Housing Plus is the leading community housing organisation operating west of metropolitan Sydney, beyond the Great Dividing Range. We provide high quality affordable rental housing and support services to people in need, and act as a key community partner in the regions and neighbourhoods where we operate.
Our strong values drive everything we do. We respect our clients and partners and promote excellence through being transparent, approachable and accountable. Our staff and directors are professional people who are diligent, ethical and committed to the objectives of the organisation. Central to our mission is a commitment to diversity and equality through delivering ethical, non-discriminatory and culturally aware services.
We have been providing subsidised housing since the origins of the NSW community housing sector in the early 1980s. In 1997 three sister organisations came together to form Central Tableland Housing Association, and in 2011 we were re-christened Housing Plus to acknowledge our wider range of services. The organisation is run as a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee, and we are a Class 1 registered and fully accredited community housing organisation.
Housing Plus operates over a wide geographical area with an administration office in Orange, regional offices in Bathurst and Mudgee, and outreach services extending to Kandos, Rylstone, Gulgong, Molong, Wellington, Dubbo, Parkes, Forbes and Cowra. In this region we have strong links with local councils, welfare agencies, housing advocates and community members. Our goal is to offer the highest quality services, and be the leading ‘community anchor’ in the Central West of NSW through coordinating with service partners and giving them a local point of reference.
We currently manage over 800 properties that we rent to lower income households. Many of these are owned by the Government, though some we lease from the private market and others are run in partnership with not-for-profit welfare groups. In 2010 we successfully won a tender to receive newly-built Nation Building social housing. In due course we hope to receive title to these properties, and raise private finance so we can increase the regional supply of affordable housing. By offering some tenancies to low and moderate income households, we will be able to offer a ‘housing continuum’ and give pathways for our clients as their circumstances change.
Housing Plus now operates as a social enterprise. We combine dedication to a strong social mission with an ability to harness professional expertise once reserved for private sector businesses. Our Directors live locally, have demonstrated specialised skills and experience, and the Board follows ASX Corporate Governance Principles. Similarly, our management and staff are professional and well-informed. We work closely with three other regional NSW community housing groups to foster excellence in governance, management and service delivery.
More Than Just Housing
Community housing used to just be about managing tenancies on behalf of State Government. Now, however, leading supporters of the ‘housing plus’ agenda recognise social housing is not simply about a landlord-client, bricks and mortar relationship. To increase social inclusion and reduce disadvantage, community housing groups must consider the wider needs and aspirations of tenants and neighbouring residents, as individuals, and as communities. Our belief in this approach explains why we call our organisation Housing Plus.
Our wider ‘plus’ services include working to support vulnerable members of our regional community, whether or not they are Housing Plus tenants. Currently our Plus services include:
• Support to women at risk of or escaping domestic violence through our Operation Courage Project. This is an innovative crisis accommodation model, designed in consultation with domestic violence network members, health and community service providers. Operation Courage meets the needs, preferences and safety concerns of women and their children experiencing domestic violence in Orange and Cabonne.
• Court support for victims of domestic violence through the Central West Women’s Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Service. Funded by Legal Aid NSW, the service provides information, assistance and court advocacy for women and children experiencing domestic violence in Orange, Cabonne, Parkes, Cowra and Forbes Shires.
• Crisis accommodation and support for young people is provided through our Emerge Youth and Family Service. Emerge has provided services for the Orange community for nearly three decades, and joined the Housing Plus team in 2010. We run a large family home providing crisis accommodation for young people, and employ a full time Coordinator, a part time Caseworker and four part-time Residential Youth Workers.
Leadership and Quality
Our involvement with ‘housing plus’ services helps stabilise the lives of people in our region. It makes it more likely that people will be able to sustain their tenancies with us, and other landlords, and move their lives forward. Although ‘housing plus’ is common practice in Europe and North America, few Australian community housing organisations have innovated in this way.
Housing Plus is respected and acknowledged as a leader in housing and service support. Our latest client survey showed 88% satisfaction with our services, one of the highest scores across the social housing sector. Housing Plus has won a number of awards, including the National Award for Overall Excellence in Community Housing, and the NSW Award for Excellence in Organisational Management.
We welcome the opportunity to collaborate on projects in Western NSW that help provide housing, support people in need, and build sustainable communities. If you would like to discuss this further, please contact the Housing Plus Corporate Office on (02) 6360 3433 or firstname.lastname@example.org
To view the Annual Client Satisfaction Survey Report 2012, please click here