South Port Community Housing is a not-for-profit organisation that provides long term housing for marginalised people. For the long-term homeless, recent migrants, and people with mental health, drug and alcohol issues, South Port Community Housing (SPCH) offers accommodation and intensive support, for as long as they need it.
Matt Kent, Manager of Housing Operations, explains: “SPCH started in 1983, managing rooming houses owned by the Victorian Government, and whilst much has changed since then, we have remained true to our values of local support for local people.” The group operates in the South Melbourne area, as well as Port Melbourne, Albert Park and Middle Park, and took the strategic decision to stay local rather than becoming a large housing association. In recent years, SPCH has been able to develop its properties – which were all older rooming houses, with shared kitchens and bathrooms – into individual studio apartments. This had a big impact on increasing long term tenancy rates from 30% when in the shared-facility rooming houses to 88% after the conversion to studio apartments with private facilities.
“One of our biggest challenges was access control”, says Matt. “We
needed to make access easy for tenants, but at the same time reassure
them that their room is secure.”
“Many of our tenants come from environments where they did not feel safe. They are naturally suspicious and worried that other people can get into their rooms. But tenants often lost their keys, which only heightened their security concerns. Not to mention costing a great deal of time and money to us in changing locks and issuing new keys.”
SPCH knew that the answer was an electronic access system. The project managers on one of their new build projects recommended SALTO as the best fit for what SPCH wanted to achieve. Using battery-operated stand-alone electronic locks, SALTO SVN data-on-card system dispenses with the need for conventional keys. Instead, programmable RFID contactless credentials (such as cards and fobs) allow or restrict access to different parts of the property.
SALTO partner Omega Security Solutions supplied, configured and installed the XS4 electronic escutcheons, cylinders and readers throughout all the SPCH properties – new builds, renovations and retrofits. To date, over 300 doors have been installed, servicing 222 residents across 14 properties. They span entry and exit points, communal areas and tenant doors.
“We had already worked with South Port on their traditional lock and key systems”, says Anthony Payne, Sales & ICT Manager at Omega Security Solutions, “so we knew their people, their tenants and their buildings.” That existing relationship, coupled with being a SALTO partner, made Omega the perfect choice to implement South Port’s new EAC system.
Tenants were issued with an electronic fob, rather than a key. Or, for tenants who habitually lost their keys, there was an alternative option of a wristband. Matt manages the access system for all buildings from his computer, with other staff also being able to log in. Working from home is no problem and staff can even make new fobs at home, to send out as replacements if a fob is lost.