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No one should be without a home

We are facing a social housing crisis.

In their inaugural Impact Report, Launch Housing revealed that 115,306 people were assisted by a Specialist Homelessness Service in Victoria in 2020. And as of March 2021, there were 50,839 households on the Victorian Housing Register waitlist.

So what can we do? What can all of us do?

Taking a step back was where we started. To fully understand the problem and to see where we could make the most meaningful impact. That’s when we met the amazing people at Launch Housing.

The goal of this independent Melbourne-based community organisation is to end homelessness. They are passionately committed to creating lasting societal change by delivering homelessness services and life-changing housing to support disadvantaged Victorians.

They simply believe that in a country as wealthy as ours, no one should be homeless.

That really struck a chord with us. We have enough. More than enough. We are lucky to be in the position of owning a series of rental properties, so we are also lucky to be in a position to do something with the assets we have to change from being part of the problem to being part of the solution.

And Launch Housing had the answer. HomeGround Real Estate.

Operated by Launch Housing, this social enterprise offers property management services with 100% of profits reinvested back into the community towards ending homelessness. We now had an avenue whereby our property manager fees could be redirected to those in need, and a way forward for converting a percentage of our properties into social housing rentals. HomeGround had the ability, purpose and drive to make this all happen.

“The fact of the matter is there’s just not enough social housing. And once you’re on the housing register, some people wait ten years to get a home. That’s just not good enough; to wait ten years to get a suitable home,” says HomeGround Manager Samantha Gatherum-Goss.

“Having this ability to offer properties on social rents means that we can give many of these people quality accommodation in good locations at a price they can afford. It means that they can also stay close to their support structure, rather than being forced to move out of the area because that's where the social housing placement is located. It’s a much fairer and equitable solution.”

We agree, and with HomeGround’s help we have committed to offering 30% of our properties up as social housing rentals. This means that we offer low-income households below market rent, with the aim of housing people who have been unable to access permanent accommodation and are at risk of experiencing homelessness. We’re 20% of the way there, with our priority to house women and children as a support to overcoming the outcomes of domestic violence.

We know there is much more we can do, and will be working closely with our partners Launch Housing and HomeGround to explore new ways of giving those less fortunate support, dignity, and most importantly, hope.

Learn more about Launch Housing and HomeGround Real Estate.

You can also donate to Launch Housing here.

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