Australia -- Habitat for Humanity Int'l 1
A COUNTRY, A HUGE ISLAND AND A continent, today’s Australia is a modern, prosperous and increasingly cosmopolitan nation. The economy is diversified and dynamic, and features world-class sources of minerals, commodities and agricultural products.
Yet within a country of plenty, not everyone benefits. An estimated 100,000 people are homeless or live in sub-standard conditions. A further 200,000 families are on waiting lists for publicly-funded housing, with more than 30,000 families living under private rental “housing stress”, many spending up to half of their income on temporary, inadequate accommodation.
Because public housing cannot keep up with demand, families are forced into a “poverty trap”, unable to save enough for a down payment or mortgage payments for their own homes as incomes are eaten away by excessively high rents.
HFH Australia completed its first house in the early 1990s. It has affiliates in five of the six states; Victoria has chapters in Bayside, Mornington Peninsula, Ballarat, Baw Baw, Shepparton, Plenty Valley, Geelong and Whitehorse; New South Wales has chapters in Cowra, Orange, Quirindi, ACT and South East NSW, and Western Sydney; Adelaide in South Australia; Perth in Western Australia; South East Queensland, Gympie and Caboolture in Queensland with two new proposed chapters planned in Bileola and Fraser Coast.
High land costs make it impractical for low-income families in Australia to buy a home. Australian affiliates overcome this obstacle by working to secure land at affordable rates.
HFH Australia builds and renovates homes using the traditional Habitat model where partner families are required to invest 500 hours of their labor – sweat equity – into building their home. It takes approximately six to nine months to complete the houses.
Habitat homes in Australia average approximately 100 sq. m. They are usually timber frame structures fitted with wall cladding and concrete or timber floors.
HFH Australia also supports Habitat activities in the Asia-Pacific region. Its partnerships are supporting the building or renovation of more than 1,000 homes in Cambodia, Indonesia, the Philippines and Timor Leste this year. This figure will increase as current partners continue their funding, and new partners make new sponsorship commitments.
• HFH Australia’s 66th house was completed in early 2007.
• HFH has been selected as the charity partner for dmg world media’s Melbourne, Adelaide and Sydney Home and Design Shows in 2007. The seven shows offer Habitat the possibility of interacting with 420,000 participants and 2,100 industry-related exhibitors.
• HFH Australia has been nominated as the charity of choice for gift product manufacturer Hatcher’s Christmas range. The three-year partnership entails the placing of the Habitat logo and story on 500,000 product units, available in major retail chains in Australia.
• An “Affordable Housing Land Trust” was launched by HFH Australia in 2006 to further its housing projects for low-income families in Australia through the acquisition of land.
• HFH Australia was the winner of the 2005 Prime Minister’s Award for excellence in community business partnerships in the medium business category. The award recognizes the partnership between Habitat for Humanity and PMI Mortgage Insurance.
• Around 15 Global Village teams from Australia are expected to travel to countries such as Fiji, Sri Lanka, Timor Leste (East Timor) and India in the next 12 months.
• HFHA is partnering with the government to provide affordable housing in a potential nine-house site in New South Wales.
Population: 20.8 million (May 2007 est.)
Area: 7,686,850 sq. km.
Ethnic groups: Caucasian 92%, Asian 7%, aboriginal and others 1%
Languages: English, native languages
Religions: Roman Catholic 26.4%, Anglican 20.5%, other Christian 20.5%, Buddhist 1.9%, Muslim 1.5%, others 1.2%, unspecified 12.7%, none 15.3% (2001 Census)
Updated September 2007