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LEADING THE WAY TO BETTER HOUSING

On 2 March 2017, Centacare Evolve Housing Executive Director Tim Gourlay met with the Premier, Will Hodgman, and the Minister for Human Services, Jacquie Petrusma, to launch the exciting and innovative Community Housing Stock Leverage Program in Tasmania – with which Centacare Evolve Housing will deliver 150 new or refurbished social housing dwellings.

The Stock Leverage Program encourages Community Housing Providers (CHP) such as Centacare Evolve Housing to construct and/or refurbish dwellings by leveraging security provided by existing social housing stock. The program will deliver new dwellings, upgrade existing housing stock, provide enhancements to the streetscape, and enhance the quality of life for local residents which are real benefits for the community.

By transferring the titles of some existing dwellings to the CHPs, this enables them to borrow against the equity in the assets in order to fund new builds, thereby increasing the supply of social and affordable houses in Tasmania. This strategy is an initiative consistent with the Government’s Affordable Housing Strategy.

“On behalf of some of Tasmania’s most disadvantaged families I want to thank the State Government for creating this opportunity to grow social housing stock. This innovative program will go a long way towards improving access to social housing in Tasmania, now and in the future,” said Mr Gourlay.

The Better Housing Futures program has seen the State Government already transfer management of up to 35% of its housing stock, around 4000 homes, to community housing providers such as Centacare Evolve Housing. Tasmania is the first state to achieve the Better Housing Futures target of 35% of community housing being transferred to CHPs, since the program commenced. The success of Better Housing Futures has allowed the consideration of the transfer of titles.

“Tasmania is leading the way again in this exciting and innovative program of stock leverage,” said Mr Gourlay.

In return for the transfer of titles, CEH will construct 119 new properties, and refurbish 31 existing dwellings, resulting in 150 new and refurbished dwellings. All 150 dwellings will be retained as social housing for a minimum of 30 years, and will be completed and available for use from mid-2019.

The titles being transferred to Centacare Evolve Housing will be distributed across the three suburbs associated with Better Housing Futures – Bridgewater, Gagebrook and Herdsmans Cove.

Mr Gourlay explained that there are already sites under development in Bridgewater, which together with this initiative, will provide a mini economic stimulus for this part of the State. The Stock Leverage Program will deliver in the order of 200 new jobs.

Centacare Evolve Housing are delivering a range of modern houses not previously seen in Tasmania, that have been especially designed for smaller lot freehold titles. These quality house and land packages focus on delivering a high aesthetic with interesting and distinct facades, and include a range of modern design solutions to provide the residents with convenient living. Options include single and two-storey dwellings and a choice of two and three bedrooms.