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The St Joseph Affordable Homes team (Hobart Archdiocese)

After just four years in operation, a unique Tasmanian Catholic social enterprise has won a prestigious national award. Source: Hobart Archdiocese.

St Joseph Affordable Homes received the top prize for the best professional medium builder at the Australian Housing Awards in Cairns last month.

The innovative Catholic building and construction social enterprise, an initiative of the Hobart Archdiocese, progressed on to the hotly contested national titles against the best builders in the country after winning its category at the state Housing Industry Association awards in Hobart last November.

The business provides a career path to young and vulnerable Tasmanians, and works to alleviate housing stress and homelessness.

The national award is a remarkable achievement, said acting chief executive Cody Burdon. He said the 92-strong team was “overwhelmed with pride and excitement”.

“This is a phenomenal achievement for our organisation,” Mr Burdon said.

“In just four years we have built well over 300 quality homes for social and affordable housing, significantly contributing to relieving housing stress and homelessness in Tasmania.

“But ultimately, we are most proud of the people working within our organisation. We employ 40 young apprentices and trainees, all of whom have experienced a barrier to employment within the construction industry.”

The barriers may include homelessness, disengagement from education, involvement with the justice system, drug and alcohol use, gender inequality and cultural diversity.

St Joseph Affordable Homes partners with Build Up Tassie to provide workers with support, training and industry pathways.

“This not only provides the construction industry with skilled workers from a previously untapped workforce, but also positively changes the lives of the young person and those around them,” Mr Burden said.

The Hobart-based social enterprise builds affordable homes to a seven-star rating around the state, with a key focus on environmental sustainability. 

Judges commented that the business is “well-managed, with a clear mandate and solid operational delivery mechanisms”.


Unique construction social enterprise is building on success (Hobart Archdiocese)