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.

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.


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.