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Habitat for Humanity Australia

Contact information

HFH Australia
Ste 3, Level 4, 20 Berry St
North Sydney NSW 2060
Australia
Fax: +61 (2) 99197088
Phone: (2) 99197000

Country Profile

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Habitat for Humanity’s Australian programs are delivered through State Partners in New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Queensland and Western Australia. Habitat helps low-income families achieve the dream of building and owning their own safe, secure home. In Australia, Habitat also assists disadvantaged families through its repair and maintenance program, Brush with Kindness. Internationally, HFH Australia works in partnership with communities across the Asia-Pacific region to address housing poverty and to support integrated community development. HFH Australia is currently working in Cambodia, Vietnam, Nepal, Indonesia, Myanmar, Bangladesh and the Philippines

The housing need in Australia

In Australia, it is estimated there is a shortage of more than 500,000 affordable housing. About 60 percent of low-income families experience ‘housing stress’, that is, they spend more than 40 percent of their household disposable income on rent. According to the “2015 Annual Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey”, Australia is among the world’s top three most severely unaffordable housing markets. Despite being a rich country, Australia has a housing affordability crisis and it is hitting poorest families the hardest. The supply of affordable housing can be affected by planning, regulatory and financial barriers. The cost of land, materials and construction has continued to rise, especially in the capital cities and major regional centers. National statistical data show that on any given night, over 100,000 people in Australia are homeless. Lack of affordable housing is a key contributor to this figure.

How Habitat addresses the need in Australia

Habitat for Humanity partners with low-income Australian families to build simple, decent and affordable homes. In 25 years, Habitat has built over 140 homes in Australia and has a current construction rate of around 10 homes a year. This is achieved through financial donations from individuals and organizations; donations of construction materials and land; the utilisation of volunteer labour (skilled and unskilled) in partnership with the local community and through its Affiliate Chapter network. Volunteers from the community work alongside partner families who contribute their “sweat equity”, or their own labor, in the construction of their homes. This also marks the start of a social support network for the partner families. In addition to building new homes, the domestic program renovates existing homes and completes repair and maintenance under Brush with Kindness. The program assists the financially disadvantaged, elderly, frail and/or disabled people and serves as a vehicle for engaging corporate sponsor volunteers, in locations close to metropolitan areas. The domestic program is supported by HFH Australia’s Foundation Partner, QBE Insurance.

New home constructions

Habitat for Humanity Australia enables low-income families to achieve their dream of home ownership by building decent and affordable homes. Families partner with Habitat in the construction of their home. Each partner family receives an interest-free, 20-year loan based on 95 percent of the market value of the completed home.

Disaster Response

In Australia, Habitat for Humanity has run Brush with Kindness programs to help survivors in the aftermath of the Black Saturday bushfires in Victoria, the Blue Mountains bushfires in New South Wales and the Queensland floods in 2012. In Victoria, Habitat’s development of the Yea Heights Estate has focused on building homes for families affected by the 2009 bushfires, the worst natural disaster in Victoria’s

Brush with Kindness

In Australia, Habitat for Humanity has run Brush with Kindness programs to help survivors in the aftermath of the Black Saturday bushfires in Victoria, the Blue Mountains bushfires in New South Wales and the Queensland floods in 2012. In Victoria, Habitat’s development of the Yea Heights Estate has focused on building homes for families affected by the 2009 bushfires, the worst natural disaster in Victoria’s

Developing holistic communities

HFH Australia’s international program is designed to address multi-dimensional aspects of poverty, recognizing that adequate housing provides the foundation for lifting families out of poverty. Projects are designed to achieve Habitat’s development objectives including shelter security, community health, economic security, education and community empowerment.

Meet a Habitat family

Tamara-Rae and John from New South Wales turned to Habitat for Humanity Australia after losing their home and all their savings when an interstate job offer failed to come through as planned. With seven children to support, Tamara-Rae and John were in need of a hand up.

Volunteers from a number of organizations came together over two weeks to help build Tamara-Rae and John’s new family home. The days were spent in the heat lifting trusses, building walls, digging and painting.

On the final day in November 2012, a dedication ceremony was held and the family was finally handed the keys for theirnew home.

“We have had a tough life but we stay positive,” said Tamara- Rae. “Having to move house was a constant fear, as the

question was always, ‘where to and what will the house be like? Habitat for Humanity threw us a lifeline and we grabbed it with both hands.”

COUNTRY FACTS

Capital: Canberra

Population: 23.7 million (January 2015 estimate)

Urbanization: nearly 90 percent of population

Life expectancy: 82 years (2014 est.)

Unemployment rate: 6.2 percent (December 2014)

Access to Improved Water Sources: 100 percent (2012 est.)

Access to Improved Sanitation Facilities: 100 percent (2012 est.)

Source: World Factbook