“I am undertaking this course because I want to work within the community and to show my youngest kids that they can follow their dreams. The scholarship will help me with purchasing all the things I need to complete my studies.”
The Argyle Housing Tertiary Scholarship Program has been running continuously since 2015. During this time, there have been 128 scholarship recipients from across all Argyle Housing locations.
The purpose of the scholarship program is to support tenants to manage the cost of undertaking training or a course of study. Scholarship monies are used for course fees, textbooks, IT and travel expenses, just to name a few.
“This scholarship helped me pay for travel expenses and to overcome barriers such as regional isolation as I am not able to drive…”
The total scholarship monies awarded since 2015 is $176,969.00 with $37,156.00 of this total allocated during the 2020/21FY.
COVID-19 has once again disrupted studies for some tenants causing delays in finishing courses, particularly those that require a work placement. There were also fewer applications during the 2020/21 and this will almost certainly have been due to tenants being reluctant, or unable, to study online.
Despite COVID-19, the scholarship program continues to grow. There have been some real successes this year with two tenants securing full time employment and several continuing onto higher qualifications.
The Art Therapy Story in the 2020/21 Annual Report is just one example of how a person’s life can be transformed through education and training. Whilst it takes an enormous personal effort to reshape a life, this journey was made easier because of the scholarship assistance.
“Being in a course majoring in Health Information Management is a culmination of what I have been through and what I have become. Since I was a child, technology has always been a passion of mine. The scholarship means a lot to me. Firstly, it assists me in supporting my education, especially so that I can use more time on studying and learning rather than worrying about financial security. It also motivates me to keep moving forward. Knowing that I have been entrusted with a scholarship reminds me for being a part of Argyle Housing and how they helped me to achieve my dream.”
A HUGE thank you to our Scholarship Sponsors
Argyle Housing continues to be supported by its wonderful corporate sponsors, Beyond Bank, AJ Gallagher Insurers and the Mittagong RSL. Without you, so many opportunities would be lost.
Being in a course majoring in Health Information Management is a culmination of what I have been through and what I have become. Since I was a child, technology has always been a passion of mine. The scholarship means a lot to me. Firstly, it assists me in supporting my education, especially so that I can use more time on studying and learning rather than worrying about financial security. It also motivates me to keep moving forward. Knowing that I have been entrusted with a scholarship reminds me for being a part of Argyle Housing and how they helped me to achieve my dream.
Ron – Bachelor of Information and Communication Technology
By receiving this scholarship, I will be able to focus on my studies by not having the financial stress of starting university. This scholarship will help with the costs of the essentials such as textbooks and a laptop as I don’t currently have one.
Emily – Bachelor of Education
I love animals and have been volunteering at the Animal Shelter for years. I am undertaking the course as it is something I love, and I am seeking employment out of it.
Jody – Certificate 2 in Animal Studies
I am undertaking this course because I want to work within the community and to show my youngest kids that they can follow their dreams. The scholarship will help me with purchasing all the things I need to complete my studies.
Tamara – Diploma Community Services
A HUGE thank you to our Scholarship Sponsors
Without you, so many opportunities would be lost!
During 2020/21, the Argyle Housing Tertiary Scholarship Program received significant corporate sponsorship from:
The Beyond Bank has supported the Argyle Tertiary Scholarship for the last two years and is also one of Argyle Housing business partners. The Beyond Bank is a strong supporter of communities. Over the years the Bank has invested a percentage of its nett profits in partnerships and programs, supported its staff to volunteer and has operated a community reward program across Australia.
Arthur J Gallagher is one of Argyle Housing business insurers and has been named one of the world’s most ethical brokers for eight years in a row. Arthur J Gallagher operates a little differently from other insurance brokers and strives every day to provide environmental, social and economic benefits to the communities in which it lives and works.
Castleton Technology PLC is the supplier and support provider for the Argyle Housing Finance and Housing management systems. Castleton’s technical experts assist the Argyle Housing IT team to ensure that our systems are up to date, efficient and functioning effectively. This support partnership assists Argyle Housing staff to continue to deliver a quality service to our tenants.
Mittagong RSL has developed an association with Argyle Housing that is about providing opportunity to people who may not necessarily be exposed to an environment where opportunity exists. There is a synergy between both organisations in that they are here to assist in providing connections for their communities to assist tenants to realise their potential.
Allianz is another of Argyle Housing’s insurers. Through its core business, Allianz contributes to sustainable economic growth and is focused on breaking down barriers to social inclusion for a better, more productive future.
Every two years Argyle Housing engages the Community Housing Industry Association (CHIA) to independently conduct the Tenant Satisfaction Survey. This survey measures Argyle Housing performance against the National Regulatory System for Community Housing.
The Survey provides our tenants with the opportunity to give us feedback on where we are doing a good job and where, and how, our services could be improved.
Argyle Housing are proud of the progress that we have made over the past two years, our survey responses for 2021 were the highest of all Community Housing providers in NSW with an 85% satisfaction rating. This information is used by Argyle Housing to target areas of improvement of our services to our tenants over the next two years, with clear messages regarding timeliness of repairs & maintenance, condition of properties and neighbourhood amenity and safety.
The 2021 survey indicates the following results against NRSCH and CHIA Benchmarks:
This year 1,620 tenants completed the Survey, a response rate of 67% which is outstanding! Thank you to each and every tenant who responded, we truly value your feedback and comments.
The Survey results shouted out loud and clear that the 3 main priorities for our tenants are:
- The delivery of prompt and responsive repairs and maintenance services
- Upgrading and maintaining homes in good condition
- Improving the safety and amenity of the neighbourhoods where our tenants live
Overall, the results show that Argyle Housing is perceived positively by its tenants. However, results and feedback varied across locations and each local tenancy and maintenance team will develop an action plan tailored to the results from their area.
What Tenants Said About Argyle Housing…
- Two thirds of tenants who responded (67%) indicated they would use an online tenant portal to log a non-urgent repair request, request a rent statement or request a rent review.
- Argyle Housing increased satisfaction in 15/16 key indicators from the 2019 survey. The only indicator that fell was Complaint Handling.
- The highest proportion of positive comments received were in relation to Argyle Housing in general.
- The highest proportion of negative comments were in relation to time taken for repairs and the condition of the property.
Thank you and ongoing Feedback
Thank you to everyone who completed the recent tenant survey. We had a record number of returns this year and would like to extend the opportunity to any tenants who would like to provide any direct feedback from the survey, or in relation to their tenancy, to contact the Team Leader in their local office or the Housing Services Manager or CEO at Bowral email@example.com or 1300 274 953
Tenant Survey Winners
Congratulations to our Winners!
Thank you to all our tenants who participated in the survey. Your feedback will contribute to helping Argyle Housing provide better services.
1st Prize Winner
2nd Prize Winner
3rd Prize Winners (1 per office)
Martin, Ainslie Village
Clint, Wagga Wagga
Together Home Program
In July 2020 the NSW Government funded a new program called Together Home to provide long term housing and intensive support to people who were homeless and sleeping rough during the pandemic. Argyle Housing were funded to provide this program in two locations – SWS and Murrumbidgee.
Through the Together Home Program, the NSW Government is investing $36m for two years from 2020-2021 to 2021-2022 to expand the Community Housing Leasing Program (CHLP) to support people sleeping rough impacted by COVID-19.
One of the key differences with this new program is the engagement of a support provider through subcontracting arrangements to provide wraparound case management support to individuals housed through the program. This presents an opportunity to manage both immediate public health risks and create a lasting change to address street homelessness, in line with the Premier’s Priority to reduce street homelessness.
Across the Murrumbidgee, assistance packages have been allocated to assist people into homes. These are not necessarily allocated to a single person but could be used to assist a whole family. People who are referred to the program are individually assessed as to what individual services they need, including drug and alcohol services and mental health support. This provided the opportunity for Argyle Housing to partner with two key agencies to deliver intensive support to participants of THP, Uniting (SWS) and Marathon Health (Murrumbidgee). These partnerships have allowed Argyle Housing to successfully house 22 people sleeping rough, to offer them a home and provide tailor made support to participants to assist them to sustain housing and remove the barriers that lead to homelessness. Program participants have made incredible change in their lives given the opportunity to be in safe
The success of this program has led to Argyle Housing being able to expand this program in 2021 with an additional 21 places being funded in these same locations.
House Proud Tenants
When times got tough for Susan and Darcy, they had nowhere else to go. They are a lovely couple who have been living out of their car and out of a shed for over five years as they struggled to grasp the right housing opportunity.
They had been trying to find accommodation but unfortunately kept coming up short. The housing market can be very hard, especially when you have not had a fixed address for some time.
Fortunately for the Susan and Darcy, the Together Home Program was launched last year which caters for people in their situation.
When they started in the Together Home Program they were in emergency accommodation with Link2home and staying in a motel. Both Susan and Darcy have extensive medical issues which were accelerated under the duress of being homeless and being unable to care for themselves properly during this period of time.
Since moving into their new home both Susan and Darcy have had significant improvement in their physical health, their mental health and their general day to day lives. They have also had a significant increase in contact with their family and are now able to visit with and have their grandchildren stay over for quality time with them.
Their property care is absolutely incredible, and they have made themselves significantly in advance with their rent and are wonderful house-proud tenants. Moving into their new home really has changed their lives in every way possible. Their story is just a reminder that home really is, where the heart is.
Daniel’s opportunity to give back
Daniel is one of our “Together Home” tenants who volunteers with “We Are Community“ located at Riverside Drive, AIRDS NSW 2560.
Daniel has been taking the opportunity and volunteering to help cook food for the local community, this program helps feed 50 of the most vulnerable people in the Campbelltown on Monday nights and also does breakfast during the week. By giving back to the community that helped him, he has found the experience a good opportunity to help the local community, but he also had fun with the regulars and has now built new networks and relationships through this.
Daniel has been reaching beyond Argyle Housing and Uniting’s expectations. Not only has he been cooking up a storm for the homeless and he also decided to study to get his RSA as he would like to get a job in the hospitality industry.
Daniel has been a wonderful tenant as he takes pride in this new home and has been delightful to be working with.
Grace, a Year 12 Student
Tori Power our tenancy officer in Wagga Wagga completed the opportunities questionnaire with a young year 12 tenant we have in one of our transitional properties
We know that this year has been very tough for many of our tenants, and we would like to know how they have taken the opportunity during lockdown to do something different.
What does opportunity mean to you personally?
It means I have a chance to get out of my comfort zone and try something new and grow more independently.
What opportunities have come your way in your life?
An opportunity to find stable housing has come my way through Argyle Housing. I was accepted into a transitional property where I gained the independence and skills of living by myself and being somewhere safe. Opportunities offer new experiences, and I’m currently completing my Year 12 during a global pandemic which has helped me grow and find new ways of completing things.
Do you plan to take the opportunity to change your life in some way?
The opportunity of being in stable accommodation and completing Year 12, to now have more of an idea of what’s it like upholding a tenancy to apply to my next tenancy.
The year 2020 was a challenging one for all. As COVID spread, it forced our local communities into lock down. This has been especially hard for some of our more vulnerable tenants. It has also made it difficult to engage our tenants with morning teas and BBQs as understandably, people did not want to leave the safety of their house.
Now in February 2021, as the COVID virus was appearing to slowly being contained, I thought an excursion on the Nepean Belle would be a great way to engage our tenants. Giving them the chance to interact with one another while meeting new people with similar interests and for them to start feeling safe to leave the comforts of their home.
On the 19 February 2021, staff members Heather, Kaajal, myself and 32 very excited tenants travelled by coach to Penrith to board the beautiful Nepean Belle Paddlewheeler to have a magical day on the Nepean River.
Departing the wharf at noon, we all took our places at the dining tables and whilst we meandered through the spectacular Nepean Gorge, we were served a beautiful two course lunch.
The day was made even more special as we celebrated the birthday of our tenant Douglas. After lunch we surprised him with a chocolate cake, and we broke out into song with all the tenants and staff wishing him a “Happy Birthday”.
During the day Heather, Kaajal and I mingled with our tenants joking and laughing while relaxing on the outdoor deck. From the stern we watched the stunning ascending rock formations carved out by the Nepean River – one of Australia’s largely unknown, natural archaeological splendors at the base of the Blue Mountains National Park.
I personally enjoyed the day, as it was an opportunity to catch up with tenants I had not seen in a while but what I saw made my heart sing, because for quite a few people, this outing was the first time in the past year they had been out of their home. Many of the attendees had said that the COVID virus left them scared and concerned to leave their home and when this opportunity came up, they knew Argyle Housing would conduct this trip as a COVID safe excursion.
It was a fun and memorable day. Our tenants were very happy they had the opportunity to attend this outing and look forward to getting together again in the future.
Written by Simone, an Argyle Housing staff member
Buxton Community Association
Supporting Community Through Community Support.
Argyle Housing tenant, Tony has been involved in many different local groups as he strives to support the people and community in which he lives.
Tony highlights his involvement in the Buxton Community Association:
I’ve been with the Buxton Community Association coming up to my fourth year in 2021 and I’ve held a few positions as part of the Association – the Treasurer and Public Officer. I have really enjoyed being a part of the Association and the community of Buxton.
The Community can hire the hall, and we have a Garden Group, Play Group, as well as events throughout the year.
Over the past few years, times have been different and very trying. The fires in 2019 were devastating for the area as half of Buxton was burnt and unfortunately two firefighters lost their lives.
We usually have a big celebration at Christmas time but unfortunately due to the fires and COVID, they have been cancelled for the last two years. We have adapted by doing our meetings over zoom and occasionally taking the opportunity to meet face to face whilst being socially distanced and wearing face masks.
If you would like more information you can contact us and also follow us on Facebook as this is where we advertise events that are coming up.
Written by Tony, an Argyle Housing tenant
Shae’s journey began in 2018 when at the age of seventeen there was a family breakdown. Due to her age she was not given the opportunity to be able to secure safe housing, she had to rely on friends and was couch surfing.
This situation was not sustainable for Shae and she contacted Linking Communities Network (LCN) for housing support. Shae was put in contact with Stephanie, a caseworker assigned to Shae who helped her to complete the Pathways and Argyle Housing application forms.
After countless unsuccessful private rental applications, in February 2019 Argyle Housing were able to offer Shae a transitional property utilising the Support Level Agreement between LCN and Argyle Housing. Shae remained in transitional housing receiving support from LCN.
Through having the opportunity to gain safe and secure housing, Shae was able to apply for casual work and her partner Jacob signed up as a co-tenant. Their son Javier was born in 2020.
Shae and Jacob also have care of Shae’s younger sister Jo, and Shae continues to work extremely hard in caring for her family.
Whilst in their transitional property, the Argyle Housing team assisted Shae and Jacob to apply for their next step up into Affordable Housing. They were successful in their application and were ecstatic when given the news by the Argyle Housing team that they had their new home. This is an important step as the Affordable Housing program gives Shae and Jacob a rental history that they can eventually use to get into the private housing market and on their journey to private home ownership.
Shae and Jacob have successfully transformed their new property into a warm and safe environment for their family.
The opportunities and benefits that a strong service partnership between Argyle Housing and LCN can provide successful outcomes for families like Shae and Jacob, and we wish them the very best in their new home.
Persistence and Dedication
Meisha is an Argyle Housing tenant that has led quite a transient life up until she joined us in 2018. Previously, she has lived in Bega, Canberra, Wagga Wagga and Harden, finally settling in Young to raise her young child with her partner Michael.
Up until recently, Meisha’s life was quite different to the one she lives now. Her past has seen significant trauma which resulted in regular substance abuse, relationship breakdowns, domestic violence, serious health battles and financial hardship. Meisha remembers that she didn’t feel settled and couldn’t call anywhere home. Meisha stated that her life started to turn around just after the birth of her now seven-year-old son and meeting her current partner Michael.
Throughout her tenancy, Meisha has had her ups and downs with rent and non-rent arrears building. Along with her other expenses, Meisha was struggling to make ends meet and she fell into some hard times financially. With the support of her Tenancy Officer, Meisha has been able to stick to a payment schedule to amend her arrears and is now debt free. Meisha stated “it is a relief to not have the burden of debt hanging over me anymore”.
The last 12 months has seen some significant changes for Meisha. Whilst in the midst of the COVID pandemic, Meisha was unable to locate work and her partner required her full support, not only through the death of his father, but for the mental anguish that followed. Meisha’s son was later diagnosed with ADHD and required additional supports at home and at school. Meisha then had to have major surgery.
The positive outcome to all of this stress was that Meisha then saw an opportunity to start her own business which meant she could earn an income, be available to support her family and have a sense of pride in her achievements.
Throughout her working life, Meisha has always been a domestic and commercial cleaner for other companies. Starting in Bega and then moving around to Harden and Young with various organisations, Meisha gained valuable experience and contacts in the cleaning industry. She was offered an opportunity to clean for the newly opened Bunnings store in Young. From this opportunity, Meisha started building her own business. She now has the contract to clean for Bunnings and local Real Estate Agents and is building a list of private domestic clients.
Argyle Housing is proud to watch Meisha build her business and thrive through a period that has seen plenty of hardship across the region. Meisha is a success story and fine example of how persistence and dedication will change our life for the better.
A New Lease on Life
Julie became a tenant of Argyle Housing in Yass after spending 10 years on the housing register. Just prior to being offered her new home, she was living in less-than-ideal conditions at the showground. With no family close by, Julie has relied heavily on a close network of friends to help her with day-to-day life.
Staff at the Argyle Housing Yass Office were due to attend Julie’s home for an inspection. Unfortunately, upon arrival, Julie was being removed from her home in an ambulance. She would spend quite a bit of time in hospital recovering from her illness.
Before Julie was able to come back home, Argyle Housing was contacted advising that she required some specific modifications to her home, in order for her to be safe. Argyle Housing sprang into action, and with the collaboration of the tenancy and maintenance teams, the modifications were completed within 48 hours, allowing Julie to come back to her home.
Julie still has days when her health has not been at its best. She has had to go to hospital again since, and she was very concerned about losing her home. The Yass team have reassured her and just want to make sure that Julie is healthy and to take this opportunity to live comfortably in her home.
Julie has said that she is so happy with how quickly the Yass team responded to her needs and is so grateful to have her home. Upon a recent visit with Julie, we are glad that she was doing much better, and knows that she can rely on the Yass team for any further assistance.
Triumph from Tragedy
Sandy came to be in an Argyle Housing property after suffering a great trauma but is now seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.
Originally from Queensland, Sandy received a call that her son was very ill and would likely pass away. She raced down to Canberra and was able to spend a final few days with her son until he passed away from cancer in October 2018. At this time, she discovered that she had a grandson, and knew that she needed to take the opportunity to stay in the area and get to know him.
Sandy stayed with friends for a while but felt that she was a burden. She ended up sleeping in her car, or at a hotel when she could. It was at this time that she was offered an Argyle Housing property in Queanbeyan.
Her unit was on the first floor in a complex of 10 units. Sandy quickly recognised the sense of community that was present with the other residents. Everyone looks out for each other and a group will often be found having a barbeque or morning tea, enjoying the sunshine in each other’s company.
Sandy hit another hurdle with her health in 2019, after she was diagnosed with cancer. This played havoc on her body and her mental health. Sandy had undergone chemotherapy and radiation therapy in her battle with the disease, and there have been days when she has not wanted to face the world.
The one constant she has had through all of this is her relationship with her neighbours and good friends, Kath and Hans who have taken her under their wings and ensured she made her appointments and was taken care of.
One of the ailments that has crept up on Sandy is the loss of a pulse in one of her feet, which made it extremely difficult for her to climb the stairs to her unit. She knew that she needed to find a property that would better suit her medical needs and completed her transfer paperwork. She was reluctant to leave the complex where she had a village to look after her.
As luck would have it, a ground floor unit became available at the complex, and Sandy was ecstatic to be offered this property, as it meant she could still be with her good friends and carers.
Sandy has now moved into her new unit, with the help of the complex, and has created a sanctuary in the back garden, where she can meet with her neighbours. She has recently received the amazing news that her cancer is in remission, and she gets to see her grandson regularly.
Sandy is extremely grateful for the assistance she has received from Argyle Housing. The staff from Queanbeyan often visit, hoping to time it just right for some cob loaf or sausage sandwich.
When Opportunity Knocks
Opportunity knocks they say, well, it is good to be there and ready to let it in when this happens. For some people, opportunity has come knocking many times, beginning with the luck of being born into a comfortable, middle class family, with good connections (rich uncle perhaps) and the energy and intelligence to grasp what may be offered. Not all of us are so blessed – but we can always try.
Opportunities stem from having access to and taking advantage of:
We are much more able to grasp an opportunity if we are prepared. One source of preparation is education. Encouraging our children to value their schooling by making sure they attend and do their learning tasks conscientiously is an obligation for all parents. For adults, take any chance to build on what education you already have. So many people have missed out on schooling, having had some circumstance force them to leave school as young as 15 – but the opportunity to catch up is there through Technical and Further Education. TAFE offers free courses for improving literacy and numeracy. It is possible to get your Year 10 or Year 12 certificate and also to achieve University Entrance through doing a Tertiary Preparation Certificate.
Take advantage of anything your Job Network Provider can offer interview practice, help with your Resume, help to get work-related cards such as Responsible Service of Alcohol. Or there is a dream job for which you might want to get skilled. Again, TAFE offers courses in a wide range of studies that qualify you for the work you would like to be doing. Everything from Agriculture to Welding, and many specialist courses can be accessed at one or another TAFE college. Argyle Housing residents can access campuses from Campbelltown to Queanbeyan and many points in between. There are also courses available online. TAFE provides correspondence courses that you can do in your own time through the online platform – OTEN. You can even make it to University by building on TAFE courses and then following on with a degree.
These are not always recognised as providing opportunities, but many people know someone who might give you a chance. Members of groups, from craft workers, church, or new mums can connect you to a future job or write a reference for you. Sport can open doors, not only for the athletically gifted, but simply through providing opportunities to meet a range of people. Community gardens give a great opportunity to meet people and gain skills, and also access fresh vegetables. Join a group or a club to widen your horizons and get to know a range of people, as well as just boosting your own confidence.
One of the best opportunities that we have through a housing provider such as Argyle Housing is adequate, safe shelter. The social theorist Maslow places shelter as a basic need from which individuals can develop their lives. The security of having a home also helps us to maintain good health. Some people are struggling to have a roof over their heads. They are homeless. When you don’t know where or for how long you might be staying at a place, it becomes very difficult to maintain a job, study or even to keep track of your things. So, we lucky people who have made our way into accommodation with Argyle Housing, need to maintain that opportunity by keeping on top of the weekly rent and meeting our obligations as tenants.
Written by Lyndal, an Argyle Housing tenant
Adjusting my sails, voyaging into possibility.
For the first decade of my career, I worked in museums, galleries and festivals facilitating public programs and creative offerings for others. I loved my work but lived experience of mental illness (Bipolar Affective Disorder) forced me to cease working in that arena. For a time, I had to stop working all together in order to prioritise my recovery.
I am now in a reclamation phase of my life whilst living with Post-Traumatic Stress. I have returned to work (now as a disability support worker) but adjusting the sails of my vocation has meant I’ve really needed to re-qualify. The costs of studying are prohibitively high for someone in my position (largely reliant on the disability support pension whilst working part-time). Argyle Housing’s Tertiary Scholarship program has made it possible for me to seek new opportunities and enroll in an Advanced Diploma of Transpersonal Counselling and Art Therapy through the College of Complimentary Medicine. I study online via Zoom with students from around Australia.
The transpersonal approach to healing is holistic – it incorporates physical, mental, spiritual, social, and environmental dimensions. Unlike traditional aspects of Western Medicine where the expert sits outside the client, transpersonal counselling involves supporting the patient to heal themselves. The transpersonal therapist sits alongside their client, companioning them on their healing journey. Much of the coursework I am undertaking involves exploring my own healing pathways so it’s both professional and personal development.
In art therapy, we explore different ways to express ourselves (beyond conventional talking) and learn how to facilitate this emergence process for others. Often this goes with mediation or guided visualisation.
In one such meditation, I was invited to meet with my wise self. In my mind’s eye, we stood together looking out over the ocean. Without speaking, the message imparted by my wise self was this:
The sea doesn’t apologise
For being rough.
For foaming and frothing;
Crashing and smashing
Churning and swelling
For forever rocking up and down…
You are made of water
So is it any surprise
the torrents of your inner world
toss and turn like the tides?
I then made a creative response – a paper collage imbued with the essence of my visualisation.
This cathartic process is just one of many I have experienced in coursework so far. I am about one third of the way through my qualification and still have professional placement to undertake, but it feels like I’m on a path aligned with my values; one where my lived experience of illness and hardship is transforming and alchemising in the crucible of learning.
Argyle Housing has provided me with the opportunity for a safe harbour at home, and now wind in my sails to venture onto new horizons. I am sincerely grateful for their support in my studies.
Written by Sally, an Argyle Housing tenant
Compassionate and Helpful
Finding the right home can be hard at the best of times but when you’re trying to find a home with a terminally ill friend, the situation becomes even harder.
This lack of appropriate housing opportunities was what Jayne had been facing before she came into the Wagga Wagga office for help.
Jayne was finding it hard to secure a safe, rental property, so she approached Argyle Housing with her situation and the lack of luck she was getting finding a property.
Argyle Housing Wagga Wagga was able to help her in securing a property in which her friend and herself moved into. Unfortunately, not long after they moved in, her friend sadly passed.
“Argyle Housing were so compassionate and helpful throughout my time of grief. They understood and eventually when I was ready to move, they found me a suitable property just for myself,” Jayne said.
Having grieved the loss of her friend, Jayne is now settled in her new property and has proven to be a great long term Argyle Housing Tenant.
Basketball Common Ground
Photo story of new basketball hoop installed in Common Ground Gungahlin.
A new basketball hoop and back board was installed in the rear of Common Ground. This was on the request of the residents of Common Ground, and they love the opportunity to get out and shoot hoops.
Long Term Tenant and Her New Home
From time to time our tenants transfer between homes as their situations change or they take up new opportunities to move into brand new homes. An opportunity to move into a brand-new home was recently offered to a long-standing Argyle Housing Diane who lives in Wagga Wagga. Diane loves her property so much stating to staff “oh darling it’s just so beautiful, I love it, everyone who comes here tells me how beautiful the place is. I feel very blessed to be here”.
Diane appreciated Argyle Housing’s support so much, that the day she came in to sign her new lease, she presented the team with a thankyou card, as displayed and a box of chocolates – which Tenancy Officer, Tori claimed and Team Leader, Duncan had to steal from her desk to allow others to have some.
Tori Power, Tenancy Officer
Ainslie Village Resident – Jack
Jack is 63 years old residents of Ainslie Village. He has been living in Ainslie Village since the beginning of 2012. He claims that he has been in Ainslie Village even before Argyle Housing took over from another Housing Provider. Jack does not have any family and has a few friends. He has been diagnosed with Deep Vein Thrombosis which causes great pain in his legs and impacts his mobility. Jack hardly leaves his room, and he is also highly dependent on alcohol. He has been referred to Alcohol and Drugs clinic who has been assisting him with NDIS and assessing mobility scooter.
During one of the welfare checks with Jack, Pema our Resident Liaison Officer (RLO) inquired if it would help him if he had a mobility walker to access the nearby facility.
He was excited over the opportunity and stated that it would help him, and he can come out of his room as often as possible and sit outside when it is a sunny outside.
After the conversation, RLO put in a request in GIVIT for a mobility walker for Jack. RLO received a donation within a couple of days. Jack was over the moon when he received the mobility walker.
Winter Lodge (run by Argyle Housing) provides temporary accommodation for homeless men during winter; last year, it was a refuge for 121 homeless men, 44 of whom went into longer-term housing.
Argyle Housing have during our second year been successful in accommodating every resident of the Winter Lodge into longer term accommodation where they have wanted this outcome. Winter Lodge has accommodated a total of 81 men (not counting repeat entry) from 3 May to 31 July 2021.
Out of the 81:
8 men still stay at Winter Lodge as of 31 July
16 exited to Ainslie Village
1 exited to Havelock House
1 exited to Minosa House
55 self-exited Winter Lodge to places unknown
This is a really great achievement!
Rebecca Vassarotti MLA – Member for Kurrajong visits Winter Lodge
It was my pleasure to visit Winter Lodge and meet the Argyle Housing staff who provide a wonderful service and support for Canberrans sleeping rough. They treat their clients with respect and have successfully improved outcomes for people experiencing homelessness. So far this winter, they have provided a warm bed to more than 80 men with many moving into longer-term accommodation.
Winter Lodge provides short term accommodation for men sleeping rough over the colder months. As part of the expansion of specialist homelessness services, the ACT Government has provided funding for Winter Lodge to continue their service.Watch Rebecca's visit
NSW Seniors Festival
The NSW Seniors Festival is an important celebration of seniors and their immense contribution to the NSW community. The Festival is the NSW Government’s way of thanking seniors and acknowledging the sacrifices made over the last year.
So, on 21st April on a beautiful autumn day our mini bus left the Southern Highlands for a trip to Sydney to attend the Seniors Festival Expo and the Premier’s Gala Concert at the International Convention Centre (ICC) Sydney at Darling Harbour. We could not have asked for a more perfect day!
We had a quick trip up the M5 to Sydney and once at the ICC we had just over two hours to walk around the Expo and have some lunch. While COVID kept the Expo smaller than normal, the exhibitors were informative and enthusiastic. There were 40 exhibitors covering all areas of interest to seniors – healthcare, NDIS support, travel, the arts, legal advice, and sports. The Expo was in a horseshoe shape in one of the exhibition halls and had a lovely garden in the middle and a coffee shop at one end.
After checking out the Expo, it was time to have a relaxed lunch in the sun. Some tenants brought their own lunch and others enjoyed lunch at one of the many eateries.
None of us knew what to expect at the Premier’s Gala Concert – all we knew was the theme, which was “In Our Nature”. We were all thrilled to find out Human Nature were playing their Motown classics and pop hits as this year’s headline act. After a lovely Welcome to Country by Yvonne Weldon who is a proud Wiradjuri woman and the Chairperson of the Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council, and the national anthem by Charlotte Rhiane, it was time for Human Nature.
Everyone had a ball! Human Nature played 28 of their hits and had us all up dancing. It was so much fun. We were all tapping our feet to the music and singing along to the popular songs.
While we hit a bit of traffic on the way home. Our minibus was full of chatter as tenants caught up with each other and discussed the day’s events. It was definitely a fun and memorable day.
By Heather, an Argyle Housing staff member.
From A Perfect Move and Clean
A Perfect Move and Clean is a family business that is run by Chelsea and Phil St Clair. They are an Argyle Housing contractor that work closely with our Maintenance Department and have been for the last 5 years. The work they carry out for Argyle Housing and our tenants is varied, covering a very large range from basic handyman work, rubbish removal to internal cleans of the vacant properties. Over the years, Chelsea and Phil have gotten to know our tenants and have a great respect for them. They even won our Contractor Award at last year at the Tenant and Contractor Stakeholder meeting.
During the Pandemic and over the last 18 months, Chelsea recognised that without the support of Argyle Housing and the continued work, they would have fallen into administration. The work provided by Argyle Housing during this period, allowed their business to continue and for this they are very thankful and wanted to give back to Argyle Housing and our tenants.
Chelsea called with an idea of putting together a housewarming gift to be left in our vacant properties for the new tenants in Bowral. The basket contained all the little things they may need on the first night in their new home such as cleaning products, towels, coffee, and chocolate. Chelsea also offered a free in-home cleaning consultation to help assist our tenants with techniques and products.
These baskets have been very well received and the feedback has been very much appreciated.
Thank you, Chelsea, and Phil from A Perfect Move and Clean.
Eddie’s Award Winning Garden
Eddie is a wizard in the garden and the many accolades he has received for his garden are a tribute to his passion.
Eddie moved into his Picton apartment in the early 1994 and the front communal area needed a lot of work. Over the years Eddie has pottered in the garden planting native scrubs and perennials to attract native wildlife to the area.
As the garden grow and flourished under Eddie’s care, he was encouraged to enter the Wollondilly Spring Garden Competition. It was the presentation of the Second Prize the continued to spur on Eddie to ensure that his garden was always award winning and brought a smile to his neighbours and locals passing by.
Eddie has won an award every year that he has entered and is very proud of his achievement.
Over the years, Eddie has taken many photos of the garden and has created two picture books that highlight some of the best moments of the garden.
We wish Eddie all the best for this years’ competition.