More housing for family violence survivors in Dandenong

Family violence support service, Wayss, has added 16 new properties to its housing stock available for women and children escaping the horrors of family violence.

The properties are in addition to 14 properties Wayss secured under the DHHS funded head-lease program in 2019.

Wayss Chief Executive Officer, Elizabeth Thomas, says head-leasing, where a private rental property is rented from a landlord by a third party and
then sub-let to the tenant, is a great opportunity for Wayss to directly access private rental stock in the local community for families in need.

‘Stable housing is the first step in empowering a family violence victim survivor to take control of their life and recover. Once the family has secure accommodation, we can then coordinate specialist support services to help the woman and her children rebuild their lives,’  Ms Thomas says.

‘In just over 12 months, we’ve increased our housing stock to 30 head-lease properties under our management and that will result in some incredibly positive outcomes for families living in our local community. That’s 30 families that now have the chance to build a positive rental history to support future tenancy applications – it’s access to a critical first step that they may not have been able to take without this program.’

Before linking the family with their new home, Wayss conducts a full safety and risk assessment of the property and works closely with local real estate agents to ensure the right property for the right family. When they move in, the tenant pays only 33 per cent of the rent for the first six months, then 66 per cent for the remainder of the 12-month tenancy. The goal is for the family to then take over the lease and maintain the tenancy. The subsidised rent is a particular advantage when a woman is escaping a financially abusive relationship and needs time to get on top of their finances.

Ms Thomas says Wayss wholeheartedly supports the continued development of the head-lease model across Victoria.

‘Head-leasing is an extension of the housing first model which focuses on getting people housed in safe, secure accommodation and then supporting them to stay housed by access to dedicated case-management. Safe, secure housing is essential to support families to plan pathways for living their best life,’ Ms Thomas says.

Career opportunities at Housing Choices

Housing Choices Australia (Housing Choices) is a leading and rapidly growing national not-for-profit housing provider. Our goal is to ensure that people are housed in inclusive communities and to create homes that encourage a sense of belonging. We own or manage more than 5,050 homes across Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia and NSW, and will shortly establish a presence in WA.

We provide a culture that supports individuals to be their best with opportunities for personal and career development. We are committed to cultivating an equal, diverse and inclusive environment for all our staff, residents and stakeholders.

We currently have two exciting positions available:

Executive General Manager, People, Culture and Communications

  • Full time role and Competitive remuneration with Salary Packaging Options
  • Great opportunity to lead a Portfolio of work across all facets of HR, organisational development, culture, safety, marketing and communications
  • Flexible working arrangements considered

We are looking for a values driven, strategic and transformational leader to join our Group Executive Team with accountability for a broad range of functions across communications, marketing and engagement, people, culture, safety and wellbeing.

This role will in many ways set the ‘tone’ for the whole of the organisation and will lead development of organisational people strategy, capability, culture and engagement both internally and externally to successfully achieve strategic and long-term business development and growth.

In the coming 6 months, on a day to day basis you would be leading merger integration activities; driving our People and Culture strategy; working with the HR team in implementing a HRIS and employee experience initiatives; reviewing our incident reporting systems to improve safety and wellbeing; and leading the Marketing and Communications team to launch a new website and approach to internal communications.

This is an exciting full-time permanent opportunity currently based in Melbourne’s CBD (although with potential for location in our other State offices). We are seeking someone who naturally combines a strong business and accountability ethos with a deep commitment to our vision and mission.

To find out more about us, the role and the excellent benefits and conditions we offer, please visit our website.  Applicants should include a covering letter outlining your suitability for the position as outlined in the position description. 

For an informal discussion about the role, please contact Marguerite Cokalis, HR Advisor 03 8636 9433

Applications close at 9am Tuesday 10 March 2020

General Manager, Housing Services (Victoria)

Exciting opportunity in an innovative not for profit housing organisation, Melbourne CBD based.

We are looking for a strong Community Housing leader to join our Business Leadership Team, reporting to the Executive General Manager, Housing Services. This role will inspire and lead staff in the provision of outstanding housing services in Victoria. A strong focus of this role will be facilitating effective and productive stakeholder relationships in the State and leading the continual development of our services delivery to ensure the Resident experience is at its optimal level. Equally, empowering adaptable teams that best serve our residents and stakeholders is a key aspect of this role.

About You

You will be values driven, passionate and have demonstrated leadership skills and experience in the delivery of property and tenancy management in the public/community/private housing sector or a related field. With a collaborative approach and flexibility, you will have highly developed written and oral communication, influencing and relationship building skills. You will have a strong track record of motivating and coaching staff and developing and maintaining strong partnerships with a range of stakeholders. Possessing excellent analytical and problem-solving skills, a practical and outcome focused approach is essential.

To find out more about us, the role and the excellent benefits and conditions we offer, please visit our website.  Applicants should include a covering letter outlining your suitability for the position as outlined in the position description. 

For an informal discussion about the role, please contact Marguerite Cokalis, HR Advisor 03 8636 9433

Applications close at 9am Tuesday 10 March 2020


New to working in rooming houses?

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.

This course 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.

Date :         Fri 28 Feb 2020

Time:          9.30 AM – 1:00 PM (morning tea is provided)  

Venue:        CHIA Vic Training room, Level 1, 128 Exhibition St, Melbourne 3000

Cost:           $242 inclusive GST- members   $253 inclusive GST – non members

Click here for details and to book.

HeyVan helping homeless in Bendigo

A year on from its Bendigo launch, Haven; Home, Safe’s HeyVan initiative has helped more than 160 people experiencing homelessness.

The HeyVan is a safe space where rough sleepers can connect with Haven’s Homeless Assertive Outreach Response team. It carries basic foods and essential items and stops at several locations across the City of Greater Bendigo.

An initiative of the Victorian Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Action Plan, the HeyVan is one of eight assertive outreach programs across the state to service areas identified as having the highest incidence of rough sleeping.

The Bendigo and another service in Swan Hill services have been funded for $1.28 million over two years and have the capacity to provide assertive outreach to people sleeping rough, including rapid access to emergency accommodation, health services, ongoing case management and housing support.

Housing Richard Wynne says,’The results of the first year show this program is making a lasting difference for people sleeping rough’.

National Housing Team Leader role

YWCA Australia is currently seeking a National Housing Team Leader to join its National Housing Team. The role is offered on a full-time basis and will be based in the Melbourne office.

The National Housing Team Leader role ensures that YWCA delivers high quality property and tenancy management services to tenants, clients and the broader community. This role provides team management and leadership to ensure that a quality service provision is provided in accordance with YWCA’s values, policies and procedures, organisational performance targets and all relevant government policy and legislation pertaining to each State and Territory.

Applications close on February 23.

Click here to view details and to apply.

South East in the news

EACH seeking Housing Manager

An exciting opportunity has arisen for the role of Housing Manager with EACH Housing.

EACH Housing is a small but dynamic housing provider, providing housing across a number of specialist social housing sectors in Melbourne’s outer east and south east areas.for people with mental health issues, women and children fleeing family violence as well as for people with physical disability in SDA dwellings.

The role incorporates all general management responsibilities across the portfolio, as well as significant strategic input into the further growth of the business and opportunity to be involved in further housing developments.

Download the position description.

For further information on this role, please contact Lesley Tarves at EACH Housing on 0417 300 890 or via email

Extra housing for family violence victims 

Haven; Home Safe (HHS) has received funding from the Department of Health and Human Services to secure an additional 50 head-leased properties for women and children escaping family violence.

This is the fourth consecutive year the agency has received funding for its award-winning Moving On program, which operates across the North Region of the state, providing rent subsidy and wrap-around support services for households who have experienced family violence.

HHS Chief Operations Officer Trudi Ray said the aim of Moving On was to increase the supply of medium to long-term affordable rental housing.

‘The program means women and their families can access the support they need to stay safe and get back on their feet,’ Ms Ray said.  

HHS sub-lets properties to approved applicants for a period of up to 12 months, while locally based family violence services provide the wrap-around supports.

‘We use a rent step-up model which helps our clients slowly transition towards paying full market rent by the end of the 12 months,’ Ms Ray said 

Of the previous allocations, HHS obtained under the plan, 92 per cent of victim-survivors transitioned to a private rental lease of their chosen property at the end of the 12-month head-lease period.

The organisation will be sending out the call to specialised family violence agencies for referrals to the program in the Melbourne area from Monday, February 3.

‘Once Metro clients have been sourced, we will be accepting referrals from local specialised family violence agencies in Bendigo and other regions in Victoria,’ Ms Ray said.

‘We are pleased to be able to continue the important work we have started with Moving On.’

The regional sites include Geelong, Ballarat, Warrnambool, Bendigo and Mildura/Swan Hill.

Private Rental Assistance Program roles at Haven

Haven: Home, Safe is looking to fill two roles in its Private Rental Assistance Program (PRAP), based in Bendigo.

PRAP will provide financial and practical assistance to establish and maintain tenancies for people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness in our community, and people living in social housing who would like to relocate to the private sector.

The program aims to provide systems integration, support private rentals tenancies at risk, assist people who have the capacity to sustain private rental to enter the market, provide targeted preventative programs and generate access to housing opportunities.

Visit Haven; Home, Safe’s website for a detailed description of the positions and to apply.

Applications must include a cover letter, current resume and a statement addressing the key selection criteria and be lodged through Haven’s online job portal.

Closing date for applications is COB Friday, February 14 2020.

Queries can be directed to Donna Gillard on 0417 572 148.

How far have we come?

Housing Choices Australia is hosting the 2020 Oswald Barnett Oration on Affordable and social housing in Melbourne on Wednesday, February 12 from 6pm to 8.30pm in the Pavilion, Queen Victoria Gardens.

Join housing sector and service provider colleagues and key representatives from government, planning and property sectors, for a relaxed summer evening of refreshments and hear from some extraordinary leaders.

This year’s panel is expert, diverse and opinionated and they share a common goal; to dramatically improve the housing opportunities of people in need, in the city fast becoming the growth capital of the nation, Melbourne.

Together they will outline what’s been achieved in the last few years and what more we must do, collectively, to deliver safe and affordable housing to everyone in our capital city and beyond.

The Panellists:

The Right Hon. The Lord Mayor of Melbourne, Sally Capp
Victorian Housing and Planning Minister, The Hon. Richard Wynne MP
Executive Director, Property Council of Australia (Victorian Division), Cressida Wall
Managing Director, Housing Choices Australia, Michael Lennon

Registration is essential. Click here to book.