Deputy Premier for South Australia and Member for Enfield, the Hon. John Rau MP, officially opened Community Housing Limited’s (CHL) new state-of-the-art office in the northern suburb of Prospect in Adelaide with key partners from government, community groups and support agencies, staff and the Managing Director of CHL Group, Steve Bevington.
CHL is one of the successful recipients of the management transfers of 762 Housing Trust properties in the central northern suburbs of Adelaide, as part of the SA government’s Renewing our Streets and Suburbs initiative. The organisation commenced management of these properties in the suburbs of Northgate, Northfield, Clearview, Enfield and Oakden from late September 2017.
In preparation for this expanding role, CHL has relocated its office to 270b Main North Road in Prospect to provide responsive, localised and efficient services to more than 950 tenancies from the new office.
Speaking at the official opening, John Rau MP said,“It’s great to see CHL opening new offices that are well-served by public transport. CHL is providing an important service for tenants across Adelaide, including in my electorate.”
Steve Bevington added, “The establishment of this office is part of our overall strategy to deliver efficient tenancy services, improved property management and a robust maintenance service to our growing pool of tenants. Our approach is to ensure that new tenants are able to access our service within an hour’s travel from their property. This new office is much closer with a maximum travelling time of 30 minutes from the areas we are going to be managing.”
Steve said CHL’s local team, led by State Manager Gary Storkey, has been proactively working with both Renewal SA and Housing SA in preparation for the impending transfer: “The team has been engaging with tenants through the Renewal SA’s tenancy liaison officers who are doing a great job in keeping the tenants informed of every step in the transfer process and addressing any concerns they may have.”
According to Gary Storkey, “CHL is an experienced provider of specialist tenancy and property management services, and has demonstrated success in management of large-scale public housing transfer programs across the country. We are looking forward to replicating it in Adelaide.”
“Over the past few months, we have been organising community information days, face-to-face meetings, and undertaking property audits to ascertain the equirements of those who live in them and improvements required,” said Gary.
“All of our tenants will have access to a 24-hour service for all maintenance-related issues and will be able to lodge a request over the phone, via text message and online. The maximum maintenance response time is 14 days for all requests.”
One of the keys to the organisation’s ongoing success has been its tenant engagement and participation strategy. CHL is in the process of developing partnerships with local community groups to encourage community participation and – as Steve detailed – “provide training and employment opportunities for tenants and their children, and access to community development activities such as community gardens, scholarship programs, etc.”
“CHL is committed to providing more housing for the growing number of people who struggle to find affordable rentals or buying their own home,” said Gary. “We will be looking for opportunities to redevelop and build new homes in the area.”