An entrepreneurial spirit characterises Haven; Home, Safe’s approach to providing affordable housing.
It’s for this reason that the affordable housing provider has chosen to participate in pilot program Unpack for Good, which aims to allow certain residents of community housing purchase the home they are living in.
Launched on Wednesday, the pilot will see residents who apply successfully for a mortgage enter a “tenancy in common” with the Community Sector Bank and Haven.
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As well as helping certain residents of community housing find their home, the program has the potential to allow the agency to create new stock of affordable housing, said Haven CEO Ken Marchingo.
“The perennial question of all affordable housing agencies is ‘how can we squeeze our balance sheet? How much can we squeeze our cash to build more affordable housing?’” Mr Marchingo said.
It’s a program that’s not for everybody, but for those it works for, it’d be a really good step up for them.Ken Marchingo, CEO Haven; Home, Safe
“With this particular proposal, we might be able to build a house off the back of selling one.
“I can’t help everybody...but if I can flip some of my stock and create new rental stock, then at least I get to help the next person, and that’s one more than I would have.”
Mr Marchingo described the program as “boutique”, saying it would not be suitable for every resident of community housing, but could be of vital importance for some.
Many Haven residents are on fixed incomes, which could allow them to meet mortgage repayments, but are not enough to save for a deposit.
Entering ownership with Haven as a stakeholder, is a way of giving such residents a helping hand, Mr Marchingo said.
Doing this is a step towards fulfilling the organisations vision, of helping people extract themselves from homelessness.
He invited residents of Haven housing in Bendigo to visit the Haven website to learn more about the program.
“It’s a program that’s not for everybody, but for those it works for, it’d be a really good step up for them,” Mr Marchingo said.
“This is one way that we can help a small number of our clients start on a journey of asset growth, and a bit more security for themselves and their family.”