Hume Community Housing has announced the purchase of seven villas in East Maitland. The sale represents an important move by the community housing provider to preserve social housing in a region experiencing one of the tightest rental markets in NSW.
The sale was a rare opportunity to purchase a full line of properties centrally located close to shops and amenities. The seven single-level, two-bedroom attached villas were held by a private owner and head leased to Hume, who managed the tenancy of the properties. The villas have provided long-term social housing to local families over many years.
According to Hume’s CEO Brad Braithwaite, the decision to purchase was important in that it would retain desperately needed social housing stock, rather than see the properties lost to the private market.
“We want to help solve the housing crisis by contributing to the supply of affordable rental housing, particularly in the Hunter,” Brad said.
“Tonight, seven households are sleeping soundly in the knowledge they will retain their tenancies under Hume and will not be adding to the growing line of people waiting to secure a rental they can afford.”
According to a recent Real Estate Institute of NSW’s (REINSW) Vacancy Rate Survey, the Hunter region saw declines in the number of available residential rentals over June with the vacancy rate dropping by 0.3 per cent to 2 per cent.
The problem is compounded with an estimated 35.2 per cent of Maitland residents reported as experiencing rental stress.
“It is a perfect storm, and with the ongoing cost-of-living pressures more families are approaching organisations like Hume in desperate need of housing support, that’s why every property we can safeguard for social housing matters,” Brad said.
The villas, built in 1998, are earmarked to undergo a program of repair and maintenance.
“These homes, along with another 400 plus homes in the Hunter region that Hume manages, are currently receiving upgrades. Our goal is to provide housing that is safe, secure and that people are proud to call home,” Brad said.