Steve Bevington is the founder and managing director of Australia’s largest non-profit social and inexpensive housing supplier, Group Housing Restricted. The organisation has delivered secure housing to greater than 500,000 susceptible Australians, together with the aged, these with incapacity and psychological sickness, and home violence survivors. Steve was a Victorian nominee for 2021 Australian of the 12 months.
The place do you reside?
In a house I constructed single-handedly in a distant bush setting exterior Healesville within the Yarra Valley.
What do you’re keen on most about your private home?
I designed and constructed the home personally in three levels. It is extremely stunning as a combination between a Federation weatherboard and a Swiss chalet, perched excessive above the Yarra Valley with a view 40km out throughout the valley to the Dandenong Hills. At first, I bought the land however was very poor and unable to safe a building mortgage. So I landscaped the property myself between 1990 and 1992. Then I constructed the primary stage, a two-bedroom house, making all of the doorways and home windows and utilizing cypress pine for the stumps. I constructed the second stage between 1999 and 2002, following the identical course of.
One factor you’d change?
Not constructing the house by myself — it was exhausting. I spent 50 hours working on the workplace and commuting, after which 40 hours per week constructing the house.
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What number of houses have you ever ever lived in?
Earlier than I constructed my house, I moved many occasions. My mother and father lived in numerous houses in numerous components of the world. And I’ve had a nomadic life, dwelling in 18 houses within the UK and Germany earlier than I stabilised in London, the place I lived in three houses over 9 years. I lived in three homes in my first 4 years in Australia, and have lived in the home I constructed for the previous 28 years, other than a quick respite for a few years the place I moved round 4 homes. I’ve additionally skilled homelessness, sleeping in graveyards, alleyways and parks, to sofa browsing and squatting in deserted buildings. For many individuals, entry to secure, safe and sustainable dwelling is difficult to come back by. I based CHL in 1993 to assist handle this problem, and whereas we’ve achieved unimaginable issues over the previous 25 years, there may be nonetheless an extended solution to go. This problem, sadly, is rising quickly and wishes pressing and sustainable funding.
Essentially the most memorable?
Aside from the place I reside now, I lived in a home in a cooperative in Camden City in London, which was rundown however very good. I’ve additionally lived in a really nice home in Upwey owned at one time by the artist Fred Williams.
Your first foot on the property ladder?
Constructing my house exterior Healesville.
The highlights of your property journey?
Regardless of the rigours of the journey, I developed enough fairness to make use of it to accumulate funding properties.
Suggestions for homebuyers?
Think about your way of life and future plans fastidiously. Spend money on a property you’d be ready to reside in your self, as you might must at some point if circumstances change. But additionally purchase a property that may have the ability to be efficiently let or offered in case your employment modified and also you needed to transfer.
Future property plans?
Relying on household circumstances, I could transfer to Melbourne or alternatively to Indonesia at some point. However in any other case, I’ll proceed to reside in my house within the Yarra Valley.