Ken Marchingo to step down from Haven; Home, Safe

Community housing stalwart Ken Marchingo AM has announced he will be stepping down from his role as Chief Executive Officer at Haven; Home, Safe, effective 17 January 2021. On behalf of the sector, CHIA Vic would like to extend our appreciation for Ken’s work over the years. 

Haven; Home, Safe’s media release:

As many of you know, Ken has worked in the sector for many decades and is a tireless advocate for those most vulnerable in our community. It is with the utmost thanks that the Board farewells Ken. His commitment and dedication to the organisation is unsurpassed and the legacy Ken leaves has placed Haven; Home, Safe in a wonderful position to continue to provide affordable rental housing and homelessness services to many.

Ken has taken Haven; Home, Safe from its doors opening as Loddon Mallee Housing Services Limited to a statewide organisation of positive impact and outcomes for many people in need of the support services and provision of a safe place to call home. We acknowledge Ken for his significant commitment not only to the organisation but to the broader sector and community.

“It’s been my greatest honour to be a foundation stone of the organisation and to have had the opportunity of nearly three decades of commitment to better social outcomes” said Ken. “It’s been an extraordinary journey for Haven; Home, Safe and its clients. Over the many years I have been part of a remarkable story in which every individual possible is given the right to a safe home – not just a house. After committing my professional life both to the people in our region and then across Victoria more broadly, I look forward to watching the organisation go from strength to strength in this next exciting but challenging chapter.”

Board Chair Damien Tangey added: “Over the past 26 years, Ken has been instrumental in leading Haven; Home Safe and has been an unrelenting champion for the homeless. He has committed his life to reducing homelessness and advocating respect and equality for people from all walks of life. Ken’s legacy is woven into the fabric of our organisation and I am personally thankful for his service over the many years.”

From 18 January 2021, Trudi Ray, Deputy Chief Executive Officer and Chief Operating Officer, will assume the role of Acting CEO.

For now, the Board would like to take this opportunity to again thank Ken for his incredible contribution to Haven; Home, Safe and for his commitment to the broader community over many years.

Happy holidays

Community housing stalwart retires

Janet Goodwin will be retiring in December 2020 after 26 years as CEO of South Port Community Housing. Janet has been a stalwart of the community sector for that period and will be greatly missed.

Janet came from a background in local government and arrived at South Port in 1994 at a time of great change. The organisation managed a sizeable rooming house program, a youth housing program that did both tenancy management and support, and an emergency housing program, predecessor of today’s THMs. In recent years, the number of rooming house rooms had nearly doubled, the rooming house staff had gone from two to four, and the emergency housing worker position had gone from half-time to full-time.

It was clear that a part-time co-ordinator, who also ran a number of rooming house rooms, was no longer the best arrangement for the organisation and a review recommended the creation of a full-time manager (now CEO). Janet hit the ground running, quickly establishing a good relationship with housing bureaucrats, local community leaders and staff, and professionalising the organisation.

The coming years saw many challenges. The 1990s saw a great change in the demographics of rooming house residents. The population of single men with problems such as alcoholism was gradually being taken over by people with drug addictions and large numbers with mental illnesses as a result deinstitutionalisation. Along with the ongoing gentrification of South and Port Melbourne, this resulted in waiting times for vacancies going from two days in 1994 to two years for non-locals by 1996. The new demographic represented a huge challenge for the organisation, which now had to deal with residents with multiple issues but with no extra funding. Janet was a tower of strength for the staff who had to deal with numerous traumatic incidents during this time.

The following decades brought many changes to community housing  – the creation of the THM program to replace the previous emergency housing program, the introduction of the Housing Provider Framework (HPF,) which created a rent retention model, the introduction of new regulation requirements via amendments to the Housing Act and the creation of the Housing Registrar, the replacement of the HPF with the General Lease, the creation of the Victorian Housing Register, and new funding opportunities for growth of housing stock.

Janet steered South Port through all of these with great success, bringing the organisation and the staff along with her.

Throughout these times, Janet was a staunch advocate for the small and medium-sized community housing providers, which she believed represented the true spirit of community housing. She advocated for their interests strongly at public forums, including many organised by CHFV/CHIA Vic. She was also a strong advocate for the rights of tenants and the connection of people to their local community. She will leave big shoes to be filled in the community housing sector and the communities of South and Port Melbourne. CHIA Vic congratulates her on a very successful career and wishes her all the best in retirement.


Annual report now online

CHIA Vic’s latest annual report is now online for viewing and download, with all the highlights (and global low-lights) of the 2019/20 financial year laid bare.

View how your membership fees are delivering an extremely bang for your buck with the extensive range of projects, services and training provided by CHIA Vic’s team to the community housing sector in Victoria.

View here.

Haven applauds groundbreaking $5.3B investment in social housing

Haven: Home, Safe has congratulated the State Government of Victoria on its groundbreaking commitment of $5.3 billion to build more than 12,000 new social housing homes over the next four years.

Haven; Home, Safe CEO Ken Marchingo AM said this investment in both public and community housing for people on low incomes was a game-changer for the state and for the nation giving thousands of people the security and stability of a home as well as creating thousands of jobs.

“We applaud the Premier, Treasurer, and the Minister for Housing Richard Wynne for this fabulous, life-changing housing initiative,” Mr Marchingo said.

“We can’t wait to get cracking on this in partnership with the State Government and Homes Victoria.”

Mr Marchingo said the Home Victoria building program would go a long way in addressing homelessness across the state and the shortage of affordable housing options for many vulnerable Victorians.

“A lot like the Minister, Richard Wynne, I have spent the past 30 years advocating, agitating, and lobbying for more housing, here in our community and across Victoria.

“I think we are all humbled by the scale of this announcement and what it means for so many who have missed out for so long.”

“We’ve also known that you can’t create subsidised housing for people in need without a subsidy and here it is, at last.”

Up to a quarter of the $5.3 billion will be spent in regional Victoria, where there is a high demand for access to social housing in areas such as Geelong, Bendigo, and Ballarat.

Thinking about Growth: Designing & maintaining social housing

Our next session of Thinking About Growth will feature Common Equity’s Manager of Asset Management, Meg George, and Rhonan O’Brien, Managing Principal of design firm MODE, and will look at ways to think strategically about the ways you design and maintain social housing properties.

The session will be held tomorrow (Thursday, November 12) from 1pm to 2pm via Zoom.

Click here for details and to register for this free event.


Shape the future of the Affordable Housing Assessment Tool (AHAT)

CHIA Vic members are invited to take part in a session to assist the development of the Affordable Housing Assessment Tool (AHAT).

The AHAT allows the user to specify the mix of clients an affordable housing project or program aims to house, determine the development parameters and cost inputs specific to the site or program, assesses the basic feasibility of the project given the expected revenue stream and costs, and then apply different subsidy inputs to best meet long term (30 year) viability outcomes.

It allows a mix of social, affordable and market product to be modelled as well as a wide range of user-specified household/client types, with viability estimated over a 30-year period.

At this online member forum, you can hear directly from the City Futures and the University of Sydney research team who developed the AHAT, see the AHAT in action and ask questions. Support from the sector will mean the AHAT remains a resource for providers.

CHIA members will be able to access the AHAT as a free download.

Date: Tuesday 10th November

Time: 11am-12.15pm NSW

Platform: Zoom

Registration: for CHIA members and invitees only, via this link

Further info:

Housing Minister to speak at CHIA Vic AGM

The Victorian Minister for Housing Richard Wynne will be the guest speaker at CHIA Vic’s AGM, to be held on Thursday, November 26 from 11.30am to 1pm.

The Minister’s attendance will be timely, following the Victorian Government’s budget announcements on November 10, when the community housing sector is hoping for some good news.

Click here to register for the AGM.

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.