September 6, 2016

New partnership to provide homes for children in care and their carers

Foundation Housing will manage homes for children in care and their carers under a new program with the State Government.

Homes for Carers is a pilot program which secures properties in the private rental market under a head lease agreement to provide homes for foster carers and their children.  The program is a partnership between Foundation Housing, the Housing Authority and the Department for Child Protection and Family Support (DCPFS).

“The pilot program has been designed to provide stable, affordable accommodation for carer families in the private rental market while offering generous incentives for participating landlords, said Chris Smith, Acting CEO of Foundation Housing.

“Foundation Housing is excited about the potential of this program. It represents a pioneering attempt to link carer families in housing need with landlords in the private rental market in an arrangement that, we believe, will have major benefits for both parties”

“Incentives for participating landlords include guaranteed rental payments for the duration of the lease, waived property management fees with costs for many of the maintenance requirements at the property covered by Foundation Housing. Only tenants with excellent rental histories will participate in the program. In return, landlords will be asked to rent the property at 80% of the market rate on a long term, three year lease. At a time when many private landlords are struggling to find and keep tenants we think this is a really good deal,” added Mr. Smith.

Tenants for the program will be selected by DCPFS and referred to Foundation Housing for placement. Foster carers are typically family members of the children who do not have a home suitable for them, usually because there aren’t enough bedrooms. Only tenants with good tenancy records will be considered for the program.

Landlords participating in the scheme will receive a guaranteed income for three years, no administrative or property management fees, and tenants with good tenancy records.  In exchange, the landlord receives 80% market rent, set at the beginning of the tenancy, and the cost of minor wear and tear maintenance costs.

Mr Smith said the program was an example of how innovative thinking between not for profits and Government can help meet housing need in different ways.

Further information about the program is available here.