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Media Release | HomeGround Real Estate

Launch Housing Deputy CEO Dr. Heather Holst on 774 ABC Melbourne

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Last week Launch Housing Deputy CEO Dr. Heather Holst was invited to speak with Sally Warhurst on 774 ABC Melbourne. They discussed the current situation for those experiencing homelessness and what HomeGround Real Estate are doing to help. Heather also speaks of the challenges the hot weather at this time of year presents for those sleeping rough.

To listen to the full interview, click here.

Australian not for profit real estate CEO in Chicago for homeless conference

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1 June 2015

A leading Australian homelessness agency, HomeGround Services, is pioneering a move into the real estate business as a way to help end homelessness in one of the nation’s largest capital cities.

The organisation’s CEO Dr Heather Holst is in Chicago to take part in the ‘Homelessness in a Global Landscape’ conference at De Paul University from 1-2 June 2015.

Dr Holst says HomeGround Real Estate is a “one of a kind not for profit real estate agency” that reinvests property management fees into housing people on low incomes in Melbourne, capital city of the state of Victoria.

Since launching in March 2014 the agency has over 200 properties on its books and is providing housing solutions for people at risk of homelessness through an affordable housing initiative.

“We manage properties for landlords at market rent but also give them the opportunity to list their property at an affordable rental so that we can house women and children leaving family violence and people who have been forced out of the private rental market,” Dr Holst says.

Australia has over 100,000 people recorded as homeless, despite being a wealthy nation. “On any given night in Australia one in 200 people are homeless. In our state of Victoria the figures are almost 23,000. It is totally unacceptable that a country as wealthy as Australia can’t find solutions to house everyone,” Dr Holst said.

Dr Holst says Australian agencies are looking to the success stories in the United States where homelessness is decreasing. “We are watching with interest the gradual decline in homelessness in many states across the US. I know there is a long way to go in ending homelessness here but you have strong federal leadership and buy in from the states which is something we would like to see happen in Australia.”

Social enterprises like HomeGround Real Estate will play a crucial role in efforts to end homelessness in Australia according to Dr Holst.

“We are dealing with declining federal and state investment in public and social housing at a time when rental prices are soaring in our capital cities in Australia,” she said. “So it is really important to look at how we can encourage property owners to help solve this problem and get involved in affordable housing initiatives offered by agencies like HomeGround.”

Dr Holst is available for media interview and can be contacted by email while in Chicago at and she can provide a telephone number or attend a studio interview.

Yarra Mayor and Kildonan CEO back not for profit real estate agency

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Yarra Mayor and Kildonan CEO back not for profit real estate agency


15 May 2015


A not for profit real estate in Melbourne has gained the support of two community leaders.

City of Yarra Mayor Phillip Vlahogiannis says social disadvantage has no cultural boundaries.

“People from all walks of life and all cultural backgrounds can experience homelessness and hard times.  In Yarra, a socially and culturally diverse municipality, we have more than five times the state average of homelessness.  As Yarra’s mayor, I feel it is my duty to help promote Homeground Real Estate in its efforts to address homelessness.”

Stella Avramopoulos, CEO of Kildonan Uniting Care has also signed on as a HomeGround Real Estate ambassador in support of the initiative.

“I think it is such a great idea for an organisation like HomeGround to move into the private rental market. This is where most of the rental property stock is these days. Like Phillip, I see social disadvantage among people from so many different cultural backgrounds and housing affordability is a major cause of social exclusion.”

HomeGround Real Estate was set up in March last year by homelessness organisation HomeGround Services in response to Melbourne’s growing affordable housing crisis.

The organisations CEO Dr Heather Holst has welcomed support from Mayor Vlahogiannis and Ms Avramopoulos.

“I am really pleased that Phillip and Stella want to help us promote the real estate agency within the Greek community,” Dr Holst said. “If we continue to grow and expand HomeGround Real Estate it has the potential to open up more affordable rental properties and also contribute to the work we do assisting people experiencing homelessness.”

The initiative invites property owners and investors to list properties with HomeGround Real Estate for market rent or for a discounted rental rate to assist households in need.

“As the CEO of Kildonan I have worked with HomeGround on a number of family support initiatives. We go to them for expert advice on tenancy because they manage hundreds of properties for the Department of Housing. I know that they have the expertise and knowledge to make this work and that is why I would encourage people to get behind the agency and list their properties,” Ms Avramopoulos said.

Mayor Vlahogiannis said the City of Yarra was so impressed with the concept of the not for profit real estate that it provided some funding to help with establishment.

“We could see the benefits of this for our local community from the start. You have a very professional and reputable organisation in HomeGround coming up with practical solutions to help address the affordable housing problem. I hope the Greek community in Melbourne and beyond will get on board and consider listing investment properties with HomeGround Real Estate.”


Media comment: City of Yarra Mayor Phillip Vlagogiannis 0428 323 916; Kildonan Uniting Care CEO Ms Stella Avramopoulos 0414 507 704; Dr Heather Holst 0419 892 474

Invitation: We’re on show!

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The Home Buyer & Property Investor Show is being held Friday 29 to Sunday 31 August 2014 at Melbourne Exhibition Centre.
There’s a lot to explore, some great speakers and of course, our team will be there, keen to explain our professional property management service, which reinvests any profits back into the community through the Affordable Housing Initiative.

This is a great opportunity to speak to a number of our staff and gain a sense of what HomeGround Real Estate is all about.

Please find all the details about the show at

We hope to see many new faces there, it is a wonderful event with many other interesting stallholders. You can purchase tickets on the day or here.  


Invitation for HomeGround Real Estate Agency Information Session

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HomeGround Real Estate is a not for profit agency delivering expert property and tenancy management services in Melbourne.

Our property managers provide investors with a management experience that is unrivalled, while all of the income generated from property management fees is invested in assisting people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness in Melbourne.

Find out how you can maximise your rental return while making a difference and contributing to the social capital of our city.

Join us to learn more on Wednesday 28 May at the Portico Room and Balcony, Melbourne Town Hall for a 6pm arrival with a 6:30pm start.

Please RSVP to by 21 May.


Media Release – Not for profit real estate agency opens in Melbourne

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One of Melbourne’s largest housing and homelessness providers, HomeGround Services, is about to enter the real estate industry.

HomeGround Real Estate is a social enterprise that will provide expert property and tenancy management services to investors and socially minded property owners in Melbourne.

The proceeds of the venture will be reinvested into assisting a growing number of individuals and families who are homeless or at risk of homelessness and rely on HomeGround for housing and support services.

A team of dedicated property and tenancy staff, based in Collingwood, are ready to provide a high level of service to landlords and tenants throughout Melbourne.

HomeGround CEO Dr Heather Holst said the agency had 15 years’ experience in property and tenancy management and a desire to boost capacity in response to a growing demand for housing and support services.

“Our tenancy and property management team has around 15 years’ experience in managing hundreds of properties for the Department of Human Services in addition to many properties in the private rental market under head lease arrangements.”

Dr Holst said the decision to take on the real estate market was also driven by the need to increase HomeGround’s capacity to meet the needs of people seeking housing and support services.

“We have seen a steady increase in the number of people who need assistance with services that can help prevent them becoming homeless and assist those who are already experiencing homelessness,” she said.

“While we continue to predominantly rely on funding bodies to provide these essential services we also realise the vulnerability and uncertainty of this income stream. The real estate agency will allow us to reinvest in our core business of ending homelessness.”

MD and founder of Wilderness Wear, Philip Endersbee, a key supporter of the initiative has listed two apartments in Kew with HomeGround Real Estate at below market rent.

“I have been fortunate enough to acquire some investment property and I am encouraged by the work HomeGround does in working to prevent homelessness. I had the capacity to forego a percentage of rental income in order to help a family in need and would strongly urge others who are in this position to do the same.”

Philippe Batters, a successful real estate agent with his own business in South Yarra, is supporting the agency by acting as the Principal on a pro-bono basis.

“I think this is a wonderful initiative and I’m keen to assist HomeGround Real Estate to grow and develop into a successful, competitive player in the market. If you have a rental property and want to see a return on your investment in financial and social terms I hope you will be contacting HomeGround Real Estate.”

Media contact: HomeGround Communications Manager Catherine Beadnell: 0450 165 545

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