Skip to main content
All Posts By

Alexandra Nowak

Unity Housing relocates to Bowden

New Office for Unity Housing

By | Featured, News

The metropolitan-based Unity Housing team will move to a new office in September 2023.

The new two-storey office is on the corner of Gibson Street and Second Street, Bowden and is being built now.

The new office is close to public transport stops including bus, train and tram.

Unity’s offices in Adelaide (Gilles Street), Brighton (Brighton Road) and Elizabeth South (Philip Highway) will permanently close on Wednesday 29 March 2023 (at the end of their leases). Staff who work in these offices will work from one of Unity’s business hubs. Staff will continue to support tenants in their tenancy.

Tenants can contact their Housing Officer and Maintenance Coordinator by phone and email using the same contact details. If you want to meet with Unity staff, please contact them to arrange this.

We look forward to welcoming you to our new office.

An artist’s impression of the new Bowden office.

Jersey Way Strathalbyn

Social housing development launched in Strathalbyn

By | Housing Developments, News

Unity Housing celebrated the launch of our latest social housing development in Strathalbyn on Wednesday 11 May with Member for Waite, Catherine Hutchesson MP, in attendance.

An existing property was demolished and the site subdivided into four allotments allowing the construction of one x four-bedroom and three x two-bedroom social housing outcomes.

The homes have been certified at Livable Housing Design Guidelines Gold Level and NDIS Improved Liveability to accommodate tenants living with disability.

Thank you to our partners Constructwell Pty Ltd, NHFIC, Oryx Property and SA Housing Authority for another successful outcome.

The new social housing outcomes in Strathalbyn.Unity Housing Chair Leigh Garrett, Member for Waite Catherine Hutchesson MP and Unity Housing CEO Matthew Woodward.
Leigh Garrett (Unity Housing), Catherine Hutchesson MP (Member for Waite), Rebecca Masika Mazalla (Unity Housing), Matthew Woodward (Unity Housing), Tony Siciliano (Constructwell), Charlie Siciliano (Constructwell), Heath Clasohm (Unity Housing), Ian Elsegood (Unity Housing), Adam Mellow (Unity Housing) and Cameron Bryson (Oryx Property).

Unity Housing wins Australasian Housing Institute award

By | Featured, News

Unity Housing is the winner of the Australasian Housing Institute’s Leading Community Engagement Practice Award (SA jurisdiction) for 2021 and has been recognised for facilitating social transformation by breaking the cycle of homelessness and dependence on inner city crisis services.

We create community connections between boarding house tenants and people in the local community through providing targeted programs, activities and events that create positive social and economic engagement and enables people who are marginalised to participate and contribute more fully to the inner Adelaide community.

Our community engagement initiatives achieve positive outcomes through an approach that builds strong relationships between individual boarding house tenants as well as with local inner Adelaide residents.

Our approach focusses on the strengths of the tenant as well as the strengths of the local community.

Unity Housing delivers a unique combination of programs, activities and events that provide opportunities for tenants of The Terrace Boarding House (95 rooms) and other mixed residential precincts to positively participate and contribute to living in the City of Adelaide.

Outcomes include positive social interactions, an increased sense of citizenship, and improved resident behaviour.

This highly successful approach has now been operating for several years.

Unity Housing is moving to Bowden

By | News

Unity Housing is working with Buildtec Group to relocate and consolidate its metropolitan offices into a single new purpose-built site in Bowden. The new office will be a significant part of the redevelopment precinct at Bowden – the state government’s first higher density urban infill project located 2.5 kilometres from the Adelaide CBD.

The Bowden precinct has set new standards in urban renewal, creating a vibrant living and working area, with many nearby amenities from transport to shopping.

The new office provides Unity Housing the opportunity to significantly improve the workplace environment for its metropolitan office-based staff while bringing together five offices – currently located in Brighton, Elizabeth South, Gilles Street Adelaide, Norwood and Port Adelaide.

The move will also create administrative and operational efficiencies, and streamline corporate support, while uniting much of Unity Housing’s workforce under one roof.

The new office will also provide Unity Housing the opportunity to respond to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), in relation to creating an environmentally-friendly and sustainable building, incorporating modern technologies. The building and location reflects the feedback collected via an all-staff survey undertaken during the planning process in 2019.

The new office will be two storey – covering the ground, first and second floors – and incorporate an entry foyer, car parking (with bike storage), plus provision for two retail/commercial outlets on the ground floor.

Work on the site is scheduled to commence in May 2022 with an estimated move in date of April 2023.

Speaking about the office announcement, Unity Housing CEO Matthew Woodward, said: “We are excited to be able to make this announcement. We had a clear set of criteria in place, defined in collaboration with our staff and influenced by our desire to create an efficient, modern, and sustainable working environment. Those criteria have been met in partnership with the Buildtec Group in the Bowden development and we’re looking forward to seeing it come to fruition. The new office is also aligned with our own values, being rooted in the community and delivering a long-term, sustainable working environment for our staff.”

In further news, Unity Housing has also announced an agreement with Apex Energy Australia Pty Ltd (Apex) to install Solar Photo Voltaic (PV) panels on 53 newbuilds and retro fit 20 existing properties under the company’s management. The agreement means that every new residential property brought on to the market by Unity Housing will now have solar power capacity.

The collaboration with Apex will enable Unity Housing to provide real energy cost savings to tenants while making a meaningful and tangible contribution to SDG7 (affordable and clean energy) and SDG11 (sustainable cities and communities). Once implemented, the initial solar roll-out will offset approximately 180 tonnes of carbon per year.

Commenting on the solar PV program, Mr Woodward said: “The agreement with Apex is an important next milestone on Unity Housing’s goal of delivering housing outcomes which are not only affordable but also sustainable. By installing solar panels on every new residential property we develop, we are enabling low income residents to reduce their energy costs and be part of our community’s transition to net-zero emissions.”

Images above: An artist’s impression of the new office site at Bowden.

$30m affordable and social housing development

By | Featured, News

Work has begun on Unity Housing’s new $30m social and affordable housing residential development at Henley Beach South, with a groundbreaking event held on 20 October 2021.

The announcement follows the recent completion of the first stage of Unity Housing’s $45m development program which will see new social and affordable housing rolled out across the Adelaide metro over the next three years, with 32 houses to be completed by Christmas. In this first phase, 13 properties have been completed including seven in Findon, comprising one two-bedroom and six three-bedroom townhouses.

This latest development is a partnership between the SA Housing Authority (SAHA) and  Unity Housing. It will see vacant beachside land, owned by SAHA, redeveloped to create new social housing for low-income households, as well as affordable and market housing.

Having been announced in late 2020, the development is now able to get underway after a pause due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Human Services Minister Michelle Lensink, who oversaw the sod turning event, said the development would provide much-needed social housing at a time when people were facing unprecedented challenges.

“In what is a challenging and tight housing market, there is no doubt these new homes will go a long way in providing a much-needed mix of affordable, social and market housing options for South Australians,” she said.

“Our affordable homes are quite literally being snapped up by low-to-moderate income South Australians, clearly demonstrating these homes are much-needed in our state at this time.”

The mixed residential development, at 35 Henley Beach Road, replaces old and outdated public housing flats demolished in 2018.

Under the agreement, Unity Housing will develop the site, including building social housing apartments targeted towards senior housing tenants.

The redevelopment will include 42 townhouses, with a mix of 20 townhouses for general sale and 22 townhouses to be retained by Unity Housing for affordable rental. Unity Housing will build a further 28 apartments for social housing, with SAHA retaining 23 and Unity Housing retaining five.

Unity Housing CEO Matthew Woodward said while civil works would now begin, market sales will commence in November 2021 and construction of the dwellings was scheduled to commence in May 2022.

Mr Woodward said Unity Housing had worked with the community to develop a plan for the site with the support of Village Well, an organisation which specialises in place-making, and with the City of Charles Sturt.

“We’ve ensured that what we build creates a thriving community with a lively mix of residents, including older people and those who need support,” he said.

“Unity Housing has listened to feedback from the local community and we’ve undertaken successful consultations with nearby residents and business owners. We’re confident we will create a flourishing community in a supportive environment.”

Mr Woodward said the Henley Beach South development was a core part of Unity Housing’s commitment to providing more affordable housing.

“Our partnership with the State Government will provide much-needed social and affordable rental housing in a mixed development which will complement the quality and amenity of the broader community in which the development is placed,” he said.

“The Henley Beach South development is a core part of a wider $45m-development program Unity Housing is currently delivering to provide more affordable housing for low-income South Australians.”

Ms Lensink said the Henley Beach South development was expected to be completed by 2024.

“Partnering with Unity Housing will allow us to provide more housing outcomes for the community, which is important as we seek to provide more certainly for many struggling South Australians,” she said.

“Through this joint commitment, we are able to significantly increase social and affordable rental outcomes for low and moderate-income senior housing tenants.”

Unity Housing CEO Matthew Woodward and Minister for Human Services Michelle Lensink (centre) with Member for Colton OAM MP Matt Cowdrey (left) and Unity Housing Chair Leigh Garrett (right) at the soil turning event on 20 October 2021.

Unity Housing completes first stage of housing development

By | News

Unity Housing has completed the first stage of our $45 million development program which will see new social and affordable housing rolled out across the Adelaide metro area over the next three years, with 32 houses to be completed by Christmas.

In this first phase, 13 properties have been completed including seven in Buccleuch Avenue, Findon, comprising one 2-bedroom and six 3-bedroom townhouses (pictured below).

In our first major project completion since the onset of COVID-19, Unity Housing has completed development on this site valued at $2.7 million which will be put on the market for affordable rental.

All dwellings have been certified at Livable Housing Australia Silver Level, NDIS improved liveability to accommodate tenants living with disability. The entire site has been landscaped with drought tolerant native plant selections and mulch to maximise water sustainability and minimise the requirement for maintenance. Each townhouse has been fitted with reverse-cycle air conditioning and will be fitted with 3.7kW solar power system to minimise tenant energy costs.

The Findon project forms part of Unity Housing’s development program to deliver 148 outcomes by 2024, comprising 62 social housing, 43 affordable housing and 43 sales to market. The program includes development in Bordertown and a $30 million mixed residential development at Henley Beach, announced jointly by Unity Housing and the SA Housing Authority in 2020.

Speaking about the Findon project completion, Unity Housing CEO, Matthew Woodward, commented on the importance of this milestone moment: “We have an ambitious plan to scale our affordable housing provision to an even wider range of communities in Metropolitan Adelaide and beyond. The completion of the first development in Findon is an important milestone in that plan and Unity Housing looks forward to delivering a further 19 new affordable homes by Christmas and 48 in 2022.”



Celebrating NAIDOC Week 2020

By | News

Unity Housing is proud to participate in NAIDOC week – we recognise that First Nations people have occupied and cared for this continent for more than 65,000 years.

Unity Housing celebrates the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (ATSI) peoples and pays our respects to the Traditional Owners of the land, and to Elders past and present.

Unity Housing provides secure and affordable housing for more than 550 people from ATSI backgrounds. We remain committed to continuous improvement to ensure that we provide housing services that are culturally appropriate and accessible, and to strengthen our engagement with ATSI tenants and their communities.

This year we have commenced the process, with the support of Reconciliation Australia, to develop and implement Unity Housing’s ‘Reflect’ Reconciliation Action Plan by June 2021. Key staff have undertaken related training and all staff have engaged in a process of education, reflection and discussion regarding reconciliation as a part of our regular staff events.

Unity Housing supports and engages with the broader ATSI communities in a range of ways, through ongoing initiatives such as an annual sponsorship of the Kaurna Sports Committee’s football and netball teams in the South Australian Aboriginal Football and Netball Sports Carnival; sponsorship of the Gawler Reconciliation Community Fun Day; membership of Friends of Reconciliation SA; staff activities held during National Reconciliation Week (conducted remotely this year due to COVID-19 restrictions); and ongoing cultural awareness training for staff.

Unity Housing undertakes exciting new residential development in Henley Beach South

By | News | No Comments

SA Human Services Minister, Michelle Lensink, and Unity Housing conducted a joint press conference on the site of Unity Housing’s new $30m mixed housing development at 35 Henley Beach Road, Henley Beach South, on Sunday 4 October.

This project is a partnership between the SA Housing Authority (SAHA) and Unity Housing, and will see land previously owned by the Authority redeveloped by Unity Housing to create new social and affordable rental housing for low-income households, as well as market housing for sale.

The redevelopment will include 42 townhouses, with a mix of 20 townhouses for general sale and 22 townhouses to be retained by Unity Housing for affordable rental. Unity Housing will build a further 28 apartments for social housing, with SAHA retaining 23 and Unity Housing retaining five.

Unity Housing CEO, Matthew Woodward, said, “The Unity Housing partnership with the State Government will provide much-needed social and affordable rental housing in a mixed development which will complement the quality and amenity of the broader community in which the development is placed. The development will provide housing for 70 families, including our most vulnerable and the ageing, and a substantial number of new jobs at a time when jobs growth is essential for South Australia. The Henley Beach South development is a core part of a wider $45m development program Unity Housing is currently delivering to provide more affordable housing for low income South Australians.”

On-site works will commence in 2021 and are expected to finish by 2024.

Unity Housing CEO, Matthew Woodward (far right), with Member for Colton, Matt Cowdrey MP, and Minister Michelle Lensink at the development site on Sunday 4 October.

Click on an image to enlarge.

Unity Housing COO featured in PowerHousing Prospectus

By | News

Unity Housing’s Chief Operations Officer, Trish Burden, was recently featured in PowerHousing Australia’s Scale Sector Capacity Prospectus 2020 (article below).

The capacity and capability of PowerHousing members and the sector are showcased in this Sector Capacity Prospectus. It also includes housing-related data and statements from major partners.

Through the metrics and case studies showcased in this document, PowerHousing Australia consider the challenges facing housing affordability and consider collaborations of their members with different levels of government, the housing development sector, financial institutions and individual Australian investors to increase housing options for Australians in need of affordable housing.

Article excerpt:

Current role: Trish is the Chief Operations Officer with Unity Housing Company and is responsible for the strategic leadership and operational management of social and affordable housing in an environment of change and growth in South Australia. Social and housing outcomes for 4,500 tenants are underpinned by tenant engagement and community development deliverables as part of Trish’s leadership focus. In addition, Trish continues to be an active member of the PowerHousing Operations Leadership group since 2011 and was inaugural Chair of the PowerHousing Operations roundtable for a three-year term.

Previous role: Prior to commencing at Unity in 2011, Trish worked for Uniting Communities for 12 years as Group Manager, Community Services through which the key focus of her work was the development of operational strategy and initiatives to create pathways for people away from poverty, homelessness and addiction. Achievements in this role included the development of corporate business partnerships in the areas of microfinance, indigenous business support and energy services.


Australian Social Value Bank measures Unity Housing’s impact on tenants

By | News

The Australian Social Value Bank (ASVB) is a cloud-based platform that allows users to quantitatively measure the impact its interventions have on participants of the program as well as on the community. The ASVB contains a database that captures the benefit or the social value of achieving specific outcomes. It comprise 62 different outcomes organised under seven categories and uses them to calculate benefits to individuals as well as the benefit to government overall.

The values used in this cost-benefit analysis have been derived using the Wellbeing Valuation Method from data gathered through the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia )HILDA) and Journeys Home surveys. Importantly, the ASVB calculator measures what changes for participants as a result of being within a particular program.

Unity Housing have applied the ASVB model to a number of operational programs and this analysis provides the results of this application.

To continue reading and see the results, click here.