Social housing’s role in Australia’s economic future

One of Queensland’s largest social and community housing providers, Brisbane Housing Company (BHC), has applauded the 2021 Australian Infrastructure Plan (AIP) which recognises, for the first time, the critical role of social infrastructure in Australia’s economic wellbeing.

BHC Chief Executive Officer and Deputy Chair of the Community Housing Industry of Australia (CHIA), Rebecca Oelkers, said the plan is a step change for the sector, providing clear policy guidance for industry and government to work together to address the growing shortfall of social housing.

“Through this plan, Infrastructure Australia acknowledges that social infrastructure is economic infrastructure too, and the significance of this cannot be underestimated,” Ms Oelkers said.

“As a sector, we have long championed for this recognition which will now catalyse policy and investment models and harness transformational private sector investment.

“This approach will make a significant contribution to the overall wellbeing and productivity of Australian society.”


Celebrating the Arbor Sherwood community

Last week, BHC’s Arbor Sherwood retirement village welcomed the Hon. Leeanne Enoch MP, Minister for Communities and Housing, and Jessica Pugh MP, Member for Mount Ommaney. The Minister and Member for Mount Ommaney joined residents and BHC staff for an afternoon tea to celebrate the community that has been created at the village by the foundation residents.

Completed in December 2019, Arbor Sherwood is BHC’s first retirement living development. With its innovative financial model and considered design, Arbor has become a sought-after alternative to traditional retirement villages.

“BHC’s vision for Arbor was to create a truly affordable retirement option for residents to enjoy- offering a high standard of living but also importantly, financial flexibility for residents. This vision has truly come to life at Arbor- a beautiful retirement village, well located to all the amenities residents could ask for, in the lush, tree-lined suburb of Sherwood,” BHC CEO Rebecca Oelkers said.


BHC Impact Fund- Supporting residents to reach their potential

We are proud to announce the BHC Impact Fund- an annual commitment of a minimum of $150,000 to directly invest in programs and supports to assist residents to achieve their life goals.

Providing safe and affordable housing is BHC’s number one priority, however, for many of their residents, accessing housing is just the beginning of their journey. The Impact Fund is BHC’s commitment to actively assist residents to reach towards their goals and to live their lives with dignity and hope.

The Impact Fund will address unmet support needs and provide BHC residents with important access to programs and services across four priority areas:

  1. Tenancy sustainment and progression- initiatives to support residents experiencing mental health concerns, domestic violence and other complex issues that can lead to tenancy breakdown.
  2. Employment skills and participation- providing access to training, education and volunteering opportunities for people of all ages and abilities.
  3. Enhanced resident wellbeing- ensuring residents are able to access services and initiatives that promote health, wellbeing and inclusion.
  4. Cohesive communities- ensuring residents feel positive about their communities and are connected to relevant facilities and activities.


BHC and the Resident Community Development (RCD) Team hosts celebration event for residents

After more than a year, BHC and the Resident Community Development (RCD) Team were thrilled to hold their first resident event; celebrating our Community Welcome Packs. It was great to see residents across the portfolio come together, provide feedback and reconnect with everyone!

The RCD Team was formed in 2018 to provide a space where residents can come together to develop community initiatives and projects, work on these initiatives together, provide honest feedback and input on matters which affect residents and to support one another. The initiatives and projects developed are aimed to benefit residents, develop and strengthen the communities across BHC properties and support meaningful engagement between residents, BHC, and members of the wider community. The RCD Team is supported by BHC’s Community Development Manager, Kaitlyn.


New mixed tenure development officially opens in Woolloongabba

On May 6, we opened the doors to our latest project in Woolloongabba, providing much-needed homes for those in need. We were privileged to have the Minister for Communities and Housing, the Honourable Leeanne Enoch MP in attendance to officially open the $10.7 million, 32-unit complex.

BHC CEO Rebecca Oelkers said the Cornwall Street development has made an important contribution to increasing the supply of affordable housing in Brisbane’s inner city.

“BHC developed and partially funded the Cornwall Street building to provide a roof over the head of some of the state’s most vulnerable, alongside essential workers, actively supporting Brisbane’s health, education and transport industries. (more…)

Furnishing Young Futures – Setting up the young people for success

BHC’s development at Cornwall Street, Woolloongabba provides 32 much-needed affordable homes for those in housing need. Completed in February 2021, the development contains 32 units, with five homes specifically designed and allocated for young people and their families.

BHC is working with Brisbane Youth Service (BYS) to support the young peoples’ transition to safe and stable housing. Residents in these five homes will benefit from BYS’s wrap-around support services, including assistance to help them to engage in education, training and employment, with the ultimate aim to move forward these young people into long-term sustainable housing options.

“Working together with our partner’s BYS we will be able to provide vulnerable young people with secure housing and a path towards an independent and positive future,” said BHC CEO, Rebecca Oelkers.


Working together to tackle youth homelessness

We are proud to announce that BHC and BYS will partner to provide much-needed homes for young people at risk of homelessness at a property under construction in Woolloongabba.

This development will see the provision of 32 new affordable homes with five specifically designed for young people including one for a young family.

BHC CEO Rebecca Oelkers said residents would be able to access safe, secure, affordable housing and BYS support services that help them into education, training and jobs with the aim of moving into long term homes.


Project defining downsizing for seniors wins affordable housing award

We are proud to announce that BHC’s Benson Place has received the state award in the affordable development category at the UDIA Queensland 2020 Mitchell Brandtman Awards for Excellence.

The development was designed by leading Brisbane firm Ultralinea Architecture, comprises of 35 one-bedroom modern apartments, each with a separate multi-purpose room.

BHC CEO Rebecca Oelkers said the development was uniquely created for senior public housing residents in the Logan area who were looking to downsize into more suitable accommodation.

“Before living at Benson Place, these residents were living in large, detached public housing properties that were too big for their current household requirements, with poor accessibility, and difficult maintenance requirements,” Ms Oelkers said.


Vale Professor John McAuliffe- A message from the Independent Chair and CEO

Dear BHC friends and partners,

It is with great sadness that we write with the news of Professor John McAuliffe’s passing.

John died yesterday at his home, with his loved ones close by, following a recent stroke and associated health challenges. On behalf of the BHC Board and Executive, we extend his family and friends, and the many other people whose lives he touched, our deepest condolences.

John made a lasting impact on Brisbane in many ways, and BHC was fortunate to have his involvement and leadership from its foundation in 2002, through to his retirement from the Board in 2016.


Jingeri wins the Affordable Development Award in the UDIA National Awards

We are delighted to announce that BHC’s Jingeri has won the Affordable Development Award in the UDIA Wingate National Awards for Excellence. This is our first UDIA National win and we couldn’t be more proud of this building and the residents who call it home!

Built in partnership with the Queensland Government under the Elderly Parent Carer Innovation Initiative, Jingeri provides purpose-built accommodation for people living with a disability who were previously residing with elderly parents.

Jingeri challenges preconceptions about what accessible housing looks like and is a testament to the work of our construction consultants – KO & Co Architecture, Integral Construction, Saunders Havill and Lambert & Rehbein.

We’d also like to thank Communify Qld for continuing to support our residents maintain their independent living.

Learn more about this development, read the judges comments here: