Over $216,000 for Local Social Housing Community Improvements

25 Oct 2016, by Tracey Brown in Blog, Grants & Awards

Neighbourhoods are the big winners with $216,800 in grants to upgrade local sporting facilities, install security lighting and improve wheelchair accessibility under the NSW Government Social Housing Community Improvement Fund (SHCIF) in its second round funding for 2016.

“We are thrilled to have won five of the six projects we submitted, as they’ll not only benefit our tenants but their neighbourhoods as well,” said Tracy Akerman, Business and Community Developer at North Coast Community Housing.

North Coast Community Housing (NCCH) worked closely with councils, police liaison, tenants and community groups in Tweed, Byron, Lismore and Grafton Shires to assess what was needed in each area.

According to John McKenna, CEO of NCCH, “We’ve been providing community housing on the NSW Far North Coast for over 32 years and know our communities well so it’s great to have this opportunity to provide more facilities and services where they’re needed most.”

In Goonellabah, Elders Memorial Park will get a $47,040 refurbishment to repair and upgrade the basketball court and a second project worth $47,676 will fund the installation of new security lighting and sanitation facilities at a local community housing development.

One of Byron Bay’s social housing properties will have security lighting installed within the complex to improve night time visibility and security in the neighbourhood.

Tamara Smith, Member for Ballina said, “I welcome this funding to help improve safety in the Byron Shire. Putting the money towards street lighting will benefit the residents at the community housing development but it will also increase the feeling of security for the wider community.”

Residents at a Tweed Heads social housing complex will soon have a wheelchair friendly footpath to access local shops thanks to a $46,200 grant. Until now, elderly residents and visitors with mobility issues have been forced to use the driveway and share the road with vehicles. The new footpath will provide improved accessibility for everyone who lives in the neighbourhood.

The Grafton Sports Centre is set to get a much needed extension and cooling upgrade with a $30,944 SHCIF grant. North Coast Community Housing, as the only local social housing office in the Clarence region, liaised with Clarence Valley Council to develop a project that would benefit local youth, especially those in social housing. Midnight basketball is one of the only remaining youth programs occurring in Grafton at present and engages 90 youth from nearby high schools. The funding will be used to install air-conditioning in the main meeting room of the basketball stadium and add bi-fold doors and a covered area along the back wall to extend the space for youth workshops run by Grafton Police and Community organisations.

The Social Housing Community Improvement Fund is an initiative of the NSW Department of Families and Community Services, providing $20 million over three years to improve the liveability and amenity of social housing communities.

The SHCIF aims to create better and stronger social housing communities by improving local amenities through the provision of one-off grants to undertake physical improvements on or near to social housing, including improving community facilities, enhancing open space or recreational areas, increasing accessibility, improving resident safety and facilitating better integration between social housing and the surrounding community.

For more information on SHCIF visit:


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