The Parramatta Housing Access project was launched today at the Emporium in Parramatta, with politicians, private sector realtors, and community service providers in attendance.
The project was developed by a steering committee involving CMRC, Settlement Services International (SSI) and real estate agents.
Addressing those in attendance, Melissa Monteiro, CMRC CEO said “the aim is to eliminate and avoid evictions, homelessness, and the associated exclusion and marginalisation that stems from this. We want to let migrants feel as though they have a sense of place and belonging.”
SSI Program Manager for Housing Services, Charles Rich spoke to the financial repercussions that can be felt by real estate agents and for those in private sector housing, “if you have to go through the eviction process, it can cost the Real Estate agency up to $20,000, we’re here to help property managers deal with such issues and save money, by working in partnership with real estate agents, landlords and tenants to fill the gap.
Our aim is to be a one stop solution for real estate agents when they need it, providing people with support when they need it.”
CMRC Settlement Services Manager Aurelia Rahman said “the objectives of the Housing Access Project are twofold, 1) to develop stronger relationships with local real estate and 2) to build the capacity of CALD community leaders. We’re shifting the focus from crisis and emergency relief to early intervention.
This is done by providing a pathway to real estate property managers mainly in Parramatta LGA to identify tenants who may be struggling, and to refer them to service providers who will be able to empower them and help them take the necessary steps to avoid eviction. Educating and supporting tenants in this way benefits everyone in the community, from real estate agents who will save money and avoid stress, to government and community service providers.”
The marriage between community and private sector housing to address this issue is a big win for government. Liberal Party MP Geoff Lee said “the private sector industry partners and real estate agents should be congratulated for joining this initiative. Homelessness and affordable housing is a key priority area for the government, it’s a difficult problem to fix.
Our office in particular, 80% of our workload is related in one way or another to affordable or social housing. We’ve found that once you’re in the social housing net, you never really come out, and this is a massive strain. So an initiative like this is welcome.”
Special mention and thanks to the following Real Estate Agencies for their attendance and support for the project:
Everything Realty - Wentworthville
Magree Real Estate - Westmead
Elders Real Estate - Toongabbie
LJ Hooker - Parramatta
For more information on how you can access this project, contact: Narayan Dhimal or Ian Johns - 9687 9901