Social housing need 310% higher than thought

If every household in Australia who met the eligibility criteria for social housing decided to apply, waiting lists across the country would increase by more than 310 per cent, according to a discussion paper released by Compass Housing Services.

The paper, Estimating Current and Future Demand for Housing Assistance, used housed income date to estimate the number of households in Australia who meet current eligibility requirements in their state or territory and looked into the likely impact of the expected wave of automation and digital disruption on wages.

It found while there were currently more than 144,000 households on the social housing waiting list, income and asset data suggested an additional 452,000 households were also eligible to apply for housing.

Report author Martin Kennedy said the findings were “deeply concerning” and could cause future headaches for governments already handling a backlog of housing applications.’

Click here to download the report.

Spending money on housing a must

Great Inside Story by Peter Mares on the National Housing Conference, that ends with this key comment:

‘Even if we don’t invest in social housing, though, we are going to spend a lot more public money on housing anyway. We’re just going to spend it in different, less effective ways: on more rent assistance, more welfare payments, more homelessness services, more visits to emergency departments, more Medicare claims, more police and ambulance call-outs, and more people going through the courts and being put in jail. And tax revenue will be lost as a result of lower employment and declining productivity.’

Read the full article here.

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

 

NHFIC Professional Advisory Services grants

CHIA is helping the National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation (NHFIC) deliver lower cost and longer term finance to community housing organisations by coordinating a grant program that funds professional advisory services.

The NHFIC wants to encourage loan applications from registered Community Housing Organisations, including Housing Providers who partner with a Housing Association to take a loan. Grants will be available to fund consultants to help with loan applications, with consultants invited to join a Panel through an Expression of Interest (EOI) process.

CHIA is hosting a NHFIC Professional Advisory Services briefing session on 8 May 8 from 1.30pm to 4pm at CHIA Victoria offices, 1/128 Exhibition St, Melbourne VIC 3000.

This will inform both housing organisations and consultants on the program, and seek input into final program design.

The event will include:

  • information from the State Government on how NHFIC funding aligns with growing the community housing sector
  • a briefing on NHFIC loan applications
  • overview of the Professional Advisory Services grants
  • refreshment break, with networking opportunities
  • community housing workshop: discussing grant eligibility
  • consultant workshop: explaining the Panel membership EOI.

Places are limited, bookings and queries to John Scott or download the flyer for additional information.

NRSCH Review

Planning is currently underway for a five-year review of the National Regulatory System for Community Housing (NRSCH), which was established in 2012 by the Commonwealth, States and territories through an Inter-governmental Agreement.
Whilst the terms of reference for the review have not yet been released, it will focus on the NRSCH’s objectives, and it will provide a good opportunity to assess the barriers that have prevented WA and Victoria from joining.

A discussion paper, posing the important questions to be addressed by the review, is due to be released in the coming weeks. Roundtables, to be held around the country in the first quarter of 2019, will inform an options paper to be produced by May 2019. A final report is likely to be completed by the end of 2019.

Victorian CHOs need to understand how the NRSCH differs from the Victorian Regulatory System so they can participate in the review in a meaningful way and have an opportunity to consider what aspects of the Victorian scheme they would want to preserve or change.

CHIA Vic is looking to work with the Victorian Office of the Registrar and the Department of Health and Human Services to run a forum in early February to begin this discussion. Watch this space for the discussion paper and more information about the forum.

If you’ve found it hard to find a safe and secure home, will you share your story with Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Opposition leader Bill Shorten and Greens leader Richard Di Natale, to remind them how crucial it is that they fix the broken housing system?

The Everybody’s Home campaign is encouraging people with stories of housing struggles to share their experiences with the new PM Scott Morrison, Bill Shorten, and Richard Di Natalie.

This is a great opportunity to connect clients, as well as supporters and staff who may have their own challenging experiences of housing, to the campaign.

You can use, or modify, the text below to invite people to take the action and engage with #EverybodysHome

Share Your Story

If you’ve found it hard to find a safe and secure home, will you share your story with Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Opposition leader Bill Shorten and Greens leader Richard Di Natale, to remind them how crucial it is that they fix the broken housing system?

We know that more and more Australians every day are living in rental stress, paying more than they can afford in order to have a roof over their head. It’s become a ‘normal’ way of life for people right across the country to have to sacrifice essentials, such as food, medicines or heating – or even just to miss out on life’s little pleasures, like occasionally seeing a movie, or eating a meal out. It doesn’t have to be this way – there are solutions, things that our leaders can do to fix housing.

But our leaders need to put a face to the housing affordability issue. They need to hear it first-hand, from people like you, so that they understand how very serious the issue of housing affordability is in Australia – so that we can convince them that taking action to fix the problem should be their priority.

Will you share your story with the leaders of the major Parties now, to convince them all to fix the system, so that all Australians have a place to call home?

How does your organisation compare?

Do you want to be able to compare your organisation’s workforce data with your peers and gain insights into Board remuneration data?

Now is the time to register for Round 3 of the House Keys Workforce benchmarking project.

This is a very exciting project for the industry as it will provide a national perspective on our workforce with peer group comparisons. Round 2 of House Keys Workforce had 26 participating CHPs from 6 jurisdictions.

To ensure that the most up to date information as possible is available, Round 3 will collect workforce data from the financial year that has just ended (2017-18).

To take part, please return a signed copy of the user agreement before Thursday 26th July.

The timetable is as follows:

·         Sign up period – till 26 July 2018

·         Data submission window  – August 2018

·         Platform set up and testing – September 2018

·         Launch – end September 2018

Once the registration period has closed, you will receive further instructions on how to access the platform and submit your workforce data. A full list of workforce data indicators can be found in appendix 1 of the House Keys Workforce User Agreement.

Queries can be made to LeoniL@communityhousing.org.au or phone 02 9690 2447 ext 203.

Community housing houses those in greatest need: AIHW

The number of households in community housing doubled in the decade to 2016–17, a new report by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) has found.

The AIHW report, Housing assistance in Australia 2018, found that, whilst public housing provides 80 per cent of social housing, the number of households in community housing has grown by 117 per cent since 2007–08.

The report also found that more than four in five (86 per cent) of community housing dwellings were tenanted by those in greatest need.

Read more…

CHIA NSW conference a hit

Congratulations to the newly re-named CHIA NSW for an excellent two-day affordable housing conference in Sydney last week. With a host of international speakers and diverse presentations it was a great opportunity to hear what others in the community housing sector are doing.

One of the stand out sessions was the presentation by David Orr, from the National Housing Federation, UK, on how the housing industry in the UK united behind a successful campaign to put solving the housing crisis on the political agenda in 2015.

The importance of communicating the story of community housing and its value to media, politicians, and potential collaborators in the broader housing industry was a theme that carried throughout the conference. This could involve making friends with your local media outlet, inviting local politicians to any openings you have, or building connections with the development industry to create innovative partnerships.

The conference challenged our sector to think about how we can work with what is within our control. My Foundations Youth Housing CEO Rebecca Mullins spoke about their work with Sydney developer TOGA to create a pop-up youth homelessness residence for homeless students while the site was going through the planning process for redevelopment. Haven; Home, Safe CEO Ken Marchingo spoke about the impact their concierge program has in reducing anxiety and improving the experience of people coming into their offices. Hume Community Housing CEO Nicola Lemon spoke about their organisations efforts to improve the recruitment and retention of gen Y staff, which included highlighting the benefits available, the company culture, and the bright future of their organisation, and the creation and adoption of company values.

Prime Minister must not walk away from indigenous housing

The future of the National Partnership on Remote Housing (NPRH) – a 10-year partnership to build and refurbish housing in some of the most disadvantaged communities across Australia – is in doubt with its funding due to end in June.

Queensland’s peak body for the housing and homelessness sector, Q Shelter, says the Commonwealth Government has not made any commitments to the partnership beyond June.

Q Shelter’s Executive Director, Leone Crayden, says that the state and Commonwealth governments had made significant inroads in reducing overcrowding and improving the quality of housing for people living in remote communities.

‘Commonwealth and state governments committed $5.4 billion over 10 years to build and refurbish thousands of homes across Australia,’ Ms Crayden says.

‘The Prime Minister’s own report into the program last year praised state governments for exceeding their targets in delivering new homes, refurbishing older houses, and providing employment opportunities for local communities.’

However, Ms Crayden says that despite this success, the job was far from over in addressing housing need in remote communities.

‘In Queensland, we’ve almost halved overcrowding but there’s still severe housing need across remote areas of the state.

‘This program hasn’t been perfect, and there’re a lot of areas that we could revise and tweak to achieve even better outcomes.

‘Right now all we need is a commitment from the Commonwealth that they’re willing to provide medium to long term funding for remote housing.’

Without ongoing funding and support, the $5.4 billion that’s been invested through NPRH could be all for nothing, Ms Crayden says.