A valuable course on teaching Bundaberg residents at risk of homelessness crucial tenancy skills is about to get a new home.
IMPACT Community Services is running the popular Dollars and Sense tenancy course for the second time. IMPACT is an accredited trainer for the Tenancy Skills Institute (TSI), which is funded by the Queensland Government. The TSI spent four years putting this course together, consulting multiple real estate professionals to identify tenancy issues and formulated the course according to four core competencies that a good tenant needs to have:
• Communication: how to communicate effectively with agents and landlords
• Responsibilities: what are your obligations as a tenant
• Cleaning: proper maintenance of a rental property
• Budgeting: how to make sure your rent is paid amidst all your other financial needs
It is an excellent opportunity to learn how to establish a good relationship with your landlord or agent while at the same time learning how to gain a positive tenancy record.
Now in its second year, the course is helping more people understand their obligations in the rental market, including at-risk youth and disability students.
IMPACT is moving the course to new premises, with the help of a timely injection of grant money. IMPACT received $35,000 from the Dignity First Fund, a key action of the Queensland Housing Strategy 2017–2020 Action Plan. Dignity First aims to provide a range of essential services that make a real difference for people in our community who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. IMPACT will use the grant to upgrade their disability life-skills venue, Independent House, to a training facility.
Independence House is a safe space that teaches disability students crucial life skills in a home environment – how to cook, maintain the garden, etc. Now it will be re-purposed to offer those same students valuable tenancy skills, along with the wider public.
IMPACT General Manager of Innovation Nathan Spruce feels that the tenancy course fills a much-needed niche in the community.
“We are taught maths, we are taught English but little or no time is invested in preparing young people to take on the responsibility of looking after another person’s property under a rental agreement,” Mr Spruce said.
“IMPACT’s Dollars and Sense course targets the root cause of the top reason people are evicted from their tenancy; poor preparation.”
Queensland’s homelessness statistics show an increasing number of younger people experiencing homelessness with almost 40% being under 24. This sparked an aim to provide them with a better chance at procuring a stable home
“We want to combat the very real threat of homelessness among our youth, and those with disability and mental health issues.
“Bundaberg’s rental market is under 1%, so there’s not a lot available and so any leg up a potential tenant can get is vital.
“A certificate from this course is as good as any reference,” Mr Spruce said.
The course is open to anybody. To find out more about the course and next offering call IMPACT on 4153 4233.