NHFIC offering bushfire support

The National Housing Finance & Investment Corporation has pledged to support Community Housing Organisations efforts to help in the recovery process for bushfire affected communities, given the scale of the disaster.

Contact NHFIC for details.

NHFIC first home deposit scheme

First Home Loan Deposit Scheme

The banks have registered 3,000 potential first home buyers under the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme since it started on January 1, according to NHFIC.

The remaining 7,000 Scheme places for the current financial year will be available from 1 February 2020 when potential applicants will have a panel of 27 lenders to choose from.

NHFIC is releasing 10,000 First Home Loan Deposit Scheme guarantees this financial year. Another 10,000 places will be available from July 2020.

The staged release of Scheme places provides first home buyers with the opportunity to gather the necessary financial information to support their application and enables a broader choice between the major banks and smaller lenders. Twenty-five smaller lenders join the Scheme’s lending panel on 1 February.

Information on eligible properties and settlement dates can be found on the NHFIC website.

Safe Places Emergency Accommodation capital grants open

The Australian Government’s $60 million Safe Places Emergency Accommodation capital grant round is now open with the closing date extended to 11.00pm (AEDT) on 14 February 2020.

Safe Places will provide new or expanded emergency and crisis accommodation for women and children experiencing domestic and family violence.  It could also fund renovations or repurposing of buildings, where it creates new emergency accommodation.

 Participants must:

  • comply with all applicable work health and safety requirements, including under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (Cth) and any other applicable laws (including state and territory law)
  • comply with the Work Health and Safety Accreditation Scheme under the Building and Construction Industry (Improving Productivity) Act 2016 if:

o   the grant payable under the Funding Agreement is $4 million or more (GST inclusive); and

o   the grant is for ‘building work’ (as defined in the Building and Construction Industry (Improving Productivity) Act 2016).

Organisations interested in applying for a Safe Places grant should visit Community Grants Hub or GrantConnect for grant information. Organisations should refer to the Questions and Answers document which includes the questions received during the information sessions.  It also includes the support that is available from state and territory governments.  If you have a question about Safe Places or the grants process that is not included on the Questions and Answers document please email support@communitygrants.gov.au no later than 5.00pm AEDT on 7 February 2020.

The best way to ensure organisations are notified of announcements or changes to the Safe Places program is to register with GrantConnect.

Lord Mayor’s Innovation Grants open today

The Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation Innovation Grants round supports new ideas – large and small – that address the social and environmental priorities of Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation.

This grant round will be the first under the Foundation’s 2019 – 2023 Strategic Plan, which features revised outcomes within the four Impact Areas, one of which is Homelessness & Affordable Housing.

The grant round opens today!

Click here for details.

Women’s trust grants open

The Victorian Women’s Trust aims to help women and girls thrive through targeted grant making. The trust currently has 11 grant categories open to applications, with several relevant to the housing sector.

Click here for details.

CHIA Vic’s State Budget submission

CHIA Vic has written to Treasurer Pallis to provide input into the first budget of this new government.

We argued that this budget provides a great opportunity to build on the new government’s momentum and tackle the bleak picture for those in housing need, as outlined in the Report on Government Services released last month. The report noted:

•    Victoria spends the lowest amount per head of population on social housing – $82.94 when the national average is $166.93.
•    Net recurrent expenditure on public housing decreased from $457m in 2014/15 to $412m in 2017/18.
•    In the five years to 2018, the total number of long-term social housing dwellings (both public and community housing) increased by only 42.

Against this backdrop, funding has recently been announced for 680 new rental properties to be leased by the community housing sector under the New Rental Development Program (see press release).  The Build to Operate program, which is also part of the Social Housing Growth Fund, is at the Request for Proposal stage and we understand that the government is overwhelmingly positive about the response to this program.

These initiatives, plus the commitment to build 1,000 new public housing properties, will provide a much needed to boost to stock supplies. However, while the initiatives in train are valuable they are not enough.

Fortuitously, we have a Build-to-Operate program that has been oversubscribed with the number of high-quality proposals far exceeding the amount of funding that is available. Many of these projects are time sensitive in that they are partnerships with developers, and if funding is not made available in this round then the project will not proceed at all.

We urged the Treasurer to allocate additional funding to allow all of the projects to proceed.  This would be a quick win for the government where no departmental design or development work would be required as all the systems and staff are in place.

In addition to more funding for the Build–to-Operate program, we would like to see funding allocated in the State Budget to:

•    deliver the Aboriginal Housing and Homelessness Framework
•    evaluate the current inclusionary housing pilot and identify more parcels of government land for a further round
•    implement the Community Housing Industry Transition Plan.

Retrofit funds for community housing up for grabs

Community housing organisations can apply for funding to retrofit their properties to improve water efficiency with the aim of saving water and reducing costs.

South East Water, City West Water and Yarra Valley Water in partnership with the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) have created aCommunity Housing Retrofit Program (CHRP).

CHRP provides assistance to emergency and community housing organisations to repair leaks and repair or replace faulty water appliances across Victoria.

Eligible organisations include refugee housing, domestic violence shelters or short term housing for displaced persons.

Some of the retrofit works available under this program are:

  • Showerhead replacement
  • Repair or replacement of single flush toilet suites
  • Leak detection
  • Leak repair, including underground pipes and internal appliances and fixtures
  • Hot water service adjustment repair and/or replacement
  • Water and energy efficient appliance replacement such as washing machines and dishwashers
  • Additional related plumbing works

Click here for details of how to apply.

$50 million in grants for creative NFPs

The Macquarie Group has pledge to donate a total of$50 million, over five years, to drive social change.

The funds are to be distributed globally among five NFPs for projects that show lasting community benefit and have a ‘defined approach to measuring social impact’.

Macquarie Group CEO, Nicholas Moore says, ‘Our people have devoted thousands of hours to work with non-profit organisations around the world and contributed over $330 million to drive social change at the local community level.

‘We are delighted to mark our 50th anniversary by extending this tradition with a further $50 million commitment to initiate or build on bold ideas which address areas of social need.’

Applicants must be a registered NFP  with aminimum annual revenue of $4 million, a board of directors, and audited financial statements.

Macquarie Group Foundation chair Shemara Wikramanayake says, ‘We encourage non-profits to be imaginative in their thinking about the enduring outcomes they can achieve with this funding.’

Applications are now open and close in mid-November, with winners announced in May 2019.


The Myer Innovation Fellowships are being offered to people with ground-breaking ideas that will tackle poverty and disadvantage; education; or sustainability and environment and need a year to develop an action plan.

Successful Fellows will receive $120,000 for their 12-month commitment to the program and an additional $30,000 for approved expenses such as work space, rent, travel and contracting of external expertise.

Read more…

VPF funding round opens

The Victorian Property Fund (VPF) has opened a $21 million funding round over three years to support housing development projects that will increase the supply of affordable and environmentally sustainable community housing for low income and disadvantaged Victorians.

All projects must be completed by June 2021.

The two-stage funding round involves completing an invitation for expression of interest (IEOI). Shortlisted proposals will then be invited to formally apply for a grant.

This round seeks proposals for the development of long-term housing, and is open to incorporated not-for-profit community housing organisations (both registered and non-registered).

Interested organisations should read through the Invitation for Expression of Interest (IEOI) documents carefully and submit their application by Monday, October 29, 2018. Requests for clarification can be made up to October 8.

The round is expected to be very competitive.

Click here for details.