Pacific Link has a $1.4M surplus

The Canton Beach Pacific Link development

With its latest Central Coast housing development having been completed at Canton Beach in August, social housing provider, Pacific Link (PLH), has announced a $1.4M surplus for the last financial year.

The company’s annual report says that its net assets have grown from $19.9M to $21.3M, representing a continuing growth of its financial position.

The Canton Beach project cost $5.8M and comprises 30 studio (or micro) apartments for social and affordable housing.

It was delivered as one of three projects completed under an unincorporated joint venture, with the other two projects being at Woy Woy and Roselands in Western Sydney.

Chairman, Wal Edgell, reported that PLH would continue to progress its mission to deliver sustainable, safe and affordable housing for the Central Coast, Lake Macquarie and Hunter communities.

He said this would be achieved through strategies of investing financial surpluses generated from core operations into the development and construction of new affordable housing supply and in the development and implementation of capacity building programs for residents.

“In June 2020, the Company finalised a $4M loan facility from the new National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation (NHFIC), a Commonwealth Government initiative,” Edgell said.

He said completion of a 21-unit development project at Glendale, Lake Macquarie, in January, and a 30-unit project at Canton Beach in August, brought to 119 the number of new housing units developed over the past five years, valued at $19.7M as at June 30, 2020.

“A further key initiative for the PLH Board has been the focus on, and continuing evolution of, our Client Outcomes and Community Engagement Strategy,” he said.

“As a measure of our commitment to this strategy, the Board this year approved a significantly increased budget allocation towards continuing funding of Pacific Link’s suite of programs offering education, opportunity and employment.”

While COVID-19 had interrupted the plans for some events and education courses, it was hoped that activities would be recommenced as soon as circumstances allow, he said.

Edgell praised the NSW Government for the new Together Home program which will result in more than $36M being directed to assist identified rough sleepers transition into sustainable housing and he said that Pacific Link was pleased to be selected to play its part in delivery of the program for the Central Coast.

He said PLH’s Key2 Realty had seen remarkable growth in its first year, now having more than 160 properties under management.

The company had participated in providing comprehensive assistance and information into the development of Affordable Housing strategies and policies for Central Coast Council, he said.

PLH offices have also been relocated to new, more accessible premises in Mann Street, Gosford.

CEO, Ian Lynch, said that two sites at Woy Woy were currently being activated, with one close to commencement of construction, and planning for acquisition of further sites was underway.

“Our annual tenant survey has again been an opportunity to understand our residents’ needs and gather information on their circumstances,” he said.

“Responses from these surveys inform new ideas for our self funded tenant support programs, which provide opportunities for tenants to improve their situation and, where possible, transition to mainstream housing.

“More than 1,100 residents have been assisted with these capacity building programs that offer scholarships, access to education, financial support for children to access sporting activities, learner driver lessons and interest free loans to purchase laptops.”

Lynch said the company had received a Highly Commended Award in the PowerHousing Australia Excellence in Tenant Engagement & Social Inclusion Awards this year for its Life-Skills Education Program delivered in conjunction with Central Coast Community College.

“Begun in 2017, the Program has had over 65 participants, 90% of whom, when surveyed, reported increased interest in continuing education and a six-fold increase in confidence in their course skills,” he said.

Pacific Link Annual Report, 2020