Nearly 24,000 people are homeless on any given night in Victoria. Nearly 33,000 people remain on the waiting list for social housing. Many others are living in serious housing stress, barely able to make ends meet. Rising house prices and rents continue to outstrip wage increases. The result is a crisis in affordable housing in Victoria.
Habitat for Humanity Victoria partners with families living in housing stress to help them build and own their very own safe, decent and affordable home. Our first home was completed in 1995. Since then we have partnered with over 50 Victorian families in need to help them build and own their own home in metropolitan Melbourne and regional towns across Victoria.
Our homes are built by volunteers, skilled and unskilled and supported by the donations of supporters and sponsors. We also have a number of corporate partners who provide building materials at a reduced or at no cost.
Our Partner families contribute a minimum 500 hours of “sweat equity” by helping build their homes. Partner families purchase the completed home at approximately 95% of its market value and pay a deposit of $1,000. Habitat for Humanity Victoria provides each Partner family with an interest-free loan for the balance of the purchase price. Loan repayments are capped at 25% of the Partner family’s income to ensure the purchase is affordable.
We build homes with 2, 3 or 4 bedrooms and a shared meals/living area. Completed homes include a carport, paths, outdoor areas and some landscaping. When completed our homes are ready to be occupied and include window furnishings and floor coverings. Our homes are built with new materials and range between 95 and 120 m2; depending upon the number of bedrooms. Homes are built to the required 6 Star Energy Rating and include a solar hot water service and energy efficient lighting and appliances to help minimize running costs. Our homes are well designed and comfortable.
Most of our homes are built by our Chapters – local community based groups who manage the project, help to raise funds, engage with volunteers and local businesses and select and support our partner families. We have Chapters based in West Gippsland, on the Mornington Peninsula and in Geelong.
At the end of 2016 we completed our first home in Geelong. Currently, we are building homes in Yea.
Our Major Project is the Yea Heights Estate, a 25-home project at Prospect Rise, Yea, and Habitat for Humanity Victoria’s largest venture to date. Launched in 2011, it was created to assist families affected by the devastating 2009 Black Saturday bushfires. The fires wiped out more than 1300 homes and damaged nearly 40% of land near Yea, throughout the Murrindindi Shire. The damage and new building requirements and regulations made it difficult for many families to rebuild or find new homes in the area. Our project at Yea is an affordable housing solution.
So far we have helped 5 families, including 14 children, to settle into their new homes at Prospect Rise, Yea. In early 2017 we will complete another home in Yea and commence construction on 5 more.