Partner with HousingFirst

HousingFirst’s partners are vital and valuable contributors to our success. Partnerships with state and local government, through the provision of land or capital funding, are critical to the growth of our business.

While government housing policy and funding options continue to change, the community’s need for new and affordable housing increases and our priority is to address those needs. We recognise that new approaches to business development must both complement our dependence on government income for capital growth and provide opportunity to reduce that dependence.

HousingFirst is looking for new opportunities to partner with developers, organisations and investors who wish to further the supply of quality affordable housing for key workers and people on low incomes. Our experience, our dedicated staff and our many successful past developments ensure positive results for all future collaborations with like-minded organisations.

Local Government

city of port phillip logoThe partnership between the City of Port Phillip (CoPP) and HousingFirst began in 1985 from a community campaign deploring the loss of affordable housing options within the municipality.

The CoPP has since made a name for itself as a national leader in local government programs that address the loss of affordable housing due to gentrification. It is widely regarded as the exemplar local government supporter of community housing in Australia.

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HousingFirst has strong relationships with federal, state and local government departments.

We have partnered with all levels of government to deliver high quality affordable housing for people on low incomes. Projects have included the urban renewal of a former public housing estate in Ashwood – a project that increased the number of available affordable homes and, at the time, was the largest affordable housing development undertaken by a not-for-profit housing association. The Ashwood Chadstone Gateway Project was shortlisted as a 2014 finalist for the national Property Council Australia Awards in the category of Best Residential Development. It was the first time a community housing project had been shortlisted.

Our government partners include:

  • Commonwealth Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs
  • Victorian Office of Housing, Department of Human Services
  • Major Projects Victoria

National Rental Affordability Scheme (NRAS)

NRAS is a long-term commitment by the Australian Government in partnership with the states and territories, to invest in affordable rental housing.

The scheme, which commenced in 2008, seeks to address the shortage of affordable rental housing by offering financial incentives to people or entities (such as the business sector and community organisations) to build and rent houses to low and moderate income households at a rate that is at least 20 per cent below the market value rent.

HousingFirst was successful in securing 388 NRAS incentives and is experienced in the development, management and ongoing compliance required for these properties

Support Services

HousingFirst works in partnership with many support agencies in areas such as mental health, disability and family services to help our residents live successful lives. We also partner with local service agencies to deliver community building initiatives for both our residents and the broader community.

HousingFirst has also initiated innovative arrangements whereby other organisations invest in HousingFirst housing developments in exchange for priority access to a specified number of properties. Referred to as 'nomination rights', these arrangements assist in the financing of new developments while providing support services long-term access to properties for their clients that are tenancy and asset-managed by HousingFirst.

Organisations with nomination rights to HousingFirst properties are:

  • Disability Housing Trust through Housing Choices Australia (17 properties)
  • Jewish Care Victoria (10 properties)
  • Office of Housing, Department of Human Services (31 properties).

An alternative arrangement for development and financing was made with the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Victoria. In this arrangement, HousingFirst purchased land in McKinnon from the Glen Eira Council which was then sub-divided. The MS Society purchased the sub-divided parcel and independently developed disability modified housing adjacent to HousingFirst’s affordable housing development.