Horizon Housing Celebrates 20 Year Milestone

20 September 13

Horizon Housing will celebrate its 20 year anniversary with a corporate event on September 20th to mark its journey from a small Gold Coast company to Queensland's largest non-profit affordable housing provider - with more than 1,800 properties state-wide.

Established in 1993 as Gold Coast Vision Housing, the company started out with just a handful of individual housing projects and the aim to assist those who were struggling to afford a place to live or facing homelessness.

An amalgamation with Gold Coast Community Housing saw the company registered as Gold Coast Housing in 2006, before becoming known as Horizon Housing (HH) in late 2010 to reflect its expansion and operation outside South-East Queensland.

A charter of HH's growth over the past six years bucks the trend of the flagging property market during and after the Global Financial Crisis.

Annual reports show that HH had just 200 properties under management at the end of 2007, meaning that its housing portfolio has now grown by more than 700 per cent to date. During the same timeframe HH has expanded its presence to cover 17 regional Councils from the Tweed through to Townsville, and now has three offices in Southport, Helensvale and Roma.

Staff numbers have increased by over 600% in the past six years, ensuring the quality of the services we offer have kept up with the increasing size of the organisation. Horizon Housing has also changed its main headquarters three times and has opened two regional offices to keep pace with this immense growth and to support our dedicated team.

HH Chief Executive Officer Jason Cubit says the company's rapid growth can be attributed to diversification and growing demand for affordable housing.

"Australia has always been faced with a deficit of community and affordable housing - particularly in areas like the Gold Coast where the economy is more dependent on the construction, retail and services industries, which often take a hit during tough times," he said.

"While we are still headquartered on the Gold Coast, we have recently diversified to cover resource and mining areas like Roma and Miles, which offer abundant employment opportunities but also have higher rental rates as a result.

"We have added new streams of housing assistance to ensure we are able to cater for people from all walks of life. We operate an extensive social housing portfolio, but the majority of growth at HH is currently related to our affordable housing portfolio - which is geared towards low to middle income workers who are feeling the pressure of increasing living costs.

"We have just recently established a dedicated office for affordable housing in Helensvale, so we are really expecting that arm of the business to grow over the coming years as more low to middle income workers look for alternative affordable housing solutions."

Mr Cubit said while the company had made great strides in recent years, HH still has plenty of untapped potential.

"Over the coming years, we will be looking to forge new connections with state government and various regional councils to boost our capacity to deliver more affordable homes in areas which need it most," he said.

"Our forward estimates show that we could potentially have more than 2,000 homes under ownership or management by mid-2014, pending the outcome of new NRAS funding applications, state public housing stock transfer agreements and private partnerships.

"The most important thing to remember is that all of this success translates into more homes for those who are at risk of living on the streets or struggling to keep a roof over their heads, which is why it's vital for us to continue to seek opportunities for growth."

The HH 20 year anniversary event will be held on September 20th, and will include a gathering of current and past directors, members, shareholders and tenants to commemorate this significant milestone for the company.

For more information, please visit www.horizonhousing.com.au

ENDS

For more information, please contact Sheree De Bono, Promedia on 07 55932 011 or 0421429716