Select Page
Attention Housing Plus tenants – we want to your feedback

Attention Housing Plus tenants – we want to your feedback

Many of you would be aware that each year in conjunction with the Community Housing Industry Association (CHIA) NSW, the industry peak body for community housing providers in NSW, we carry out a Customer Satisfaction Survey.

This provides you with an opportunity to let us know what we do well and where we can improve. It helps us understand what is important to you so we can plan, seek out funding support and adapt our organisation to better service and support you.

You can expect your survey to arrive in the post in April and you can either complete the hard copy return it using the reply-paid envelope provided, or use the username and password on the front page to complete the survey online

Survey links

I want to fill out the survey on my computer

I want to fill out my survey on my mobile or tablet

We value your feedback and encourage you to complete the survey before Friday 2nd June.

All tenants who complete the survey by 2nd June 2023 (Friday) will be automatically entered into a prize draw to WIN a free week’s rent. There is one rent free week per office: Orange, Dubbo, Mudgee and Bathurst, including surrounding towns.

We are continually looking for ways to improve our service to our customers and look forward to reviewing the feedback that comes from the survey.

In response to last year’s survey, we have filtered your feedback into several key projects. Over the past 12 months we have conducted a complete review of our complaints and feedback policy and process, implemented a new phone system to improve communications and we continue our repairs and maintenance review.

We are also in the process of re-designing our website to make finding information easier for everyone and will be including a self-serve function for our customers based on your feedback. This will enable those of you who would prefer to access and or update information, view your statement or access other service functions online, particularly outside of business hours. We will be asking for assistance to test ease of use and functionality in the coming months.

If you have any questions about the survey or how the information will be used please feel free to contact our Insights and Strategy Coordinator, Carrie Drage, on 1800 603 300 who will be pleased to assist you.

Housing Plus to invest $20.5 million into Central West NSW communities

Housing Plus to invest $20.5 million into Central West NSW communities

Housing Plus will build and provide 60 new affordable homes across Bathurst, Cowra, Lithgow, Parkes, Mudgee and Dubbo in the coming years after being awarded a further contract with the NSW Government.

These 60 new dwellings will be in addition to the 220 affordable homes that Housing Plus is currently delivering across the Central West NSW since February 2019. Over the last 18 months Housing Plus have built and tenanted 93 homes in Dubbo, Bathurst and Orange, providing much needed high-quality well-located, energy efficient homes for families while creating jobs in regional NSW. It is on track to complete the remaining 127 by 2021.

“We are delighted to secure this additional investment in the Central West and provide more affordable housing and jobs at this time. The difference that having a home can make to families is enormous.”

Housing Plus CEO David Fisher

There is an acute shortage of affordable housing across the region. Recent research by UNSW has estimated that some 5,500 new properties are needed across the Central West to meet the expected growth in population. The 2018 Rental Affordability Snapshot by Anglicare Australia reports that less than 5% of available houses were affordable and appropriate for a couple with no children receiving the age pension. Only 1% of properties are affordable for a single person on an aged pension.

The 60 new properties will be a mix of 4, 3, 2 and 1-bedroom homes and designed to meet the silver Liveable Housing Design Guidelines that meet the needs of older people and people with a disability.

The new homes have been designed to achieve 7.5-star NatHERS energy efficiency rating to help tenants keep their energy bills low, as well as being good for the environment. In addition, these homes will also have solar photovoltaic panels, and split systems installed, which will further reduce the running costs for these homes making them more affordable in the long term for our tenants.

As well as providing families with, affordable housing, Housing Plus will link tenants and household members with local services to help them work towards greater independence. There is a focus on supporting vulnerable older women.

 “Housing Plus has been delivering new housing since 2019 and are currently ahead of schedule. These additional dwellings will be added to our existing program and delivered in 2021/22. Funding for the construction is being provided by new private borrowings that Housing Plus will undertake. An extension of $20.5 million on the existing $95 million facility with the Clean Energy Finance Corporation will allow Housing Plus to build the additional 60 homes to make a total of 280 new affordable homes to rent in the Central West by 2022.” says David Fisher, CEO Housing Plus.

CEFC CEO Ian Learmonth said: “The CEFC is delighted to strengthen our support for Housing Plus to enable it to continue its work delivering affordable housing across Central West NSW.

“Cleaner, greener homes produce fewer emissions, and they also cost less to heat and cool, meaning we can extend the economic benefits of clean energy technologies to tenants of affordable housing.”

CEFC CEO Ian Learmonth

Homelessness Week 2-8 August 2020 #HW2020

Homelessness Week 2-8 August 2020 #HW2020

This year the theme for Homelessness Week (#HW2020) is Everybody Needs a Home and Homelessness Australia is partnering with Everybody’s Home on campaign activities.

Housing Plus provides the homelessness and housing support service to vulnerable people in Orange. In 2019-20, Housing Plus saw 1,390 people seeking homelessness support from their service, 778 of whom were women. 580 people were aged 25-64 years, 372 people who were seeking help have been diagnosed with a mental health condition.

As at 30 June 2020 there are 196 people on the Social Housing waiting list in Orange, with expected waiting time of 5-10 years for a one-bedroom property and 2-5 years for 2,3,4+ bedroom properties.

For those who are at risk of homelessness, the Homelessness and Housing Support Team can assist in a variety of ways.

“As well as providing crisis and transitional housing to people that are already homeless, we aim to prevent homelessness by helping people to sustain their tenancy. This is achieved through re-negotiating tenancy agreements, helping to put repayment plans in place, assisting with property care and linking people with services that can assist them with a range of social, welfare and legal needs.”

Penny Dordoy, Head of Community Service, Housing Plus

The recent announcement that Housing Plus will be delivering the Together Home program across Bathurst and Cabonne areas of Central West NSW was welcomed by CEO David Fisher. Together Home is a new NSW government initiative aimed at tackling rough sleeping. Those sleeping rough in our communities will be rapidly housed and given on going wrap around support, to help them take the first steps towards breaking the cycle of disadvantage and staying off the streets for good.

“As a Homelessness Service Provider and Community Housing Provider Housing Plus looks forward to working with other providers and volunteer organisations in our communities to bring this important service forward. We have received funding to provide 10 properties and support services.”

David Fisher, CEO Housing Plus

“We are proud to be providing secure housing and coordinated support assistance for people who have been sleeping rough in our community”.

Housing Plus will be supporting Everybody’s Home email the treasurer action to be launched on August 3, to build pressure on the Treasurer to include social housing investment in the Budget, we will be promoting this via our Facebook page for members of the community that would like to support this action.

https://everybodyshome.com.au/email-josh-frydenberg/

David Fisher, Housing Plus, CEO, said he hopes to use the opportunity during Homelessness Week to talk with the leaders of our community about the issues that are driving homelessness in Orange, in particular how the housing affordability crisis has created a dire shortage of affordable options for people on very low incomes.

Energy education program to help alleviate energy poverty for low-income households

Energy education program to help alleviate energy poverty for low-income households

Housing Plus is aiming to improve energy efficiency in its tenanted homes by launching an energy education program for tenants within its current housing portfolio of over 900 properties across Orange, Bathurst and Mudgee.

The program aims to alleviate energy poverty that many low-income tenants experience by inducing behavioural change, delivering low cost and no cost measures to improve energy efficiency in the home, and reducing energy costs.

Justin Cantelo, Director of Strategy and Business Development at Housing Plus, says, “Many low-income households are experiencing, or at risk of, energy poverty through rising energy costs. These households spend a larger proportion of their income on energy bills than other households, particularly larger families, causing significant stress.”

“As well as overconsumption, we also see vulnerable and low-income households that choose to ration their energy use, with some avoiding heating and cooling their homes altogether to avoid unaffordable energy costs. This can impact enormously on health conditions.”

The new energy education program aims to assist vulnerable tenants to achieve greater energy literacy and to better access energy concessions, including those made available by the NSW Government through its Home Energy Action Program. Four easy-to-understand fact sheets are available for tenants:

Justin says, “We know there is an abundance of information on how to reduce energy usage in the home but accessing and understanding this information can be difficult for low-income households, particularly when there are so many different sources and there is often conflicting advice on the market.”

“These fact sheets will help our tenants make sense of all this information and will be available from our three branch offices in Orange, Bathurst and Mudgee, as well as on our website.”

“Staff from the NSW Office of Environment & Heritage have also visited our offices to train our tenancy relations officers and property inspectors on how to deliver energy efficiency information to tenants during home visits.”

The energy education program is funded by a $10,000 grant from Spark Tank, a community competition administered by Skillset with funding provided by the Office of Environment and Heritage. In March 2017, Spark Tank awarded $60,000 in funding to energy saving initiatives across the Central West.

The energy education program is part of Housing Plus’ long-term strategy to address energy poverty among tenants, which includes the installation of state-of-the-art split systems in tenanted homes to replace inefficient heaters, and draft proofing. This is being carried out with co-funding from the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage under the Home Energy Action Program.

Housing Plus is also in discussions with Kenjarhy Solar to install solar PV panels on some of its properties to achieve greater environmental impact and economic outcomes for tenants.

For further information telephone Justin Cantelo, Director of Strategy and Business Development, on 02 6360 3433 or email justin@housingplus.com.au

Housing Plus CEO welcomes second phase of funding to address shortage of social and affordable housing

Housing Plus CEO welcomes second phase of funding to address shortage of social and affordable housing

Housing Plus CEO, David Fisher, welcomes the NSW Premier’s announcement, yesterday, of a second phase of the Social and Affordable Housing Fund, which will provide a much needed boost to housing supply.

It is part of a package of new measures to improve housing affordability in NSW, including removing stamp duty for first home buyers of existing and new properties costing up to $650,000, and changes to eligibility for the existing $10,000 first home owner grant.

David says, “We welcome the NSW Government’s commitment to providing much needed affordable housing for low income households. We believe this is a positive step towards meeting the shortfall of affordable housing for individuals and families living in NSW.”
Housing Plus is a community housing provider with offices in Orange, Bathurst and Mudgee.

We provide social and affordable housing for individuals and families on low to moderate incomes, as well as specialist case coordination and case management services to effectively end homelessness and domestic violence across the Central West and Western NSW.

For further information or a photo opportunity, telephone Emma Kable on 1800 603 300 or email emma@housingplus.com.au