News and Events

HousingFirst Study Scholarships

HousingFirst is committed to improving the personal wellbeing of tenants and understands the importance of education as a pathway into the workforce. To support tenants who are currently studying, or are about to study, HousingFirst is offering scholarships of up to $1000 out of a total pool of $10,000. MGS Architects generously donated $2000 towards the scholarship fund to support tenants who are studying as a pathway to work.

The Scholarship is available for tenants who are over 18 years of age and are currently studying or who have been offered a place in a course at a University, TAFE, private RTO or other registered training provider (such as a neighborhood house). The scholarship is also available for entry level courses such as basic literacy and numeracy, English language classes etc.

To apply for the scholarship just complete this form:              HousingFirst Scholarship Application Form

Applications open Friday 24th March and close midnight Sunday 30th April.

If you have any questions, contact Philippa at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 9534 5837.

Bold for Change: International Women's Day

Under the heading Bold for Change, Haleh Homaei, CEO of HousingFirst was invited to speak at the City of Port Phillip's International Women's Day event. Other invited speakers included Clementine Ford, writer Broadcaster and speaker and Georgie Stone, Elwood College student and GLBTIQ Person of the Year.

View Haleh's presentation here.

International Women's Day 2017 presentation




Building Community - A Year in Review 2016

In 2016 the PPHA Community Development team have engaged tenants to participate in the organisation, learn new skills and improve their personal wellbeing through our programs and events.

Building Community - A Year in Review 2016

Rapid Housing Success

HousingFirst has secured grant funding to purchase eight units for the Rapid Housing Family Violence program and a further five units for the Rapid Housing Homelessness program. To date, HousingFirst has successfully acquired three units in Clayton and five units in St Kilda which completes the Family Violence program and will now focus on the Homelessness acquisitions. HousingFirst is working with support services organisations to ensure that tenants make a smooth transition to long term secure housing. The first of the St Kilda properties was settled on Monday 16th January and the new tenant, with support from Salvation Army Violence Service was settling in to her new home within the week.


Building Community July to September

Melbourne’s cold winter was filled with colour and creativity, as we held our annual tenant art exhibition and unearthed new talent at Barkly Street Roarhouse.

Building Community

Celebrating 30 years of Housing for the Locals

PPHA will celebrate its 30th birthday at St Kilda Town Hall on Wednesday 30th November commencing at 4pm, giving the AGM a party atmosphere.  

We invite tenants, past and present, and all those involved with PPHA over the past 30 years to join us for this momentous AGM and to hear guest speaker Rev. Tim Costello launch our book 'HOUSING FIRST a path to social justice'. The story of the campaign around affordable housing in the 80's, the establishment of St Kilda Housing Association in 1986 and PPHA's subsequent work.

There will be live music, lots of reminiscing and the opportunity to catch up with people you have not seen in a long time. For catering purposes, RSVP's are essential if attending.

PPHA's community housing program, incubated by St Kilda Council, and later nurtured by Port Phillip Council, remains unique. It is a testament to successive local governments and community resolve - and PPHA's business acumen -  that three decades later there is still no equivalent local-government initiated housing program elsewhere in Australia.

We look forward to celebrating with you.


PPHA 2016AGM Invitation sm

St Kilda Apartments escape Developers to Remain as Homes For Needy

Port Phillip Housing Association's purchase of an apartment complex billed as St Kilda's best development opportunity will instead continue to house people facing homelessness. Overlooking the St Kilda Botanic Gardens, it is a prime site comprising three stand alone buildings containing 50 self-contained apartments. The property was acquired under the Port Phillip Housing Trust, established by the City of Port Phillip and for which PPHA is the trustee.

Click here to read the full article.

Housing Association Gets Lifesaving Gift

Thanks to an important donation, people living in Ashwood can now live with greater peace of mind.

Link Health and Community has given PPHA a $5000 grant to help the organisation reach its goal of investing in a lifesaving defibrillator and first aid course for its tenants.

PPHA manages a number of properties in Ashwood, including at Power Ave, where many tenants suffer from chronic health conditions.

Information sessions on how to use the defibrillator will be provided, to empower both staff and tenants on how to use this tool correctly, along with a basic first aid course.

Read more

Appointment of new CEO


I am pleased to advise that Haleh Homaei has been appointed HousingFirst’s new Chief Executive Officer.  

For those who have been around the housing sector for some time, Haleh is well known.  She joined Haven; Home, Safe’s (HHS) Executive team as Deputy CEO/Executive Director Metro following the successful merger between HHS and North East Housing in October 2014.  Prior to the merger Haleh was the CEO of North East Housing Service, a Housing Provider managing over 300 transitional and long term properties throughout Melbourne’s north and eastern suburbs.

She has over 20 years of experience in housing, 12 years of which were with the Victorian Office of Housing and the rest within the Community Housing Sector.   Haleh’s expertise is in the area of Social Advocacy, Strategic and Business Planning, Governance and Compliance, Leadership and stakeholder management.  She has a Diploma in Social Science (Housing Management and Policy) and has completed a Company Directors Course through the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD).  Haleh has been a member of the Australasian Housing Institute (AHI) since 1998 and was a Director on the National Board representing Victoria until mid-2015.  She has been a Board member of the Community Housing Federation of Victoria since 2009 and she is currently the Chair.

In addition to her work in housing, she has had international experience.  She was centrally involved in the momentum, negotiation and outcome of the United Nation’s Post-2015 Development Agenda where she successfully promoted the agenda of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste and a group of conflict affected and fragile states resulting in inclusion of their submission in the final outcome document “Transforming Our World; The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”.

The Board is excited to have attracted an excellent field of candidates and we look forward to Haleh joining us on 29th August and working with the fantastic existing senior management team to ensure a strong future for HousingFirst, building houses for locals and developing successful communities.

Frank O’Connor

Chair, Board of Directors

HousingFirst Ltd


Building Community March to June 2016

It’s been a productive three months in Community Development with many projects on the go. It can be hard to motivate and engage tenants in the winter months but as our programs show, it can be done. Here is a round-up of current projects, some new and some ongoing.


Building Community

I am art … and this is me – PPHA Artist Collective Exhibition will surprise and excite

HousingFirst’s third tenant art exhibition, I am art … and this is me, opens at The Laneway Artspace in St Kilda on 15 September and runs until 2 October.

Read more

PPHA looking forward to working with Government and private sector to provide more housing.

PPHA welcomes the Victorian government’s budget initiatives in the areas of health, education, infrastructure and jobs and applaud the commitment of $572M to combat family violence including $152 million for a "housing blitz" to build new crisis accommodation and refuges to shelter survivors of family violence.

Read more

The latest in community development projects

The PPHA Community Development Team has had a busy start to 2018.

Jim and Warren Ravelston 1 lr

Building Community January-March 2016

Read more about our current projects including Rooming House Riders, community gardening, slow yoga, art therapy and the Pocket Park Market.

CEO Karen Barnett to retire after 26 years at the helm

Frank O’Connor, Chair, Port Phillip Housing Association Board, has issued this statement:

The Board is sad to advise that our long-standing Chief Executive Officer, Karen Barnett, has decided to retire after a long and illustrious career.

Read more

On ya bike

Rooming House Riders have taken to the streets. An initiative of PPHA’s Community Development team, Rooming House Riders is a tenant-led program to get PPHA tenants on the road, getting fit and having fun.

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Building community in 2015


HousingFirst’s Community Development Team had a busy year with some exciting new projects, including the very popular art exhibition and photography competition.

Read the full report: Building Community 

Tenants' Christmas Parties 2015

Enjoy this slideshow presentation of all the fun at our 2015 Christmas parties.

All My Christmases Have Come At Once

Joy Gunn, pictured, says "All my Christmases have come at once." Joy is a resident of the newly open Wominjeka Apartments in Essendon.

Joy Gunn Wominjeka Apartments opening 14sm 

On the Sunny Side of the Street: Changing Lives at Wominjeka Apartments

PPHA’s new 60-unit community housing development in Mount Alexander Road, Essendon was opened on 1 December to the tune of “On the sunny side of the street”, played with gusto by saxophonist Justine Jones, a PPHA tenant from St Kilda, and guitarist Pat Lajoie.

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