CHRISTINE’S OTHER INITIATIVE SINCE 2010 – “INVESTORS CAN HELP” LAUNCHED SEPT 2012
My previous life in government 1992-2008 working on social policy initiatives like overseas aid projects in the DFAT portfolio and refugee / humanitarian work in the Immigration portfolio allowed me to identify a hiccup when I entered the real estate industry. Chris Peters from the then Chamber of Commerce came on board quickly; and then the Migrant and Refugee Settlement Services (MARSS), followed by the Real Estate Institute of the ACT (REIACT).
Public housing stock levels are a finite number, even though our ACT Government has a strategy to increase their portfolio. The Commonwealth Govt process of bringing refugees to our country is to be applauded but financially it does not help any local authority around Australia to increase their public housing portfolio numbers.
For many, the lack of public housing means they need to go to the private rental market.
Canberra’s newest community members can often be a long way down the list of recommended applicants as a result of property managers having a legal requirement to select “the best tenant” – which is often determined by longevity/stability of employment; annual pay levels and references.
This project flips the process 180 degrees back to the landlords who can tell their property manager to rent to a refugee family when they’re not at the top of the list. By giving your property manager these instructions, you’re helping so many families get a roof over their head. We’ve had 100% success from 2012 to 2017 in finding homes, and landlords have even offered to drop rents to help. Canberra has a big heart.
If you own a rental property, next time there is a vacancy, ask your property manager to ring MARSS and tell your property manager to focus on any refugee applicants.