Community housing makes every drop count through retrofit program

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Kristy Begbie, Senior Case Worker, Fusion Mornington Peninsula and James Mellerich, Plumber install a new dishwasher at a community property as part of the Community Housing Retrofit Program.

South East Water (Victoria, Australia) has supported not-for-profit organisations across Melbourne’s south-east to save 18.6 million litres of water and reduce their bills through the Community Housing Retrofit program.

Over the past financial year, South East Water has helped community housing organisations Fusion Australia, Housing First, YWCA, South Port Community Housing Group and St Kilda Community Housing with water fixture repairs and replacements at 45 properties, including more than 166 units.

Repairs and replacements included:

  • 886 leaking taps
  • 382 showerheads
  • 171 toilets
  • 12 hot water systems
  • 4 washing machines
  • 1 dishwasher.

With average yearly household water use at 150,000 litres, the projected annual water savings equate to 18,685,000 litres – or more than 7 Olympic-sized swimming pools each year.

Housing First Building Compliance and Quality Officer, Oliver Eden said the program has supported their ability to provide safe and affordable housing to over 2,000 people across Melbourne.

“The Community Housing Retrofit Program has provided valuable preventative maintenance works in a number of our properties, replacing tapware, componentry and seals. The comprehensive program has saved us both time and money which can be put back into the community,” Mr Eden said.

“Our tenants have also provided great feedback on the standard of works performed, whilst the attending plumbers helped explain why the retrofits were recommended.”

South East Water’s General Manager Strategy and Stakeholder, Karen Lau said supporting community housing organisations helps them better support their residents.

“Fixing leaks and installing water efficient fixtures helps community organisations reduce water and energy bills, as they use and heat less water,” Ms Lau said.

“The program also saves precious water and equips tenants to save water so they can help make every drop count now and for years to come.”

The Community Housing Retrofit Program is funded by the Victorian Government in partnership with South East Water, Yarra Valley Water, Greater Western Water, and, in the regions Barwon Water, Central Highlands Water and Lower Murray Water, to achieve better outcomes for the community.

This program is available to not-for-profit community housing organisations that are responsible for the maintenance of their properties.

To find out more about the Community Housing Retrofit Program visit Community Housing Retrofit Program | South East Water or email

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