Residents Give Thumbs up to Affordable Housing

11 November 13

A new affordable housing precinct in Roma - delivered by Horizon and Santos - has been given the tick of approval by its first residents, who agree that more affordable properties should be built to assist young workers.

The Roma Community Housing Project comprises two secure buildings with eight bedrooms and four shared bathrooms, shared living, kitchen and laundry areas - which have resulted in significantly reduced rental costs starting from just $159 per week.

Resident Jessie Roberts, who has taken on the role as lead resident, says the affordable apartments are already helping to give people a head start in the workforce.

"I have lived in Roma for about two years now and not only is it difficult to find a good place to rent - it can also be very expensive, which means that it's hard for young people to be independent while they look for work here or try to move up the ladder," she said.

"It's fantastic to have a brand new place to live in which offers the privacy of your own space along with the opportunity to mix with other young people who are in a similar situation.

"We have a good mix of people living here at the moment aged from about 17 to 24. Some are apprentice workers looking for a start in trades in Roma, while others have established work and study commitments and are looking to save some money to get ahead.

"Everyone is really co-operative - we make use of the shared areas like the living room and balcony to socialise after work, so it's a friendly environment to live in.

"As lead resident I'm responsible for liaising with Horizon who manage the property to report any tenant concerns or issues, and they have been really helpful in terms of getting everyone settled and keeping the communication lines open."

Horizon Housing CEO Jason Cubit said he expected co-housing projects and one and two bedroom dwellings to become increasingly popular in Roma and surrounding resource areas - especially with a growing number of apprentices and young single people looking for work.

"In order to help these people live comfortably with affordable rents we need to think about the type of housing being delivered. Share houses and single or dual occupancy dwellings are low-cost options, and as long as they are well-designed to maximise tenant privacy, safety and comfort, then they will continue to be in high demand," he said.

He said the Roma Community Housing Project had been selected to host the Commerce Roma Business After Hours event on November 20, which would showcase the property to business leaders in the area looking for alternative housing options for employees.

"The Business After Hours event is a great networking opportunity for Roma's retail, business and commercial leaders, who are large employers and are often looking for affordable, high quality places to house staff," he said.

"We're confident that the property will impress and that it will be seen as a good alternative to temporary housing or market rentals."

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