Homes Out West, which is based in Deniliquin and services the wider region, and been awarded for its excellence.
Homes Out West (HOW), a leader in social housing provision in the south western Riverina region of NSW, was recognised in this week’s 2013 NSW Awards for Excellence in Community Housing.
Held in Sydney on Monday night, the Deniliquin-based team was ‘‘very proud’’ to be presented with an Award for Excellence in Portfolio Management.
The award recognised the outstanding work the HOW team have undertaken in strategic asset management planning, lead by executive officer Geoff Mann.
‘‘The award demonstrates the significant work undertaken by the organisation to ensure we are providing a housing product that is safe and secure and meets the needs of the community members that we serve,’’ Mr Mann said.
‘‘The award is also a fitting reward for the staff’s dedication and hard work.’’
Mr Mann said there was strong competition for the awards, with 48 nominations received from across the state for eight awards.
HOW delivers affordable housing to those most in need across 11 rural communities along the Murray River, bridging an area of some 700km between Albury in the east and the South Australian border in the west.
Mr Mann said the organisation had undergone a period of massive growth in recent years, primarily due to the sector-wide reform initiative of the property transfer program.
‘‘This program saw the transfer of management of social housing stock in the region change from Housing NSW to HOW.
‘‘HOW acquired a portfolio with a strong dominance of aged fibro cottages, presenting challenges in relation to maintenance liabilities and a variance between housing product and demand.’’
Mr Mann said the acquired housing stock was generally built in the decade immediately after World War II.
‘‘A half century later the housing needs, economic position and demographic portfolios of the lower Riverina region are vastly different and now demand smaller, more compact, well located dwellings that are built efficiently for lower maintenance costs and energy costs for tenants.’’
Mr Mann said this realisation prompted HOW to undertake a significant piece of work to produce a detailed assessment of the environment surrounding the organisation’s assets alongside an analysis of current assets and if they are ‘‘fit for purpose’’.
‘‘The development of the strategic asset management plan to allow this analysis and inform decisions on the management of the housing portfolio has been a significant breakthrough for the organisation and one of which they are justly proud.
‘‘It will be a fundamental portfolio planning tool for the next growth phase of HOW, as they seek to begin to undertake development in order to better address the diversity of the regional need.’’
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