February 5, 2021

An Australian-first social enterprise model – Elevate Housing

With rental stress impacting more West Australians and tipped to get worse in the coming months, Foundation Housing has announced the release of 100 new affordable homes for WA’s essential workers through its Elevate by Foundation Housing project. The new Elevate homes are being marketed to public or private sector employees that provide an essential and valuable service in WA, in industries like Healthcare, Emergency Services, Education, Childcare, Not-for-profit, Retail, Transportation and Local Government. To be eligible, with the maximum household income $102k per annum. Tenants will pay no more than 30% of their household income in rent, which will be capped at 75% of market rent. The proximity of their applicants employment will also be considered in the process.

“These homes are in places where people want to reside, including Perth, Subiaco, Duncraig, Cannington, Innaloo, Joondalup and Como. They’re also in places where it can be expensive to access quality affordable housing, particularly if you work in the area,” says Foundation Housing CEO Chris Smith.

“We want those essential workers to have the opportunity to have access to affordable housing options close to their work. And these are great homes – beautiful one and two bedroom apartments and a small number of townhouses too. It’s completely changing the concept of affordable housing for the better. Rental stress is defined as paying more than 30% of gross income on rent. The market is predicting a rise in rents in the coming months, increasing rental stress and potentially pushing more people on to social housing waitlists. So the timing for this project is excellent.”

Elevate by Foundation Housing has been developed without any subsidy. Using low-cost finance offered by National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation (NHFIC), Foundation Housing has purchased just over 100 apartments from a number of different WA developers.

The project is investing $45 million dollars directly into the WA economy over the coming months and enabling developers to commence new projects. This will result in new employment opportunities and assist in stimulating economic activity within the state. As well as servicing the debt, the rental income will help fund up to 12 new social housing opportunities outside current government appointed stock, and to assist in the development of new housing stock assets into the future.

“This is a new and exciting model of social housing enterprise not previously used in Australia. Foundation Housing is very excited to show how this funding model can work, at no cost to the taxpayer, while generating great outcomes for a community that needs more affordable housing options.

“By supporting WA’s essential workers with affordable housing, we are providing homes for people in need and supporting those who enrich our community.”

Anyone interested in applying for one of the homes needs to register their interest on the waitlist at https://www.foundationhousing.org.au/looking-for-housing/elevatehousing/