From 29 April 2022, Compass Housing Services became Home In Place.

A social and affordable housing development in inner city Newcastle is now in the running for two national housing awards after it was named as a finalist in the Property Council of Australia’s 2023 Innovation & Excellence Awards.

The seven storey, 16-unit complex, in Wickham is competing with four other projects from NSW and the ACT for the national Best Affordable Housing Development Award.

Home in Place CEO Australia Lyndall Robertshaw said it is pleasing to see an affordable housing project in regional NSW, built through a unique partnership, recognised.

She said the current housing crisis means there needs to be more innovative partnerships and more investment in affordable housing projects built in regional NSW and other parts of Australia.

“Affordable housing developments are designed to reduce rental housing stress for key low income workers by providing homes that are close to jobs, services and transport,” Ms Robertshaw said.

“This development is in the inner city rather than suburban fringes, right near the harbour foreshore and the Newcastle Transport Interchange,” she said.

The homes were built under a unique partnership between the NSW Government, City of Newcastle, and Home In Place. It was one of nearly 500 properties, across 19 Hunter and Central Coast sites, that Home in Place delivered as part of the NSW Government’s Social and Affordable Housing Fund. Council contributed to this project using funds it managed from the Federal Government’s Building Better Cities program.

Local businesses were involved in its design and construction supporting local jobs. The project was designed and planned by architect CKDS and town planner Barr Planning. North Construction & Building, was the project builder.

“Clever design maximises the potential of the small 410m2 site while ensuring quality living. The views from the rooftop garden area are amazing.”

“The project was delivered on time and on budget.”

CKDS received a special commendation for its design of the project in the Residential Architecture – Multiple Housing category at the recently held 2023 Newcastle Architecture Awards.

Winners of the Property Council Awards will be announced at a gala awards dinner in Sydney in August.

Ms Robertshaw said this is not the first accolade for the development. Its environmental credentials were recognised when it won the GreenSmart Sustainable Home of the Year at the 2022 Housing Industry Association’s Hunter Awards.

“The complex has an impressive 7.5-star Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme (NatHERS) rating, which importantly helps our tenants to save on power bills as well as benefitting the environment. Some properties achieve an 8.4 star rating. The use of preformed concrete tilt panels, 5-star rated efficient water fittings and fixtures, low energy LED lighting, commercial grade glazing on all windows and doors, and solar energy to supply hot water and feed back to the grid are just some of the green features of this development.”

As a winner of the Hunter Award, Home in Place is in the running for the 2023 HIA National GreenSmart Awards to be announced in Melbourne in August.

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