NEW LOOK: Steve Beer and Nathan Spruce inside Impact's newly renovated independence housing which will be used for their Dollars and Sense Course. Picture: Mike Knott
NEW LOOK: Steve Beer and Nathan Spruce inside Impact's newly renovated independence housing which will be used for their Dollars and Sense Course. Picture: Mike Knott

Course returns to help tenants learn rental skills

A VALUABLE course teaching Bundaberg residents at risk of homelessness crucial tenancy skills is about to get a new home.

Impact Community Services will be running its popular Dollars and Sense course for the second time.

The organisation will be moving the course to new premises, with the help of a timely injection of grant money.

Impact received $35,000 from the Dignity First Fund, part of the Queensland Housing Strategy 2017–2020 Action Plan.

Impact will use the grant to upgrade its disability life-skills venue, independent House, to a training facility.

Now it will be repurposed to offer the same students valuable tenancy skills, along with the wider public.

The Tenancy Skills Institute spent four years putting the course together, consulting real estate professionals to identify tenancy issues and formulated the course according to four core competencies that a good tenant needs to have including how to communicate with agents and landlords and what your responsibilities are as a tenant.

Impact’s general manager of innovation, Nathan Spruce, said the Dollars and Sense course would fill a much-needed niche in the community.

“We are taught maths, we are taught English but little or no time is invested in preparing young people to take on the responsibility of looking after another person’s property under a rental agreement,” he said.

“Impact’s Dollars and Sense course targets the root cause of the top reason people are evicted from their tenancy: poor preparation.”

Queensland’s homelessness statistics show an increasing number of younger people experiencing homelessness with almost 40 per cent being under 24.

“We want to combat the very real threat of homelessness among our youth, and those with disability and mental health issues,” Mr Spruce said.

“Bundaberg’s rental market is under one per cent, so there’s not a lot available and so any leg up a potential tenant can get is vital.

“A certificate from this course is as good as any reference.”

The course will be open to anybody and is scheduled to run next month dependent on coronavirus restrictions. A modified version may be delivered.



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