IAP position at Unison

The Intake Assessment and Planning (IAP) Worker provides high quality initial assessment and planning services to people experiencing homelessness or at risk of homelessness and work in close collaboration with other agencies and housing providers.

This role reports to Senior Workers and IAP Manager and focuses on assisting individuals and families in housing crisis through conducting assessments, provision of information and referrals, with follow up and financial support where appropriate. The IAP worker will work as part of a close team delivering front-line IAP services and long-term housing in line with organisational values and policies.

About you

To fill this position, we are seeking staff who:

  • has experience in housing or homelessness support and qualifications in a relevant discipline
  • can adopt a flexible, responsive approach to assist individuals and families to achieve positive outcomes.
  • is empathetic, committed, reliable, positive, respectful and a values-led person
  • has the skills and experience to work effectively and sensitively with a broad range of clients, including those with complex and mental health needs
  • will contribute to the delivery of high quality service to people in housing crisis

Click here to read more and to apply for this position.

Why LGAs should work with CHOs

The new planning mechanisms for affordable housing came into effect on 1 June 2018 as a result of amendments to the Planning and Environment Act 1987.

CHIA Vic has created a factsheet for local government detailing how they can increase affordable housing in their municipality by working in partnership with community housing organisations.

Download your copy here.

Tenders now open

Tenders are now open for service providers who wish to be involved in supporting rough sleepers who are to be housed in new modular homes on three sites across Victoria.

Minister for Housing, Martin Foley has announced 19 new modular homes at Bacchus Marsh, Norlane and Dandenong will be provided through the Towards Home program.

Towards Home is part of the $45 million Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Action Plan released in January this year. The new properties add to 30 temporary modular homes that have been placed on sites in Preston, Reservoir, Chadstone, Doveton and Brighton.

Tenders for service providers at the new locations are now open at tenders.vic.gov.au.

Tenders are also open for the Action Plan’s $19 million assertive outreach program, which will see teams established in seven high need areas across Victoria – including Geelong.

The assertive outreach teams will actively seek out and engage with people experiencing homelessness, to help them access emergency accommodation, health services and ongoing case management.


Stress rising for social housing tenants

Renters are particularly prone to financial and housing stress, according to the latest latest Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) survey.

The report found housing stress had increased for renters over the survey period from 2001 to 2016. And social housing tenants were particularly hard hit.

People are defined as being in housing stress when their housing costs are more than 30 per cent of their income, and the household is in the bottom 40 per cent of income distribution.

Read more… 

An Aboriginal Housing and Homelessness Framework for Victoria

In a first for Victoria, the Government has recognised the need for a comprehensive and cohesive response to the housing stress experienced by Aboriginal Victorians.

Aboriginal Housing Victoria has advocated long and hard for the development of an Aboriginal Housing and Homelessness Framework and in the spirit of self-determination the government has agreed that Aboriginal Housing Victoria lead this work.

The Victorian Aboriginal community is strong in its culture and identity but colonisation and dispossession have had long lasting and far reaching effects. A lack of policy effort and investment in housing has resulted in very poor outcomes and progress towards closing the gap has been very slow in many areas.

We are pleased to announce that Professor Kerry Arabena, who is the Chair of Indigenous Health Equity at Melbourne University, will Chair a Steering Committee to guide work on the Aboriginal Housing and Homelessness Framework.

Professor Arabena says, ‘This work is critical for supporting our families to achieve health and wellbeing, and for creating intergenerational opportunities that enable people to live happy, fulfilling and meaningful lives.

‘We are committed to self-determination and often this relates to people having not only a house, but a home from which they can feel safe, loved, protected and supported.

‘We will be ensuring that a wide range of stakeholders have input into the development of this framework. We will be holding a Summit early next year to provide ways for all levels of government, those in community controlled and nongovernment organisations and tenants to work to support the aspirations of householders.

‘This way of working, of privileging the voice of tenants and for all of us to respond in the ways they want, when they want, is very powerful. The tenants can also then be supported in the uptake of their responsibility to ensure the houses become homes and that families are able to do more than survive, rather thrive and flourish.’

The framework will take a rights-based approach and will structure its work around:
• people’s housing needs across their life course
• the programs and supports needed to achieve improved housing outcomes
• the capacity and capability of service and housing providers to deliver on objectives.

We know that stable, safe and secure housing is the foundation for successful investments in education, training, employment, health, justice and family violence.

Homelessness, social housing, private rental and home ownership all need to be addressed if housing outcomes are to improve. In the absence of an integrated approach, Aboriginal Victorians will continue to be subject to piecemeal initiatives, major gaps in program offerings, and lost opportunities to build long-term sustainable housing outcomes.

We are determined to break out of the cycle of housing disadvantage experienced by Aboriginal Victorians. We think we can do it.

We would also like to thank CHIA Vic for supporting and advocating for the development of an Aboriginal Housing and Homelessness Framework.

Please visit the Aboriginal Housing Victoria website for further details or contact AHV.

-article courtesy of AHV

Partnership approach to deliver more housing

The Victorian Government’s moves to work in partnership with the community housing industry through a new Victorian Social Housing Growth Fund and Low Cost Loans initiative has been welcomed by the industry’s state peak body.

The Community Housing Industry Association Victoria’s (CHIA Vic) CEO Lesley Dredge says, with the waiting list for social housing in Victoria sitting at 42,162 households, action on creating more affordable housing supply is urgently needed and the government’s moves to increase the impact of the community housing sector via the growth funds and low-cost loans, are significant.

To resolve unmet housing need by 2051, factoring in population growth, Victoria must add another 3,000 social housing properties each year to house our most disadvantaged, plus another 3,000 affordable rental properties each year for low income households facing housing stress.

When the government’s $1b Social Housing Growth Fund is fully operational it will provide about $60 million annually, with the aim of adding only 2,200 social housing places over five years, an important step forward, Ms Dredge says.

‘The $1bn fund is the first time there has been a long-term, ongoing commitment to produce an income stream to be used for social housing in Victoria,’ Ms Dredge says.

‘We are hopeful that once this architecture is embedded, more funding will be allocated by subsequent governments; enabling community housing organisations to leverage the funds and plug the gap between the cost of delivering new social housing and the rents they are able to charge their low income tenants.’

The Low Cost Loans initiative for community housing organisations is also a step in the right direction, Ms Dredge says.

‘Making loans more affordable will assist some community housing organisations to leverage funds to be used to house more Victorians in need,’ Ms Dredge says.

Click here for details on the Victorian Social Housing Growth Fund and the low interest loans and guarantees

Job: Fundraising Manager

The Old Colonists’ Association of Victoria is seeking an experienced fundraising manager.

This role would be suited to a relationship fundraiser with experience working in bequests and/or major relationship management where you have raised significant funds. You have a deep understanding and appreciation of best practice philanthropy and fundraising combined with personal maturity and sophistication.

Bring your experience to a growing organisation committed to providing elderly Victorians with a dignified and engaged quality of life.

Click here for more information and to apply.

RTA reforms announced

Reforms to the Residential Tenancies Act were announced this weekend, and CHIA Vic expects the full details of all the proposed changes will soon be made public.

Reforms in the Bill include requirements for rental homes to meet basic standards, including safety standards for gas, electricity and smoke alarms.

Other changes relevant to the community housing industry include:

  • rent increases limited to once a year
  • renters will have the ability to make minor modifications without needing consent of the landlord
  • clearer rules on how to deal with goods left behind
  • written consent of the landlord will no longer be required to release bond, although landlords will have 14 days to raise a dispute
  • tenants will be able to terminate rental agreements if in a family violence situation

We will let you know when the details of the changes are released.

Read the media release
See the Rent Fair reforms
See full details of the review and consultation on the reforms:

$3m partnership to deliver new homes in Mitchell Shire

A partnership between the Victorian Property Fund (VPF), Mitchell Shire Council and BeyondHousing will see eight new homes built for couples, single parents and families at risk of homelessness in Wallan, Broadford and Seymour.

The new homes were announced by Minister for Consumer Affairs, Marlene Kairouz, on Wednesday 1 August.

BeyondHousing CEO, Celia Adams, said the Minister’s involvement highlighted the significance of the partnership.

‘BeyondHousing is contributing just over $1million and the Victorian Government $2million through the Victorian Property Fund. It’s a major project for us and we thank Minister Marlene Kairouz for the investment,’ Ms Adams said.

Ms Adams also welcomed Mitchell Shire Council’s support of the project.

‘Mitchell Shire is experiencing rapid population growth and we share their desire to ensure there is a place for everyone in these towns,’ Ms Adams said.

‘Mitchell Shire is leading the way in how councils can work with agencies like ours to ensure their communities get the most out of funding opportunities.’

Mitchell Shire Mayor, Cr Rhonda Sanderson said the housing would address a critical need in the area.

‘There is significant need for increased funding for homelessness services across the shire and greater investment in social housing – this is something we have been lobbying for as part of our advocacy priorities,’ Cr Sanderson said.

‘We are pleased to work with BeyondHousing to increase affordable housing in our shire and we sincerely thank the Victorian Government and BeyondHousing for helping deliver this fantastic service for our community.’

BeyondHousing is the largest housing and homelessness service provider within the Goulburn and Ovens Murray regions of Victoria. Last year BeyondHousing provided services to more than 5500 people and owns or manages more than 700 homes.

Ms Adams said the new homes would be a mixture of units and houses to respond to the housing needs of single parents, couples and families.

BeyondHousing’s contribution was used to purchase land on which the homes will be built.

‘Work will start soon on house design. We have appointed Sessions, Metricon and New View Homes as the preferred builders,’ Ms Adams said.

Tim Sessions from Sessions Builders said they enjoy working with BeyondHousing, building quality homes for people in need and also keeping local people in work, such as builders and trades.

Ms Adams said BeyondHousing deliberately focused on working closely with local builders to support their efforts to offer jobs in the community and add to the local economy.

‘This is a significant injection of economic activity in the area and we prefer to develop longer term relationships with builders in our catchment area,’ she said.

BeyondHousing is committed to addressing homelessness, supporting people in housing stress and increasing the supply of affordable housing.

‘Increasing the supply of affordable housing in the Goulburn Valley and north east Victoria is a key priority of ours over the next three years. Last year we added 16 new homes to our portfolio,’ Ms Adams said.

The project is supported by the Victorian Property Fund through the Victorian Government.