Why so little social housing?

Ever wondered why Australia has so little social housing? Why the number of social housing properties is in decline despite the increasing and desperate need? Why social housing fails to get political support despite the mountain of policy ideas setting out what needs to be done?

CHIA Vic is holding a workshop presented by Swinburne University Adjunct Professor Terry Burke to answer the question, ‘Why can’t social housing get greater political traction in Australia?’

Tuesday, September 29 from 10am to noon.

Register now.

COVID-19 and the community housing sector

Find out how our sector has fared throughout the COVID-19 crisis by downloading the special edition of our CHIA Vic magazine. Out now.

Click here to view your copy.

Is COVID-19 causing a housing crisis?

CEO of the Aboriginal Housing Victoria and CHIA Vic Board Member Darren Smith will be one of the speakers on a Facebook Live event hosted by ABC Melbourne’s Raf Epstein on  Is COVID causing a housing crisis?

The online event is one of a series created by VCOSS and ABC Melbourne on some of the pressing social dimensions of the pandemic.

Darren will be joined by Dr Nadia Chaves, infectious disease specialist from cohealth and Georga Wootton, senior lawyer at Tenants Victoria.

It will be held on Thursday, September 10, from 7.30 – 8.30pm.

Click here to take part.

DHHS community housing infection control information session

Almost 70 CHIA Vic members attended a Zoom presentation by DHHS staff on infection control in community housing facilities on Monday afternoon.

Members discussed a range of issues including the need for security to accompany testing teams.

The PowerPoint, including resources, is now available for members on the Coronavirus Members page of our website.

If you are CHIA Vic member and do not have access, please email Jason.perdriau@chiavic.com.au for a log in.

Community housing Aboriginal Cultural Safety Framework officially launched

At an online launch this afternoon, Victorian Housing Minister Richard Wynne and Aboriginal Affairs Minister Gabrielle Williams launched the Community Housing Aboriginal Cultural Framework.

The Community Housing Industry Association Victoria (CHIA Vic) developed the framework after extensive consultation with tenants and its member organisations. It sets out the steps community housing organisations can take to become culturally safe and will be backed by training and consultancy services to provide further assistance.

Organisations that commit to the framework will begin to integrate an understanding of the impact of intergenerational trauma has had on Aboriginal tenants, and employees, and work to create services that are appropriate and welcoming. One aim is to increase the number of Aboriginal people taking up housing in the community housing sector and have sustained successful tenancies.

CHIA Vic will provide assistance to organisations keen to commit to the framework with training and consultancy services.

You can view the framework, and details on the launch, here.

Or download the media release.

Know how to manage a rooming house?

Rooming houses are a unique form of housing and managing them presents different challenges to managing other types of housing.  They are governed by different provisions within the Residential Tenancies Act (RTA) and they often house people with a wide variety of issues at very close quarters with shared facilities.

CHIA Vic is running a course that will give new rooming house workers an understanding of how rooming houses work, both legally and practically, and take them through many aspects of their job role.

The online course will be held on August, 18 from 9:30 am – 1:00 pm

 

Click here to register

Why membership of CHIA Vic is a must

Membership fees for 2020/21 are now due. Here are just some of the reasons why being a member of the state peak for community housing is a must.

 

National Reconciliation Week

National Reconciliation Week begins today and its brutal to note that, in the housing space, Aboriginal Victorians continue to face extreme disadvantage.

Around one in five Aboriginal households in Victoria live in social housing compared to one in 50 in the general population.

CHIA Vic is currently working on a project to ensure the community housing sector is culturally safe for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. Stay tuned for details.

In the meantime, a great resource for gaining a glimpse into what life looks from an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspective can be found here, at Reconciliation Australia’s Share Our Pride website.

solar installation on roof

Calls for a solar powered stimulus

A successful program that has enabled almost 700 low income households to benefit from reduced power bills could be used as the basis of a solar-powered stimulus package that could benefit more vulnerable Victorians and the environment, create employment and support the economy.

The Community Housing Industry Association Victoria (CHIA Vic) and BOOMPower are partners on a project that has seen solar power and other energy efficiency products and solutions installed in social housing properties, including standalone properties and multi-unit apartment buildings.

With funding from the Victorian Government’s New Energy Jobs Fund, CHIA Vic and BOOMPower developed the BOOM! software platform. The platform makes it easy for organisations to produce a clear business case on the impact of installing energy efficiencies, as well as providing a seamless procurement process, and measuring and verifying performance and outcomes on an ongoing basis.

Additional funding from Solar Homes and the Victorian Property Fund saw seven community housing organisations use the platform to plan and implement $3.5 million worth of energy upgrades on social housing properties and counting.

CHIA Vic CEO Lesley Dredge says, ‘People on low incomes are the most vulnerable to high energy prices. It can have a real impact on their day-to-day lives, as they can avoid using heating and cooling even in extreme temperatures, which reduces their quality of life and their health and wellbeing.’

BOOMPower Director Alex Houlston says new funding for solar and energy efficiency from the Victorian Property Fund (VPF), along with the introduction of Solar Homes in 2018 and the availability of the BOOM! platform caused a surge in the level of engagement from the sector for a range of energy solutions.

‘This is evidence a stimulus package would be welcomed; in addition to construction projects, the community housing sector has $14 million in solar and energy efficiency upgrades that are ready to be undertaken in the next six to 18 months,’ Mr Houlston says.

Based on jobs figures provided by product suppliers and retailers for the initial projects, Ms Dredge says, ‘We can confidently say that a $14 million program would also directly support up to 356 jobs.’

CHIA Vic and BOOM! are hopeful Solar Homes will develop a separate funding stream for community housing, in recognition of the fact that, unlike private landlords or homeowners, they are unable to receive any of the financial benefits of their investment in energy efficiencies.

Psst…need a good habit?

Need some help to develop good habits and overcome bad ones?

CHIA Vic is running a four-hour webinar (delivered in two, two-hour blocks) that will introduce you to the skills you need to foster positive habits, as well as giving tips, ideas and strategies for overcoming negative, unhelpful habits.

The webinar will cover the Habit Loop and how to use it to bring about positive change and the Four Laws of Habit Change and how to use them to develop and practice good habits every day. It will draw on the work of James Clear and his book Atomic Habits, and B. J. Fogg’s book Tiny Habits.

The webinar will be run by David Cherry, a Clinical and Forensic Psychologist who has helped many organisations prepare their staff to cope in difficult working environments as well as in providing support for individuals and groups after difficult incidents.

The webinar will be held on June 3 and June 17. 

Click here to book.