Unity aims to help people enjoy healthy and fulfilled lives. For us that starts with a good home, but often that is not enough so we also work to provide broader opportunities to help meet the existing and future needs of our tenants. Housing is more than just the physical dwelling, it is also about environments, people and places where tenants want to live and become involved in the community.
Social landlords have a crucial role to play in promoting social inclusion and addressing barriers to accessible, safe and secure housing. This role involves much more than just providing an affordable house or a bed to sleep in.
Successful neighbourhoods depend on more than just bricks and mortar. We believe that a culture of mutual respect between Unity, its staff, tenants and local communities is important, and that there are benefits for everyone resulting from the contribution and participation of tenants in the organisation and their local community.
In 2009, Unity established the Community Connect program to focus on sustaining tenancies and eliminating the need for crisis intervention. This initiative involves working with tenants in our boarding houses, community housing and affordable housing.
Community Connect staff assist tenants who are particularly vulnerable and marginalised due to a history of homelessness and/or are living with disability. The program provides a linkage point for tenants into local community activities and support services, with the overall aim of raising the profile of Unity Housing tenants as positive contributors to the social fabric of the city.
Connecting tenants to others – often people in the neighbourhood – can be the first step towards stripping away some of the stigma of being homeless while increasing confidence, building new skills and rediscovering old ones.