October 15,2015

The Colin Biggers & Paisley Foundation has been referred by Justice Connect to provide pro bono legal assistance to purchasers under the Melbourne Apartments Project.

The aim of the project is to help people currently living in social housing to move to home ownership and to free up social housing properties for those most in need. The properties, which are in a new residential development being built in the inner city, will be offered at significantly less than market value. The project is supported by Melbourne City Mission and is administered by a trust whose members are committed to addressing housing affordability for those on lower incomes.

The Colin Biggers & Paisley Foundation's main work on this project includes reviewing the contract, advising purchasers about the contract, liaising with relevant third party stakeholders involved in the transaction, and arranging and attending for settlement of the purchase. The work is being undertaken by Chris Rumore, Partner, Rebecca Edwards, Partner and Jeffrey Tan, Lawyer.

"We will provide clear, concise and effective advice to the purchasers and be in regular contact with them to ensure that they are kept well informed at all times", explains Daniel Creasey, Partner, Head of Pro Bono and Responsible Business. "Purchasing a property can be stressful and purchasers need to understand their rights and obligations in full."

Alan Yang, Referral Manager from Justice Connect: "It is difficult for most first home buyers to break into the Melbourne property market, but for low wage earners it is almost impossible. In addition, we know that access to affordable housing can reduce the links between domestic violence and homelessness. We are very happy that the Colin Biggers & Paisley Foundation has come on board to help people in social housing to buy their first home."

Colin Biggers & Paisley is committed to providing high calibre pro bono legal services and this project is in line with using the practice's core skills and expertise to help communities in need.

"This is an industry first and we are honoured to have been presented with a wonderful opportunity to be involved and to assist purchasers in a project like this", said Mr Creasey. "We hope to be more involved in pro bono work within the industry in the future."