REA and Launch Housing formed a partnership three years ago to help women and children in need to secure accommodation. Together they have raised a total of $600,000 in cash and helped more than 1,367 women and children to sleep more comfortably.
The partnership was born out of a company vision at REA to empower people to make property stress free, and seeing an opportunity to help those at risk of being made homeless, partnered with Launch Housing Australia
REA’s Head of Community Partnerships and Engagement, Jessica Christie, told Elite Agent, “After doing some research we saw that Launch Housing was innovative in the area, so we approached them and they told us about their Rapid Rehousing Program.” After several internal discussions, Ms Christie said they chose to focus on helping women and children who had been the victims of domestic violence – which is the number one cause of homelessness among women and children in Australia.
The program is flexible and, in addition to providing funding for bond, rental arrears, future rent or goods required for a home, a team of volunteers in Melbourne build custom furniture for recipients.
Ms Christie added, “When we launched the program back in 2014, we had high hopes and we were really humbled to partner with Launch Housing. We never thought it would have the type of impact it has on more than 800 children – we’re really proud that we’ve seen the results that we have.”
Launch Housing’s Communication Manager – Housing Development, Catherine Beadnell, shared Ms Christie’s sentiment, saying the beauty of the program is that it can be tailored to the individual client.
“For one woman it might just be a washing machine, but for others, it could be more. It could be they’ve left their abusive partner in a hurry so they only have their clothes and we build the furniture for them.”
Ms Beadnell said REA has been really dedicated and have shown their staff that they really care about the issue.
“Even seeing the look on the faces of the kids when you deliver a bunk bed has been positive. Some of them haven’t had a proper bed for weeks. The impact on those who have received assistance has been huge.
“The women are often reduced to tears and relieved to have a place. It’s ready to go and they don’t need to worry about a bed or a couch.
“I think we often hear about how we don’t have the best philanthropic community in Australia, but REA is leading the way in the corporate sector. This program shows how the community and corporate sector can work together to lead to positive change.” Ms Beadnell added.
“We’re just so happy to have that type of partnership and that REA Group does something about it (homelessness). They’re responding to a direct need in the industry they work in and the partnership works really well,”