Successful Social Housing Community Improvement Fund (SHCIF) projects – Case Studies

Across NSW, organisations have used the $20 million Social Housing Community Improvement Fund (SHCIF) to improve community facilities, enhance open spaces, improve safety, increase accessibility and bring tenants and their neighbours together.

As applications open for Round 3, we want to share some of the great projects that tenants and community groups have worked on so far, and pass on some details about who can apply and what projects we consider for funding.

New life in local parks

Project: McLeod Park upgrade
Organisation: Hawkesbury City Council
Location: South Windsor
Funding from the SHCIF: $50,000
Co-contribution from the recipient: $170,000

FACS contributed $50,000 to an overall $220,000 regeneration of McLeod Park in South Windsor. Hawkesbury City Council was able to use the money to make improvements to the park including new picnic shelters, seating, a bubbler and landscaping.

“The upgrades delivered under the SHCIF Project have resulted in the park being used by a number of local organisations on a weekly basis.” – Hawkesbury City Council

Creating vibrant hubs

Project: The Welcome Garden - Gawaymbanha
Organisation: Westside Community Centre Inc.
Location: Albury
Funding from the SHCIF: $14,044

The Welcome Garden (or Gawaymbanha, which means ‘Welcome’ in Wiradjuri) project is a major extension and renewal to a small existing community garden in Albury.

The Garden includes a community yarning circle consisting of a fire pit and seating.. The garden extension also provides a range of native bush produce, sustained by tanks and water systems installed using SHCIF grant money.

The project was designed, developed and delivered by community volunteers from local social housing, who were supported by after school groups, The Albury City Council  - Wagirra Trail program and Mutual Obligation programs. The Welcome Garden now forms a culturally appropriate meeting place where the local community can congregate for events such as NAIDOC celebrations and other events and also as an all access therapeutic garden space.

Brighter surroundings and closer communities

Project: The Urban Forest: Weave Youth Hallway & Foyers Art Project
Organisation: Weave Youth & Community Services in partnership with RedLink
Location: Redfern
Funding from the SHCIF: $49,350

Weave Youth & Community Services used funds from the SHCIF to employ a project worker and an arts worker, who collaborated with tenants at the McKell social housing building to reimagine their home and develop ideas on how to beautify the hallways. In consultation with residents the theme was developed and the project was named: The Urban Forrest Project.

A series of art workshops were held over 12 weeks to develop content in line with the theme. A part of the project also included photography and all residents were invited to get their individual and family portraits taken. All residents were gifted copies of their images and many expressed what a special experience it was for them to be involved in and felt very valued and respected.

Throughout the levels of the McKell complex, visitors and residents now bump into bright bird portraits, floral designs, tree trunks bound in lucid knits, and support beams swathed in fabrics.

The Urban Forrest has helped create a sense of pride, beauty and added colour and energy to the social housing complex.

Giving and getting back

Project: Shelter for Clifton Community Food Garden
Organisation: Clifton Community Food Garden Inc
Location
: Wollongong
Funding from the SHCIF: $3,250

Using SHCIF grant funds, tradesmen from the local men’s shed built a shelter and meeting area at the Clifton Community Food Garden where members of the Shoalhaven community can join them to enjoy the garden and its produce.

Vegetables grown in the garden go to members of the community who need them most, and provide compelling and nutritious proof of the garden’s benefits to the local community.

“The new shelter enables our volunteers to work longer hours, producing more vegetables for the public. Vegetables are distributed to needy families, including social housing residents. With the garden now able to provide shelter, more residents will be willing to join.” – Clifton Community Food Garden Inc

More info

Applications open 9am Thursday 30 March, and close 5pm (AEST) on Wednesday 10 May 2017.

Fore more information, visit www.facs.nsw.gov.au/SHCIF, email SHCIF@facs.nsw.gov.au or call 1800 379 184