The Southeast Housing Co-operative is celebrating its 15th year of helping Melbourne families down on their luck.
The SEHC provides housing for struggling families on low incomes who otherwise have no place to live. Its aim is to provide affordable, secure, well-maintained and sustainable housing for their members.
The coop currently manages 160 properties, 150 of them owned by the Department of Human Services. It collects the rent, attends to any maintenance and works closely with DHS to ensure the properties are kept to a high standard.
Tenant Sharon Purdue said that the SEHC helped her when she needed it most: “The co-op saved my family when it seemed no one else would.”
Ms Purdue said that she has built a life for her family thanks to the help she was given. “A friend put me onto the co-operation and they put us in this house we now call a home.”
The coop have monthly meetings in which tenants are given the opportunity to discuss any issues they have with their homes.
SEHC representative David Griffith told The Newsroom that the organisation’s aim is to help families in need.
“The mission of the co-operative is to provide affordable, secure financially and environmentally sustainable housing for people on low incomes primarily in the south and east of Melbourne.”
Mr Griffith added that the members should be proud of the anniversary as the organisation is member owned and run.
“The pride belongs mainly to the individuals and families who are members of their cooperative and who demonstrate that member ownership and control is real and practical.
“While good luck or bad luck plays a part in all our lives, a cooperative defies luck and provides a viable economic model for overcoming economic inequalities that create the framework for luck.” – Jake Benoiton
Top photo from the SEHC website.