Access to good quality, affordable housing is fundamental to well-being. It can help reduce poverty and enhance equality of opportunity, social inclusion and mobility (OECD 2018).
Affordability is essential for Australians wanting to buy a home and for those renting. We welcomed the federal government’s decision to increase the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme (FHLDS) by another 10,000 allocations. The scheme covers new homes or newly built homes for eligible first home buyers on low and middle incomes.
Beyond Bank is one of 20 customer-owned banking institutions that make up the 27 lenders on the scheme’s panel of lenders. This supports our determination to help potential first homeowners enter the property market.
As a financial organisation, we are in a unique position to make a profound and genuine impact. We’re working with the Community Housing Industry Association NSW to gain a clear understanding of issues and challenges in the housing affordability space. And they are supporting our vision to create a purchase pathway for community housing tenants.
We have continued to work in partnership with frontline housing affordability providers around Australia. We’re looking for real impact and lasting change.
Our partnership with Anglicare in South Australia assists young families at risk of homelessness to find a home. In three years, more than 99 families and 340 people found a home to call their own. Over the last four years we’ve presented at its Home Ownership Seminars for people who are currently living in community housing but wishing to progress to home ownership. We’ve provided information about home-loans, pre-approvals and purchasing a home.
Our support of Hutt St Centre in Adelaide helps it provide essential health and wellbeing services to more than 850 people each month on their journey out of homelessness. Plus we have been working together to consider alternative ways to provide housing for people in crisis. We provided a grant to help develop a prototype for a Tiny Homes Village. Not only does this solution provide the privacy of individual tiny homes, but it also provides a number of shared facilities and services which aid in reducing the effects of isolation.
Banks have a clear role in financial abuse cases and can help victims get control of their finances, but we believe we can do more. That’s why we’re partnering with organisations like Toora Women Inc. In Canberra, which is stepping up to support women and children in crisis. Recently we provided them with a grant to furnish two houses to support women experiencing homelessness, escaping domestic violence or refugees relocating to Canberra. One house was specifically set up for women with disabilities.
In Western Australia we support Starick Services which helps women and children to escape domestic violence. Starick Services were harshly impacted by COVID-19 and were participants in our Double Donation Campaign and recipients of our Community Reward Program. The funds raised contributed to costs of their non-core programs such as children’s counselling, baby massage, yoga for trauma and therapeutic writing programs.
We assisted Argyle Housing in NSW and ACT with funding for residents in social housing that needed support to pursue education, certification or resources for schooling.
We have continued our partnership with Compass Housing in the Hunter Valley through our support of the Grow a Star scholarship program, which aims to provide a little relief to people living in social and public housing who are socially or economically disadvantaged.
We believe that we are stronger together. We thank our community partners for their tireless efforts to help change the lives of people in need in what has been a very challenging 12-months.