It takes a village to house people in need
- 30 July 2021 2:45PM
Many important partners work together to help people experiencing homelessness find a place to live.
Johanna, Tenancy Manager at Bric Housing, helps manage and sustain customers’ tenancies. Bric Housing works closely with owners and real estate agents to headlease properties and sublet them to tenants with appropriate supports in place.
“The people I house are in very high need, many with complex mental health conditions, and drug and alcohol conditions that they’re recovering from or working through,” Johanna says.
“Some of them have been rough sleeping, and for some, it’s the first time they’ve ever been housed.”
Johanna oversees all parts of the tenancy and works closely with support agencies to help her tenants maintain and clean their property, prioritise rent payments, manage relationships with neighbours and more broadly, connect back into a community.
“The aim is for them to sustain their tenancies,” she says.
“Each person comes with different histories and each tenancy is different. I help them to navigate challenging situations as they arise.”
The headlease arrangement is a steppingstone towards longer term housing. Johanna likens her role as a ‘practice property manager’, helping her tenants prepare for renting in the private market or in social housing.
“My tenants learn what it’s like renting in the community, and that the outcome is dependent on their behaviour and how well they sustain their tenancy.”
Johanna says her role is difficult at times, but very rewarding as she knows how important it is for her tenants to have a roof over their heads before they can address other issues they’re facing.
“If someone does not have secure and safe housing there’s no way they can get on top of their mental health or physical concerns, there’s no way they can enter the workforce or study.”
“Sometimes, all that’s missing is to be housed appropriately with the right supports in place. When we’re able to do that with them, and help them move forward, it’s the best feeling in the world.”