Compass Housing

Compass Housing has been selected as an ABA100® Winner for Community Contribution in The Australian Business Awards 2020. The Australian Business Award for Community Contribution [CCA] recognises organisations that implement initiatives that have a positive impact on the community and generate outcomes that have a long term benefit.

Compass Housing Services Co Limited (Compass) is an enterprising and socially committed international NGO that provides social and affordable housing for low to moderate income households. With almost 6900 properties under management, Compass is one of the largest non-government providers of subsidised housing in Australia. Their business works to not only provide accommodation through community housing but also build communities. Compass’ vision is to achieve a world in which all people have access to safe, affordable and adequate housing and are actively engaged in their communities. In pursuit of that goal, Compass has developed an approach to service delivery which integrates tenancy and property management within a broader network of services and maximises opportunities for tenants to increase their economic and social participation.

While providing housing is their core business, Compass is also an increasingly powerful advocate for structural reform to Australia’s housing system. Underpinning their company vision is a belief that safe and adequate housing is a basic human right. As promoters of the right to housing, they produce innovative research papers and participate in cross sectoral campaigns and lobbying to help bring about a more equitable housing system that meets the needs of all Australians.

Compass have a number of company values. Community is at the heart of their work through local communities, national communities and world communities. Compass work to leave a lasting legacy in creating connected communities. They also work from a deep respect, for each other, clients, their partners, the community and, as they also acknowledge that their purposes are more important than their own organisational success, a deep respect for their colleagues and partners in this field. Compass constantly work to empower each other and empower those they work with. They also aspire to do their best by supporting their clients to find and achieve their aspirations.

Compass’ work transforms lives, communities and generations and contributes to transforming their world. Through the business’ work these effects change and makes a positive difference. Compass are continually looking for ways to improve their work practice and positively affect the environment, their communities and their client’s futures. Compass’ values support their mission, which is to provide homes, empower people, connect communities and lastly influence the future.

Compass identified a need in their communities for the provision of specialist disability accommodation management and as such Compass formed a Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) unit within their Operations Department. The addition of SDA made sense as Compass has a long and successful history of managing homes for people with high and complex support and housing needs. Compass became a registered Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) provider with the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) for NSW, Queensland, Victoria, ACT, Northern Territory, South Australia and Tasmania to enable the company to provide SDA services. After receiving registration as a SDA provider, Compass worked with their support partners to provide independent living and community participation for people with a disability through a range of tender and joint venture opportunities. The evolving demographic of social housing clients has created greater demand for housing suitable for people with a disability. To meet this need Compass not only undertakes modification works on existing homes but ensures new acquisitions or developments include adaptable and accessible housing options to enable people with a disability to have choice and flexibility within their homes.

Compass specialises in managing the specific needs of their residents, cultural groups and housing programs. Their housing assistance services provide opportunities for participatory management and constructive links with community development. As a geographically dispersed organisation, Compass has worked hard to contribute to their local communities and neighbourhoods through several ongoing programs and individual projects. In a joint effort between BlueCHP and Compass saw the development and property management of purpose-built disability group homes which were designed to meet the specific needs of the client group. These homes fully comped with the government’s contractual requirements, the SDA design category requirements and requirements to receive available subsidies. Examples of some of Compass successful community disability housing projects are Transfer of Disability Group Homes from NSW Department of Family and Community Services, Home4Life and Fee for Service Partnership Arrangement with Summer Housing. These Compass projects have achieved several positive outcomes for people with disabilities such as affording institutionalised people within their community the opportunity to become their SDA residents. This in turn has enabled Compass’ residents to be more actively connected with their community and encourage socialisation with their neighbours and members of the broader community whilst and providing them, their neighbours and local community with a deeper understanding of people living with a disability.