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WelcomeMat, an online tenant-matching portal for affordable rental housing, will launch next month.
The platform will deliver efficiencies and cost savings for housing providers, and provide a more accessible and equitable system for those seeking tenancy.
WelcomeMat will display available rental housing properties from affordable rental housing providers and applicants will be pre-qualified based on their profile, which will streamline their application process.
Churches Housing has been a strong supporter of the initiative throughout the entire development process, and is a founding shareholder of WelcomeMat along with Mark Khoo, a property lawyer and Churches Housing board member. Additional investment from Churches of Christ in NSW (Fresh Hope) as a new shareholder has helped to complete development and enable the launch of this much-needed service.
Magnus Linder, CEO of Churches Housing, said: “It is very exciting to see the WelcomeMat service preparing to launch. We know the challenges that affordable rental housing providers and applicants face in the leasing process. The creation of an online destination as a central point for affordable rental applicants and housing providers will benefit all participants.”
Mark Khoo, CEO of WelcomeMat, commented: “We all know that there is low awareness and confusion amongst the public about what affordable rental housing is, and where to find it. This leads to many eligible Australians missing out. Based on CHIA NSW and Churches Housing’s own research, up to 60% of affordable rental housing applicants are ineligible, yet each application can take hours to process. This is putting incredible administrative pressure on housing providers to avoid vacancies despite the high demand. I’m pleased that we’ve built a service that the sector has been wanting for some time.”
Upon launch, WelcomeMat will focus on the Sydney Metro, Central Coast and Hunter regions, with a view to expanding to the rest of NSW and then nationally. Over time, WelcomeMat will also collect and analyse demand and supply data to help the sector’s advocacy, town planning and assist increase the supply of affordable rental housing.
Having secured the support of several industry peak bodies and many CHPs (including many Churches Housing’s members), WelcomeMat’s soft launch will take place in early September 2020.
- have affordable rental housing that can be listed on WelcomeMat; or
- would like marketing materials to help promote WelcomeMat to your networks (including staff, volunteers and the wider congregation who may be looking for affordable rental housing.