Property Industry Foundation giving unwanted office furniture a second lease on life

In light of the global pandemic and digital age that is causing many organizations to downsize or relocate offices, the Property Industry Foundation has launched a new program to collect and sell surplus furniture and donate proceeds to homeless youth.

The Property Industry Foundation’s Furniture Fund aims to make the removal of furniture easy, sustainable and socially just so that the real estate and construction industries can improve the lives of homeless youth by donating unwanted furniture.

Companies can contact the foundation for information on excess furniture and Egan’s partner will assess the value of the items in question. It is then resold or used for other purposes, with the worthless items broken down and recycled. Only around 5 percent of the items collected are landfilled.

The proceeds will then be donated to the PIF, all of which will be used to build houses for youth at risk.

Priscilla Heathwood, Fundraiser director for PIF Victoria, said the goal is to increase the availability of temporary housing for homeless youth.

“And because of the uniqueness of the PIF House program, we can leverage the expertise and buildability of the real estate and construction industries to build a home at a significantly lower cost,” added Heathwood.

“A six-bedroom transition home typically costs around $ 600,000, but thanks to the kind donations of labor and industrial goods, we can deliver this through the program for $ 300,000 or less.

“Over the course of a lifetime, these homes help hundreds of children and teenagers get a second chance.”

The initiative was originally used at 2 Riverside Quay in Victoria, which is jointly owned by Mirvac and ISPT after a few floors have been renovated.

The removed furniture was resold and recycled, with only limited residual material being dumped. The resale furniture was then purchased by the co-owners and a sizeable donation was made to PIF.

“We saw the opportunity to divert waste from landfills while having a positive social impact,” he said Andrew Borley, Mirvac Asset Manager and the man behind the PIF Furniture Fund.

“We had an empty tenancy that was fully furnished by the previous tenant. PIF and Egans visited the website, made an inventory of all items, and removed the items.

“Based on the valuation of the residual value of the furniture, we auctioned the furniture and managed to raise over $ 33,000 which was then donated to the Furniture Fund.”

The money raised was used to build a transitional house in Toongabbie, Sydney, for homeless youth, which was completed last December.

“We were delighted to be working with PIF to establish the initiative and roll it out across the real estate industry, initially using our own portfolio,” he added Alicia Maynard, General Manager, Sustainability and Technical Services at ISPT.

“We are also planning to extend this initiative to other facilities. With an upcoming renovation of the entire building on which we plan to test this model, nearly 6,500 chairs and 1,200 desks would avoid a landfill.”

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