LUNCHEON - 10TH SEPTEMBER 2014
Speaker: Dr Heather Holst, HomeGround Services CEO
Topic: ‘Australia’s First Not for Profit Real Estate Agency”.
Chairperson: James Pullar
Synopsis Of The Lunch:
At our meeting last Wednesday members learnt about “Australia’s First Not for Profit Real Estate Agency”. A panel of three speakers explained how the agency was tackling the problem of the lack of affordable accommodation by accessing the private rental market.
Dr Heather Holst, HomeGround Services CEO, highlighted the increased demand her organisation was facing as more and more members of the community struggled to maintain their accommodation due to family breakdown often through financial stress or domestic violence. She explained that the agency had been created because many of HomeGround’s clients were unable to gain access to the private rental market or retain their housing because of the competition in the rental market, breakdown in relations with their agent or an inability to provide a bond or meet leasing requirements.
Formerly homeless person, Joal Presincula spoke about being homeless, periodically since she was 5 years old and how she and her husband and young child had lost their home and spent a two year period in transition whilst they tried to find accommodation. Now in public housing she believed the opportunities provided by HomeGround Real Estate would have prevented a lot of the problems she and her daughter faced whilst in transition.
Our member Philip Endersbee, who has four properties with HomeGround Real Estate talked of his experience and explained why he has chosen to put his properties with HomeGround Real Estate. After working with HomeGround in the development stage of the agency Phil told how he decided that he should show his support for the concept by putting a property with the agency. After some initial difficulties he said he gets a great deal of satisfaction from working with HomeGround to house tenants who are in need and to see them receive the benefits of stable housing in a comfortable neighbourhood. A lower financial return is offset by an increase in social return.
Whilst the members heard three different stories, coming from three different positions in the Not-for-Profit housing accommodation sector the White Knight in this unfolding story of need is unquestionably our very own member, James Pullar. James is a shining beacon of unselfish loyal service, total commitment and dedication and achieves what he commits to. If there was ever a Champion for the homeless and the deprived in Melbourne it would be our Blue Ribbon title holder James Pullar.