- How long have you been with Summer Housing?
I joined the Summer Housing team in April this year (2021).
- What is your role?
As Tenancy Support Manager for SA, my role primarily involves supporting our tenants with the transition into their new home and ensuring the success of their tenancy with Summer Housing into the future. I therefore keep in touch with tenants regularly during the transition phase to provide updates and work with the tenant and their team to arrange for any required customisations to be completed either before they move into their new home, or as soon as possible afterwards. Once tenants have moved in, I am their main point of contact for any issues that may arise and will continue to check in with tenants to get their feedback and assist them as required.
- What do you love most about your job?
I absolutely love seeing when tenants have the opportunity to move into Summer Housing’s beautiful apartments. Witnessing their excitement at the time of the move and the life changing benefits that come about from living in housing that meets their needs, is so uplifting and satisfying to see!
This job enables me to play an important part in this sometimes long and challenging but very worthwhile journey for our tenants and for that I feel very privileged.
- What does a typical day look like?
I’ll usually start the day with my decaf coffee followed by responding to emails and phone calls from tenants and other stakeholders.
Often I’ll also do a site visit to help coordinate a quote for a customisation or show a prospective tenant through Penny Place, which is the first of Summer Housing’s projects to be completed here in Adelaide.
I have regular catch ups with our colleagues at the Summer Foundation, who do our tenancy matching work for us, to find out about any new applicants or engagement activities we plan to collaborate on together. Most days I’ll usually also make calls to tenants and prospective tenants to check in with how things are going from their perspective, as well as to Occupational Therapists and/or Support Coordinators working with our tenants, who are either in the process of assisting our tenants to secure the appropriate level of funding from the NDIS to live in Specialist Disability Accommodation or are requesting customisations of our apartments. I’ve spent quite a bit of time on the phone to plumbers, electricians and other tradespeople recently as well, however now that we have a new Property and Tenancy Manager appointed, she will be taking care of arranging quotes for customisations and repairs and maintenance, so this should reduce a bit.
As a team we also have regular sessions with our colleagues at Summer Housing, to provide each other with sector updates, upskilling and training and very importantly the moral support that we have all needed, especially through these recently challenging times.
- What is one story/moment in your job that really made you proud?
One of our tenants who moved into an apartment at Penny Place recently has a progressive neuromuscular disease and had been hospitalised for the previous 12 months with nowhere suitable to discharge. I had been told when I met her before she moved into Penny Place that she was institutionalised, did not have the opportunity to access the community or spend time with her partner or children and was non-verbal.
When I ran into her in the lobby at Penny Place a few weeks after she moved in, you can imagine my surprise when she made eye contact with me and responded to my greeting with a big clear emphatic “Hello”. I’m told she has also started saying quite a few other things since moving into Penny Place and she looks so much more engaged and happy compared to when I first met her before she moved in. The day I met her in the lobby, she had also just come back from a walk through the botanic gardens on a beautiful spring day and prior to having a disability, this is something she had always enjoyed.
I’ve since been up to this tenant’s apartment and she has really settled in well with a large TV for watching music videos and movies, which is something else I’m told she really likes to do, surrounded by family and she was smiling and actively interacting with them. The change that living in our apartment has made to this tenant really highlights to me why we are here at Summer Housing doing what we are doing and makes me feel immensely proud.