Elevate Residential joins fight against over-55 women’s homelessness

A Brisbane real estate agency has joined a campaign to help give women over 55, who are at risk of homelessness, access to safe and affordable housing and personalised support packages.

Under the campaign, named Project 55, Elevate Residential is looking for 55 new landlords to sign on with them over the next 12 months, with 100 per cent of the profits from their management fees going to the cause.

Elevate Residential Principal Chris Meadmore said 10 new investors had already come on board with Project 55 after launching just a few weeks ago.

He said Project 55 provides stable housing for women at BHC’s property in New Farm, and the new investors’ properties operate as a regular rental, only they know part of their fee is helping others.

“It’s basically just normal, private landlords, who normally would pay their fees to any property manager, which is part of what they have to factor into their investment,” Mr Meadmore said.

“Only this is a chance for them to make a measurable impact and make a positive choice.

“It just creates an extra benefit. They’re paying our fees anyway, and our fees are competitive and our service is exceptional, and it’s going to a great cause.”

BHC Chief Executive Officer Rebecca Oelkers said Project 55 was an innovative approach to the current housing crisis, with women aged over 55 the fastest growing cohort of homeless Australians.

There are as many as 240,000 women in this age group facing homelessness each day.

“Elevate Residential currently distributes 100 per cent of its profits from commissions to BHC to help support residents in our affordable housing,” she said.

“Project 55 goes one step further, providing sponsorship to increase rental affordability for residents and provide personalised packages of support, enabling a wider variety of women aged 55-plus in dire housing need to access safe and affordable housing at the property.

“We are asking 55 property investors to consider joining the campaign by engaging Elevate Residential to manage their properties. With Project 55, we’re encouraging them to make a positive choice about where their property management fees are going.

“Many of these older women never imagined they would end up homeless. They are mothers, friends, aunties, and grandmothers.”

Mr Meadmore said since Elevate Residential started five years ago, numerous BHC housing residents had benefited from the agency’s “impact fund”.

He said the assistance provided was not only affordable housing but for other medical or life expenses.

“The impact fund has numerous parts to it and it provides (BHC) residents the opportunity to apply for assistance,” Mr Meadmore said.

“We had one lady who needed to have surgery and she wasn’t able to get a sleep apnea machine…So we were able to use some money to provide her with that.”

Mr Meadmore said other ways the impact fund had been used was to help people get back into the workforce, to undertake courses, and to help children afford to go to school camp.

“We’re a profit for purpose, so we are out there to make as much money as we can, like everyone else’s business, however we’re redirecting that back to where we think we can make a real impact,” he said.

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