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Media Release: Havelock Housing action against COVID-19

20 June 2021
Havelock Housing Association (HHA), one of Canberra’s leading community housing providers, is working closely with its residents, medical authorities and the ACT Government to ensure the continued safety of all residents and staff from COVID-19 and its impacts.
Havelock Housing supports staff and residents with: • information about safe COVID-awareness practices, • information about locations of outbreaks and identified hotspots, • provision of hand sanitiser and thorough cleaning of all public areas in and around our properties, and • the compulsory use of the CheckIn CBR App for all visitors across all HHA premises.
“We are also assisting our residents to book and access the government COVID-19 vaccine rollout, and also helping them to get vaccinated against the flu this winter,” Andrew Rowe, CEO of Havelock Housing Association, said.
“Also, through the ACT Government’s ‘COVID-19 Stimulus Rapid Response Grant’ we were able to continue our in-house counselling program, initiated during the lockdown period, ensuring residents continued to get the mental health support they needed throughout the pandemic. Also with this funding we were also able to obtain Mental Health First Aid training for our staff, to help them help residents and each other during the stress of COVID.”
Havelock Housing was also able to make best use of the ACT Government’s initiative ‘Rental Relief to Community tenants of ACT Government owned properties that were significantly impacted by COVID-19’.
“This funding in 2020 enabled us to keep our tenancy operations on track, our properties well-managed, and our community development programs rolling on, at a time when our residents really needed continuity and extra support,” Mr Rowe said.
“It is always important, but particularly during these times of public emergency and personal challenge, that the Canberra community works together to help those who are vulnerable, disadvantaged as well as those living with high and complex needs, to connect with the community, stay safe, and build healthier and more active lives.” //ends..
Available for interview: Andrew Rowe, CEO Havelock Housing Association Havelock Housing Association (HHA) is one of the largest community housing providers in Canberra, providing safe and secure homes for nearly 400 people in Canberra via 180+ properties across the region. HHA residents include some of the most vulnerable in Canberra such as people on very low incomes, with a disability, and those with high and complex service needs.

Media Release: Federal Government Budget fails to help struggling Canberrans get community housing

12 May 2021
The CEO of Havelock Housing, Mr Andrew Rowe, is calling for the federal Government to work with the ACT Government to build new social and affordable housing.
“Affordable housing is not just ‘a state issue’. Last night’s Budget was a missed opportunity for the federal Government to help create structural changes within the Canberra social housing sector,” Mr Rowe said today.
“Working with the states, territories and the community housing sector to develop an Affordable Housing Plan is the first place to start. Also: -- Increasing Rent Assistance to reduce homelessness; and, -- In the ACT, making some crown land available for community housing development,” he said.
“The federal Government needs to step up to its responsibility to help create the conditions for growth in social housing development.
“A rampaging ACT housing market coupled with years of stagnant wage growth has seen housing affordability across Canberra plummet further, even for those in work.
“And for those on government benefits the situation is even worse. Canberra has a shortage of 3,000 social houses, and a three-and-a-half year wait for public housing. Across Canberra 1,600 people are tonight experiencing homelessness,” he said.
Mr Rowe said it is no surprise that the 2020 report by Equity Economics showed that pre-COVID the ACT’s housing stress rate was one of the highest rates in the country and now, post-COVID, conditions have further worsened
“Anglicare’s Housing Snapshot shows that in Canberra there are no properties considered affordable for those on Government benefits and only 1 per cent of rentals are affordable for minimum wage families and single parents,” said Mr Rowe.
The federal and ACT Governments must provide immediate support to community housing providers to grow the supply of affordable rental housing for the increased number of Canberrans struggling to pay rent in the wake of COVID-19.
ends//.. Andrew Rowe, CEO Havelock Housing Association

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