March 2017

APAC / March 2017 97 K Name: Steve Bevington Web Address: From Humble Beginnings g CHL is not only proud of its own growth and ability to meet the housing needs of low income people but also of the other community housing organisations which are also developing their capacity to do the same. As CHL develops overseas it also seeks to work to collaborate to assist housing providers to develop elsewhere.” When the company first began services outside Australia, its principal challenge was that it started out in Timor Leste which, at the time, was the world’s newest country and had the majority of its citizens living through subsistence farming. This brought up many challenges for the firm. “At the time the country had a minimal budget made up of two thirds donor funded aid and while it has grown, its public funds still are insufficient to assist to meet the housing needs of its citizens. At the same time the country is only now passing property and land law and this delay has limited the capacity of private enterprise to meet the housing challenge. CHL has responded to this challenge by focussing on skilling up a workforce to generate housing and now has an effective house building program in the south of the country.” Looking at the future of the industry in the APAC region, Steve foresees plenty of opportunity for other countries to develop housing for lower income people in a similar way. “The Asia Pacific region has a great variation amongst its countries, from those which have taken the necessary steps to plan an overall housing policy to meet the needs of all their citizens such as Singapore to those which are just starting on the journey to formulate a housing strategy. I think there are real opportunities for countries such as India and Indonesia to fully develop housing for all their citizens which responds to their economic and cultural needs. I also think the creation of wide ranging housing construction programs will assist in driving their overall economic growth and wealth.”