Working together to give tenants a second chance
- 5 October 2021 11:19AM
When working with tenants to find and sustain a tenancy, good relationships with local partners are vital.
Kareen, a RentConnect officer with the Cairns Housing Service Centre, works closely with a range of real estate agents in her community, including Donna Cahill.
“We have had some great success stories,” says Kareen. “Donna refers tenants to RentConnect if they have fallen into hardship. She will also often house RentConnect’s most vulnerable clients as she knows that we will follow up if there are any issues with those tenants.”
Donna says she and Kareen have been working well together for many years.
“When properties come up, we’d ring them, or they’d ring us saying; I’ve got another great tenant looking for housing,” says Donna.
Since 2016, Kareen and the team at the Cairns Housing Service Centre have coordinated MAST (Maintaining And Sustaining Tenancy) meetings, which brings frontline staff together to provide coordinated responses to issues in the local rental market.
“Kareen and the team have tried to educate agents and we have jumped in and grabbed the opportunity,” says Donna. “We attend the MAST meetings and meet with support groups, hear about what’s new, what we’ve got, so we’re all on the same page.”
Donna says it’s important to be aware of the support services available for tenants doing it tough.
“There’s a lot of help out there, from assisting with Centrepay deductions so rent is always paid on time, budgeting advice and health and mental illness support. Everyone in the MAST group knows about each other, so when we recognise that one of our tenants need something, we can reach out. RentConnect pulled that all together.”
For more information on the ways Queensland Government Housing Service Centres can help with renting, visit www.qld.gov.au/rentinghelp.