First established in 1986 as the St Kilda Housing Association, the agency was renamed PPHA in 2001 after local government amalgamations created the City of Port Phillip. PPHA was not directly associated with the City of Port Phillip, but at that time its housing and accommodation services had expanded beyond St Kilda and into nearby suburbs.
Chief Executive Officer Haleh Homaei said the decision to rename the organisation is a well-considered and strategic one, following lengthy consultation with staff, directors and tenants.
‘We are so proud of our history of community service in St Kilda and the Port Phillip region of Melbourne. But in reality we are delivering desperately-needed housing solutions, across seven different local government areas in Melbourne.’
“It was time our growth and our philosophy was more accurately reflected in our name,’ Ms Homaei said.
‘We know the fundamental base for creating a home, a neighbourhood, a community and a stable healthy society is that every one of us should have an affordable and safe place to live.
Hence our new name – HousingFirst.”
HousingFirst currently owns or manages 1194 houses and apartments across Melbourne, providing homes for 1600 people who would otherwise struggle to find accommodation in the increasingly competitive public and social housing and private rental sectors.
‘Our continued growth is not only by choice, but to meet increasing demand,’ Ms Homaei said.
‘The housing affordability crisis that’s swept across our country has impacted most on those people on low incomes, the aged and those living with illness or a disability. We need to do more, to help more people.’
From May 14th 2018, the organisation will also relocate its head office from Fitzroy Street St Kilda to just up the road at Suite 301, 492 St Kilda Rd (near Commercial Rd), a location readily accessible by public transport.
‘Most importantly, as far as our residents are concerned – apart from a new name and a head office move – nothing else will change for them.’
The name change does not affect the Port Phillip Housing Trust (PPHT) which will remain as PPHT.
‘We are the same organisation, with all the same people providing the same warm, compassionate, high quality service for our residents. In fact, hopefully even better and more efficient!’