Energy efficient homes to replace rundown estates

More vulnerable Victorians will be able to access social housing with the Victorian Government’s announcement that redevelopment is to begin of a rundown housing estate in West Brunswick. Community housing organisation Women’s Housing Limited will manage the completed redevelopment, which will increase social housing numbers by 45 per cent.

Women’s Housing CEO Judy Line says, ‘We have worked closely with the Department of Health and Human Services and developer AV Jennings to bring this project to life, and we are delighted to be part of this exciting housing development.

‘The old rundown walk-ups at Gronn Place will be replaced by new energy efficient homes that will not only be better to live in but be more affordable for our tenants.

‘We are looking forward to taking a leading long-term role in the overall management of the precinct, to ensure that this project further enriches the neighbourhood as well as delivering much needed long-term housing for vulnerable women,’ Judy says.

The 82 vacant units currently on the site will be demolished to make way for 111 new public housing properties, and Women’s Housing will purchase an additional eight homes from the developer, greatly increasing the number available to those eligible for social housing. The redevelopment will also include 79 private homes, which will help fund the project and create more diverse communities.

Public housing tenants who have been provided with alternative accommodation in the lead up to the redevelopment will be given the option to move back to the site once it is complete, with Women’s Housing to be responsible for the management of rental agreements and maintenance. Tenant’s rights will continue to be protected via the Residential Tenancies Act.

As a registered Victorian Housing Association, Women’s Housing Ltd has extensive experience in managing a diverse range of social housing across Melbourne and has an excellent reputation for property and place management.

Community Housing Industry Association (CHIA Vic) CEO Lesley Dredge says the redevelopment is welcome with Victoria holding the unenviable record of having the smallest proportion of social housing in Australia. Currently 50,145 households are on Victoria’s social housing waitlist.

The Gronn Place development is part of the Victorian Government’s $185 million Public Housing Renewal Program that plans to develop up to 2,500 public housing dwellings and increase the number of social housing properties by at least 10 per cent across metropolitan and regional sites.

STCH seeking Office Administrator

St Kilda Community Housing is seeking an experienced Office Manager.

This position is responsible for the overall operation of the office and provision of general administrative support to the CEO and Senior Managers.  A significant part of this role is to assist the Finance Manager with daily finance tasks.

Key Selection Criteria:

  • Sound accounting skills with at least 5 years’ experience in an accounts payable/receivable functions;
  • Well-developed customer service, office administration skills, front-of house reception
  • Demonstrated high degree of initiative and problem-solving
  • Demonstrated computer literacy including demonstrated proficiency in the use of Microsoft Office Suite
  • Demonstrated accuracy and attention to detail with data entry
  • Demonstrated excellence in interpersonal skills and a mature outlook to deal with all types of queries and situations
  • Capacity to work independently and as a member of a team
  • Strong organisational and time management skills
  • Experience with finance systems is essential
  • Experience in administration is essential

For details, and to apply, download the position description.


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.

HousingFirst Annual Art Exhibition

The HousingFirst Annual Art Exhibition showcases mixed media art and photography proudly created by tenants living in community housing. This year, artists consider the concept of Our Place: is it a sense of connection to geographical location or inside space? A feeling within oneself, or tied to one’s identity? Does it relate to a sense of connection to individuals, or to communities? Is it real, or imagined? The questions and reflections raised by this exhibition are part of a wider conversation about ourselves and our interactions with our world.

This group show gives artists living in community housing an opportunity to express themselves through their art, network with other artists and contribute to wider discourses about connection, space and identity. Many tenants have experienced significant personal and health-related circumstances that would impact their ability to hold their own exhibition or participate in art-related activities. This exhibition – made possible through the generous support of program partners – provides an important opportunity for tenants to reflect on their own stories and experiences, to receive professional creative guidance to create artwork and finally, to exhibit in a professional gallery space.

Tickets for the Opening Night on Wednesday, September 4 at 6pm are now available. Grab your free ticket here.

The exhibition will run from Thursday, September 5 to 29, from 9:30am – 4:30pm, at the Foyer Gallery – Gasworks Arts Park, 21 Graham Street, Albert Park.

Supporting elderly homeless for 30 years

Congratulations are due to Wintringham, which has celebrated 30 years of giving a dignified life and a ‘home until stumps’ to those aged 50-plus who were homeless or at risk of homelessness.


Housing Choices seeking Housing Officer

Reporting to the Housing Team Leader, this role is responsible for delivering a range of professional housing management and related advisory services to Housing Choices residents and prospective residents in accordance with Housing Choices guidelines and government requirements.

This will be a rewarding and challenging role for someone who has a passion to make a difference in the community. It will include some travel.

You will be coordinating a portfolio of properties and involve:
• Screening potential tenants
• Signing up new leases
• Collecting rents/bonds
• Managing a tenancy
• Monitoring arrears
• Management of responsive and vacated maintenance
• Filling vacant properties
• Community development

Download this pdf for details.

Campaign to co-locate health and housing in Collingwood

Unison and Cohealth have joined forces to launch a campaign for funding to redevelop an aged site in Collingwood into shared housing and medical facilities.

The former boot factory at 365 Hoddle Street currently houses Cohealth community health services but Cohealth and Unison have put a joint proposal to the State Government to build a new health service with a mix of social and affordable housing, and privately owned apartments above.

Read more…

Tiny solution to huge problem

Launch Housing is urging governments at all levels to unlock underutilised land for housing to help reduce the increasing rate of homelessness.

To kick off Homelessness Week, the organisation has unveiled the first phase of its Harris Transportable Housing Project, in which 6 of 57 tiny homes have been built on VicRoads land in Melbourne’s inner west.

Launch Housing Chief Executive Officer Bevan Warner said the project demonstrates how unused government land can be repurposed to create safe, stable homes.

“Homelessness is increasing right across Australia. In Victoria alone, almost 25,000 people are without a home on any given night, and around 1,100 of them are sleeping rough,” Bevan said.

“Meanwhile, there’s around 195 hectares of government land sitting empty across Melbourne, which could host more than enough homes to end rough sleeping.

“If this land was unlocked, projects such as the Harris Transportable Housing Project could be scaled up to deliver housing solutions that the market wouldn’t otherwise provide.

“Tiny homes are part of the solution to homelessness. We want to work with people and organisations across all sectors to grow projects like this and rapidly build more homes for Victorians who urgently need them.”

The project is a partnership between Launch Housing and philanthropists Geoff and Brad Harris, of Harris Capital, with funding from the Victorian Property Fund.

It uses nine parcels of vacant VicRoads land in Footscray and Maidstone to create 57 tiny homes for people with a chronic experience of homelessness.

Tenant story: Deborah – watch her story here.

Deborah, along with her pet dog Zeus, says having a safe, stable home has drastically changed her life.

“I’ve been homeless since I was 13. I was always searching for somewhere that’s homey, where I can have a garden [and] a dog, where it’s safe,” Deborah said.

“If it wasn’t for the workers from Launch Housing who have come into my life, I wouldn’t be sitting here. I feel like someone took me from basically hell, and put me on this cloud of puffy niceness.

“I get to stay here for as long as I need to. It’s a really big gift [to have this home] and because it’s a gift, I want to take care of it.

“For the first time in a long time I feel like I’m in a stable environment… I can look at becoming a peer support worker, or working in women’s shelters. That’s my goal in life, to help people. This place gives me hope.”

Philanthropists Geoff and Brad Harris, of Harris Capital, contributed $4 million towards the $9 million project:

“We embarked on this project with Launch Housing after seeing a rise in people sleeping on the streets in Melbourne’s CBD. These homes are a great, long-term option to break that cycle for people who have been bounced around between short-term housing and homelessness. Having a place they can live for as long as they like means they can really start to rebuild their lives,” Brad said.

“As a wealthy country, the three basics we as Australians should be providing people are a basic education, basic healthcare and basic housing. We as a society need to come up with innovative ideas like this to help solve the growing issue of homelessness and stop people falling through the cracks,” Geoff said.

Public seminar on right to housing

The right to housing: Shifting policy and practice from crisis responses to homelessness prevention

Co-hosted by the Council to Homeless Persons, Unison Housing, the Centre for People, Organisation and Work, and RMIT University, this 90-minute lecture and panel discussion features Dr Peter Mackie (Cardiff University) who will talk about his pioneering work on homelessness prevention in Wales, in particular the legal duty on local authorities to prevent homelessness.

Click here to book this free event. 

World first for Haven

Haven; Home, Safe has become the first Housing Association in the world to receive the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) certification for its asset management system.

ISO: 55001:2014 recognises HHS’s world-class governance and best practice over the management of its portfolio of housing assets worth more than $350 million.

CEO Ken Marchingo AM said achieving ISO certification highlighted the Non-Government Organisation’s innovative and systematic approach to align its asset management objectives with its organisational goals.

‘The benefits are improved effectiveness and efficiency, financial performance, risk management, better services and outputs, and demonstrated social responsibility and compliance, he said.

‘Best practice asset management also protects two decades of investment and ensures a robust future for both the organisation and, more importantly, the people we house.’

The ISO certification project was led by Assets and Maintenance General Manager Rachael Skipper and took 18 months to complete.

‘The process has created greater awareness and understanding across the organisation that asset management is not just “a maintenance thing”, Ms Skipper said.

‘What we have established through ISO certification is a sound basis for good practice management of our assets and a fit-for-purpose plan to achieve it.”

The ISO certificate registration came into effect on 26 June.