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A mother and daughter sit on a bed together, reading children's books

Working with community housing to end homelessness

February 21, 2024
December 10, 2023

Most of us are fortunate not to have to think about where we’ll sleep tonight, but on any given day that’s a worry for around 30,000 Victorians. And it’s an issue that community housing associations like BeyondHousing and the Bank Australia impact lending team are working to address.

BeyondHousing is one of Victoria’s leading community housing organisations, and their work is focused on the issues of homelessness and unstable housing. An impact loan from Bank Australia will contribute to them adding 281 more homes to their affordable housing portfolio in the 2024 financial year.

BeyondHousing CEO Celia Adams says having access to secure and affordable housing can be transformative. That’s what drives her and her team to achieve the organisation’s mission to end homelessness in Victoria.

"The impact of our housing and other homelessness support services is profound and can transform lives. We’re aiming to rewrite future narratives, one person at a time.”

Housing insecurity is just the tip of the iceberg

Based in Victoria’s Murray Goulburn region, BeyondHousing provides a wide spectrum of services, from crisis housing through to long-term rental accommodation. Celia and her team approach homelessness as a solvable issue that can be addressed the right mix of resources, and a strong dose of dedication. 

"We often find that housing instability is just the tip of the iceberg, and that’s why we connect people with the broader supports they need. This could include services for mental health or to help tackling substance abuse,” Celia said.  

Since 1998, BeyondHousing has built a portfolio of nearly 800 homes. Each year, the organisation supports more than 3,000 people with either finding or staying their home.

Increasing access to affordable and accessible housing is also one of Bank Australia’s four impact priorities, and impact lending to community housing providers is part of how the bank is using the business of banking as a force for good.

Partnering through lending to achieve impact

“We have a long history of working with the community housing sector, and many partnerships like this one that span over a decade,” said Emma Spano, Head of Impact Lending at Bank Australia.

“Through these partnerships we’ve seen the impact secure and affordable housing has on peoples’ lives.  We know our customer feel deeply about inequities in the housing sector and this is one example of how we can use our lending activity to enhance outcomes for people and community,” Emma said.

Celia says BeyondHousing has also felt a sense of shared purpose with the bank, and this gives her confidence in being able to achieve great things together.

“We’ve found the level of care we get in our relationship with Bank Australia goes beyond just our loan and us as a customer. The lending team want to see us succeed, and they’ve supported us to grow our business,” said Celia.

“That’s why Bank Australia has been a lender of choice for over a decade. They truly understand and champion our purpose and vision of homes, not homelessness.”

For more information about BeyondHousing visit their website or read more about our impact lending business and the work we are doing to support affordable and accessible housing on our website.

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