This webpage outlines the most recent annual conference in 2021 for CHIA Victoria.
Big Australian Housing Build Conference 2021
A global pandemic couldn’t stop CHIA Vic from holding it’s scheduled conference, and on April 27-28, 2021, the event was held online, featuring all the colour and excitement for which they are know, in a virtual format.
The Big Australian Housing Build Conference 2021 came at a unique time in community housing history. We are emerging from a pandemic in Australia, with a shining light to a bigger and better future. We are building thousands of new homes for Victorians in need and creating tens of thousands of jobs to support Victoria’s recovery.
We kicked off with the Minister for Housing, the Hon Richard Wynne MP giving an insight into the Big Housing Build, and Senator Jacqui Lambie speaking passionately about advocating for housing rights and dignity of tenants.
Then it was straight into a packed program, with guest speakers discussing issues around mental health and accessible design; the ethos behind them and the practical challenges and opportunities.
For many, the highlight of the day was Uncle Jack Charles, actor, musician, survivor of the Stolen Generation, and former heroin addict and burglar, telling his story and sending the unwavering message: secure housing is the foundation on which all our lives and achievements sit.
Our focus shifted to another big issue facing the housing sector: climate change.
For many conference attendees the discussion was a big shift in thinking from how they have viewed climate change, largely in terms of energy poverty, to the fact that in the future, some homes in bushfire or flood prone areas may actually become uninsurable.
Then it was down to nuts and bolts, with speakers and presentations on issues such as the importance of traineeships, management transfers, and how to up your collection rates and slash eviction rates.
International speakers included Jeff Morrison, CEO of Canada Housing and Renewal Association discussing what Australia can learn from Canada’s social housing system, and Scott Figenshow, CEO of Community Housing Aotearoa in NZ, who spoke about housing as a human right.
The day ended with a robust discussion about the role and expectations of community housing organisations in a post-pandemic Australia, and delegates said good-bye, heads spinning from all the information and ideas they had digested, and a renewed enthusiasm for their work and the sector.