A property management agency that offers below-market rent to struggling tenants has received a $3 million boost from REA to expand their reach.
Non-profit HomeGround Real Estate Agency is an initiative of one of Melbourne’s largest housing and homelessness services.
HomeGround chief executive Dr Heather Holst told Residential Property Manager the agency was created in response to a growing demand for such services coupled with an affordable housing crisis in Victoria.
“HomeGround Real Estate provides expert property and tenancy management to landlords throughout Melbourne,” Dr Holst said. “We offer a competitive service to landlords who need a market return on their property and also the opportunity for landlords to rent their properties at below-market rent as part of our affordable housing initiative.
“Since launching in March, we have around 150 properties under management across the market and affordable housing streams.”
Dr Holst said the agency's main point of difference is the positive change it brings to the community with every rental property secured.
“All of the property management funds go back into assisting HomeGround achieve its core mission of ending homelessness in Melbourne,” she said.
Last month, HomeGround launched a partnership with REA Group that will enable them to extend their private rental brokerage program.
“This is a rapid rehousing program that assists families access accommodation in the private rental market by providing financial help with bond and rent in advance payments,” Dr Holst said.
“The REA partnership with HomeGround will make a significant difference to the lives of hundreds of women and children escaping family violence and will facilitate a national roll-out of the initiative.”
REA Group CEO Tracey Fellows told RPM the group has pledged to contribute $3 million over a three-year period to combat homelessness in Australia.
“We asked a number of well-known organisations who focus on tackling homelessness where we could make the biggest impact, and they unanimously said a rapid rehousing service that catches people before they fall into homelessness,” Ms Fellows said.
“During these discussions, HomeGround Services came up time and again as one of the most progressive and innovative in the area.
“When we first approached them, they were very open to a collaboration and our goals certainly aligned. From that point on, it was pretty straightforward – there was just a natural fit.”