Congratulations to the newly re-named CHIA NSW for an excellent two-day affordable housing conference in Sydney last week. With a host of international speakers and diverse presentations it was a great opportunity to hear what others in the community housing sector are doing.
One of the stand out sessions was the presentation by David Orr, from the National Housing Federation, UK, on how the housing industry in the UK united behind a successful campaign to put solving the housing crisis on the political agenda in 2015.
The importance of communicating the story of community housing and its value to media, politicians, and potential collaborators in the broader housing industry was a theme that carried throughout the conference. This could involve making friends with your local media outlet, inviting local politicians to any openings you have, or building connections with the development industry to create innovative partnerships.
The conference challenged our sector to think about how we can work with what is within our control. My Foundations Youth Housing CEO Rebecca Mullins spoke about their work with Sydney developer TOGA to create a pop-up youth homelessness residence for homeless students while the site was going through the planning process for redevelopment. Haven; Home, Safe CEO Ken Marchingo spoke about the impact their concierge program has in reducing anxiety and improving the experience of people coming into their offices. Hume Community Housing CEO Nicola Lemon spoke about their organisations efforts to improve the recruitment and retention of gen Y staff, which included highlighting the benefits available, the company culture, and the bright future of their organisation, and the creation and adoption of company values.