Two hands coming together to hold a drawing of a blue house with a pink background
  • 13 Feb 2024
  • 5 min read
  • By the REIQ

Property managers can help pave the way home for DFV survivors

Priority Project, Helping DFV survivors

We all know that a record tight rental market can make for an incredibly challenging property search for prospective tenants.

The hurdles to securing a home are even higher for women or sole parent families who have experienced domestic and family violence, but are now ready to rent a place to call their own, independently.

We’re pleased to announce that there’s a project designed to overcome these barriers in getting into the private rental market. Through a prioritisation system, it brings these women to the front of the queue to secure a rental property. All it takes is a helping hand from a property manager and a willing property owner.

The REIQ has thrown its support behind this innovative, practical solution in South East Queensland called The Priority Project, and we hope you will too.

How does The Priority Project work?

Simply put, The Priority Project puts women who have previously experienced domestic violence ahead of the queue in securing a rental property.

It all begins with Property Managers including information about the project in their communications with their clients for them to consider.

Lessors who want to take part can offer their properties to the project when their current tenants are due to vacate. These properties go onto the Priority Project’s register.

Community services recommend potential tenants Рwomen who have experienced domestic and family violence­ Рwho are seeking stable accommodation and are ready to move into their own homes. There is eligibility criteria, including the ability to afford rent.

If there is a suitable match between a property and prospective tenant, the woman independently signs a lease.

Importantly, she will go through the same vetting process that all tenants go through. She will pay her bond and rent as usual, and be subject to the same laws and processes that apply to tenants.

Once she moves in, she will continue to be supported by a service/s to provide general case management, including tenancy sustainment support if necessary.

As a property manager, you would manage the tenancy like any other.

How can property managers help?

You can help by creating awareness. You can make a world of difference just by making your clients with properties in South East Queensland aware of this opportunity in your email and other communications that you send to them when tenancy agreements are due to end.

There’s a prepared blurb written by The Priority Project that can simply be inserted in your standard templated correspondence.

This presents an ideal opportunity to share information about the project with property owners and for you to follow up with a phone call.

What are the benefits?

  • No need to advertise - saving property owners money;
  • No need to process several applications – saving property managers time;
  • Same vetting process and final decision still rests with the owner and you;
  • No discounts – same rental income;
  • No difference to managing the tenancy – this project does not involve head leasing
  • Being part of the solution - helping women and their children settle in a new community; and
  • Sharing your involvement with this innovative project with your customers (via online, newsletters etc)

It’s already changing lives

The Priority Project has already found several tenancies for women and their children who have experienced DFV and needed a home to make a new beginning in.

The stories of these families would melt your heart and the difference that a secure home will make to their lives is immeasurable.

The Priority Project is proudly delivered and supported by Mission Australia, The Salvation Army and partners including property owners and real estate agencies across South East Queensland, and the REIQ.

REIQ CEO Antonia Mercorella said the state peak body was proud to support an innovative project in the housing sector which would make a big impact on the lives of so many.

“The Priority Project is about helping women who are ready to move on and leave the stigma of domestic and family violence behind them – and there’s no better way to signify a new start, than a new place to call home,” Ms Mercorella said.

“It's still only early days for the project, but already numerous women have secured tenancies allowing them to open the door to a new chapter in their lives.

“They have shared that this has already significantly changed their lives - a fresh beginning, new opportunities, and a sense of community and stability for their children.

“It’s understandable that these women would truly appreciate the value of having a stable home, and all of them are diligently meeting their obligations, including rental payments.

“Importantly, the women aren’t alone in their resolve to succeed - they have the option of being supported by a community service which helps to ensure the sustainability of the tenancy.

“We would love to see more real estate agencies getting involved to expand this important project to more locations and to help more women and their families who are building brand new and bright futures for themselves.

“I encourage property managers to reach out to The Priority Project team to hear how supporting this project helps women and also helps property managers fill successful tenancies more quickly.”

Support in the community

We know there’s plenty of goodwill, with property owners and agents open to lending a helping hand to people in our communities who are ready for a fresh start.

The Priority Project’s research found 75 per cent of investment property owners were interested in prioritising rentals to women who have experienced DFV. 

Property owners were interested in being a ‘player’ in the solution to help woman and their children secure housing.

Additionally, 62 per cent of real estate agents had a desire to help vulnerable women and 15 per cent said doing so would align with their community impact commitment.

To find out more, email thepriorityproject@missionaustralia.com.au or call Elizabeth Lowe on 0447 213 986, who can do a presentation to your property management team.

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