WPI tenant

Time for tax deductable donations…

Women’s Property Initiative is calling for tax deductible donations before June 30.

Two out of every three people seeking help for homelessness in Australia are women. Our crisis services are overwhelmed, which means that many of our most vulnerable can’t get help when they need it. More than 150 women were turned away from homelessness services every day in 2017/18. The pressure on these services is worsened by a chronic shortage of long-term, affordable homes to allow women to move on from crisis accommodation. For these women, a safe and secure home where they can rebuild their lives would be a dream come true.

Women’s Property Initiatives (WPI) currently provides permanent, secure and affordable homes for more than 220 women and children. They tell us every day about the difference these homes have made in their lives. Our tenants include older women, single mothers with children and younger women. All of them have faced significant life challenges and wondered if they would ever find stability.

Medical condition

Rebekah is one of these women. Her life was turned upside down when she was diagnosed with a severe medical condition as a teenager. She was forced to move from Wodonga to Melbourne with her Mum, who is also her carer, to be closer to specialised medical treatment.

They had to give up a lot, including being close to family and friends. Finding somewhere secure to live on a low income was almost impossible. When looking for affordable housing they experienced discrimination – most landlords wouldn’t even consider them. Panic set in, knowing that they couldn’t stay with the relative who was providing them with shelter for much longer.

Mental health

“It really started to play havoc with my mental state and impacted my health. I couldn’t work because of my condition and the rents were enormous. I never thought I would be in that position – I thought I was going to be a doctor! We would never have moved here without being financially secure but we had no choice.”

Rebekah cried when we told her that she could move in to a WPI apartment close to the hospital where she is treated.


“This beautiful apartment is not something we thought we would ever live in. I can’t go out much, so my home environment is really important. It’s secure and bright and comfortable. But the stability is the best thing. My stress levels have dropped and my health is so much better. Mum is happier, and we are a lot closer because of it.”

This is a new beginning for Rebekah, a chance to overcome her illness and get back to the life she always imagined. Even though she still needs regular treatment, she’s started a TAFE Animal Studies course and can’t wait to be working, productive and independent.

“It actually seems possible now. This home has really changed my life. ”

Please consider a tax-deductible donation to help us provide a lot more new beginnings.

Donate now

RMIT launches new NFP property course

RMIT has created a new not-for-profit property course that can be studied as a short course or as a post-graduate elective.

The course, Property in the not-for-profit (NFP) Sector, is targeted at NFP managers and board members who are seeking to learn about property in the NFP sector, and for
property professionals wanting to understand the NFP sector.

The course objectives are to develop your critical understanding of: the purpose, diversity and value of NFP organisations; the role; and the challenges faced by NFP organisations.

Download the course flyer for more information or email Andrea Sharam.


Social and affordable housing project funding opens

Homes for Homes has opened a funding round for social and affordable housing projects, with up to $140,000 available in Victoria.

Homes for Homes CEO Steven Persson says the organisation will take a flexible approach to the projects it supports.

Housing providers know who is experiencing homelessness and housing stress in their area of operation, and what their needs are, Mr Persson ‘says.

We are keen to fund high-impact projects and are open to all proposals from community housing providers and property developers. Any organisation that can create social and affordable housing is encouraged to apply.

This funding round marks the second time Homes for Homes has released funds in Victoria and the ACT.

Last year, Homes for Homes awarded $500,000 to five organisations, supporting projects ranging from long-term accommodation for matched pairs of older women stuck in the unaffordable private rental market to a six-star energy rated home for a young family in housing stress.

‘Australia is facing a housing crisis, with almost 200,000 households on the waitlist for social housing. Thankfully there is a huge appetite to solve this problem,’Mr Persson says.

With overwhelming support from developers, community, business and government, Homes for Homes is on track to generate over $1 billion over the next 30 years. This is a long-term generational solution that works.

Applications close on 5 July 2019.

Applications will be assessed by an expert, industry-based advisory group.

Recipients are expected to be announced later in the year.

See Homes for Homes for details.

About Homes for Homes

 Homes for Homes, established by The Big Issue, tackles Australia’s chronic shortage of 200,000 social and affordable homes by raising money through donations from property sales.

Homeowners register with Homes for Homes, agreeing to donate 0.1 per cent of their property’s sale price to the initiative at the time of sale (for example, a $500,000 sale results in a $500 donation).

Once a house is registered with Homes for Homes, the legal mechanism stays on the property title, prompting a donation each time the property is sold in the future.

Under the Homes for Homes model, money raised in each state or territory is used to support housing projects in that state or territory.

Haven; Home, Safe logo

Executive Assistant role at Haven

Haven, Home, Safe is seeking an– Chief Operations Officer (COO) for a full-time, eight-month fixed term position, with a possible six months extension.

The Geelong-based position will work directly to the COO and support the executive office of Haven: Home, Safe.

Applications must include a cover letter, current resume and a statement addressing the key selection criteria. Interviews will be held on Thursday, June 20.

Closing date is COB Friday, June 14.

Click here for details and application information.

Sacred heart launches mid-year appeal

Sacred Heart Mission (SHM) has launched its mid-year appeal, recounting the story of Nat*, who found herself experiencing homelessness before being connected to services at the Women’s House.

The appeal calls attention to Nat’s difficult situation after arriving in Australia from Indonesia, when her relationship turned violent, a common cause of homelessness in Australia.

After summoning the courage to flee the violent marriage, Nat spent two years couch-surfing and working casually, earning just $100 a week. Without any form of a support network, professional skills and speaking little English, Nat could not afford private housing and before long, she was experiencing homelessness.

“I was alone and thought to myself if something happened to me, who is going to look for me? Who is going to care?” Nat says.

“I felt so sad. I had no one. I was homeless.”

The appeal explains how Nat came to even more dire straits when she was hit by a speeding car.

“I felt like, ‘why are all these bad things happening to me?’ Everything was happening at once.”

Nat eventually secured short-term, ‘crisis’ accommodation with SHM, where her spirits and hopes were nurtured as her body recovered. During this time, she was referred to SHM’s Women’s House, which she says was a pivotal moment in her life, as she was able to turn her life around.

“This is what help looks like. The great women here at the Women’s House… They told me whatever support I needed I would find it here. I went, felt comfortable and met a lot of great people,” she says.

The Women’s House obtained funds that would allow Nat to study English and Community Services. Nat is now fluent in English and passed her Certificate IV in Community Services, which she wants to use to help other women with a similar experience to hers. She is in transitional housing with Launch Housing, and looks forward to moving into a share flat with friends in the future.

The 2016 Census revealed the person most likely to walk into a homelessness service is a woman aged 24-34, often with a child by her side. In Victoria alone, statistics reflect that of the 24,000 people experiencing homelessness on any given night, over 60 per cent are women.

Complex issue

Homelessness is a complex issue, but this is further complicated for women due to issues such as family violence, assault, financial inequality, and gendered role pressures.

Women are two and a half times more likely to retire in poverty than men as a result of the gender pay gap (15.3 per cent in Australia according to the 2016 Census), and a higher incidence of part-time work combined with extended periods out of the workforce.

Nat has made many friends at the Women’s House and still visits. It has given her a new lease of life; she likes to socialise, relax and take part in the weekly pottery classes.

“I can love myself more now. I feel the sun on my skin and it feels so beautiful! I come to the Women’s House and I can now enjoy my surroundings like never before,” she says.

The Women’s House offers various services for women with housing, physical and mental health concerns, substance use issues, family violence, financial and legal matters, and social and life skills, to meet the growing demand.

Women in our community need the safety of the Women’s House. It will cost SHM $613,540 to run the Women’s House this year. After receiving some support from the State Government, SHM needs $294,541 before 30 June to keep the doors of the Women’s House open.

Donations to the SHM winter appeal will ensure women like Nat continue to receive the support they need to exit homelessness and get a second chance at living a fulfilling life.

To donate call 1800 443 278 or visit: sacredheartmission.org/helpwomen

CHL creating new Aboriginal housing organisation

To coincide with National Reconciliation Week, Community Housing Ltd (CHL) has launched its Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) and announced it has commenced the process of registering an Aboriginal housing organisation, Aboriginal Community Housing Limited (ACHL) that will provide culturally-appropriate housing to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.

Managing Director Steve Bevington says, ‘CHL’s RAP is a reflection on our long reconciliation journey which started in the very early years of our existence. Over the years we have forged deep relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander partners, organisations and communities on the very strong foundation of mutual trust and respect.

‘The CHL Reflect RAP will enable the organisation to further strengthen the existing relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, communities and organisations.

‘It will also support an organisational culture within CHL that acknowledges and fosters awareness and respect for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, their histories and their cultures, through both its work practices and organisational environments,’ Steve says.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples make up more than 14 per cent of CHL’s tenancies and  CHL has worked extensively with communities at a local level across Australia for over 15 years, partnering and collaborating with local organisations and community groups to provide housing services that are culturally appropriate.

‘Our commitment is and has always been to ensure access to and equity in meeting the housing needs of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples,’ Steve says.

‘Whilst there is a huge parity gap between wider Australia and our First Peoples, CHL celebrates the survival and resilience of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures across the country’s many traditional lands and language groups. We also recognise their right to determine their own future and to live in accordance with their own values and customs.’

Aboriginal Community Housing Limited (ACHL) will become the first independent national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander led and managed provider of long-term affordable housing, and property and tenancy management for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities.

CHL will support the development of ACHL in its formative years and provide staff resources, systems, expertise and advice to enable ACHL to grow into an independent national organisation in the long-term.

‘ACHL aims to establish approaches to assist its members to determine and achieve their own aspirations and provide a range of housing services including core activities such as the development of affordable rental and home ownership solutions,’ Steve says.

Reconciliation Week is an important event in Australia’s cultural calendar and CHL is proudly hosting events at offices around Australia, acknowledging these important announcements and contributing to the national movement towards recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.

To download a copy of CHL’s RAP click here


Tenancy worker role at PMCH

Prahran Malvern Community Housing (PMCH) is seeking a Tenancy Worker, based in South Yarra, but with travel required to their properties.

The role will involve the effective and efficient administration of social housing properties managed by PMCH under leasing arrangements with the Department of Health and Human Services and a variety of interagency protocol arrangements.

The tenancy worker establishes new tenancies/residencies and aims to sustain existing tenancies/residencies, assisting tenants to keep their homes by linking them with people and services in their community.

The position encompasses management of maintenance which includes; arranging maintenance requirements to be carried out, liaison with maintenance providers and monitoring & quality control.

Download more information on the role.

Download the position description.

For further information, contact Pamela Morrison on 03 9826 5194 or  email jain.hall@pmch.org.au

Applications close on July 11, 2019.

Wintringham working to consolidate waitlist with VHR

Wintringham’s Advice and Information team is working with the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to consolidate its waitlist into the Victorian Housing Register (VHR).

‘Instead of applying directly to us, people will be able to apply through the VHR – one central place – reducing the number of housing applications they need to make in order to find housing,’ says Wintringham’s Advice and Information Coordinator, Elaine.

‘Wintringham, along with most other housing associations in Victoria, has agreed to merge our housing register with the VHR. This will take some time to process – our current register contains 2,168 applications from people waiting to be housed – and it took about three weeks to enter 1,000 of these into the VHR.

‘We hope that by joining the VHR, options for clients seeking housing will be streamlined and they will get better access to a broader range of social housing options,’ she says.

The register merge should be finalised soon.

PMCH seeking experienced manager

Prahran Malvern Community Housing Inc. (PMCH) is seeking to appoint an experienced manager as its next CEO and requires an individual who can create a vision for success whilst providing the existing team with guidance and support in their day-to-day roles.

The position will suit an individual who can work collaboratively with the department and other stakeholders, including the Board and staff, to provide leadership and direction to a small but highly-skilled team and can be expected to make high-level decisions that reflect the core values of the organisation.

PMCH has developed a unique and well-respected service model that seeks to continuously maximise opportunities for social inclusion and empowerment.  At the heart of this model is a commitment to the principles of Social Justice, and an aspiration to inspire mutual respect and compassion amongst all members of the community.

The organisation consciously applies these principles, which are reflected in all its practices. The philosophy of PMCH subscribes to the belief that all people have a right to quality secure and affordable housing and those services should be delivered in a way that respects the dignity of consumers and encourages self-determination.

PMCH is a not for profit, incorporated association and is managed by a community based Board of Management which acts as an interface between the client group and the wider community and is committed to ethical governance and challenging social inequity.

This is a full-time position, although part-time hours can be negotiated with the successful applicant.

Applications, consisting of a resume and cover letter addressing how you meet the selection criteria,  can be emailed to Pamela Morrison, Board Secretary, or call 03 9826 5194 for details.

Applications close at 5pm on June 7.

Download the PD here.