A Melbourne-based not-for-profit real estate service has gained the support of Greek Australian community leaders City of Yarra mayor Phillip Vlahogiannis and Stella Avramopoulos, CEO of Kildonan Uniting Care.

The two leaders have signed up as ambassadors of HomeGround Real Estate, set up in March last year by homelessness organisation HomeGround Services in response to Melbourne’s growing housing crisis.

“People from all walks of life and all cultural backgrounds can experience homelessness and hard times,” reflected Mr Vlahogiannis.

“In Yarra, a socially and culturally diverse municipality, we have more than five times the state average of homelessness. As Yarra’s mayor, I feel it is my duty to help promote Homeground Real Estate in its efforts to address homelessness.”

Ms Avramopoulos agreed with Mr Vlahogiannis, stating that social disadvantage doesn’t discriminate against cultural backgrounds and is a major cause of social exclusion.

“I think it is such a great idea for an organisation like HomeGround to move into the private rental market. This is where most of the rental property stock is these days,” she said.

The HomeGround Real Estate initiative looks to encourage property owners and investors to list their properties through their service for market rent or for a discounted rental rate to assist households in need.

Impressed by the concept and the benefits for the wider community, the City of Yarra has assisted in helping fund the establishment of the organisation.

“We could see the benefits of this for our local community from the start,” said Mr Vlahogiannis. “You have a very professional and reputable organisation in HomeGround coming up with practical solutions to help address the affordable housing problem. I hope the Greek community in Melbourne and beyond will get on board and consider listing investment properties with HomeGround Real Estate.”

For more information, visit www.homegroundrealestate.com.au