A new solution to ending homelessness

A new solution to ending homelessness
A new solution to ending homelessness

During this pandemic many of us are grateful for safe, secure accommodation where we can isolate, quarantine and rest comfortably. But for more than 116,000 people in Australia, this is not the case. 

Every night in Australia, more than 116,000 people sleep homeless, while another 1.5 million live in serious housing stress. 

The deficiency of 600,000 social and affordable houses – projected to exceed 1 million by 2036 - means that not everyone in Australia has the opportunity to access safe, secure and permanent accommodation. It is one of the biggest social issues we face. 

The effects of COVID-19 have highlighted more than ever that a solution to solving homelessness and housing our most vulnerable is needed in Australia. But it is a problem that one person, organisation or government cannot solve on their own. Homes for Homes recognises this challenge and has created a community-led solution to solving homelessness. 

Homes for Homes – a promise to help end homeless

Homes for Homes, created by social enterprise The Big Issue, is a simple, sustainable and collaborative solution to solving the problem of homelessness. It is a promise that property owners make, when a home registered with Homes for Homes sells, 0.1% of the sale price is donated. The funds are pooled and granted to community housing providers to increase the supply of social and affordable housing.

Home owners can be part of this solution by registering their property Homes for Homes. Registration can be done online and takes a few minutes. Once the property is registered, Homes for Homes lodges a caveat on the property. It’s a caveat for good, the caveat simply acts as a gentle reminder that when it comes time to sell, a tax deductable 0.1% donation of the sale price will be transferred to Homes for Homes. For example, a home sold for $750,000 would make a tax deductable donation of $750. The caveat remains on the property title, so that future donations can be made from the same property and generations can benefit from the promise. The donations are pooled and money raised in a state or territory will create housing in that state or territory. 

Homes for Homes is based on the concept of ‘Housing First’ – an effective, evidence-based model that is now widely accepted as the optimal strategy to end homelessness in Australia. Providing a house first is the priority as housing is the key ingredient for stabilising underlying issues such as mental health and addiction.

High impact

Homes for Homes has already granted $940,000 to eight social and affordable housing projects that will house 32 people. Funds have been granted to trusted organisations such as Habitat for Humanity Victoria, Women’s Property Initiatives, HousingFirst and Community Housing Canberra (CHC), the projects will provide safe and secure housing to a wide range of people experiencing disadvantage and marginalisation, including homelessness, poverty, family breakdown, physical and mental illness, disability and more.

A new solution to ending homelessness
Pictured: Luke Howarth, Assistant Minister for Community Housing, Homelessness and Community Services, Andrew Hannan, CHC CEO and Louise Gray, Homes for Homes at the presentation for the 2020 grant recipients. Photography: Brenton Colley

Several of these projects have already been completed and handed over. In June 2019, Habitat for Humanity Victoria handed over a three-bedroom house in regional Victoria partially funded by Homes for Homes. Couple Jema and Romel with their young daughter Isla were able to escape poverty and poor living conditions, and start a brand-new chapter of their lives.

With this new house our family can finally live together peacefully, and give Isla a normal, healthy and productive life,” Jema said.

A new solution to ending homelessness
Pictured: Young family Jema, Isla and Romel pictured on the steps of their new home. Photography: Mark Avellino

CEO of Homes for Homes and The Big Issue, Steven Persson says the success of these projects shows how quickly Homes for Homes’ funding can make a difference in the community.


Jema and Romel’s home is tangible evidence that Homes for Homes is creating a long-term generational solution that is on track to generate $1 billion over the next 30 years, which works because of the wonderful support we have from developers like Mirvac, Grocon and Capital Airport Group, community, business, and the Federal Government.

Homes for Homes receives support from developers as well as homeowners. 19 developers have registered projects with Homes for Homes, donations from those projects alone will exceed $40m over the next 30 years. 

Having a home is much more than just a roof over your head. Having a place to call home gives us the ability to look after our health, hold down a job, attend school and much more, leading to a greater quality of life. Homes for Homes is a simple, sustainable solution that will allow us to come together to help end homelessness and share in the stability, freedom and independence of safe and secure housing. Homes for Homes is operational in VIC, NSW, ACT, SA and WA, and is on track to raise more than $1 billion over the next 30 years to increase the supply of social and affordable housing. You can be a part of this solution by registering your property at homesforhomes.org.au.

Louise Gray

Louise Gray

Louise is the National Marketing and Partnership Manager at Homes for Homes. Her specialties include marketing strategy, brand management, internal communications, aligning business and marketing objectives, publication and design management.


Be the first one to comment on this article
What would you like to say about this project?