Dromana cerc.ltd

(Dromana Common Equity Rental Housing Co-operative Ltd.)




In October 1993 a group of people, members of Peninsula LETS investigated the possibilities of low-cost housing especially for pensioners, single parents and disabled. Enquiries were made through the Department of Human Services and the Tenants' Association at Frankston and were referred to Common Equity Housing Limited in St Kilda Road, Melbourne.

Common Equity Housing (CEHL) set out the requirements of forming a Co-operative and requested that all parties involved obtain a listing of interested parties. A number of people from Mornington to Sorrento were canvassed and produced sixty-four interested persons.

CEHL was then advised of a large interest and the necessary steps were put into place to form a Co-operative.

It was necessary that each prospective member be trained in all aspects of Co-operative Management and dates were arranged for representatives from Equip Co-operative Ltd. to visit each Monday at the Dromana Community House to train interested persons. On hearing of these requirements many dropped off the listing and when classes commenced the number of attendees dropped off to twenty-two. These classes commenced in February 1995 and continued, with a gradual drop-off of interested parties, until the Co-operative's Incorporation on the 31st October 1995.

The Foundation Members of the Co-operative were:

Wendy AARONS; Gwyneth DAVIES; Beri LORD; Raymond MCINTYRE; Roxanne PEARCE; Roma PERRY: Kevin SCHWAB; Dorian WALKER; Carla WHITE; Helen WILLIS.

The original ambition was fulfilled with the allocation of two houses in November 1995 to be selected by the two original Foundation Members. These two members were housed in February 1996. A further two houses were allocated in March 1996.

At this point two Foundation Members resigned thus reducing the membership to eight. A number of Applications for Membership were received and approved and membership grew to fifteen at the 30th June 1996.

In July 1996 the Co-operative made a special application for a further property which was ultimately approved.

In September 1996 a request was received from Ti Tree CERC for a tenant for a property in Frankston and we were able to make a recommendation who ultimately became a member and tenant of Ti Tree CERC and is now actively involved.

With a change of Federal Government in November 1996 and the withdrawal of Federal Funds for housing the CERC Program looked in fear of collapse, and through Common Equity Housing Limited much lobbying was made to both State and Federal Governments to re-instate the Program. This was without success.

In January 1996, due to Common Equity Housing Limited having excess funds a further two further houses were obtained and these were allocated to member/tenants.

In March 1999 an approach was made by Carinya CERC for a tenant member and one of Dromana CERC's members was accepted by Carinya and ultimately housed at Mornington.

Due to the Governments' new policies the CERC Program became stagnant as far as house allocation was involved until July 1999 when Common Equity Housing Limited (due to selling of country properties) obtained money and allocated a further property to us.

March 2001 saw our first experience of "changing tenants". An original Foundation Member and his wife, who had built their own home vacated their tenanted house and the search began for a new tenant. Carinya CERC introduced one of its members who was accepted as a tenant/member and took up residence.

As was the case earlier, again in August 2002 Common Equity Housing Limited sold properties and the money was allocated to the purchase of more homes. Dromana was fortunate enough to be on the receiving end of a further allocation and a ninth home was purchased. It was also our first experience of purchasing a unit. One of our tenants transferred from her original allocation to take up residence in the unit and we welcomed a new member who took up residence in the vacated home.

Due to the lack of support from both Federal and State Governments the operation of the CERC program came almost to a standstill, with doubts as to further funding for more housing being available.

June 2004 provided a "learning curve" for the Maintenance and Finance Committee with a member/tenant vacating a premises without notice and leaving a trail of debt. The house was re-allocated to a member who had only been with the CERC for a short time.

During 2007 the State Government announced in its budget it was to allocate funds for housing through the Public and Private Sector. Dromana CERC submitted a request for additional housing to augment the nine homes it leases and rents at this time.

The CERC was operating successfully with its nine houses and in August 2009 the Secretary built this website (www.dromanacerc.org) which was widely accepted.

October 2008 Common Equity Housing Limited sold a country property and gave this CERC the opportunity to purchase a further home in the Dromana/Rosebud area. The purchase of a three bedroom home was completed in February 2009 thus bringing the number of properties to ten.

In the interim there has been a change of tenants in a number of homes and at this stage (2019) there is a stability with tenants and members. Many an application has been made to CEHL for additional properties and can only anticipate that these may be forthcoming in the near future.



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