Story and photos by Warren Heggarty
Flourish Australia’s new housing development will provide affordable housing for people on low incomes.
With the advent of the National Disability Insurance Scheme comes opportunities for growth, but it is wise not to have all of your eggs in the one basket. It is good to have a diverse range of income sources.
The Resolve Program, which is based on Social Impact Bonds is an example of Flourish Australia’s financial innovation. (Panorama 66, 2017, pp. 26-27)
Another is the Guildford affordable housing project (Panorama 63, 2017, p. 12). As new company treasurer Jeremy Thorpe said at last year’s Annual General Meeting ‘we are now property developers.’
Flourish Australia has developed from scratch a new block of 41 home units in Guildford, NSW. The project was coordinated by General Manager, Business Excellence Mohammed Alkhub and former Chief Finance Officer Mike Smallsman.
The unit block is in a quiet street on the quiet side of Guildford Railway Station, a couple of minutes walk from trains and buses. Trains go direct to both Parramatta and the City, Fairfield and Liverpool. The units are nearly opposite Warnock Park playground and childcare centre. It is also close to the Guildford Youth and Community Centre.
CEO Mark Orr said there were two basic reasons behind the Guildford Project. Firstly it is part of the National Rental Affordability Scheme which is aimed at assisting people on low incomes.
Secondly, it will provide a new income stream for Flourish Australia. ‘We will sell 20 units, in fact, some have already been sold,’ said Mark, ‘and we will lease a further 21. Community Housing Limited will be managing the rentals for us.’
Having this alternative income stream means that Flourish Australia will not be totally dependent upon the National Disability Insurance Scheme.
‘The National Rental Affordability Scheme… which commenced in 2008, aims to increase the supply of new and affordable rental dwellings by providing an annual financial incentive for up to ten years. This incentive is issued to housing providers [such as Flourish Australia] to provide affordable rental dwellings at least 20 per cent below market rates.’ (NRAS, 2018)
133 housing providers, including property developers, not-for-profit organisations and community housing providers, will be providing up to 38,000 new homes in total. (NRAS, 2018)
NRAS. (2018, February 2). Housing Support: National Rental Affordability Scheme. Retrieved February 22, 2018, from Department of Social Services: https://www.dss.gov.au/our-responsibilities/housing-support/programmes-services/national-rental-affordability-scheme
Panorama 63. (2017, March). Guildford Affordable Housing Project. Panorama , p. 12.
Panorama 66. (2017, December ). Resolve Program: a first in Australia. Panorama, pp. 26-27.