Provider wins top award for social housing transfer

A NSW community housing provider that was involved in the largest social housing transfer in Australia has taken out a national HR award for change management.

Nicola Lemon

Hume Community Housing won Best Change Management Project at the 2020 HR Awards on December 4 for its Hunter social housing management transfer project.

Hume is the third-largest Tier 1 community housing provider in Australia, providing homes and services to more than 9,000 customers across NSW.

It is also a registered Special Disability Accommodation (SDA) provider under the NDIS.

In 2018 the provider secured the largest social housing transfer in NSW under the government’s Social Housing Management Transfer program, part of a broader program to transfer around 14,000 properties from DCJ to nine community providers over the next two decades.

Under the transfer, Hume assumed tenancy management of  more than 2,000 homes and 4,000 customers across the Maitland and Port Stephens local government areas.

As reported by Government News at the time, the transfer was completed in September 2019.

Change management

During the transition, Hume said its Project Highway Team sought to prioritise customer and stakeholder engagement, recruited new staff, adopted new technology and implemented a change management strategy.

“This drew on our broad expertise in project and change management, customer relations and community building, new business development, property and asset management, and financial forecasting,” CEO Nicola Lemon reported in the Hume’s 2020 Annual Report.

“The outstanding work of our team in delivering this mammoth growth on time, on budget and in line with our contract cannot be underplayed.”

During the transfer Hume established partnerships with local businesses, created 45 new employment opportunities and opened two new offices.

Hume was also recognised at the HR awards  for its Social Housing Outcome Framework and Customer Support Service Model and for implementing a change management framework that’s now utilised across the organisation.

The judges said the Project Highway team established close local partnerships with government agencies, business partners and other community housing providers and applauded Hume’s change project as succinct, innovative and multi-dimensional.

“Outstanding in engagement in the strategy and change in such an important sector,” they said.

Nominations for the 2021 awards close on April 30.

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