About 2 weeks ago, Charlene received the keys to her first home. After 3 years in social housing and time spent homeless, Charlene now has a safe and secure place to raise her 3 kids thanks to a ‘leg-up’ from Head Start Homes.

The lovely Brooke Flint

Head Start Homes is a not for profit social enterprise that’s all about helping community housing tenants becoming homeowners. And even better, I discovered that my friend and super-duper buyers agent Brooke Flint is involved!

Most of us dream about owning our own home. But this dream can often feel insurmountable for many of us when we need to raise an astronomical amount for a deposit. Head Start homes takes away the need to save for a deposit by acting as a guarantor – a little like the ‘bank of mum and dad’ that helped many of us get a start in the property market.

Potential candidates to benefit from Head Start Homes need to be community housing tenants, have a solid track record paying rent and have a demonstrated savings plan.

Housing Stress

Waiting lists to access a house via social housing are incredibly long. In Port Macquarie, on the North Coast of NSW, there is a 20 year wait! So, meanwhile low income earners are paying high rents in the private rental market which often produces housing stress. The Affordable Housing Income Gap Report released in 2018 listed the median rent in Port Macquarie as $390 and listed the weekly income needed to avoid housing stress as $1300. However, the median household income per week at the time was $1148 which means median renting households in Port Macquarie had to find an extra $152 per week to avoid renter or housing stress.

Property Coaching Program

Brooke has developed a Property Coaching Program for clients of Head Start Homes. Although Charlene’s purchase only settled recently, Brooke started working with her in early January. Part of the coaching involved helping Charlene get into the buying mindset, believe that she could dream and help build her confidence.

Where Did the idea come from?

The founder of Head Start Homes is Stephen Woodlands who grew up in social housing in a single parent family. He believes setting vulnerable Aussies up in their own homes is a powerful way of breaking the cycle that many find themselves in social housing. Head Start Homes is all about helping the most vulnerable members of our society, who are more commonly women.

How Does It Work?

Head Start Homes provides a pathway into home ownership for Aussies that need a ‘leg-up’ by acting as guarantor for community housing tenants who can afford a home loan but are locked out due to the need for a large deposit and mortgage insurance. Head Start Homes effectively acts as ‘bank of mum and dad’ for those who face structural disadvantage.

By providing this new pathway Head Start Homes has a multiplier effect on ending poverty as it always helps the following two households at once:

– the community housing tenant who needs to overcome structural disadvantage to purchase a home

– the family or individual on an approved waiting list who is likely to be homeless and moves into the newly vacated community housing home.

How To Find Head Start Homes?

If you are keen to support this incredibly compassionate social enterprise, check out the Head Start Homes website where there are a variety of ways to contribute.

If you would like to contact Brooke to find out more about this incredible venture, you can find her via her website or on Instagram or Facebook.

You can listen to Alex’s chat with Brooke via your favourite podcast app or via the link below.

Happy listening!

Alex xx