Horizon's Helping Hand Reaches Far and Wide

09 September 13

While the story of Horizon Housing's (HH) success can be told in dollars and the number of properties delivered over the past 20 years, a far more telling measure of the company's impact is the number of families it has helped avoid mortgage stress and homelessness.
It's estimated that HH - now Queensland's largest affordable and social housing provider - has helped more than 3,000 people over the past 20 years who were at risk of losing their home or living on the streets.

One of HH's latest tenants is Wendy McLean, who has two children and applied for housing on the northern Gold Coast with HH.

Ms McLean said she had found herself in a difficult position and was struggling to find safe, affordable accommodation, before she turned to HH for assistance.

"I was living in a women and children's refuge centre for months due to a domestic violence situation, and knew that I could not continue on like this - for the sake of my children I needed to get our lives back on track and find a home of our own," she said.

"I have found from the moment of first contact, HH have been extremely helpful and have done everything possible to assist us. They even helped to fast-track the completion of construction on our new home so we were able to move in within about a week.

"On occasions when maintenance has been required it has been done in a professional and timely manner. Without HH, the children and I would have had to endure an extended stay in a refuge before being able to find suitable accommodation."

HH Chief Executive Officer Jason Cubit said there was still a stigma attached to affordable and social housing, but the majority of people who had received help from HH over the past years were simply average, hard working families or those who had found themselves in a difficult position and needed a helping hand.

"If you look at the demographics of the people we have helped, a lot of people who come through to us from the Department of Communities' social housing stream are either elderly or disabled, which is why they simply can't afford even low cost rent or mortgage payments," he said.

"Those who apply for an affordable home - which has been subsidised through government or developer incentives - are generally average families who earn a low to middle income and are feeling the pressure due to increasing living costs.

"We have a number of people come through our doors who never thought they would find themselves in the position of needing assistance from the government or a non-profit charity like HH, like those who have been a victim of domestic violence or assault.

"All of the projects we deliver are of a high quality and we have already won a number of industry awards in recent years for sustainability, affordability and innovative design - with most of our social and affordable homes being indistinguishable from market for sale product."
"Our end goal is to help people become more independent - we want them to start out with us and utilise various incentives and subsidies to save some money, so they can ultimately move on to stand on their own two feet.

"We have seen that happen in many cases and it's extremely rewarding."

For more information, please visit www.horizonhousing.com.au or contact (07) 5668-9400.

Horizon Housing (HH) is Queensland's largest non-profit affordable housing provider, with an extensive portfolio across Queensland and Northern New South Wales, including affordable housing under the National Rental Affordability Scheme, social housing managed in tandem with the Department of Communities and various other subsidised ownership initiatives.