Beyond Housing chief executive wins lifetime achievement award

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT: Beyond Housing chief executive Celia Adams says she's humbled and delighted to be recognised, calling it a tribute to the service's staff as well.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT: Beyond Housing chief executive Celia Adams says she's humbled and delighted to be recognised, calling it a tribute to the service's staff as well.

A NORTH EAST housing worker singled out for her commitment and leadership hopes one day her role won’t exist.

Beyond Housing chief executive Celia Adams won the Beth Thomson Lifetime Achievement Award in the Victorian Homelessness Achievement Awards run by the Council to Homeless Persons.

“It would be really nice if together as a collective we could do ourselves out of a job –  if the work that we did wasn’t needed,” she said.

Ms Adams began her career in housing and homelessness in 2001 and joined the then Rural Housing Network six years later.

Appointed chief executive in 2013, she was invited to join the Victorian government’s family violence housing assistance taskforce last year. Beyond Housing employs more than 50 staff in Wangaratta, Wodonga, Shepparton and Seymour and owns or manages about 700 properties.

Ms Adams said homelessness issues did gain more attention now and stereotypes were starting to break down.

“Funding needs to be clear and targeted and renewed,” she said.

“This is not the sort of area where you can just throw a pile of money at an issue and then say that’s enough for the next 10 years.”

Another change had been the increased entrepreneurial nature of community services like Beyond Housing.

“We can take on some debt, we can invest in our own housing, we don’t have to wait for governments all the time to completely fund projects,” Ms Adams said.

“We can work with local trades and builders, we can work with local real estate and it really makes us part of the community in which we operate.”