Nestled within the comings and goings of The Big Issue’s WA office you will find Fiona Rodda, Homes for Homes Partnerships Manager for Western Australia and South Australia.
“We can change the world and make it a better place. It is in your hands to make a difference.” – Nelson Mandela.
Fiona joined Homes for Homes in 2021 to bolster the organisations growing national partnerships, and works with a small team to acquire new property partners and development opportunities.
When the opportunity arose to join Homes for Homes, Fiona saw the perfect opportunity to align her unique skillset with a progressive organisation delivering meaningful social impact – fulfilling her desire to give back to the community.
What is it?
Homes for Homes is a social enterprise established by Australia’s largest and most successful social enterprise, The Big Issue. It represents a bold but simple idea – to raise new private capital to fund new social and affordable housing, helping to end homelessness.
There are more than nine million homes in Australia. If each homeowner promised to contribute just 0.1 per cent of their property’s future sale price to Homes for Homes, homelessness would no longer be a problem. To put that into perspective, a $750,000 sale price would result in a $750 tax deductible donation. Although modest in proportion to a final sale amount, these promises offer significant collective impact, funding the creation of social and affordable housing projects where they are needed most.
“It’s a community lead solution,” said Fiona. “Funds raised from WA homeowner donations, are pooled and granted to experienced WA community housing providers through an open grant process. Our expert, industry based advisory groups will advise us what is the greatest housing need and funding applications are assessed accordingly. This process allows projects which may have been previously shelved, to get off the ground.”
Homes for Homes are on track to generate more than $1 billion for social and affordable housing projects over the next 30 years.
Property partners in Western Australia
The LWP Group have been one of the first here in WA to jump onboard.
LWP best known for the creation of Ellenbrook 25km north-east of Perth, was developed as a joint venture with the Western Australian Government Department of Housing, now known as the Department of Communities.
Homeowners who purchase in Ellenbrook development stages such as Lexia, Hesperia and Annie’s Landing to name a few, sign a donation deed to confirm participation with Homes for Homes.
“LWP Ellenbrook sales representatives include the deed for signing by their clients at the time of signing the contract of sale for the property. After the property settlement has been finalised, a subject to claim caveat is lodged on the title by Homes for Homes. The caveat isn’t something to be worried about, it is the legal instrument that reminds the homeowner of their promise to donate when they sell. The caveat runs with the property as it moves from owner to owner – so future owners of the property are also invited to take part. Each property can leave a lasting legacy to helping end homelessness,” Fiona explains.
“Homes for Homes is voluntary, at any time, the homeowner of a registered property can opt out. We hope homeowners will see the difference their participation in this unique initiative can make. As a community we can really help to solve this social and affordable housing crisis.”
“It’s a promise to donate in the future.”
DevelopmentWA are showing strong support too. The former Shenton Park Rehabilitation Hospital is being transformed into a premium residential, commercial and retail precinct known as Montario Quarter. After Homes for Homes was successfully included in an earlier tender at Montario Quarter, DevelopmentWA have again included Homes for Homes. Proponents are encouraged to include Homes for Homes as part of their application, as inclusion is favourably weighted.
Flexibility has been deliberately built into the Homes for Homes model. Developers can register all or part of their portfolio and can make an optional donation if they wish.
Registering to participate
With a background in conveyancing of over 30 years and with a former role at the Property Exchange Australia (PEXA), Fiona is using her relationships to initiate conversations around the processes of using a caveat for good.
“Much like an organ donor registering their desire to donate, homeowners register their promise to donate to Homes for Homes. It’s a promise to donate in the future.”
Once a property is registered with homes for Homes, it continues to participate beyond the life of the sale, realising successive 0.1 per cent donations on transactions in perpetuity.
There are two ways to participate:
- A buyer may purchase an already registered property participating in Homes for Homes or
- A homeowner can register their own property which takes five minutes via our website, www.homesforhomes.org.au.
The Homes for Homes model can apply to:
- Greenfield developments
- Low, medium and high-density developments
- Commercial freehold and leasehold
- Private rental
- Flexible working spaces
Homes for Homes uses property for purpose. They have already granted $1.14m to 10 social and affordable housing projects which will house 53 people. Homes for Homes is a proven model and with the support of industry and community, together they believe they can link arms to help solve homelessness.