Community Housing is affordable rental housing.
In Victoria there are two major avenues for affordable housing:
Some community housing organisations serve a broad demographic, but others have a particular focus, such as disability, youth, older people or women.
We work with women because we believe they face the greatest disadvantage and discrimination in their access to safe, stable, appropriate and affordable housing. We believe that an affordable and secure home changes a woman’s future. It enables them to maximise their opportunities. They become empowered, confident and engaged in their communities.
Why do we need more affordable housing?
We believe it is impossible to live a meaningful, productive life without a safe and stable place to live. Affordable, appropriate and secure housing is a basic human need and it is not being adequately met by the government or private sectors.
The Difference Our Housing Makes
WPI creates community housing to provide safe, affordable, long-term homes for women and children who are at risk of becoming homeless. But we also do it because it makes social and economic sense. Our tenants still pay rent, but it is no more than 30% of their household income (never exceeding 75% of market rent). Our housing gives women the financial capacity to do more than merely exist. They can make plans for the future. Many will return to work or study and can focus on parenting children who have experienced trauma due to being in a housing crisis.
Affordable housing creates the new beginning they are looking for and is a crucial factor in breaking the cycle of intergenerational poverty.
Social Return On Investment
Independently verified research shows that for every $1.00 invested in WPI homes, $11.07 of social value is created. This social value which is experienced by:
- The women who live in our homes through improvements in emotional and physical well-being, improved personal safety and increased independence and positive lifestyle choices.
- The children housed by WPI who demonstrate improvements in personal well-being, academic performance, relationships and family life.
- The Victorian Government through avoided justice, public housing and health costs.
WPI tenants identified the most important outcomes resulting from the provision of WPI housing as:
- increased emotional wellbeing
- increased employment
- increased personal safety
- increased physical health
- increased independence and positive lifestyle choices
- increased ability to meet basic family needs
- increased social inclusion
- increased readiness for employment
The most important outcomes for children were identified as:
- improved social well-being
- improved personal well-being
- improved educational outcomes
- improved relationships/family life