A leading property journalist, Senior Editorial Producer at Domain Kate Burke, said today that Bridge Housing and the community housing sector have an important role to play in keeping housing affordability on the political agenda and in raising public awareness of the issue. Watch the video.

Speaking about Reporting Affordable Housing: A Journalist's Perspective at the Bridge Housing 2018 Annual General Meeting at the Redfern Community Centre, Kate said it can be challenging to get readers to engage with stories about housing affordability because they are not easily told and readers don’t understand the difference between housing affordability and affordable housing.

“People just don’t understand what affordable housing is and stories around how it’s funded and what we could change to supply more of it are often quite complex,” Kate said.

“You (Bridge Housing) obviously have a big role to play in keeping this on the agenda. Keep the research, statistics, surveys and reports coming, but make sure that they’re accessible to people outside of the sector. Know what residents are up for doing media coverage and talking about their experiences in affordable housing and how it’s helped,” she said.

Domain stories have had close to 100 million page views so far this year across the Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and other major Fairfax metro mastheads, as well as across about 150 Fairfax Regional newspapers.

CEO John Nicolades gave an overview of Bridge Housing’s key achievements during 2017-18 including:

John also said that in the years 2006-19 Bridge Housing will have grown its portfolio from 650 to 3,165 properties, with the number of people being housed rising from 1,259 to 5,697 residents. The organisation has also significantly increased its profile, including on social media, leading to more opportunities to expand the business and house ever more people on low to moderate incomes.

This week the Federal Opposition Leader Bill Shorten signalled further opportunity for the community housing sector by placing affordable housing supply and homelessness on the election agenda.

John said: “We are now a significant business with a portfolio worth $500m, a $37 million plus annual turnover, a $35 million debt facility and the systems in place to achieve further sustainable growth. We are known for our high-quality services, commitment to customer service and as an employer that values people, so I am delighted with yet another year of great achievement.”

Chair Mark Turner said: “Bridge Housing is exceptionally well placed with a strong leadership team and skilled, dedicated staff. I thank them and my fellow Directors for their hard work and support.”

Read the 2018 Annual Report.

Photo: CEO John Nicolades with Kate Burke, Senior Editorial Producer Domain