All people to have a safe, secure, affordable, and appropriate housing.
BeyondHousing is committed to ending homelessness. We will work in partnership with Government, business, communities, and individuals to develop and provide the full range of quality housing and homelessness services.
Housing is a Human Right
Housing Justice for all People
Striving to be the best
We cannot solve homelessness alone
We will deliver services to our clients in ways that represent our values, promote the rights of people, and ensure the best possible housing outcomes, prioritising for the most vulnerable in our communities.
We will provide leadership, advocacy, and influence on the issues of homelessness and affordable housing within our catchment and beyond.
We will be a values-based organisation, with a positive team culture that promotes safety and wellbeing; and supports each other in the pursuit of achieving our vision to end homelessness.
We will have robust systems that enhance the experience for all stakeholders, drive strategic improvements and provide for an objective basis for decision-making and accountability.
We will minimise our environmental impact through the adoption of financially viable initiatives to improve resource efficiency, reduce waste generation and reduce the consumption of natural resources.
Our Assets & Growth
We will use evidence of demand to grow, recognising that it requires the courage to take some considered risks and the resources to develop concepts that, when tested, may not proceed.
BeyondHousing acknowledges Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and their rich cultures. We acknowledge the traditional custodians of the lands and waters upon which we rely.
We recognise their continuing connection to land, waters, and culture. We pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging.
Chief Executive Officer
We are delighted to introduce our 2021 annual report. It’s been an exciting year that saw the completion of the 2018-2021 Strategic Plan, and the development of our 2021-2026 Strategic Plan that will lead us into the future.
Our 2018-2021 plan set us some ambitious goals and it is a pleasure to reflect on our key achievements that saw growth in our housing assets, significant improvements to our communications, engagement and technology, and the implementation of sustainable features in our housing to provide efficient energy options to our tenants.
One of our most important strategic relationships continues to be with the Peter & Lyndy White Foundation (PLWF). This ongoing relationship will see 153 one- and two-bedroom properties completed or approved by the end of 2022.
We have also been successful in funding submissions to the Victorian Government to construct a further 58 properties.
Following an organisational review in 2018 we employed people with specialist skills in digital transformation, asset management, and marketing and communications. We welcomed our new Chief Operating Officer, Kylie Nelson in early 2021, to add additional operational resources as we position the organisation for growth.
The investment in modernising our IT increased our efficiency and placed us in good stead when the COVID-19 pandemic hit enabling us to pivot quickly to working from home. Our profile within the broader community has been strengthened by using traditional media and social media to highlight the issue of homelessness and promote our achievements.
In 2021 we housed more people in our properties and in private rental, and helped more people stabilise their tenancies. We provided people with the skills needed to rent a home and we further improved the quality of our renters’ homes and reduced their costs of living.
Some highlights from 2021 include:
The continuing impact of COVID-19 on our clients was evident this year. People needed longer periods in emergency accommodation, and we saw a sharp decline in the number of people able to move on from Transitional Housing. Demand for assistance in the private rental market increased dramatically, and it is testament to the skill of our staff that they continued to provide quality services while working from home.
As we look back over the past year, it is an opportunity to acknowledge those people who contribute to the strength of BeyondHousing.
Our CFO, Brian Hargreaves resigned in April after 17 years with BeyondHousing. He witnessed tremendous growth and change during that time and his commitment to the people we work for; his well-considered advice and quiet sense of humour will be sorely missed.
Carly Martin, an experienced architect joined the Board in August 2020 and brings with her both knowledge and enthusiasm for our work. Ronni Druitt who served on the Board for two years resigned in June 2021. Our Chair, Sue Paini will step down from this role at the 2021 AGM. Sue joined the Board in 2008, serving as Chair for the past five years. She has always been passionate about homelessness and a strong advocate for affordable housing. Her governance skills have been instrumental in the development of the Board in her role as Chair.
BeyondHousing’s staff continue to be its strength. We thank them for their commitment, agility, and resilience, as they continued to provide the best services possible to our clients and renters, during a year that has challenged us all.
As we look to the future, we are motivated by the development of the 2021- 2026 strategic plan which includes key pillars to:
We look forward to sharing our progress against these very important goals in coming years.Go to our new Strategic Plan
Ms Lucinda White, Mr Peter White OAM and Mrs Lyndy White, The Peter & Lyndy White Foundation.
The Peter & Lyndy White Foundation first started their association with BeyondHousing in 2018. We were very impressed with the efficiency that they were able to deliver projects, but not only that, it was the ability to engage local suppliers and builders and provide a well needed boost to regional economies during such difficult times.
We have been collaborating with BeyondHousing since 2018 and by the end of 2022, together, we will have proudly commissioned 152 houses which will accommodate 218 of our most vulnerable community members. We think this is a wonderful achievement especially given the difficulty of operating under COVID-19 restrictions.
Now more than ever there is a massive need for social housing, especially for women and children escaping domestic violence and we believe our collaboration with BeyondHousing will achieve maximum impact.
We are very pleased to announce our future agreement with BeyondHousing to contribute an additional $15M for these projects in the 2022/23 Financial year.
Director Lucinda White with Peter and Lyndy White, founders of the Peter & Lyndy White Foundation.
people and families who needed our support
people housed in our long-term properties
new homes under construction
nights of crisis accommodation provided
more people to be housed in new safe and affordable homes
people built rental resilience through Keeping Home
new homes completed
people and families supported to find and keep private rental
households were homeless or at risk of homelessness
sought help for homelessness because of domestic & family violence
said mental health was a reason for being homeless
had experienced recent mental health difficulties
households are First Nations peoples
were young people aged 12-24
were single people
were families with children
Funding for our tenancy advocacy program has been extended to 2024 by Consumer Affairs Victoria, Department of Justice and Community Safety. This support is more important than ever with the changes to rental laws, a moratorium on rental evictions and excessive demand for private rental properties.
Where were they staying
Top 3 Reasons for support
The From Homelessness to a Home (H2H) initiative provides people in emergency accommodation due to the pandemic with access to stable housing and support.
H2H uses a housing first approach, a proven way to stop the cycle of homelessness through making housing a priority and wrapping supports around each person. Critical to its success is the immediate availability of housing, flexibility in housing options, prioritising client choice and the step-up step-down support model.
BeyondHousing has already sourced safe and secure homes for all clients and will support each tenancy, alongside our program partners for the next 24 months with funding from the Victorian Government.
Working in partnership with local agencies has improved and expanded the services available to deliver tailored responses to the needs of our most vulnerable clients, who are transitioning out of homelessness. We know this works and we’ve been given the opportunity to prove this at scale.
Bill experienced Homelessness during the peak of the COVID-19 crisis last year. He had been living with his daughter in Shepparton but when she relocated to Queensland, he found himself living in his car. When he sought our help, BeyondHousing were able to support him with a few weeks stay in crisis accommodation and then into a private rental home through the From Homelessness to a Home program.
"This isn’t the first time I was homeless but it’s the last time. Being homeless while COVID was everywhere, and lockdowns were on, was even harder than before."
"I’ve been on the waiting list for housing for over 6 years. I’ve got no rental history. I have no family around here to stay with again. I didn’t have a place to go."
"I was living in my car, but I knew I couldn’t stay like that, it was no good for me. The stress was making my diabetes shoot through the roof. I went into BeyondHousing, and they put me in a hotel for a couple of weeks."
"When they came to me and said they had somewhere I could rent I was so relieved, I didn’t want to end up with nowhere again. I’m 65 and already had two heart attacks. I don’t have the strength to keep fighting like I did when I was 25 and had money in my wallet every week and no worries in my head."
"I came into BeyondHousing and all I had was a pillow, a doona and my clothes, now I have a home…it’s unbelievable. I’m cooking my own meals; you can’t do that when you’re living in a car. I’ve got my diabetes under control, and I have support for my mental health. And it’s not far to some good fishing spots."
Annie is Bill’s private rental provider; she says Bill has been a wonderful tenant and it is great to see how much his wellbeing has improved since moving in.
"Bill is a real character; he has been rolling up his sleeves and working on things around all of the common areas of the units. He told me how much he misses gardening and growing his own food so together we are building a new garden area he can use to grow veggies."
"We have a great rapport. I appreciate how Bill looks after the property, and that living there means he can look after himself and have the quiet stress-free life he has wanted."
"It’s so important that more people who own private rentals consider helping others who have found themselves in Bill’s situation and would struggle to get into private rental because maybe they don’t have a rental history. It’s vital to see the person and what they can do when they get that chance for a stable home."
A home has never been more important, and we have continued to support our renters during a difficult time.
Key initiatives during the year
Who lives in community housing?
How long have they lived in Long-term Community Housing?
Sandra’s world was turned upside down when the last two rental properties were sold. In the middle of a pandemic, with regional towns experiencing a significant reduction in available properties and rental affordability.
Sandra couldn’t find somewhere affordable for a single person on a Disability Support Pension. She had to stay in crisis accommodation, and couch surfing until she was offered a long-term community housing property.
"I’ve got good references, and I looked after all the homes I lived in, but it doesn’t seem to matter, you make so many applications and never get to see the properties. There weren’t a lot of options for single people where I needed to live so I could stay connected to my NDIS support workers."
"I’m still pinching myself. I can hardly believe that this new home is mine. It’s beautiful, I’m settled and happy. I’m looking after my house and my life."
"It’s in a great neighbourhood and I have already made some great friendships with other tenants here, we help each other out. And a few of our other neighbours even helped me move some of my stuff in. "
"I’m bloody lucky, I wouldn’t have this house without everyone pulling together for me and I can't really put in to words the difference this home has already made."
"You have no idea how it feels to know that no-one can take it away from you. I have never lived in a one-bedroom property, but I could live here forever and ever. This is perfect for me and Misty. She already has her favourite spots in the house."
"Yeah, I’m still getting used to thinking that. That I have somewhere to call home, it’s my home."
Our 2021 Renter Survey tells a compelling and positive story of a renter community that has high levels of satisfaction with the housing services they receive. Our renters felt supported despite another challenging year with the ongoing restrictions of the pandemic and our limited capacity to engage with renters face-to-face or to visit them in their homes. In the face of adversity, we have been there for our renters.
For our renters, the most important things about the BeyondHousing home they rent were;
Keeping Home helps renters secure and keep a home by developing their key knowledge and critical skills needed to rent successfully.
BeyondHousing has developed a renting and financial skills course for people on low incomes wanting to start or stay renting in the private rental market. We focus on minimising the risk of rent arrears or property issues, the most common drivers of rental failure.
Participants included people who recently experienced homelessness referred through From Homelessness to Home program, those looking to move into the private rental market, clients from our support services, and people preparing to exit correctional facilities.
In the face of COVID-19 social distancing and lockdown measures, we delivered the program primarily online through virtual meeting platforms, in both group and one-on-one sessions.
We have focused on existing strong partnerships to deliver Keeping Home to groups we know have a heightened risk of homelessness as a targeted prevention and early intervention initiative.
We offered Keeping Home at GoTAFE to VCAL students, to help young people understand how to rent as they embark on living independently for the first time.
Our participants within Corrections Victoria facilities are those preparing to leave prison. The course is aimed at giving them essential money and housing skills that has positively impacted the success of their release back into the community and prevented exiting into homelessness.
clients in our region had received previous support for housing.
Of these, more than 1-in-3 experienced a
repeated risk of losing their tenancies.
people gained housing and life skills through Keeping Home
participants who start, stay the course
average improvement in financial, tenancy and housing knowledge and confidence after course completion.
I have had risky money behaviours all my life. In one hand out the other, and then find other ways to get money quickly. I had built resentment toward money. I had no respect for it. I could never hold onto a place and was always being evicted because of my money issues. After the course I found that I could have control of my money and I could be successful, but not overnight. I can see that the unhealthy relationship I have had with money has been my greatest barrier. But I can change it...now I have the skills. Prison does not have to be my solution to homelessness.
Keeping Home has been more than just training, I have been provided with support and real advice about my own situation. I realised that I really did need help and that I want the stability of my own home, to get out of the cycle of couch surfing. I have learnt to prioritise how I spend money, how to budget and make sure rent is number one on that list. The trainer and I have worked hard to set up a plan which has paid off my debts. I can move forward now that this program has helped me set up for success.
Community growth for our media and social media
appearances in print, broadcast or online news
households reached through media
people visited our website
Social media has been a powerful in keeping people connected and informed, especially those members of our community who are vulnerable or isolated.
In a year when we couldn’t hold face to face events for Homelessness Week 2020, Anti-Poverty Week or Youth Homelessness Matters Day, our campaigns and advocacy involved community engagement to activities online. Our media activities and social media played an integral role in connecting with our supporters, our community, and our partners.
Our key messages about the need for more social housing to end homelessness included:
Our advocacy and campaigns were amplified by the media and heard by more people across the region than ever before.
Some of the incredible contributions made by our supporters throughout the last year include generous donations from Findex Community Fund, Godolphin Australia, Alatalo Bros, Metro Petroleum Tatura, Ironbark Property Advocates, The Inspired Space, and many individuals. This has helped us provide crisis accommodation, support people experiencing homelessness, build new homes, and strengthen our communities.
We would like to acknowledge the generous workplace giving donations received from staff at North East Water and Services Australia.
This year their generosity helped with the fit out of 4 new homes in Wodonga, ensuring the families moving in had quality appliances as well as energy and water saving measures to their keep costs of living down.
We continue to partner with a wide range of organisations and businesses to ensure the supply of affordable housing and essential homelessness services. We work collaboratively with our partners, whose purpose and values align with our own, and who help contribute to our overall growth and success.
These partners include Local, State and Federal Government, private developers, community groups, local businesses, and support agencies. We can’t end homelessness alone. Thank you to our generous partners who have enabled us to reach more people to deliver life-changing support and homes.
One of the most rewarding partnerships has been our ongoing collaboration with the Peter & Lyndy White Foundation, whose commitment to ending homelessness is helping us build more than 40 homes every year for people needing safe, secure, and affordable housing across our region. In 2020-21 we committed to 38 more homes, bringing the total number of new homes completed or commenced in this partnership to 97, with more to come.
permanent or fixed term employees
staff said they are proud to work for us
training courses completed
staff agreed leadership is navigating COVID-19 health, safety, and wellbeing arrangements successfully
total steps, or 15,821 kms travelled by staff in the 10,000 Steps Challenge
Our staff are talented, dedicated, and passionate people who continued to focus on supporting access to our services through careful planning, innovation, and adaptation in a challenging year.
We place a high priority on learning and development and understand how training contributes to ensuring we can respond to clients’ needs and deliver better services to our diverse communities.
This year, all team members undertook the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Competence course. This is the first step in reducing the cultural knowledge gap and building cultural competence so that our services are delivered safely and appropriately for our Indigenous clients, renters, and communities.
98% of our staff agree that BeyondHousing provides a safe working environment. An external OHS audit finding 100 per cent legislative compliance, a credit to the work of our OHS committee. Safe and satisfied staff deliver awesome services that change lives.
This year saw the addition of a Chief Operating Officer and the formation of an Executive Team. Two new Project Manager positions now coordinate the increasing number of community housing construction projects. This increases our capacity for growth so we can do more for our community, and for people who need safe, secure, affordable housing.
CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER
I have had a very fortunate and amazing career over the last 25 years, predominately within multi-national financial services. My experience has enabled me to grow both in terms of leadership and professional skills. My roles and opportunities have been diverse from risk, real estate, due diligence and acquisitions, sourcing and procurement and offshore operations. This has led me to develop a passion for change, efficiency and ultimately supporting people to reach their full potential.
My lived experience of homelessness and domestic violence during my early years has motivated me to ensure I am independent, and in a position to provide my family with a different life experience. My career has helped me achieve this, but something was always missing. My true purpose.
I am incredibly excited to join BeyondHousing and to be able to combine my true passions and my professional experiences to help the organisation and the BeyondHousing team collectively work towards our vision of Ending Homelessness, and supporting the communities in which we live.
We have an ambitious strategy over the next 5 years, and I am grateful to have joined at the beginning of this journey. My focus will be ensuring that we have the right structure, systems, and processes as well as development of our people so we can achieve our goals.
CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER
I come to the role of BeyondHousing’s Chief Financial Officer having consolidated my financial training across a variety of industries & environments in my early career, from multi-national companies to regional commercial construction firms and national hospitality operations. In the last 12 years I found my place in the Victorian community services sector. The fundamentals of accounting remain the same, but the shift in foci from profit to purpose and from shareholders to stakeholders makes this work deeply rewarding. Creating a budget is fun – but creating meaningful social impact is better!
BeyondHousing delivers incredibly important services to regional communities, driven by a simple yet bold purpose: ending homelessness. I’m delighted to join an organisation that is unambiguous in its position that homelessness is unacceptable and that has a strategy to respond in the regions that we serve.
My focus is to manage financial risk appropriately so that the organisation can continue to deliver agile & innovative responses in the pursuit of this vision. I thank our former CFO, Mr Brian Hargreaves, for the strong financial position built under his leadership and I look forward to working with the BeyondHousing team in the delivery of our 5-year strategic plan.
BeyondHousing is delivering a home upgrade and maintenance program under the Victorian Government’s $50 million Community Housing Maintenance Stimulus Package. The funding will improve amenity for renters, reduce future maintenance costs, and help stimulate the Victorian building industry.
BeyondHousing was awarded $970,000 under the Stimulus Package, which translates to almost 100 small to medium sized maintenance and upgrade projects across our portfolio. Works commenced in November 2020, with completion of the program expected by mid-2022.
We have commenced and delivered significant community housing construction projects despite the constraints on the building industry with increased demand, supply chain challenges and land shortage.
We worked collaboratively with Federal, State and Local Governments, philanthropic organisations, local builders and architects to find solutions. These partnerships have helped us complete or commence construction of 161 new homes.
We look forward to continuing to build more homes and house more people with the Victorian Government’s Big Home Build and the significant ongoing contribution of the Peter & Lyndy White Foundation.