Tenancy Action Workers bridging the gap

February 13, 2017 @ 10:09pm


The Tenancy Action Worker (TAW) program is an exciting initiative, introduced progressively across all of Argyle’s NSW operations areas from March 2015.

The role is outcomes-based and focused on achieving positive change and opportunities for tenants and communities. Working closely with support and community partners, employment and education providers, government agencies, corporates and the wider Argyle team, the TAW role continues to strengthen and grow and is a perfect example of the value that Argyle places on partnerships.
To date, Argyle has invested more than $320,000 in the TAW program and, while it is impossible to quantify ROI in dollar terms, the evidence is starting to grow that the role is having a positive impact for tenants and within communities.

Essentially, the TAW role is to identify where Argyle can enable a genuine positive change in the life and wellbeing of a tenant. Sometimes, this is as simple as linking the tenant to an existing resource within their community. However, if this resource does not exist, then it is the role of the TAW to find a solution to the problem that will not only benefit Argyle tenants but also the community at large.

Internally, the TAWs have been responsible for:

• The success of The Six Worthy Weeks project for youth sponsored by the nib foundation

• The Argyle Tertiary Scholarship program, which has provided $19,500 to Argyle tenants to gain a qualification and pathway to employment

• Sustaining tenancies where they are at risk due to rent arrears, noise and nuisance or poor property care

• Making 500 service referrals for tenants over the last year and continuing to support the wellbeing of Argyle’s tenants on a day-to-day basis

Although still evolving, the wider TAW role is starting to take shape:

• In Wagga and Griffith, the TAWs have forged partnerships with Community Hubs which has enabled joint ventures including security workshops, outreach tenancy services and continued opportunity for collaboration and planning for the future

• In the Wollondilly, the TAW is working with Community Links to plan how Argyle can add value to and participate in its social enterprise, work for the dole project

• TAWs in all areas have become integral components of local community networks and work in partnership with all stakeholders to initiate and deliver responses to identified needs and service gaps within the community

• The TAWs are working with Disability Providers and tenants living with a disability to ensure that tenants are able to take full advantage of NDIS funding opportunities.

Future Directions

The TAW role has been an undoubted success and continues to grow and evolve. Inspired by the NSW Government ‘Future Directions’ paper, the TAWs will be developing a 2017 Employment and Volunteering strategy with actions and deliverables for each Argyle location. The strategy will involve partnerships with the wider community, corporates, government and employment agencies and explore opportunities to involve tenants in social enterprises. This program will provide opportunities, support and incentives for tenants to move into employment and, potentially, out of  social housing.