In 1998, Billabong set out to establish an Indigenous Housing program in the ACT for members of the Aboriginal community. It took 3 years of knocking on doors and jumping through hoops before the first house was leased in 2001 for housing provision by Billabong. This was done on the basis that Billabong would pay the rent in advance and then collect the rent from the tenant. Up to 30th June 2012 Billabong has 16 properties (low income) that it leases and 7 properties that it owns and maintains through the collection of rents.
Due to the requirement for Community Housing Organisations to become self-sustainable in a very short period of time, Billabong with a only a small housing program, had no alternative other than to close its low income rebate related housing program as at 30th June 2012. This was due to insufficient funding and the fact that Billabong has never retained the rent which was passed directly to the ACT Government); had received $2.64 per day per house for tenancy management and support for these properties. Again a restrictive arrangement with only one possible outcome.
Billabong has its own, smaller, low income housing program in the Australian Capital Territory. The properties are rented on a reduced rent basis which is currently based on a percentage of market rent. As we all know, a critical element for a healthy happy future is safe secure affordable housing. Billabong has been recognised by industry peers and has won a number of awards for its housing endeavours.