Community Housing Federation of Victoria
Karen Barnett is the CEO of Port Phillip Housing Association (PPHA), which under her leadership since 1990 has seen significant growth from 29 dwellings to a property portfolio of approximately 1030 homes across 30 sites in multiple municipalities.
These assets provide secure and affordable homes for approximately 1400 people including singles, couples, families and older persons from a variety of social, economic and cultural backgrounds.
Karen was a trained teacher with specialist skills, worked as a teacher in juvenile justice, as a youth outreach worker in inner Melbourne and a community development worker in St.Kilda before coming to the Association.
As a Port Phillip resident and active in local politics Karen
was a key player in establishing the Council's community housing program in 1985; which grew to become the largest local government initiated housing program in Australia.
PPHA was appointed Trustee of the Port Phillip Housing Trust in 2005.
today continues to work closely with the LGA's in which they develop and manage community housing and advocate for the further provision of affordable housing in the regeneration and rejuvenation of lands surplus to government use in their respective jurisdictions.
At PPHA Karen has worked on many initiatives including long term 'housing for the locals', reconnecting people with their local communities.
This hands on approach to both tenancy and property management, which underpins all aspects of the work at PPHA
, responds to the needs of diverse communities; linking residents with community services and transition to further education and employment; improving outcomes for people and their families.
values the independence of organisations, large and small to tailor their housing services to best meet the unique needs of tenants and not a 'one size fits all' philosophy.
Karen is a founding member of CHFV.