Low-wage earners and middle income Australians who are struggling to get a leg up in the property ladder are the targets of a newly formed network of affordable housing providers, PowerHousing Australia.
The non-profit group aims to meet the affordable housing needs of these individuals and families in both metropolitan and regional centres throughout Australia by providing reduced-cost housing.
"Generally we're offering discounted rent in one form or another. Some of our members may also offer a rebate. We're basically offering housing at a level they can afford, which means house prices are generally lower than market rates," said Ken Marchingo, chairman of PowerHousing Australia.
Marchingo notes that there are about three million Australia households on low and middle incomes that currently rent, and have little or no hope of buying. "In many cases, the lack of affordable housing is acting as a brake on employment and industry-particularly in regional areas," he said.
"PowerHousing has been formed to try and correct this trend. By forming a national organisation, it allows us to share our intellectual properties and cut our cost drastically," said Marchingo. "This in turn enables us to deliver a more affordable housing to our target demographics. PowerHousing would focus on the supply of affordable housing rather than advocacy."
The eleven foundation members include Loddon Mallee Housing Services, Hume Community Housing and Community Housing Canberra and to date manage more than 15,000 housing units with an asset base of about $4bn.