Rapport and great relationships the key to success for Unison’s PRAP
Unison’s Private Rental Access Program (PRAP) supports low-income households to secure and maintain housing through brokerage, advocacy and outreach support. We have delivered the program in Melbourne’s West since 2017.
The Unison Housing Research Lab (the Lab) undertook an evaluation of Unison’s PRAP, and recently released its findings in the report, Staying Home? Examining the longer-term housing outcomes of the Private Rental Access Program, (PRAP).
A key finding of the research found an estimated 8 in 10 households that used the PRAP service have maintained their housing and avoided homelessness.
Hollie, a member of the PRAP team, talks about the Program’s success factors.
“Our team has experience working in property management and know the ropes,” she said.
“We help clients develop the skills to apply for rental properties and guide them through what is needed to maintain their rental such as communicating with their agents and being honest.”
The PRAP team nurture relationships with the people they work with, and have developed strong working relationships with real estate agents, landlords and the specialist support services that may be needed such as youth support, material aid, financial counselling and child and family support.
Hollie gave an example of a family who have been supported by PRAP.
“A woman came to us after sleeping in her car for over 6 months. Her children were staying with her mother at the time. She had a history of evictions, a poor rental history and a poor credit rating,” Hollie explained.
“I was able to help her secure a private rental property, I helped her get white goods and provided her with tenancy support assisting with establishing rental payments and opening the communication between her and the agent.”
Hollie went on to explain how the Program delivers much more than housing sustainability and why she is proud of the work she does as part of the PRAP team.
“Her children are now living with her, her house is pristine, she got a job and her rent is paid 2 weeks in advance.
“I developed a rapport with the woman and she knew I was there to give her a helping hand. Her confidence grew as she could see she was capable of creating a home and paying her rent and bills. This is an example is what I love about my job.”