There are few things as devastating as a marriage breakdown.
When a parent with three children suddenly becomes single and homeless it can seem like an impossible situation.
Things were grim for Samuel and his family when they found themselves homeless. In desperation, they were forced to live on an overcrowded property with his parents.
Samuel had grown up in social housing and overcome many challenges. Now circumstances threatened to pass on generational disadvantage to his children.
Fortunately, he was put in touch with Hume Community Housing via Uniting’s Doorways for Men with Families program.
Hume is a Community Housing Provider (CHP) which develops affordable housing for low-income Australians with help from investors in Pendal’s Sustainable Australian Fixed Interest Fund.
Hume’s funding comes partly from the federal government’s National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation (NHFIC), which raises money by issuing social bonds to investors such as Pendal.
NHFIC lends out the money raised (more than $2 billion so far) to CHPs at low interest rates and on better terms than banks — while providing attractive returns to investors.
Cheaper financing means CHPs such as Hume can help more people like Samuel and his family.
Hume runs a housing independence program that helps people like Samuel transition from homelessness to longer stable accommodation.
Hume provided housing to Samuel and his family at a low cost, allowing the single dad to provide for his family and build up a solid tenancy record.
This turned Samuel’s life around – as well as that of his children.
“Hume were incredible,” says Samuel. “They always called in to see me. They cared.”
After an initial meeting Hume quickly sprang into action.
Three days later they phoned and asked Sam to visit one of their locations in Claymore in south-western Sydney.
He accepted the place on the spot.
Samuel began building ties in his new community by fixing bikes for local children.
Soon the whole neighbourhood could watch their kids race their bikes on the street.
“I got all the bikes off the rubbish piles and fixed them up. Every kid in our street had a bike by the end of it and they were all happy.
“Somebody was throwing out a lawn mower, so I fixed it and before long everybody in the street was using it. We interacted more as a community and we became friends. Even men in the street stepped in to support one another if they needed it.”
Helping with the transition was Hume’s Housing Independence Officer Sedina, who worked closely with Samuel, connecting him to support services and ensuring his family’s wellbeing.
Sedina went above and beyond the call of compassion. At Christmas time Hume told him when the local church was giving out presents for the kids.
“When Sedina would come into the street, even if she was speaking to someone else on the street, she’d get out of the car and talk with the children and say hello and ask if there was anything that needed to be done to the house and if we needed anything,” says Samuel.
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Hume is part of the thriving Community Housing Provider (CHP) sector which manages more than 35,000 properties in NSW alone.
With help from funding from the National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation, Hume aims to help Australia’s diverse community maintain their tenancies, break the cycle of disadvantage, participate in life, and to reach their full potential.
“NHFIC is very important for financing, because it’s possibly as low a cost for borrowing you could ever achieve,” says Wendy Hayhurst, chief executive of the Community Housing Industry Association.
“And it’s performed very well because it’s got a government guarantee.”
In Samuel’s case it’s been a resounding success. After five months on the Hume program and with a stable rental record, Samuel and his family secured a private rental tenancy closer to his extended family.
You can see the joy on his children’s faces as they play on the swings, knowing they are on the path to a brighter, more secure future.
“To be honest, I was stuffed before coming to Hume,” says Samuel.
“My kids are happy and settled and we’re doing more family-oriented stuff now. Hume helped me to get my life back.”
Pendal thanks Hume Community Housing for their co-operation in producing this article. Hume is a Community Housing Provider with more than 30 years experience in providing homes and services to more than 9000 customers in NSW. For more information go to www.humehousing.com.au.
Credit ESG analyst Murray Ackman joined Pendal’s Income and Fixed Interest team in 2020 to provide fundamental credit analysis and integrate Environmental, Social and Governance factors across credit funds.
Murray has worked as a consultant measuring ESG for family offices and private equity firms and was a Research Fellow at the Institute for Economics and Peace where he led research on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
Pendal’s Income and Fixed Interest boutique is one of the most experienced and well-regarded fixed income teams in Australia. In 2020 the team won the Australian Fixed Interest category in the Zenith awards.
Regnan Credit Impact Trust is a defensive investment strategy that puts capital to work for positive change.
Pendal Sustainable Australian Fixed Interest Fund is a defensive Australian bond fund that delivers market-leading performance with positive environmental and social outcomes.
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