May 5, 2016

Hedland development a finalist for Community Services Excellence Award

Foundation Housing was nominated for the Partnership category of the recent Community Services Excellence Awards, in conjunction with its partner Cedar Woods Property.

Foundation Housing Business Development Manager Chris Smith said the nomination recognised the partnership’s joint venture to deliver 25 affordable new homes in South Hedland, during a time of significant economic challenge in the Pilbara.

“At the peak of the housing affordability crisis, Cedar Woods teamed up with us with a vision to build a quality residential development that met the needs for different types of housing and responded appropriately to pressing community needs,” Mr Smith said.

“Our plan allocated a significant percentage of unit sites to social and affordable housing and housing for Aboriginal residents.”

Foundation Housing is a leading West Australian affordable housing provider, managing around 2,100 homes and housing around 3,500 around the State. The not for profit social enterprise organisation actively pursues growth in housing stock through innovative partnerships with aligned organisations and businesses.

“Cedar Woods is a property developer whose values are aligned to ours and we formed a successful joint venture to deliver 25 new affordable homes in The Elements estate in South Hedland,” Mr Smith said.

“This achievement has reshaped South Hedland and met the diverse needs of the community in this area during a time when development costs in the Pilbara were extremely high.

“The result meant that we were able to meet a need for housing that was desperately required in this area.

“By working together in the early stages of the land procurement process, we were able to create purpose-designed lots, maximising housing yield efficiencies to better address the needs of priority
affordable housing clients.”

Mr Smith said in 2014 Foundation Housing decided to assign its housing lots within ‘Elements’ to locally based IBN Aboriginal Corporation.

Foundation Housing decided it was more appropriate for IBN to develop all the community housing lots together, ensuring those who benefit are local IBN people wanting to live on country.

“IBN went on to develop lots as part of their own affordable housing program, delivering homes for affordable rent, seniors housing and shared equity for IBN Beneficiaries,” Mr Smith said.

“The homes are now managed by Foundation Housing’s Pilbara office, enhancing the existing relationship of Foundation Housing as the tenancy manager of all of IBN’s Pilbara housing.

“This arrangement further consolidated an important strategic partnership between Foundation and IBN, all as a result of Cedar Woods’ visionary strategy for the land.”

Mr Smith said the partnership forged between Cedar Woods and Foundation Housing to shape ‘Elements’ has transformed the South Hedland area, injected new life into the community and, most importantly, delivered 25 new affordable homes at a time when availability of affordable homes for local people was at crisis point.

“While we didn’t win the award, we congratulate the winners, and remain very pleased at being nominated. This type of award recognises how innovative partnerships can work well and benefit those in the community who need affordable housing.”