February 16, 2016

Project delivers sense of place

A ‘place-making’ project at an eight-unit complex in Victoria Park is set to become a prototype for future initiatives by Foundation Housing and its strategic partners.

The donation-driven project delivered significant lifestyle improvements for tenants in the Hubert Street property, including a new patio, outdoor pergola and greenery. While outcomes are too early to report on, we have witnessed tenants sharing meals and inviting family to visit for the first time in years.

Foundation Housing Innovation and Impact Specialist Tom Tolchard said place-making had proved an ideal vehicle for engaging a community to make small but significant changes to the place they call home. “We’d like to grow the number of strategic partnerships over the coming years to achieve more place-making goals like Hubert Street,” he said. “By understanding what motivates our partners — be they tenants, local residents, businesses or local councils — we can deliver deeper, more impactful work that benefits all stakeholders.

“By working with imagination and viewing tenants as our creative engine room, we can break the mould and deliver outcomes and initiatives that other housing providers can’t.”

Foundation Housing’s place-making philosophy focuses on housing communities most in need. “The work we engage in works best where traditional approaches have failed and where there is a sense of intractable issues being evident,” Tom explained. “In short, we target the most challenging location and invest upfront in tenants who can choose to work with us as partners to improve their wellbeing.”