BHC WINS STATE AWARD FOR ‘LIFE-CHANGING’ INNER-CITY AFFORDABLE HOUSING

BHC has won a coveted Urban Development Institute of Australia (UDIA) QLD Award for Excellence for Affordable Housing for their redevelopment of a former Blue Care retirement village into a thriving inner-city for over 55’s community.

Bowen Court in New Farm has been a blessing for its 51 residents, many of whom would have been forced to move from the popular suburb due to rising rents.

The 1960s building was given an $11 million-dollar facelift thanks to a 2013 Development Agreement between BHC and Queensland’s leading not-for-profit aged care and retirement living service provider, Blue Care.

For tenants like Dave George, 54, a former navy veteran who found himself homeless after battling post-traumatic stress disorder and depression, Bowen Court has been a sanctuary.

“It’s a family here. I don’t think I’ve ever been as happy over the last 30-odd years as I am now”

Bowen Court’s open-living style apartments, attractive communal areas, high-tech security and mobility scooter charging stations were key factors in securing the award, BHC’s second in a row after last year’s win with the popular Caggara House seniors’ development in Mount Gravatt.

BHC’s Tenant Engagement Strategy

The strategy provides a summary of the key elements of the Tenant Engagement Strategy including our vision, our commitment, our major goals and how we will evaluate our success with this work.

Our Tenant Engagement work commenced in August 2014 and we will work progressively toward achieving our goals over a three year period.

Click here to download the BHC Tenant Engagement Strategy

Click here to download the BHC Tenant Engagement Goals 2014-2017

Green Square Gains International Recognition

The $17 million Fortitude Valley development provides homes for singles and couples that are either homeless or at risk of becoming so, while its bottom two floors feature a range of support providers and facilities. The 10-storey urban oasis was also shortlisted at the prestigious 2014 World Architecture Festival (WAF) awards, meaning it is one of the top 15 examples of affordable housing in the world.

Originally an old Brisbane City Council depot, the structure was created in 2010 by leading not-for-profit housing provider BHC and renowned architects Cox Rayner. Cox Rayner Architects Principal Michael Rayner said what is special about the building was a response to the uninspiring affordable housing designs he has seen become the norm in the past two decades.

Green Square narrowly missed out at the WAF awards on Friday to a Norwegian high-rise, however the development has already received a 2013 Australian Institute of Architects National award and a commendation for sustainable architecture.

The building features 10 individual studio and one-bedroom apartments on each of its eight residential levels. Crafted natural timber finishes were used, while the ends of the central space were kept open and part of the roof peeled back to expose the units to the atrium. There are communal areas that contain cooking and laundry facilities, however residents can also use facilities in their apartments for these tasks, giving them a choice between interaction and more privacy. Hanging gardens and eco-smart initiatives such as a giant rainwater tank, water-efficient appliances and bike facilities top off the architectural gem.

BHC CEO David Cant said Green Square may now become a model for affordable housing design in Australia. “We know that well-designed buildings can create a sense of community. “The Green Square housing model supports this philosophy by balancing a need for privacy with communal living and enabling trust to evolve gradually.”

Click here to download The Australian article – BHCs low-cost housing project in Brisbane shines

 

Funding for Mental Health Supported Accommodation

A proposed mental health supported accommodation project that aims to take the pressure off acute care wards in North Brisbane hospitals has received almost $200,000 in research funding.

Affordable housing provider BHC is leading the project in partnership with the Metro North Hospital Health Service (MNHHS) and various non-government health organisations.

The North Brisbane Partners in Recovery (PiR) Innovation Fund – an Australian Government initiative – has funded initial research into the project’s location, model and design.

BHC Independent Chair Professor John McAuliffe said the accommodation would provide early treatment that reduced admissions to acute facilities, and follow-up support for patients transitioning from the hospital to home. “The project would be built near an existing hospital and follow a ‘Step Up, Step Down’ model aimed at linking acute and community care and improve health outcomes for consumers,” Professor McAuliffe said.

“We’re committed to developing a financially viable model that meets the resources and needs of North Brisbane, takes pressure off acute health care workers and ultimately frees up State Government funds for other projects. “The PiR funding will allow us to work with stakeholders – including service providers and consumers – to evaluate existing ‘Step Up, Step Down’ models and facilities and assess potential locations.  “We’re also looking to craft a model that could be applied to other parts of Brisbane, Queensland and around Australia.”

The research report and recommendations are expected to be finalised by July next year.  Professor McAuliffe said collaboration with Government acute care mental health providers and project partners Open Minds, Communify and Footprints was at the core of the proposal.

“These partnerships will maximise the project’s access to expertise and networks in community-based mental health care,” said Professor McAuliffe.  “We look forward to working with these organisations to contribute to mental health care reform in Brisbane.”

North Brisbane PiR is a specialised initiative that seeks to improve outcomes for people who experience severe and persistent mental illness, and also have complex needs.