Housing Services

Housing Services

In the 2017-18 period, we helped 3221 people obtain safe, affordable and secure accommodation through our housing programs—67 per cent were at risk of homelessness or in unsuitable or crisis accommodation. At Kallangur, we officially opened Kurrajong Townhouses the first privately funded project delivered in partnership with the Queensland Government. At Crows Nest, we completed a housing development and commenced construction of another that will support people living with or caring for someone with a disability. The Youth CONNECT program was launched —the World’s first Social Benefit Bond to focus specifically on supporting young people exiting statutory care. Renovation of 10 properties owned by the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Organisation Umpi Korumba (‘Umpi’) in Brisbane’s North was completed. DigiAsk, our unique project supporting people are homeless or at risk to access technology and assistance, supported 141 people. The results from a resident evaluation of our Wattle Apartment complex at Acacia Ridge proved very pleasing.

Housing Services

Churches of Christ Housing Services Ltd is a wholly owned subsidiary of Churches of Christ in Queensland operating across 15 local government areas and managing a portfolio of over 1300 properties - we increased by eight percent compared to the previous financial year.

We owned and managed 502 properties; managed a further 539 on behalf of the Department of Housing and Public Works and a further 304 on behalf of the National Rental Affordability Scheme (NRAS), Lady Musgrave Trust and Brisbane City Council.

We assisted 3221 people across our housing programs and expanded our service provision by building specialist disability shared housing at Crows Nest and an affordable living housing development that offers flexibility for low to middle income earners at Kallangur.

Delivering a housing solution is rarely the work of a single organisation. We increased our formal partnerships with specialist support agencies to 20 and work informally with many other government and non-government agencies to deliver outcomes for the people in our communities.

Our philosophy to empower our residents and work with them to develop communities where they feel they belong and can make a contribution underpins all we do. We continue to seek ways to enable and support our residents to find their voice.

This year, several of our tenants participated in Churches of Christ in Queensland’s ‘Shine program’, a nine-week course designed to bring healing and joy and support women to reach their full potential.

Moving forward, we have two proposed housing developments at Hillcrest and Ripley that will provide safe, secure and affordable housing to support people in need.

 

Kurrajong Townhouses

  • $10.6 million privately-funded development
  • Completed November 2017
  • 9,000m2 land donation
  • 50 townhouses

We officially opened our affordable living development Kurrajong Townhouses in Kallangur, north of Brisbane. It comprises 50 quality townhouses for people seeking an affordable place to live.

For many tenants, their new lives at Kurrajong has seen them move from unaffordable and inappropriate living situations. Kurrajong Townhouses provides: affordable rents (discounted to market); an electricity embedded network and is conveniently located to enable access to transport and employment opportunities. The townhouses provide security for residents, with flexible lease terms up to three years.

The development is our first privately funded project and was made possible by the gift of land by local philanthropists Ian and Neva Handy. The development was completed in November 2017, with the first tenants enjoying their new homes in time for Christmas.

Youth CONNECT

  • World-first Social Benefit Bond
  • Commenced December 2017
  • 300 young people to be housed over six years
  • Provides wrap-around support service

Read more…

 

Digital Inclusion Project - 'DigiAsk'

  • 141 people assisted
  • 38 outreach services
  • 14 volunteers and six agency partners
  • 68 phone giveaways

DigiAsk connects people in social housing, and those who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, with essential services by increasing digital literacy and access to resources in a housing mobile office or 'van'. In the first six months of operatoin, of those who visited: 62 percent of visitors were male; 30 percent were homeless and 70 percent were older than 36 years. It is largely run by volunteers and provides: Wi-Fi connectivity; mobile devices to access essential online services; charging stations; use of printer/scanner and recycled smartphones.

It is a Housing Services initiative and is made possible through local and national grant funding initiatives. It first took to the streets in January 2018 and is now a regular service in Roma Street every Monday evening. We now have relationships with Rosie’s –Friends on the Streets, 3rd Space, the Red Cross, New Farm Neighbourhood Centre (co-locating with Orange Sky Laundry) and The Kombi Clinic.

As well as offering a digitally-focussed service, we are developing trust and friendships with the regulars who choose to visit.

 

Thallon Street Development – Innovative model

  • Commenced 2017
  • Location: Crows Nest
  • $590,000 investment
  • Innovative model for elderly parents caring for their adult family member with a disability
  • Due for completion October 2018

Our Thallon Street development contains two separate properties, a two-bedroom unit with adjoining studio apartment and a one-bedroom unit. Each has been designed to the highest level accessibility standards, meaning it is easier for people with a physical impairment to live independently with a range of design features making them suitable for people who use a wheelchair. It offers independent living, flexible accommodation, affordable rent and accessibility features.

The development forms part of the Elderly Parent Carer Innovation Initiative from the Department of Communities, Disability Services and Seniors and is available to parents age 65 and over (or 50 if Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) caring for a family member with a disability aged over 30.

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*Initial funding came from Brisbane City Council (Oct 2017 – May 2018; current funding is from the Queensland Department of Housing and Public Works (June 2018– Jan 2019).

Wattle Apartments, Acacia Ridge – Social Outcomes evaluation

  • Opened early-2017
  • $15.6 million investment
  • 40 new homes for people over 55
  • Resident evaluation now completed

Wattle Apartments forms part of our integrated community campus at Acacia Ridge which provides a range of seniors and supported living accommodation and care services. In mid-2018, we completed a Social Outcomes evaluation to gain insight into residents experience after moving to the apartments in early 2017.

Residents were surveyed pre and post-move to gather their feelings on: physical and emotional wellbeing; living skills; social contact; features of their new home; activities; the moving process; and the local community using an independent surveyor. Survey results were analysed by The University of Queensland.

Overall residents reported a greater sense of safety and pride in their housing and their community. They feel it is more affordable and easier to look after, perceive fewer problems in their community and that their children worry less about their welfare.

“I feel like a queen in my new home”

“I never thought I would live somewhere like this. It feels like a dream.”

Wattle Apartment Resident Feedback

 

Umpi Korumba – Renovating Homes, Building Relationships

  • $1.2 million project
  • Completed June 2018
  • 10 family homes renovated and improved
  • Ongoing provision of asset management services

We completed a $1.2 million project to renovate 10 properties owned by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Organisation Umpi Korumba (‘Umpi’) in partnership with the Department of Housing and Public Works.

The project involved refurbishment of 10 family homes across the north Brisbane suburbs of Zillmere and Petrie to better reflect the needs of their tenants. We achieved ‘value for money’ within budget and timeframe.

Taking time to listen to the Umpi staff members was key to project’s success and has made a huge difference to the families that Umpi supports. Most rewarding of all is that we have developed a relationship of mutual respect and trust with these staff members and we continue to support them with ongoing asset management.

Key statistics: Housing Services