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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





Inner Melbourne





Inner Brisbane






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

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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23 Jul 2018

Compass Housing supports Hunter Homeless Connect Day

What: Hunter Homeless Connect Day

Where: Newcastle Showground Exhibition Centre

When: 25th July 2018 from 9am to 2pm

Some of the region’s most vulnerable people will receive a deserved helping hand on Wednesday (July 25) when local community organisations come together to run the annual Hunter Homeless Connect Day (HHCD).

The event will be held at Newcastle Showground Exhibition Centre. Compass Housing provides event co-ordination as part of its contribution as a member of Hunter Homeless Connect.

Approximately 1000 people who are, or are at risk of, experiencing homelessness are expected to receive support from more than 100 government and non-government services, TAFE representatives and volunteers in a welcoming and non-judgmental environment. Free services will include health checks, eye tests and glasses, hearing tests, immunisations, podiatry services and diabetes screening. Blankets, coats and toiletry packs donated by Hunter residents and businesses will also be available to those in need.

The theme of the event is “Respect: Everyone has a story”. As well as providing services to many who are doing it tough, HHCD is about raising awareness of the homelessness crisis nationally and in the region. It seeks to encourage community members to reconsider how they view people experiencing homelessness and what they can do to help.

Hunter Homeless Connect Day is convened by the not-for-profit organisation, Hunter Homeless Connect Inc. It is in its ninth year. For more information visit the Hunter Homeless Connect Day Facebook page or

Homelessness statistics

  • 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.
  • 28,000 Australians between 12-25 years old are experiencing homelessness every night.
  • 189,400 Australian households are waiting for social housing.
  • A survey conducted by Hunter TAFE students at the 2016 HHCD event revealed that for the first time, women outnumbered men among those seeking assistance. This was the case in 2017 too.

What can people do to help people experiencing homelessness?

  • Take the Newcastle & Hunter Ending Homelessness Pledge at the Hunter’s Big Ideas Homelessness Network’s website –
  • Volunteer for or donate to an organisation that is working to eliminate homelessness.
  • Provide training or work experience for people experiencing homelessness or at risk of homelessness.
  • Help change the language and attitudes. People experience homelessness, they aren’t “homeless”. Homelessness is not an identity. It's an event in a person's life – with a cause and a solution.


See how the Newcastle Herald covered the event

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19 Jul 2018

Compass recognised for innovation and contribution to the community

Compass Housing has had its innovative approach to providing social and affordable housing and its contribution to community recognised after being named a finalist in the Hunter Business Chamber Awards.   

Compass is a finalist for the Contribution to the Region Award and Excellence in Innovation Award.

Group Managing Director Greg Budworth said it was an honour to be recognised against other high caliber organisations. He said the credit goes to the whole team at Compass.

Compass is no stranger to the Awards. Last year Mr Budworth was named Business Leader of the Year and Compass Housing was crowned with a Business Excellence Award.

The Awards are the peak accolade for businesses and organisations based in the NSW Hunter region. Organisers claim they are the premier and the largest regional business chamber awards in Australia. This year 77 finalists will compete for 14 awards. They will be announced at a gala ceremony in Newcastle on August 10.

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