14 June 2019
After 31 years working in social housing you could say Rosslyn (Ros) Brewer knows all there is to know about this special area of work. Ros started in social housing with the Christchurch City Council in 1987 and commenced with the Ōtautahi Community Housing Trust in 2016 at its inception.
Ros is one of the Ōtautahi Community Housing Trust’s Placement Advisors which means she works with applicants looking for housing to assist them to complete application processes correctly and find a home that best meets their particular needs.
Ros works closely with the Ministry of Social Development to make sure that applicants are correctly registered and meet all the requirements for housing with particular emphasis on ensuring their priority for housing. In her role, Ros meets face to face with applicants so that she can get a real feel for where they would be best placed, so they are in a home that generates a real sense of community.
“We really want people to be settled in their homes and to feel that they are part of a wider network so the face to face meetings are important to make sure we get that aspect right. I see about 12 people each week who are looking for a home. I work one day a week at the Linwood Link, Work and Income office and we have a great relationship with staff there who are always willing to assist. The parking in Linwood is also much easier for tenants than the central city. Together, we really work hard to make sure that people are found a home that will meet their individual needs,” says Ros.
For Ros, the best part of the job is, “finding people a house that becomes a home and that quite often turns people’s lives around”.
“I have had so many memorable moments in the role, it’s hard to pick one as being special but I do enjoy helping people to get off the street and into a house and to make friends with their community when they may have been very lonely.”
Ros’ own family connections and friendships are important to her and last year she enjoyed a holiday visiting her friend of 50 years in South New Mexico, with highlights being a trip to the Grand Canyon and Florida.
During her 30 years working in social housing Ros says one of the biggest changes she has witnessed has been a shift in demographics of people needing a home, with more younger people needing assistance in recent years.
When Ros not working, Ros enjoys spending time with family, completing craft like sewing and knitting and nature photography