Recently, Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation was awarded Philanthropy Australia’s new annual Better Philanthropy Award for our work on the Affordable Housing Challenge. We appreciate this recognition very much.

The Foundation committed $1 million in funding with the aim of unlocking more land at no cost for affordable housing from local government. This has led to the planned development of 40 new affordable housing units in the City of Darebin.

The City of Darebin’s Preston site was selected as the best located site, being near public transport, shops, services, schools and green space. Working collaboratively with the City of Darebin through their tender processes, Housing Choices Australia was then selected as the community housing developer. Housing Choices Australia is very experienced organisation with a strong track record and is able to build a mix of funding and financing for the project.

We greatly appreciate the advice provided by our Advisory Committee, including experts from the School of Design at University of Melbourne, Rob Pradolin, Rob McGauran, Angela Skandarajah and Gail Owen. David Rosen, who had advised the US MacArthur Foundation on affordable housing, provided us with expert advice about the request for proposals process. So, from just an idea, a fresh model to increase the supply of affordable housing has been demonstrated.

As many of you know, the Foundation has worked on homelessness and affordable housing as a priority issue for 10 years. In addition to demonstration projects, we have also the funded policy campaign, Everybody’s Home, aimed at increasing the supply of social and affordable housing to meet unmet demand.

It was great to see the Victorian Government’s announcement of the $5.3 billion Big Housing Build for increased social and community housing this week. Congratulations to Council for Homeless Persons, Community Housing Industry Association and all the partners involved in the Everybody’s Home campaign. This is an example a social housing led COVID recovery.

The Foundation has also funded Beyond Zero Emissions and the Smart Energy Council for policy work on a climate led (clean technology) recovery. There have been very positive outcomes at both a Federal and State level. 

While thinking about the recovery, we have also continued to support the community and charitable organisations as we all deal with the social and economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. InfoXchange has been funded to springboard a Digital Transformation Hub for the not for profit sector and Justice Connect has been funded for the Build Back Better NFP legal service. We need a strong charitable sector as we move into 2021.


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