Why so little social housing?

Ever wondered why Australia has so little social housing? Why the number of social housing properties is in decline despite the increasing and desperate need? Why social housing fails to get political support despite the mountain of policy ideas setting out what needs to be done?

CHIA Vic is holding a workshop presented by Swinburne University Adjunct Professor Terry Burke to answer the question, ‘Why can’t social housing get greater political traction in Australia?’

Tuesday, September 29 from 10am to noon.

Register now.

A problem and a solution

Australia’s lack of social housing is usually talked about as a major problem. And it is, particularly in Victoria, which languishes at the bottom of the pile in terms of social housing as a proportion of the total housing market. However, a Smart Company article, which quotes CHIA National’s CEO Wendy Hayhurst, lays out a reasoned argument about why social housing can also be a solution in the context of the Covid-19 generated economic turndown.

Read it here.

Finance training for non-finance managers

Do you lack finance training but need to understand how your budget and financial performance of your department or program is tracking and impacting on your overall organisation?

CHIA Vic is providing training to assist you to read and understand the figures presented in financial reports and give you the knowledge you need to make better informed decisions.

The online training will be held on Wednesday, September 2 from 9.30am – 12:30 pm.

Click for details and to book.

Help for strange times

CHL’s $6.1m development delivers 24 new affordable homes

Community Housing Ltd (CHL) has completed 24 new affordable homes in Melbourne’s growing north-eastern suburb of Mernda – an initiative made possible by a three-way partnership between the philanthropic, public and not for profit sector.

The $6.1 million development has been jointly funded by the Philanthropic organisation Peter and Lyndy White (P&LW) Foundation who is the majority contributor with over $4.2million followed by $1.2 million from the Victorian Government’s Social Housing Growth Fund and the remainder by CHL. Designed and built by CHL, the new homes will be rented out to eligible people with local community links, at subsidised rent.

‘The contribution by Peter and Lyndy White Foundation is truly inspiring. It shows the impact the philanthropic sector can make in the community. We are proud of the partnership with the Foundation and the Victorian state government in delivering this project which will provide real opportunities for those who are homeless and on low incomes,’ said Steve Bevington, Managing Director of CHL.

Located in the heart of the Mernda township, the high-quality two storey development comprises of one and two-bedroom apartments and will be offered to those on the social housing waiting list. With medical facilities, schools, public transport, supermarket and retail outlets in close proximity, tenants will have easy access to essential services and local employment hubs.

‘These homes are modern, well located and will provide much needed additional supply of affordable housing at a time where the cost of living is increasingly unaffordable. It will provide a new lease of life to those who have fallen into difficulties due to issues such as unemployment, family breakdown, illness and others that have led to their having ended up being homeless,’ Mr Bevington said.

‘The completion of the development couldn’t have come at a more critical time as waiting lists for public housing and social housing continue to grow. We hope to see more investment into building social housing to ensure everyone has access to safe, secure and affordable housing.

‘This project is a great example of three sectors working together to address the shortage of affordable housing. We commend the P&LW Foundation & the Victorian Government for their leadership and look forward to continuing the partnership in the future,’ Steve added.

Minister for Housing Richard Wynne said, ‘Everyone deserves the safety and security of a roof over their head. This latest tranche of the Social Housing Growth Fund will deliver more than 780 units to make sure people sleeping rough, at risk of homelessness, and those escaping family violence can find a home.

Has your local member signed the pledge?

In Homelessness Week, CHIA Vic, along with other members of the Everybody’s Home campaign is urging local and federal members to sign the pledge and take action to address the massive shortfall in social housing supply.

Click here to view the heatmap showing the prevalence of homelessness in your local area.

#HW2020

Social housing push to end homelessness during COVID recovery

More than three quarters of Victorians want the State Government to “build significantly more public and community housing” as part of its response to COVID-19.

According to a new Essential Poll commissioned on the eve of National Homelessness Week, support for more social housing was rock solid in all demographics, regions and age groups, and across the political divide.

This includes support for more social housing from:

84% of Labor voters and 78% of Coalition voters.
76% of women and 78% of men.
77% of Melbourne residents and 79% of people in country Victoria.

Support to build more homes for people on low-incomes and those who are homeless was also consistently strong amongst workers, retirees, parents and those without kids.

A whopping 83% of Victorians agreed the Victorian Government should be doing more to end homelessness, in the poll conducted on behalf of Victoria’s leading housing and social advocacy groups.

Click to read the media release.

Community housing Aboriginal Cultural Safety Framework officially launched

At an online launch this afternoon, Victorian Housing Minister Richard Wynne and Aboriginal Affairs Minister Gabrielle Williams launched the Community Housing Aboriginal Cultural Framework.

The Community Housing Industry Association Victoria (CHIA Vic) developed the framework after extensive consultation with tenants and its member organisations. It sets out the steps community housing organisations can take to become culturally safe and will be backed by training and consultancy services to provide further assistance.

Organisations that commit to the framework will begin to integrate an understanding of the impact of intergenerational trauma has had on Aboriginal tenants, and employees, and work to create services that are appropriate and welcoming. One aim is to increase the number of Aboriginal people taking up housing in the community housing sector and have sustained successful tenancies.

CHIA Vic will provide assistance to organisations keen to commit to the framework with training and consultancy services.

You can view the framework, and details on the launch, here.

Or download the media release.

Parity open for community housing submissions

Community housing organisations are urged to respond to a Call for Contributions for the upcoming August 2020 “Supporting and Sustaining Tenancies in Community Housing” edition of Parity.

Parity is Council to Homeless Persons national publication, which examines homelessness from personal, local, social and global perspectives.

The August edition will focus on the work taking place across the community housing sector to support and assist tenants maintain their housing, including policies, programs, services and initiatives.

Download details here.

New Haven chair seeks greater integration with broader housing industry

Highly respected property developer and enthusiastic community leader, Damien Tangey, has been appointed the new Chair of Haven; Home, Safe, Australia’s only fully integrated homelessness services and affordable rental housing provider.

Mr Tangey officially assumed the role following the retirement of long-serving Chair and Director, Sue Clarke at the Board’s 2 July 2020 meeting.

‘We’re so pleased to have Damien accept this pivotal role of Chair because it marks the next step of our transition into a much stronger organisation on behalf of the people that matter most, our clients,’ said Sue Clarke, having served 11 years on the Board.

‘His strategic input and wise counsel on our well-credentialled Board is invaluable, and his integrity, vision, passion, and commitment, mirrors that of our purpose and core values,’ she said.

‘Damien’s leadership will ensure we will transition into a dynamic, responsive organisation that continues to keep the people it supports at the very heart of all it does.’

Mr Tangey acknowledged the very significant contribution of Sue Clarke and said he was honoured to accept an enhanced role on the Board of Directors and contribute further to an organisation that continued to make a real difference to the lives of so many Victorians and their families

‘We are in a difficult economic period and also what is arguably the most significant period of sector reform experienced. Through this period we will continue to think intelligently, engage articulately and be nimble in innovation as we work to meet our goals and principals as a people-focused housing and support agency. This is critical for the many people and families who are, and seek to be, our clients so that they can find and keep a place to call home.’

Mr Tangey joined the Board in February 2019 and is also the managing director of Birchgrove Property.

He has significant experience in the property sector from a long career in valuations and development and has a strong understanding of national, state and local government policy impacting the housing affordability framework. He is the Immediate Past President and a current Board Member of the Urban Development Institute of Australia (Vic), Remembrance Parks Central Victoria and Be.Bendigo.

On taking over the role Mr Tangey said: ‘Housing Associations are an important and significant part of the property industry and their further integration with broader industry is important to open the door to more much-needed housing.’