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Social housing group extends funding

A not-for-profit organisation has announced a new grant funding round for social and affordable housing projects in the Northern Territory and Queensland for the first time.

Homes for Homes, the non-profit organisation established by homelessness social enterprise The Big Issue, has opened a new grant funding round for social and affordable housing projects, with up to $140,000 available across the Northern Territory and Queensland.

According to Homes for Homes, sufficient funds have been raised with support from the property industry and private donations to grant to housing providers for the first time in the Northern Territory and Queensland.

It said that from today (12 April), social and affordable housing providers in the Northern Territory and Queensland can apply for grant funding, with the funding round closing on 14 May.

Applications will be assessed by industry-based advisory groups in the Northern Territory and Queensland, it added.

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The funding round has marked the fourth tranche of grants released to community housing projects placed by Homes for Homes.

The group said that previous grant rounds have resulted in more than $1 million disbursed to social and affordable housing providers in the ACT and Victoria, totalling 10 houses for 53 people.

The group recently announced funding of projects such as YWCA Canberra properties for older women and women with children experiencing family violence, and Community Housing Canberra (CHC) properties, which it said would help women transition from custody to secure housing, employment and community connections.

Homes for Homes raises funds by asking property owners to donate 0.1 per cent of the sale price of their property to Homes for Homes, with property owners able to claim the tax deduction when lodging their tax returns.

The organisation – which was already operational in NSW, Victoria, ACT, South Australia and Western Australia – had earlier stated that it would expand into the Northern Territory, Queensland and Tasmania.

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The group also last month formed a partnership with digital property settlement service provider Property Exchange Australia (PEXA), with PEXA aiming to support the goal of addressing homelessness in Australia.

Under the partnership, PEXA said it will grant at least $250,000 in funding Homes for Homes across two years through a national grant disbursement program designed to help increase the supply of social and affordable housing for those who require it.

Commenting on the latest round of funding, Homes for Homes CEO Steven Persson said the organisation was pleased to open funding in new states and territories, and he thanked PEXA for their “significant” contribution to increasing the supply of social and affordable housing.

“With support from our partnership with PEXA, Homes for Homes is pleased to begin contributing towards the creation of safe, secure and affordable housing in the NT and QLD, moving one step closer to ending homelessness,” Mr Persson said.

“We are open to all applications from community housing providers and property developers. Any organisation that can create social and affordable housing is encouraged to apply.

“2020 has shown us that more than ever, a lasting solution to homelessness is needed in Australia. Having a home is fundamental to people’s lives and positive future outcomes. It influences family life, work, community connection, health and wellbeing.”

PEXA chief corporate affairs officer Johanna Waldon said the platform is “passionate” about extending its role to support vulnerable groups.

“By virtue of our day job, PEXA gets people safely into their new homes by settling over 20,000 properties each week. Addressing one of Australia’s largest social issues in homelessness is a natural and necessary extension of that,” Ms Waldon said.

“Homes for Homes is a leader in this sector, and PEXA is proud to play a role in extending the successful grant funding program to reach those most in need within NT and QLD. Our people, our members and the wider industry are all very excited about what can be achieved”.

[Related: Social housing key to post-COVID recovery: study]

Social housing group extends funding
Social housing group extends funding
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Malavika Santhebennur

Malavika Santhebennur is the features editor on the mortgages titles at Momentum Media.

Before joining the team in 2019, Malavika held roles with Money Management and Benchmark Media. She has been writing about financial services for the past six years.

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