SouthEast Housing Co-operative

Community housing for low-income families.

We believe that accessible, affordable and appropriate housing is important for the safety and security of individuals and families, and it also forms part of the foundation on which we build strong, sustainable communities.

Leaders in community housing

SouthEast Housing Cooperative is a non-trading cooperative and the largest Rental Housing Cooperative in Victoria.

To provide affordable, secure, financially, and environmentally sustainable housing for people on low incomes who are committed to cooperative democracy and engagement.

Cooperatives are based on the values of self-help, self-reliance, democracy, equality, equity, and solidarity. In the tradition of their founders, cooperative members believe in the ethical values of honesty, openness, social responsibility and caring for others.

Our Leadership Team


A message from

our CEO

"Our mission is to provide affordable, secure, financially, and environmentally sustainable housing for people on low incomes"

SouthEast is a non-trading cooperative and the largest Rental Housing Cooperative in Victoria.  Our mission is to provide affordable, secure, financially, and environmentally sustainable housing for people on low incomes, who are committed to cooperative democracy and engagement.

SouthEast is governed by a Board of Directors elected democratically by members of the Cooperative, thus ensuring member/tenant control of the operation of the service, and a better understanding of tenant/members’ needs.

At SouthEast we believe that accessible, affordable and appropriate housing is not only important for the safety and security of individuals and families, it also forms part of the foundation on which we build strong sustainable communities. It is only with the experience of stable housing that people are able to put down roots in the local community, feel included, and be motivated to contribute to the society around them.

SouthEast was founded through the merger of the Ringwood/Croydon, Oakleigh, and Frankston Cooperatives in 2000. They sought to consolidate community assets and ensure members would have control over an effective and efficient housing management structure. The new structure worked so well that the Moorabbin Rental Housing Cooperative became part of the organisation in 2004. In 2022, we successfully merged with Eastern Suburbs Rental Housing Co-operative officially making us the largest housing co-operative in Victoria. Today, SouthEast owns and manages 16 properties and manages a further 190 properties on behalf of the Director of Housing.

How we add value to the community

Voluntary and open membership

Discover the heart of who we are as we create a vibrant community-driven force, empowering all to shape our shared future together.

Democratic member control

This is our compass ensuring every voice shapes our decisions, and builds trust amongst members and the co-operative.

Member economic participation

Your investment fuels our success, creating a prosperous future for all. Join us in shaping a better tomorrow!

Autonomy and independence

This is what drives us to excel as Victoria’s leading community housing provider, offering our members stability, trust, and working towards a brighter future.

Cooperation amongst cooperatives

We collaborate with fellow co-operatives across Victoria to secure a brighter future for all low-income families, fostering unity and prosperity in our community-driven industry.

Concern for community

Community is our cornerstone. We prioritise providing affordable housing opportunities for all irrespective of income ensuring a sense of security for all.




Below you'll find some important pieces of information to get you started. We also encourage you to reach out to us if you have any questions about SouthEast or general housing concerns.
Apply for housing

SouthEast Housing Cooperative provides long-term secure tenancies, and so it’s not easy to predict when a vacancy might occur. However, we maintain a referral list and when a vacancy occurs we contact those who meet our membership criteria, to attend an interview.

All applicants must meet the approved income and asset criteria:

  • SouthEast participates in the Victorian Housing Register (VHR). The VHR is a common register for all applicants seeking public and community housing in Victoria. Click here for more information and application forms.
  • If you are homeless and receiving support, or you need housing urgently, you may be eligible for Priority Access. You will need a support worker to fill in an application form for you. If you do not have a support worker, please refer to our Resources for Tenants page.
  • Always make sure you comply with SouthEast’s Eligibility Policy.

We offer housing on a long-term basis which means few vacancies become available each year. When a vacancy occurs, people on our waiting list will be contacted to ensure they still meet all eligibility criteria and are committed to cooperative housing. Only then will they be invited to attend a selection interview. To be eligible for long-term housing with SouthEast, which is under the Victorian Housing Register (VHR), an applicant must:

  • Meet the VHR eligibility criteria;
  • Be a citizen or have permanent residency in Australia
  • Be a resident in Victoria
  • Have no previous debt with SouthEast, the Director of Housing (DHS) or another registered housing agency that remains unpaid
  • Have not any assets or property, which would reasonably be expected to resolve their housing need
  • A person entering into a tenancy agreement must be generally 18 years or older
Tenant Information

The Tenant Member Handbook and the Southeast Member Manual contain information primarily for members of the SouthEast Housing Cooperative. Both the Handbook and the Manual also provide general information for Cooperative tenant members. More detailed information for SouthEast Housing Cooperative members are provided via our Cooperative Rules that can be downloaded here. Please refer to the Tenant Policies page for more information on  Rules and Policies.

Tenant Resources

A list of resources regularly updated by SouthEast, to make sure our members are linked to community services and resources:

  • Housing Victoria provides information about housing and housing assistance in Victoria – website
  • Housing Registrar Victoria protects social housing assets and ensures quality services to tenants by regulating rental housing agencies – website or +61 3 9651 1402
  • Safe Steps: Family Violence Response Centre. Open 24/7 – website or 13 11 14 (Life Line) or 1800 627 727 (Toll Free)
  • WAYSS: Assisting individuals who are homeless or at risk of homelessness to improve their life circumstances by providing access to stable, affordable and safe accommodation. Information, referral and support services are provided free of charge – website or +61 3 9791 6111
  •  Hanover (24/7 Service): Provides a range of services to Victorians experiencing housing crisis or homelessness. If you are experiencing homelessness, are at risk of losing your home or you need to escape family violence all 1800 825 955 (FREE Call Number) – website or 1800 825 955 (Toll Free)

What our tenants have to say

SouthEast changed my life. When others turned me away, they welcomed me with open arms, restoring hope. Forever grateful!
Shirley Faram, Tenant (2013)
SouthEast makes being a tenant so effortless. Their attention to my needs ensures a stress-free experience, making life a pleasure.
Senior couple sitting on rocking chairs. Man and woman are having tea on sunny day. They are resting at home.
John Donovan, Tenant (2021)
SouthEast were there when I was at my lowest. I can't thank them enough.
Mary Robertson, Tenant (2023)

Read our latest news

Housing Futures (Spring 2023)
14 October 2023
Housing Futures (Spring 2023)
Spring has really turned it on for us here in Melbourne. Forget four seasons in one day – currently we’re getting four seasons in one hour!
Continue reading
Housing Futures (Autumn 2023)
9 March 2023
Housing Futures (Autumn 2023)
Welcome to the first edition of Housing Futures for 2023. Autumn is upon us, which means the return of the AFL season.
Continue reading
Housing Futures (Summer 2022)
20 December 2022
Housing Futures (Summer 2022)
We have managed to bed down arrangements post the historic merger with Eastern Suburbs Rental Housing Co-op, complete all maintenance stimulus works on time and within budget, and even purchase two rightsizing properties.
Continue reading
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