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Message from the CEO

2022-23 is Regional Housing’s 34th year of serving some of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged people within our community.

As Queensland’s only home-grown, regionally focussed Tier 1 Community Housing Provider we find ourselves faced with both the expectation, and self-imposed mandate of doing everything we possibly can to alleviate the impacts of the current housing crisis and meet the growing housing needs of the regional and rural Queensland communities we serve.

For a significant number of individuals within those communities, the past year has brought forth considerable challenges. Escalating living costs and housing-related pressures such as mortgage stress, coupled with an unprecedented scarcity of available rental properties in the market, have rendered life increasingly difficult. Regrettably, many have fallen into poverty, experienced homelessness and accessed the welfare system for the very first time.

Motels have increasingly become a primary recourse for crisis accommodation, aiming to ensure the most vulnerable, including the elderly and children, are sheltered from sleeping rough. Regional Housing’s dedicated frontline staff, offering specialised homelessness services, emergency relief, and financial counselling, continue to make remarkable contributions, exemplifying our team’s compassionate commitment to realising our company vision that “every person has a home”.

Encouragingly, throughout the past year state & local governments have demonstrated a keen interest in understanding the issue at hand and exploring the roles they can play in facilitating increased housing availability. Collaborative initiatives such as the Queensland Housing Summit triggered reviews of planning regulations and the designation of social and affordable housing as infrastructure, resulting in improved pathways designed to streamline new housing development. The contribution of land by local governments for social housing development has showcased a proactive partnership approach and is generating tangible results by tailoring local solutions, to address local housing challenges.

In an era marked by an overwhelming demand for new social and affordable housing, Regional Housing takes pride in its ongoing efforts to establish a consistent development pipeline across regional and rural communities. With the completion of 4 new units, 24 units under development, and an additional 44 homes in our development pipeline, Regional Housing is taking seriously its commitment to grow affordable housing options in regional Queensland.

We are truly grateful for the support of a number of key partners including the Queensland Government (Department of Housing), South Burnett, Fraser Coast, North Burnett, and Bundaberg Regional Councils, whose ongoing support and contributions have been crucial in expediting the construction of this much-needed housing.

units under development

new units completed

homes in the development pipeline

Regional Housing’s robust and steady governance remains a constant highlight this year. Our Board of Directors has overseen critical business system enhancements and achieved successful accreditation under both NRSCHThe National Regulatory System for Community Housing aims to ensure a well governed, well managed and viable community housing sector that meets the housing needs of tenants and provides assurance for government and investors.
and NDISThe National Disability Insurance Scheme provides funding to eligible people with disability to gain more time with family and friends, greater independence, access to new skills, jobs, or volunteering in their community, and an improved quality of life. . Governance achievements this year include a comprehensive review of the strategic plan, implementation of a WHS due diligence framework, commencement of a full re-branding project, and the development of strategies to ensure continuous improvement and best practice in the management of ITC and finance. We extend our gratitude to all Directors for their dedication, time, and expertise in maintaining the highest standards of governance.

We extend our sincere appreciation to our entire staff for their commitment to best practice and fostering a positive culture, enabling the achievement of remarkable outcomes within our communities throughout the year. It is through your outstanding efforts that the lives of countless individuals in need are transformed for the better.

The unwavering support from our funding partners, committee members, business collaborators, consultants, landlords, and network agencies remains invaluable. Your contributions in terms of time, knowledge, systems, and rental properties have amplified Regional Housing’s reach and impact. We deeply appreciate your ongoing support and involvement.

Looking to the future, Regional Housing’s stakeholders can expect to see us improve our business efficiencies and financial capacity, increase our supply of social and affordable housing in regional communities, and empower both our customers and staff to prosper by providing healthy and sustainable environments where they can thrive.

Brett Hanna

Chief Executive Officer

Regional Housing at a glance

Housing locations

Housing types

tenancies

Hinchinbrook

1 property

Townsville

367 properties

Burdekin

8 properties

Rockhampton

2 properties

Fraser Coast

228 properties

Bundaberg

311 properties

South Burnett

22 properties

Tenancies

Housing types

0

Long Term Housing (LTCHP)

0

Disability Housing (SDA, EPCII, APIRAC)

0

Transitional Housing (CMSU, CRS, SHDL)

0

Crisis Accommodation (CAP)

0

Affordable Housing (AHP, NRAS)

0
Door42 Accommodation

individuals were housed by Regional Housing in 2020/21

customers provided with frontline homelessness supports

households provided with Emergency Relief Funding

Portfolio ownership

Tenancies by bedrooms

0

Fraser Coast Regional Council

0

Private Ownership

0

Regional Housing

0

Queensland Government

Tenancies by bedrooms

1 bed  465 properties

  • 49.6% 49.6%

2 bed  345 properties

  • 36.7% 36.7%

3 bed  94 properties

  • 10% 10%

4 bed  33 properties

  • 3.5% 3.5%

5 bed  2 properties

  • 0.2% 0.2%

Customer feedback

100%

were satisfied with the overall quality of services provided by RHL

100%

felt RHL staff treat them with respect and without judgement

100%

felt the service they received was specific to their needs and goals

99%

found RHL services and information easily accessible

Door42 Youth Centre

Our Door42 program had another successful year in promoting a safe, inclusive and supported environment for our young people.  Encouraging engagement in activities that support personal wellbeing and growth to progress positively on their own journey. Practical examples of this have been achieved through creating opportunities for our young people to engage in activities working with their hands, emphasizing and supporting self-care or self-esteem building activities and to safely increase a social and support network by engaging with the community and other services.

Throughout this year we have achieved successful engagement with many of our young people, opening new and exciting opportunities for housing, education, employment and reconnecting social bonds, including connectedness to community.  This transformation through self-empowering is all inspiring and something we are extremely proud of.

young people assisted by Door42

young people transitioned to alternative housing

What our customers have to say…

Staff communicate beautifully, was able to feel safe and confident with the staff and others around. Amazing positive vibes all around.
DOOR42 Customer

It’s especially helpful to collaboratively cook with staff, given that they have their own recipes and experience.
DOOR42 Customer

Staying here improved my mental health and gave me more independence.
DOOR42 Customer

A Journey in Progress

Marie entered stay within the share house at Door42 after previous couch surfing arrangements were no longer sustainable.

Initially quiet and a bit shy, Marie quickly settled in at Door42 and it didn’t take long for this determined young person to diligently engage with the team and case management process. Marie has been able to successfully identify personal goals and support pathways to improve her skills and knowledge as well as take steps to move forward in her life journey.

So far, this journey has seen Marie eagerly engage with living skills, self-care and art activities provided with the program, while actively seeking external connections to support finances and social interaction through engagement with local services, the completion of vocational training, practical process of creating a resume, applying for employment, and completing position interviews. With dedication to this pathway, it was not long before Marie shared the exciting news with the Door42 team of being successful in obtaining casual employment, whilst very proudly showcasing the uniform provided by the employer.

This process has been an incredible journey for Marie, building confidence and independence, whilst increasing income to a point where Marie can now look at more affordable housing options.

While this journey with Door42 continues, it is these ‘small wins’ that young people encounter when they are residing in emergency accommodation with Door42 that provide the young person, Door42 staff and management team with the genuine joy and excitement for the incredible outcomes that can be achieved when young people have access to safe, stable and affordable accommodation.

A Journey Fulfilled

A young person presented to Door42 with support from a devoted parent who found themselves in an unimaginable position of needing to seek alternative accommodation for their teenage child, due to feeling their current accommodation has become unsuitable for the young person, impacting their sense of safety, coping, mental health and educational needs.

Upon the initial presentation, with no immediate housing pathway, Door42 was able to refer the young person to the Red Cross YHARS (Youth Housing and Reintegration Service) case management, whilst exploring alternative housing options. When a vacancy presented at Door42, the young person was able to enter supported accommodation into a semi-independent unit.

During their stay, the young person was able to develop their independent living skills, financial independence, self-care and learn tenancy responsibility while continuing to engage with education. The young person also built on their personal development skills by communicating regularly with the Door42 team and other young people in the program.

Through the support planning process, the young person identified a goal to reconnect with family, while remaining safe and actively engaging with referrals to local specialised services such as the Re-Connect program, which facilitates support for the family to build on communication and health relationships.

Unfortunately, during this time, one of the young person’s parents had also entered homelessness. Fortunately, through the direct support provided to their child, they were able to receive indirect support from the Door42 team to access local services to meet their needs. This support was fundamental in supporting the reconciliation process for the family unit with proactive advocacy and coordination occurring within the housing sector regarding joint housing application and potential housing pathways for parent and child.

While the journey a Door42 happily ended with the young person and parent successfully obtaining joint tenancy accommodation in a suitable location to meet their personal needs, continuity of care remained in place to support the transition from supported accommodation to independent living.

The family have expressed their gratitude for the support they received from the Door42 team and acknowledged that reconnecting and living together in affordable accommodation has strengthened their relationship and offered them an opportunity to live in safe, stable and affordable accommodation, with the young person stating they can really see themselves achieving their dream of becoming a paramedic and now that they have safe and stable housing, it will make a difference in turning this dream into a reality.

Local Community Support

With the support from the local community, Door42 have gratefully received a number of donations this year which aim to assist in supporting not only the material needs of the young people onsite, but also facilitate living skills and development opportunities.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank Headspace Hervey Bay for the donation of a dishwasher, the Sunrise Rotary Club for the donation of essential linens and bathroom items distributed as ‘welcome packs’ for young people and finally the Rug Ministry, who have donated hand crafted blankets, providing a special personalized touch to a young person’s stay.

Susan’s Story

When 77-year-old Susan attended Regional Housing’s Financial Counselling service with her good friend Jane as support, she disclosed she had been having suicidal thoughts due to her financial situation.

Susan said she “didn’t know how she was going to get out of this mess and maybe that was easier”.

Susan had no debts yet struggled to put food on the table or have a coffee with a friend once a month. Susan had been paying 70% of her income towards rent and she said she felt powerless.

After listening and assessing Susan’s financial situation, the Financial Counsellor advocated for Susan with another organisation who were able to provide her with some rent relief and subsidise her rent for twelve months. Susan’s rent reduced from $410 per week to $125.50 per week, now just 20% of her income. This provided instant relief for Susan and gave her some breathing space to look for more affordable long-term housing.

The Financial Counsellor continued to work together with Susan on her budget as one of her goals was to be able to visit a new Grandchild in December and save for moving. The Financial Counsellor also referred Susan to a local women’s over 55 support group to help her feel less isolated.

As a result of the support Susan’s mental health improved, her housing was secure and affordable, she was able to see her friends more often and Susan succeeded in setting up a savings plan.

customers assisted through Financial Counselling and Financial Capability Program

episodes of support provided through Financial Counselling and Financial Capability Program

What our customers have to say…

Wide Bay Burnett Homelessness Response Collaboration

Working alongside our Government and funded housing and homelessness providers to address homelessness throughout the Wide Bay Burnett, the establishment of this network has opened effective coordination of resources to support sustainable housing outcomes for families and individuals to exit immediate short term housing options into longer term solutions.

Through this work we have demonstrated  the value and necessity of effective and collaborative relationships to achieve the best customer outcomes, pooling available resources and planned person-centred approaches.

This work has offered direct support to those people sleeping rough, ie in campsites, parks, etc, and is provided through our assertive outreach collaboration with the Department of Housing, consisting of weekly joint visits by nominated staff representing each agency.  While looking for housing pathways and options, staff discuss support, community connectivity and linkages to referral services.

The establishment of this ongoing collaboration continues to support discussions regarding our respective service delivery models, housing trends, maximise available housing products and referral packages to best support individuals and families achieving their desired housing outcome.

customers provided with frontline homelessness supports

What our customers have to say…

Reg’s Story

A family consisting of a single Dad and two young children found themselves in a position where they had no choice but to reside in studio-sized motel rooms for nearly twelve months after their landlord respectfully asked them to vacate to enable renovations to commence.

The family were limited to this choice due to a severe housing shortage which is only made worse for families with restricted resources.

During the time the family were residing in motel rooms, Reg willingly offered to maintain the gardens and communal areas with no expectation of receiving anything in return.

People known to the family commented on the positive attitude and outlook they were able to maintain and this finally paid off when Regional Housing were contacted by Rent Connect who shared the families story and assisted in their transition from residing in a studio-sized motel room to a spacious three-bedroom property where each family member enjoys the privacy and freedom of their own room.

Reg humorously shared while on his way to a football game that he hardly sees his children now that they have their own rooms and said that he and his children are thrilled to finally be living happily in their new home.

Benjamin’s Story

Benjamin was sleeping rough in a swag on the streets of Townsville when he was approached by Anglicare who connected Benjamin to Regional Housing.

Benjamin was previously renting a granny flat before he was asked to vacate, leaving him no choice but to leave behind his late Mum’s beloved dog who he’d taken into his care after his Mum’s passing.

Benjamin found out one day that his dog had escaped from its yard and was luckily taken to the RSPCA, at which point Benjamin was contacted; Benjamin had limited resources available to him during this challenging time of his life, however arranged for a Taxi to take him to the RSPCA where he was able to confirm it was his dog who they had.

Benjamin was shortly able to be properly reunited with his dog after Regional Housing were successful in sourcing Benjamin a one-bedroom unit for him and his dog.

Benjamin shared his gratitude for Anglicare who continued to support him as well as Regional Housing, saying he’s very happy to be living in his own home with his beloved dog once again.

HAS Good News Story

A Home Assist Secure customer recently reported problems with overgrown vegetation impacting her ability to mobilise around her property, restricting access to the home and beginning to affect the stability of concrete pathways.

If left unattended, the overgrowth had the potential to result in injury and further damage to pathway infrastructure that would heighten the risk of a falls injury.

Our customer lacked the physical ability and knowledge to reduce and maintain vegetation overgrowth and a private quote, obtained by the customer, of $2500, was financially out of reach for her.

Our Home Assist Secure Field Officer was able to remove and reduce the overgrowth at a fractional cost, thereby significantly increasing our customer’s ability to remain safely and securely in her home for longer.

Our customer reports she now feels safe to move freely around her property, is no longer worried about her potential trip hazards along the pathway and feels her security has been increased, with greater visibility into the yard.

properties in Hervey Bay received repairs and maintenance provided through HAS

What our customers have to say…

Housing Developments

Regional Housing has continued work in producing new affordable housing for regional communities. In December 2022, we completed a new 4-unit community housing complex in Bundaberg providing secure, accessible and welcoming 2-bedroom homes for eligible households.

These homes were made possible through partnering with the Queensland Government (Department of Housing) and serve as an example of the positive outcomes which can be achieved when Government and the Community Housing sector work together to meet local need.

Regional Housing’s Business Development Team currently have a further 37 dwellings under various stages of design and development throughout regional Queensland, with 18 of these expected to be completed by late 2024 and several new housing projects on the horizon.

dwellings in design and development

expected to be completed by late 2024

What our customers have to say…

The unit is everything I could have wished for, also at 81 the lift and disability equipment installed is an absolute asset, as I have a walker and cannot do stairs anymore. The maintenance team have been wonderful and I am very happy.
TENANT FEEDBACK

The staff are very professional, excellent PR, manners and truly living here in my lovely unit has given me better health. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I am so grateful to you all
TENANT FEEDBACK

I am very happy in such a lovely safe unit and it has improved my health. I am so very thankful for it and to the kind, professional and courteous staff.
TENANT FEEDBACK

Assets Team

Our Regional Housing Assets Team work proactively to upkeep a diverse landscape of asset types, from multi-unit/multi-storey complexes, fully adaptable accommodation through to single storey housing sites.

We have assisted over 1340 customers through our Home Assist Secure (HAS) program this year. This team provides essential subsidised assistance to eligible customers, who are unable to undertake or pay for, critical maintenance to remain safe and secure in their own homes without assistance

The Assets team completed 250 property condition assessments, ensuring effective use of SPM, our key asset management program. This program ensures the quality and upkeep of our asset portfolio, staying current to market costs, labour hire and specialised trade availability also aides in accurate input to long term financial planning

We have welcomed new stakeholders and built new relationships as part of our onboarding of new properties to our portfolio through transitional housing programs, increasing critical housing supply and further embedding our organisation in local communities we service

These relationships have seen a trend of returning landlords wanting to re-engage with Regional Housing as they look to expand their investment portfolio

Assessed new development construction in partnership with our Business Development Team and government funding bodies

Continual improvement practices around property maintenance responsiveness, accurate record keeping and internal communication across teams, has seen a significant reduction in reactive phone calls from our tenants

A lot of professionalism and dedication to great outcomes has been shown by the team again this year and is testament to our ability to develop and successfully maintain relationships, create repeat business and provide quality service.

properties that received repairs and maintenance from the team

property condition assessments were completed by the team

Garden Awards

2022 saw another successful year for Regional Housing’s Annual Garden Awards. Commencing in 2015, this competition has continued to grow each year, with a total of 41 entries between the Bundaberg and Hervey Bay regions participating this year’s event.

We were lucky to have special guest and tenant Jaya assist Regional Housing staff in hosting the Bundaberg Award Ceremony. Jaya was an entrant in the edible garden category and received Runners up and as you could image he was delighted with this result. This is the second year that he has entered since becoming a tenant in 2018.

Six categories were offered and were hotly contested. The categories included the following; Best Edible, Best Courtyard, Children’s Entry, Most Colourful and Best Communal Garden. All entries received a entry gift which included everyday items to assist in maintaining their gardens.

We would also like to say a special thank you to the sponsors who assist with the Annual Garden Awards each year. Without your support, this event would not be the success that it is each year.

South Burnett Housing & Homelessness Forum

In October 2022, a broad cross section of the South Burnett Community came together to acknowledge the escalating housing crisis and consider practical measures for improving the situation.

Regional Housing was proud to be a member of the committee responsible for bringing this forum to life, working closely with local government and key community organisations to raise awareness of the housing situation, encourage participation and seek local solutions.

The event was well attended, providing valuable insight into the drivers and local complexities of the housing crisis, and culminating in an afternoon workshop which considered and collated a broad range of ideas and potential solutions.

Local Government Partnerships

A key driver of Regional Housing’s success in the housing development space has been our fantastic working relationship with Local Government partners.

Whether by contribution of council land for the creation of social and affordable housing, or through general support for our developments in progress, a number of Regional Councils have been instrumental in ensuring new social and affordable housing outcomes for their communities.

Regional Housing would like to express our sincere gratitude to both South Burnett Regional Council and Fraser Coast Regional Council whose generous contributions of council owned land were pivotal in securing funding for the development of an additional 21 social housing homes in the Wide Bay-Burnett.

Staff Service Awards

The Board of Directors and Management would like to formally recognise the valuable contribution of the following staff members who this year have reached their five or ten year milestone as an employee of Regional Housing.

Melanie Slade

Melanie Slade

5 Years

Tiahna Stockwell

Tiahna Stockwell

5 Years

Adam Doolan

Adam Doolan

5 Years

Natasha Cross

Natasha Cross

5 Years

Rebecca Carter

Rebecca Carter

5 Years

Cherie Ebejer

Cherie Ebejer

10 Years

Our Partners

Emergency Relief (ER)
is proudly funded by the Australian Government Department of Social Services

Crisis Accommodation Program (CAP), Community Managed Studio Units (CMSU), Community Rent Scheme (CRS), Same House Different Landlord (SHDL), Long Term Community Housing Program (LTCHP), and Specialist Homelessness Services (SHS)
are proudly funded by the Queensland Government
Regional Housing partners with National Affordable Housing Consortium to manage NRAS properties throughout Bundaberg.

Sue Camps

Director

Sue has joined the Regional Housing Limited (RHL) Board as a Director in 2023. Sue has been associated with RHL since 2001. During this time she has assisted and supported RHL to develop as an organisation. Sue was the founder and secretariat for the Wide Bay Burnett Housing Board of which RHL was a valued member. Sue was appointed to RHL’s Risk Management Committee from 2014 until 2018. Sue has a proven reputation for working to professional standards in high pressure work environments to achieve work priorities and meet deadlines, while also promoting and adopting a positive and balanced approach. Sue brings a broad range of proven skills and extensive history of successfully initiating, implementing, and delivering funded and non-funded programs and projects addressing a diverse range of issues in both the community and government sectors. Sue’s experience includes participating in numerous, diverse programs, capital and infrastructure projects, within mental health, housing, recreation, employment, seniors, and disability sectors, in urban and regional areas, and at both service provision and management levels.
Sue has watched RHL go from strength to strength while never losing sight of the importance of supporting their clients, community and staff. Sue is looking forward to moving into a new and exciting era as a director with RHL at a time when government and community are committed to ensuring better outcomes for people requiring a safe secure appropriate housing option.

  • Certificate IV Procurement
  • Master of Professional Studies (Project Management)
  • Train the Trainer Preparedness - Community Recovery
  • Train the Trainer Psychological First Aid – Community Recovery
  • Queensland Disaster Management Arrangements
  • PRINCE 2 Project Management
  • Diploma of Training and Assessment
  • Certificate IV Corporate Governance
  • Graduate Certificate in the Practice of Supervision
  • Graduate Certificate in Disability Studies

Jeremy Audas

Director

Jeremy has over 40 years’ experience working in human and community services within the state government and not for profit sector in Townsville where he has gained an appreciation of the importance of high-quality community based services in addressing the needs of people who find themselves in challenging circumstances. Of particular interest is how services can be effectively delivered in regional and rural Queensland. Based in Townsville, Jeremy joined the Board of Directors in October 2022 and is currently employed as Executive Manager North Qld for Richmond Fellowship Queensland. Previous Board experience includes:

  • Past president and life member of Townsville Community Law
  • Board Chair for the Townsville Intercultural Centre
  • Board member of the Qld Alliance for Mental Health
  • Independent Chair for the Townsville Headspace Consortium

Rahel Clarke

Director

Rahel joined the Board of Directors at the 2018 Annual General Meeting bringing extensive and invaluable legal experience to RHL. Her vision is for RHL to meet the needs of the community, particularly in relation to affordable housing, in a way which facilitates ongoing growth for the organisation. Rahel is the Principal Lawyer and owner of Miller Street Law and co-founder of the Generator which provides innovative ‘start-up’ services for small businesses. She also volunteers at the Taylor Street Community Legal Centre and is a qualified yoga instructor.

  • Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting Major)
  • Bachelor of Laws (Hons), Master of Laws.