Common Equity Housing (Common Equity) emerged at a time when the number of housing co-operatives and small housing associations in South Australia was undergoing rapid contraction in the face of growing pressures from greater burdens of compliance, more demanding regulatory environment, greater complexity of administration, and clear signals from the State Government that they favoured a more consolidated sector. A range of models were examined in an effort to provide the necessary support for the remaining co-operatives and small associations.
2008 During 2008, the common equity model emerged as the preference among both the community housing sector and the State Government. The Community Housing Council of South Australia (CHCSA) formed a Steering Committee to investigate this model further.
2009 With support from Housing S.A., CHCSA developed a business case for the establishment of CEHSA. Once the plan was accepted and approved by the State Government, CEHSA’s Constitution and Property Services Agreement were drafted and finalised over the next 2 years.
2010 On the 5th of August 2010, CEHSA’s first Member Directors were elected. By October 2010 CEHSA registered as a company with ASIC and in December the first Technical Directors had also been appointed.
2011 In mid-2011 an interim manager was appointed, and the first 6 housing co-operatives passed Special Resolutions agreeing to transfer their properties to CEHSA and enter into a Property and Services Agreement to receive services and support.
2012 In January 2012, the first staff, the CEO and Finance Officer, were employed, with CEHSA’s office initially located at 310 Tapleys Hill Road, Seaton. By the end of February 2012, with all 6 Property and Services Agreements signed, 121 properties were transferred to CEHSA and business officially began on 1st March 2012.
2013 The office relocated to Thebarton in early 2013, then throughout the year CEHSA’s operations were consolidated, with endeavours made to expand its housing co-operative membership.
2014 Three more housing co-operatives transferred their properties to CEHSA, and by May 2014, CEHSA had 9 Member housing co-operatives and 151 properties on its books.
2015 By March 2015, 2 of the founding housing co-operatives voted to exercise their option to terminate their membership of CEHSA, resulting in CEHSA having 8 Member housing co-operatives and 115 properties.
2016 By May, a small 7 house co-operative had chosen to wind up and the tenants and properties were transferred to CEHSA and becoming directly managed. One of the properties was handed back to Renewal SA in New Gen 7 and a newly built property in St Mary’s was eventually offered to CEHSA. Six tenants within one of CEHSA’s Members also chose to become directly managed.
2017 In February Common Equity unveiled a new direction as it seeks to consolidate its position in the sector with the appointment of a new Chief Executive Officer, Angela Carey, who brings a renewed focus and vision to the business. Angela, who has worked in the housing sector for more than two decades – mainly in finance – said she aimed to grow and develop the organisation by establishing stronger relationships across the sector and building a more sustainable financial platform.
“It’s vital that Common Equity Housing SA continues to grow and attract new members, as size and strength will enable us to build a stronger foothold in the sector and with this comes greater certainty for our members and their communities. Our members are our utmost priority and I’m firmly focussed on delivering to them an outstanding level of support and service. Through our united strength, we will deliver of model of community living that remains true to the cooperative housing ideology.” she said.
Along with its renewed focus, the organisation has also undergone a brand refresh, unveiling a modern and stylish logo.
2018 As a result of Common Equity’s clear focus on supporting and enabling housing co-ops to flourish in South Australia two new member organisations have joined as members. Paris Flat Housing Co-op, located in the Bowden and Brompton area, have 30 properties and their purpose is to provide quality, safe, stable and affordable housing to people who are on a low income and are experiencing accommodation cost distress, who want to be part of an organisation of community minded and environmentally aware members and who actively participate in your affairs in a positive and democratic way. In addition, Acre Housing Co-op joined as a member organisation and their 8 cluster properties are located in Adelaide CDB and their purpose is to provide housing on a co-operative basis for low income small households with demonstrated ability to live in communal environments and in need of housing due to a commitment to one or more of the following:
- Artistic pursuits
- Environmental awareness
- Education and self-development
- Community service