Life-changing accommodation opens

Six Brisbane residents with high care needs will have a new, state-of-the-art home thanks to a partnership with Community Housing (Qld) Ltd, Youngcare and the Queensland Department of Public Works and Housing.

The housing development will add to the much-needed stock of specialised disability accommodation (SDA) in a state which has an estimated shortfall of nearly 70 per cent of demand.

The high quality, purpose built, and architecturally designed development will provide a mix of shared and self-contained accommodation for people aged between 18-65 years with high physical-care needs with three townhouses and a share house for three people along with overnight accommodation for a care provider.

Community Housing (Qld) Ltd is the owner and ongoing tenancy and property manager of the new residence with Youngcare overseeing the quality of care of the new residents.

One of the residents will be 34-year-old Lathom, whose parents Margaret and Stephen have been caring for at their family home since he was born with severe Spina Bifida.

‘As Lathom’s primary carer, I’ve been responsible for his round-the-clock care needs while my husband Stephen acts as the sole income earner for our family. As my body has worn out, we knew we had to do something to prevent Lathom from ending up in a facility like aged care, which is no life for a young person,’ Margaret says.

‘Moving into Youngcare and Community Housing’s new residence at Wooloowin will allow Lathom access to more choice and exposure to young people and experiences, in an environment that will nurture the independent life we’ve always wanted for him.’

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.

Leadership opportunity at Unison

Unison Housing is looking to fill a role of Manager, Place Management (West)

Reporting to the Director, Housing and Homelessness Services, you will lead Unison’s long-term housing portfolio in Western Melbourne and Geelong. The property portfolio includes social housing, affordable housing, public housing and private rental. Your role is focused on ensuring that we provide high quality, safe and sustainable housing, and that our customers are supported to sustain their housing and maximize their participation in communities that thrive.

About you

To make this role a success, we are seeking a person who:

  • has managed staff across multiple teams and sites
  • has a mix of contract management, stakeholder management skills and experience in the direct provision of place management services
  • is self-motivated with a demonstrated commitment to social justice and to the empowerment of disadvantaged members of the community
  • has experience in the provision of community housing services – including tenancy and property management (or other relevant experience)
  • Has experience in reporting requirements and contract arrangements for partnership and government contracts

On Offer

  • Permanent, Full-time position
  • Total remuneration $110,000 per annum (Including the benefits of salary packaging and superannuation)
  • 5 weeks annual leave with 17.5% leave loading
  • Salary packaging of up to $15,900 tax free
  • Supportive working arrangements
  • Access to the Employee Assistance Program for independent and confidential counselling
  • Free membership to the Unison Social Club for all staff

To Apply

  • For a full Position Description and instructions on how to apply, please visit the careers page of our website and send your application addressing the key selection criteria to:
  • This position will commence immediately, and only shortlisted candidates will be contacted. We will review applications as they come in so apply now. Closing date: Monday, 7 September 2020
  • The successful applicant will be required to undertake a Police Check and a Working with Children Check.

Download the position description here.

CHL’s $6.1m development delivers 24 new affordable homes

Community Housing Ltd (CHL) has completed 24 new affordable homes in Melbourne’s growing north-eastern suburb of Mernda – an initiative made possible by a three-way partnership between the philanthropic, public and not for profit sector.

The $6.1 million development has been jointly funded by the Philanthropic organisation Peter and Lyndy White (P&LW) Foundation who is the majority contributor with over $4.2million followed by $1.2 million from the Victorian Government’s Social Housing Growth Fund and the remainder by CHL. Designed and built by CHL, the new homes will be rented out to eligible people with local community links, at subsidised rent.

‘The contribution by Peter and Lyndy White Foundation is truly inspiring. It shows the impact the philanthropic sector can make in the community. We are proud of the partnership with the Foundation and the Victorian state government in delivering this project which will provide real opportunities for those who are homeless and on low incomes,’ said Steve Bevington, Managing Director of CHL.

Located in the heart of the Mernda township, the high-quality two storey development comprises of one and two-bedroom apartments and will be offered to those on the social housing waiting list. With medical facilities, schools, public transport, supermarket and retail outlets in close proximity, tenants will have easy access to essential services and local employment hubs.

‘These homes are modern, well located and will provide much needed additional supply of affordable housing at a time where the cost of living is increasingly unaffordable. It will provide a new lease of life to those who have fallen into difficulties due to issues such as unemployment, family breakdown, illness and others that have led to their having ended up being homeless,’ Mr Bevington said.

‘The completion of the development couldn’t have come at a more critical time as waiting lists for public housing and social housing continue to grow. We hope to see more investment into building social housing to ensure everyone has access to safe, secure and affordable housing.

‘This project is a great example of three sectors working together to address the shortage of affordable housing. We commend the P&LW Foundation & the Victorian Government for their leadership and look forward to continuing the partnership in the future,’ Steve added.

Minister for Housing Richard Wynne said, ‘Everyone deserves the safety and security of a roof over their head. This latest tranche of the Social Housing Growth Fund will deliver more than 780 units to make sure people sleeping rough, at risk of homelessness, and those escaping family violence can find a home.

Full-time management position at Jewish Care

Jewish Care is seeking an enthusiastic and skilled Program Manager with experience in managing social, affordable and disability housing to join the Individual and Family Services Division. Leading a small team of Property & Tenancy workers, the role will not only offer management and supervisory support but will contribute and lead the strategic planning for housing development and enhancement.

This position is full time and based at Jewish Care’s new Hannah and Daryl Cohen Family building at St Kilda Road. The Program Manager role is one of four PMs in the Individual & Family Services Division.

Click here for details.

Cast your vote in Wintringham’s online art exhibition

The Wintringham Art Space 2020 online exhibition is now open! It includes over 80 artworks from people who use Wintringham’s services, many who have experienced or have been vulnerable to homelessness. There are paintings, drawings, crafts, knitted pieces, poems, sculptures and much more. The exhibition is an annual Wintringham tradition that takes place during Homelessness Week. It provides Wintringham’s clients with an opportunity to get creative and express themselves through their art, especially during this pandemic – look out for the beautiful ‘Covid dreaming’ painting.

As part of the exhibition, Wintringham has also launched its first ever People’s Choice Award. Visitors to the website will be able to show their support for up to five of their favourite artworks through an online survey, but voting is only open from Monday 3 until Sunday 9 August, so get in quick! There are art voucher prizes up for grabs for the winner, runner-up and a lucky voter, very kindly provided by Melbourne Artists’ Supplies. Visit the Wintringham Art Space for some artistic inspiration and vote now!

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 for a log in.

Unison seeking Finance Director

Unison Housing is seeking an experienced Director of Finance to provide strategic leadership, oversee all external financial and business performance processes and outcomes and ensure compliance with all mandatory professional standards.

Would you like to work for a leading housing services provider? If you are looking for a career-enhancing role with a friendly and professional work environment where your contribution is valued, then we would love to hear from you!

About Unison
Unison is a not for profit Organisation that provides a diverse range of housing services across Victoria including social housing, affordable housing, private rental, transitional housing and owners’ corporation services. We believe that affordable housing is the foundation on which to build a life of value, but that a good life takes more than just housing. A good life takes place in a community.

We provide affordable housing, and work to reduce disadvantage and social exclusion for people who have previously been homeless, by helping to create communities around them. Unison also assists over 3000 people each year who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.

About the role
Reporting to the CEO, you will work closely with the Executive Team and provide strategic leadership on financial planning and governance. Prior experience and exposure working with senior officials in government or in the not-for-profit sector is essential.

Key responsibilities include:
• Provide strategic financial advice to the Board and its Committees, the CEO, the Executive Leadership Team and senior staff to achieve Unison’s financial objectives
• Oversee all external financial reporting processes and outcomes and ensure compliance with all mandatory professional standards as well as legislative and contractual requirements.
• Ensure Unison properly manages its financial risks and achieve financial management best practice.
• Manage Unison’s relationship with its external stakeholders, including auditors, lenders, banks, investment manager, insurance broker, government departments and agencies regarding financial arrangements for relevant Unison projects and funding.

About you
This exciting ongoing position will suit a career minded finance leader who can bring best practice to the finance operations. Your formal accounting qualifications will be well supported by sound business judgment, robust analytical capabilities and strong communication skills. Your excellence in Board reporting, financial modelling, forecasting and budgeting will be matched with your attention to detail, skill in delegating to and empowering others; and in ensuring the provision of timely and comprehensive reports to guide the Executive and Management.

• Five+ Years’ experience in a senior financial managerial position
• Professional accounting qualification such as CA or CPA and Tertiary qualification in Finance, Accounting • Proven knowledge and experience in implementing the requirements of Australian Accounting Standards, not-for-profit sector accounting, tax compliance and financial reporting.
• Experience working with senior officials in government or in the not-for-profit sector (essential).
• Experience working in the building and development industry (preferred).
• Ability to lead by example and demonstrate a strong sense of integrity, ethics and dependability.
• Ability to work collaboratively with a wide range of stakeholders whilst displaying exceptional interpersonal communication and leadership skills.

On Offer
• Permanent, Part time (4 days, 0.8 FTE)
• Salary package approximately $170k per year, pro-rata’ed to 0.8FTE (Including super and leave loading)
• Salary Packaging available
• 5 weeks annual leave with 17.5% annual leave loading
• Salary packaging of up to $15,900 tax free available
• Supportive working arrangements
• Access to the Employee Assistance Program for independent and confidential counselling

To Apply
•  Download the position description and email your application. You can view further instructions on Unison’s career page.

• Screening for this position will commence immediately, and only shortlisted candidates will be contacted. We will review applications as they come in so if you meet the requirements of this role, please APPLY immediately.

• The successful applicant will be required to undertake a Police Check and a Working with Children Check.

Unison is an equal opportunity employer and encourages individuals of diverse backgrounds including but not limited to those from the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, Culturally and Linguistically Diverse, the LGBTIQ+ communities and those living with a disability to apply.

*Only shortlisted candidates will be advised of the application outcome.

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.


Funding announcement offers a boost to Aboriginal housing

Aboriginal Housing Victoria (AHV) has welcomed funding announcements from the Victorian Government to upgrade and build more social housing for Aboriginal Victorians.

The government is investing almost $500 million to public and community housing as part of the $2.7 billion Building Works package, which will kickstart Victoria’s economy and create thousands of jobs across the state.

That includes funding for AHV sites in Hampton Park and Dandenong, creating 12 homes, as well as $35 million for upgrades, maintenance and repairs of existing Aboriginal social housing.

“This funding will enable AHV and other Aboriginal controlled organisations in our state to renovate hundreds of properties and build a dozen or so new homes. We expect Aboriginal Victorians to share in the new jobs to be immediately created in the construction sector while also providing more Aboriginal families with a safe place to live,” said AHV Chief Executive Officer Darren Smith.

“Every Victorian deserves a home and no sector of the community is denied this human right more often than First Australians. The commitment the Government announced yesterday to renovate thousands of existing properties (including those providing shelter for our people) is urgently needed, will boost morale and give a welcome charge to a flagging economy.”

Images of the property by Schored Projects supplied by Lucy Greenham.