Anglicare has launched a new support and housing program for families in transition – particularly refugees, asylum seekers and those fleeing domestic violence. Named SHIFT*, the program provides safe and affordable homes to families who are seeking refuge from traumatic situations.
As the landlord, Anglicare covers any rental gap as well as offers financial planning services and counselling for survivors of violence.
“Our aim is to provide vulnerable families with low cost, short-term housing; access to other Anglicare and community services where needed; and practical support and friendship,” says Belinda Burn, Anglicare SHIFT manager.
“We lease properties from owners and sublease them to families in transition. When families first move into the properties they pay about 40% of the market rental rate. We will provide a case worker who will help these families to access services, connect them to their local community, and provide general support throughout their stay.”
It is hoped that with intensive support, families can build up a rental history and move into a new house through a real estate agency within a year.
At the moment Anglicare is aiming to operate 12 SHIFT properties scattered throughout Sydney and the Illawarra by the end of the next financial year. The organisation hopes to grow the number of properties to 50 within 5 years to assist about 150 families.
“While we have our own Anglicare properties, we are also seeking generous members of the community to lease their investment properties to Anglicare, so that we can provide subsidised accommodation that is safe and secure to families in desperate need.
“There are many ways people can support families in transition. Even a simple offer of friendship can build profound connections into the community.
“A parish or another community group can also adopt a house, where they will commit to furnishing the place, working on the garden, stocking the pantry for a family.”
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