this story causes issues for you call Lifeline on 13 11 14.

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09 May 2018

No Budget measures to fix Australia’s broken housing system

Leading community housing provider, Compass Housing, is disappointed there is nothing for housing in the Federal Budget handed down tonight (May 8).

Compass Housing’s Prof David Adamson OBE said the housing needs of Australian’s have been ignored despite widespread agreement and evidence that Australia’s housing system is broken.

The recently announced Everybody’s Home campaign, prepared by leading academics and housing experts, shows there is a 500,000 shortfall in social and affordable homes.

“Housing is fundamental to the productivity and health of every single Australian,” Professor Adamson said.

“If the Government is concerned about rewarding and supporting low income earners there would be assistance measures to ease the rental stress faced by many,” he said.

“There’s nothing in the Budget to help first home buyers or to counter Australia’s high house prices either.”  

“The Treasurer spoke of the importance of investing in infrastructure; housing is fundamentally important, job creating infrastructure.”

“Australia needs a national housing plan and a federal Housing Minister.”


Media information: David Adamson is available for interview. Contact Craig Eardley on 0437477493.


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11 Apr 2018

Hunter-based Compass Housing expands into Sydney with tender win

Hunter-based community housing provider Compass Housing has won a major tender to manage 335 social and affordable housing properties in Sydney.

Not for profit property developer BlueCHP Limited issued the tender to have a single provider of tenancy management, property maintenance and asset management services.

BlueCHP currently provides some services and has community housing providers undertake some services for the portfolio.

The BlueCHP properties that Compass will manage are based largely in Western Sydney. Compass will managing the properties from July 1 and the tender will initially run for three years. Approximately 75 percent of the portfolio is affordable housing and 25 percent social housing. There may be more properties added to the portfolio as the tender progresses.

Compass Housing group managing director Greg Budworth said the tender was important for its expansion into Sydney.

It takes the number of properties managed by Compass to approximately 4,800.

“Having our integrated tenancy management and property management expertise in both social and affordable housing recognised outside of the Hunter is very satisfying,” Mr Budworth said. 

“It is a credit to our high skilled team,” he said.

“Expanding our services creates economies of scale and efficiencies that benefit our services and tenants in the Hunter, central Coast and other regions in which we operate,” he said.

BlueCHP assists in the growth of community housing by providing affordable and subsidised housing solutions to people on low to moderate income and families in housing stress. It is a Tier 1 Community Housing Provider, under the National Registration Scheme for Community Housing (NRSCH). During its 10 years of operation it has delivered 1700 dwellings, retaining 750 which are home to more than 1,300 people.

Compass Housing is based in the Hunter and has grown to be an international community housing provider managing more than 4,800 properties in Australia, New Zealand and Vanuatu.

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20 Mar 2018

Local community housing provider welcomes national campaign and 5 point plan to fix broken housing system

Compass Housing has welcomed a new national campaign focused on delivering housing solutions for all Australians to fix Australia’s broken housing system.

The Everybody’s Home campaign will be launched at a National Press Club luncheon today.


More than 30 leading housing and social welfare organisations nationally have joined together to lobby the Federal Government in the lead up to the next Federal election to implement its five point plan for housing.

Compass Housing is one of the campaign partners. CEO Greg Budworth said the campaign builds on the work led by Compass Housing to create the Towards a National Housing Strategy document.


He said Compass will be playing its part, including encouraging people to sign a petition to ask the Government to turn the plan in to action.

“Australia’s housing system is broken but there are five things the Federal  government can do to make it work for everyone,” Mr Budworth said..

“A house is more than an economic asset: it’s security; it’s community; it’s a home,” he said.

“All housing problems are connected, whether you are a renter, homebuyer, or struggling to find a safe roof over your head, but there are solutions.”

The campaign includes video, social media, direct mail and lobbying aids to raise people’s awareness of the issues and enlist their support to challenge all political parties to rethink housing policy and embrace new models of development, ownership and support.

The campaign calls for action in five areas.

  1.  Support for first homebuyers - rebalance the tax system to make it fairer for ordinary Australians wanting to buy a home.
  2. More social and affordable rental homes – a National Housing Strategy to meet Australia’s identified shortfall of 500,000 social and affordable rental homes.
  3. A better deal for renters - get rid of “no grounds” evictions and unfair rent rises so that the one in three Australians who rent have the security they need to create homes, build lives and raise families.
  4. Immediate relief for Australians in chronic rental stress - increase Commonwealth Rent Assistance for the thousands of Australians who are struggling to pay the rent.
  5. A plan to end homelessness by 2030 – with a target to halve homelessness in five years - and end it in 10.


People are urged to join the campaign at


Last week the Australian Bureau of Statistics released Census data showing homelessness rates on the rise in the Hunter as well as nationally. Mr Budworth said in the Hunter there are around 6,000 people on the waiting list for social housing and thousands more people, including working people, experiencing housing stress.  

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