Happy holidays

7.30 Report demonstrates the importance of Feds pitching in social housing funds

The 7.30 Report makes a compelling case for the Federal Government to contribute funds to overcome the national shortfall in social housing.

In the context of the Victorian Government’s pledge to spend a record $5.3 billion on the sector,  and the New South Wales Government allocating $812 million in its state budget, CHIA Vic agrees it’s time for the Federal Government to help tackle this growing shortfall.

Click here to view the 7.30 Report’s clip.

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.

CHL development to offer options for young with a disability

Community Housing Ltd together with 5 Star Project and the Victorian Property Fund (VPF) have announced a new state-of-the-art facility in Sale, Gippsland, will be completed next year that will expand the availability of housing options for young people living with disability or progressive illness.

In total, five shared homes and two independent units will be delivered on the 1,000 sqm site, providing critical age appropriate and affordable housing for vulnerable young people, reducing the likelihood of individuals living in institutionalised accommodation like aged care.

There are an estimated 1,634 young people in residential aged care in Victoria, but only 318 Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) developments underway, indicating a significant short fall in suitable accommodation options available.

CHL partnered with 5 Star Project to secure funding from the VPF’s program aimed at increasing the supply of environmentally sustainable community housing for low income and disadvantaged Victorians. The land for this project has been contributed by 5 Star Project.

Managing director of CHL Steve Bevington said the VPF investment of $1.6 million in funding to deliver specialty accommodation couldn’t have come at a more critical time.

“We welcome the support of the State government and are humbled to be in a position to deliver more affordable and specialised disability accommodation to allow vulnerable Victorians to live their life to the full, in a home that’s built for their needs and abilities,” Mr Bevington said.

“As a leading community housing provider, increasing the supply of affordable and accessible housing is our top priority. We have more than 25 years of experience developing affordable and specialized disability accommodation projects allowing low income and disadvantaged Australians to live independently with dignity.”

According to Leo O’Brien, from the Five Star Project, “We know from experience that many people with disability aged 18- 64 years of age, miss out on accommodation and support services and therefore live in inappropriate settings including aged care facilities. Twenty young people in Sale area currently live in aged care facilities.

The missing piece is the availability of supported accommodation for younger people who need a level of care. This makes it important to work with our partners and supporters- people with disability and their families and friends, all levels of government, business, community organisations, and health professionals, disability service providers, housing providers and funding bodies.”

 Intended features of the planned Supported Living Accommodation include:

  • Optimal resident choice, control, privacy and individuality.
  • Contemporary design
  • Choice of main house or individual self-contained units for residents as needs determine
  • Staff accommodation
  • Close proximity to shops and transport
  • Individually tailored support packages
  • Fully accredited to the Victorian Framework for Disability Standards.
  • Fully accredited to the ISO 9001 International Quality Management System
  • Fully compliant with the Objectives and Principles of the NDIS Act 2013. Australian Government.

 “We will be working closely with the 5 Star management committee and our Supported Independent Living provider, ARUMA to ensure tenants in most need, are provided with this much needed specialised disability housing,” said Grant McNeill, Victorian State Manager for Community Housing Ltd.

The project is due for completion in April 2021.

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.

 

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.

Measure your organisation’s impact

Want to know how much of a difference providing safe, secure and affordable housing is having on the lives of your tenants? CHIA Vic is holding a three-hour session  that will give you the skills and tools to measure and communicate your organisation’s impact, using CHIA Vic Social Outcomes Framework.

The online session will be held on Tuesday, November 10 from 9.30am – 12.30pm.

Register here

CHL CEO finalist for Victoria’s 2021 Australian of the Year Awards

The founder and managing director of Community Housing Limited (CHL), Australia’s largest not for profit social and affordable housing provider, has been named as a finalist for Victoria’s 2021 Australian of the Year Awards.  

Steve Bevington went from sleeping in graveyards, alleyways, and parks to couch surfing and squatting in abandoned buildings for almost 15 years since his early days in England. Since then, he’s turned his life around and is the man behind CHL, a not-for-profit housing organisation that provides safe and affordable housing solutions to vulnerable Australians from all walks of life, including the elderly, those with disability, domestic violence survivors and people living with mental illness.

On a mission to “see a world without housing poverty”, Steve founded CHL in 1993 at the age of 37. CHL started as a small office on Commercial road in Melbourne and has now transformed into a global housing powerhouse with over 400 staff who manage more than 11,000 properties across every state in Australia, and also provide affordable housing solutions in Timor Leste, Indonesia, India, Chile, Peru, Rwanda and Papua New Guinea.

Steve said the award nomination was a positive step towards society acknowledging that affordable and secure housing is a fundamental right. Safe, affordable, suitable, and quality housing gives people stability to build their life and community. This stability provides opportunity for people to improve outcomes in other areas of their lives.

Australia’s housing shortage is an enormous challenge that needs to be urgently addressed through more sustained funding and policy reform.

“Housing affordability is not a low-income problem, it’s everyone’s problem. There are approximately over 116,000 people estimated to be homeless in Australia, that is enough to fill all the seats at the MCG plus 21,000 more. This demonstrates just a fraction of Australians who need support and does not include those who are at-risk of homelessness and those who are disadvantaged in the private rental market. This issue has unfortunately only grown dire since CHL was established,” Mr Bevington said.

“I am humbled to be given the opportunity to represent CHL and those struggling to find housing security as a Victorian nominee in the running for the 2021 Australian of the Year. I couldn’t have dreamt when I was sleeping rough, that I would have the privilege of being acknowledged alongside three incredible individuals, for an award of this caliber.”

Despite there being a shortage of almost half a million rental houses available for low income families in Australia, Steve continues to be inspired by his team who share his determination in bringing more housing security to more people.

“It just goes to show that, no matter your circumstance, if you put your heart and soul into your calling, you can achieve something great,” Mr Bevington said.

“What we have accomplished at CHL would not have been possible without the team who wake up each day with an entrenched desire to help others in need – it’s what’s kept CHL going for the past 27 years and is what will keep us going for decades to come, and that’s something to be proud of.”

“CHL is committed to delivering affordable housing solutions to support those who are disadvantaged in the private rental market and will continue to advocate for the many vulnerable groups”, said Steve.

The award winners will be announced live online on Tuesday 27 October at 6.30pm on the Australian of the Year’s Facebook page.  

Mental Health Awareness during COVID

The COVID-19 pandemic has been an added stress for employees in the community housing sector and this CHIA Vic online training is designed to assist participants to understand the steps they can take to protect their own Mental Health.

To maximise discussion, the workshop numbers will be capped at 15. The session will be held over two days, on Thursday, October 15 and Friday, October 16, from 11am to 3pm.

Participants will receive the 35-page manual via email prior to the first online session, to give you an opportunity to review it before the training begins.

Bookings essential, register here.