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