Rebecca Oelkers wins UDIA Qld & Frasers Property Women in Leadership Award 2018

Rebecca Oelkers, BHC’s Deputy CEO and COO, has proudly taken out the UDIA Qld & Frasers Property Women in Leadership Award for Excellence at the 2018 Diversity Awards. Rebecca’s steadfast commitment to resilience and optimism throughout her career has made her a leader of women, not just within her company and amongst her colleagues, but throughout the Queensland development industry.

Congratulations Rebecca!

Construction kicks off on affordable city living for seniors

Brisbane Lord Mayor Graham Quirk turned the first sod on an innovative $21 million development in Sherwood that will allow Brisbane seniors to enter into retirement living at far below market rates.

In developing the four-storey complex, Affordable housing provider BHC is breaking from traditional seniors living models by giving seniors the option to balance an initial buy-in with ongoing weekly payments.

Lord Mayor Graham Quirk said that in recent years, Brisbane had been falling short of new purpose-built aged care and retirement living, pricing many residents out of their own suburbs and dedicated aged care accommodation.

“Brisbane City Council is introducing incentives for new aged care and retirement living projects to increase the viability of these projects and make accommodation more affordable and available for Brisbane seniors,” Cr Quirk said.

BHC CEO Stuart Lummis said the Arbor Sherwood development would allow seniors in a range of lifestyle and financial situations to afford previously out-of-reach homes near the city.

“The choice to enter retirement living is a positive life-changing, highly personal decision and there’s no one-size-fits-all solution,” Mr Lummis said.

“While some people would like to manage their costs by paying more of the cost upfront and enjoy a lower ongoing costs, others prefer a higher weekly fee and lower entry payment.

“Arbor Sherwood gives seniors the flexibility to balance these decisions to suit their retirement plans.

Read full media release here

2018 PowerHousing Australia National Awards Wins!

We’d like to congratulate two dedicated and well deserved members of the BHC team, Amy Maynard and Calvin Garrett, for their wins at the 2018 PowerHousing Australia National Awards!

Amy was recognised for her exemplary contribution to the affordable housing sector, winning the award for Outstanding Achievement. Whilst Calvin’s Rising Star Award win, exemplifies what we want in young people entering the affordable housing industry.

Congratulations to you both!

Innovative Digital Seniors Project wins State UDIA award

A giant 3-D art project that allows seniors to plan social outings with the click of button has won a coveted 2017 UDIA Queensland Mitchell Brandtman Award for Excellence.

Social Buttons was created for Caggara House, an award-winning apartment complex for over 55s, developed by BHC Creating Liveable Communities (previously Brisbane Housing Company) in partnership with the Queensland Department of Housing and Public Works.

The colourful project, installed in the lobby of the Mt Gravatt apartment development, features three over-sized digital buttons that light up with scrolling text when pushed, allowing residents to select from a range of social events and choose ‘where’ and ‘when’ using the buttons.

The most popular choice becomes that month’s outing and the details are automatically texted to residents’ phones.

Read full media statement here

Groundbreaking Lutwyche housing project wins coveted UDIA award

An innovative affordable housing development that was built above the Northern Busway tunnel has won a coveted 2017 UDIA Queensland Mitchell Brandtman Award for Excellence.

The striking three-story Spectrum development, unveiled in July, is the product of a unique partnership between leading affordable housing provider BHC Creating Liveable Communities and respected not-for-profits Communify and MS Queensland.

Spectrum features 60 units which accommodate a range of tenants including: people with disabilities, low income earners and private and commercial renters.

The brainchild of BHC, the Lutwyche Road development won the UDIA affordable housing category, the judges praising the project’s engineering complexity, cost-effective mixed-tenure model, and strong architectural presence.

The Spectrum development is now in the running for the 2018 UDIA National Awards for Excellence.

Read full media statement here

BHC Announces New CEO

BHC is pleased to announce the appointment of our new CEO, Mr Stuart Lummis. Mr Lummis will take over from CEO David Cant, who has led BHC since its inception in 2002.

Stuart Lummis was previously Director of Building, Planning Facilities and Property with the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Brisbane and is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

BHC Independent Chair Eloise Atkinson said Mr Lummis was an exceptional leader, who’s strong combination of not-for-profit and commercial sector knowledge would provide fresh vision for the company.

“Stuart has a wealth of property development and management knowledge, including 36 years as a senior executive in ASX groups, government agencies and not-for-profit organisations,” Ms Atkinson said.

“His success in the NFP sector ensures he has the attributes to work with all of our key stakeholders within the government, the local community and the wider affordable housing sector.

“We are also excited by his compassion and empathy for our client group and commitment to BHC’s mission, which is to enhance our tenants’ quality of life through sustainable, affordable housing.”

Read the full media statement here

2017 Vinnies CEO Sleepout®

BHC CEO, David Cant will join in the fight against homelessness at the annual Vinnies CEO Sleepout® on Thursday 22 June.

More than 105,000 Australians experience homelessness every night — 27 per cent are children, and 23 per cent are faced with the situation due to domestic and family violence.

David will join 200 other business, government and community leaders at the Sleepout® to experience firsthand what it can be like to be homeless; sleeping in Captain Burke Park under Brisbane’s Story Bridge.

Join the fight against homelessness and help us get to the $5000 target by donating at: https://www.ceosleepout.org.au/ceos/qld-ceos/david-cant/ 

  • Every donation makes a big difference:
    • $50 = warm blanket + a meal
    • $100 = keeping a family’s power on during winter
    • $300 = life skills training for a struggling parent
    • $500 = establishing a homeless person into a Vinnies homeless accommodation service
    • $1,000 = saving a family from eviction.

Building Housing Options; Research Report Launched

After surveying over 150 seniors in Logan, BHC in partnership with Churches of Christ in Queensland and working with University of Queensland researchers, launched The Logan Research Project with Housing and Public Works Queensland Government.

The Logan Research Project provides insight on whether current housing and support services were meeting the needs of seniors in Logan and how they can be better met in the future.

To read the report in full, visit the link below:

Building Housing Options: Understanding the housing aspirations of public housing tenants aged over 55 years in Logan

Read media statement here: Logan research reveals seniors’ housing needs

End of an era as affordable housing leader announces retirement

One of the leading lights of Brisbane’s affordable housing industry will step down in August having delivered more than 1600 new affordable homes to low-income households over 15 years.

Inaugural BHC CEO David Cant will leave a legacy of vision and collaboration that saw him move away from reliance on government funding and develop innovative investment channels, such as partnerships with other charities and the combination of affordable housing and private sales in one development.

This allowed BHC to be a genuinely independent provider that was both a commercially minded organisation and driven by the need for delivering affordable housing to people priced out of an increasingly unaffordable Brisbane rental market.

At the outset and as a start-up organisation, BHC had no housing and at its 15th anniversary has sold 300 homes into the market, has built and manages 1300 apartments for affordable rental and manages 250 properties under the NRAS investment scheme.

Along the way, the not-for-profit won multiple national and international awards for its services, architectural design and commitment to putting a roof over the head of Brisbane’s most vulnerable citizens.

Mr Cant said whilst he was still passionate about what BHC does, after 15 years he felt the it was time for a new CEO to lead the company into its next phase.

“The need for affordable housing in Australia and Queensland is huge and, particularly with the upcoming State Government’s housing strategy, I hope we are entering a new era,” Mr Cant said.

“I strongly feel that now is the time for BHC to inject a fresh, long-term leader who will take on those challenges, help drive the public conversation and steer our approach for BHC’s second 15 years of growth.

“BHC is exceptionally well placed with a talented board of directors, a strong leadership team and skilled, dedicated staff. So it is an exciting time for a new leader to build on what myself and my colleagues have achieved and deliver more sustainable affordable housing for the city of Brisbane.”

Mr Cant arrived in Brisbane after a distinguished career in the United Kingdom’s affordable housing industry, with the Queensland Government recruiting his vast experience to build BHC from the ground up.

He quickly built a reputation as an industry leader, advocating across all levels of government for infrastructure for social and affordable housing. He was also member of the Prime Minister’s Council on Homelessness, which advised the Rudd Government on measures to tackle one of the nation’s most pressing issues.

Mr Cant said BHC’s Caggara House development in Mt Gravatt East was among his crowning achievements.

The purpose-built complex provides high-quality units for seniors that previously lived in underoccupied public housing and was recognised with awards from both the Urban Development Institute of Australia and the Australian Institute of Architects.

“Caggara house not only provided a new life for seniors struggling to maintain large public housing, but also freed up these houses for growing Queensland families desperate for larger properties,” Mr Cant said.

“It was one of the first Queensland developments built to tackle this issue of public housing underoccupancy and provided a template for how not-for-profit housing providers could work closely with the State Government and deliver projects with huge social benefits.”

BHC Independent Chair Eloise Atkinson praised Mr Cant’s legacy.

“Throughout David’s career at BHC he has provided exceptional leadership driven by an overwhelming desire to ensure the people of Brisbane have access to safe, secure housing,” Ms Atkinson said.

“Whilst driving the organisation to create new affordable dwellings, David has never lost sight of the importance of providing vulnerable Queenslanders with a safe place to live. A home that allows individuals to reach their potential.”

BHC is currently undergoing a rigorous CEO recruitment process and will announce Mr Cant’s successor at a later date.

BHC Wins Two AHI QLD Professional Excellence in Housing Awards

Tuesday night, BHC was proud to be the recipient of two AHI, QLD Professional Excellence in Housing Awards.

BHC accepted the Leading Community Engagement Practice Award for the Caggara House Social Buttons project which saw tenants and creative designers at Inkahoots work together to develop the interactive instalment which utilises technology to promote and organise social interactions; building community.

BHC was also thrilled to receive the Tenant Led Initiative Award for The Green Square Art Project, led by long term tenant Gerard Bargo. On the night we were proud to have Gerard in attendance to accept the award and speak about his art group, which stands as a safe and inclusive space to promote creativity, community and social inclusion.