Wintringham to build $10m development in Shep

Wintringham will build a $10 million development in Shepparton, consisting of 28 – 30 new independent living units, after securing grants from the State Government ($5.5m), a major philanthropic foundation ($2.5m) and The Australian Nursing & Midwifery Federation ($2m).

Wintringham CEO Bryan Lipmann AM thanked all the donors for their contribution to the project: ‘This is a powerful example of how government and community funds can be used in partnership to deliver much needed services.’

With Wintringham’s model of taking on zero debt to ensure it is able to focus 100 per cent on housing the most disadvantaged, coupled with a lack of investment in social housing over the past 30 years, Bryan says his organisation is forced to rely heavily on the goodwill of philanthropists and Commonwealth and State Government to assist homeless older people.

‘We have 2,050 people on our waiting list, all of whom are over 50 and need our support,’ Bryan says.

‘For example, we have someone in hospital recuperating from an operation and they have nowhere to go when they are discharged.

‘Imagine trying to recover when you know you will have no safe place to go once you leave hospital.’

The Shepparton units are due for completion in 2021.

 

Retrofit funds for community housing up for grabs

Community housing organisations can apply for funding to retrofit their properties to improve water efficiency with the aim of saving water and reducing costs.

South East Water, City West Water and Yarra Valley Water in partnership with the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) have created aCommunity Housing Retrofit Program (CHRP).

CHRP provides assistance to emergency and community housing organisations to repair leaks and repair or replace faulty water appliances across Victoria.

Eligible organisations include refugee housing, domestic violence shelters or short term housing for displaced persons.

Some of the retrofit works available under this program are:

  • Showerhead replacement
  • Repair or replacement of single flush toilet suites
  • Leak detection
  • Leak repair, including underground pipes and internal appliances and fixtures
  • Hot water service adjustment repair and/or replacement
  • Water and energy efficient appliance replacement such as washing machines and dishwashers
  • Additional related plumbing works

Click here for details of how to apply.

Joint venture to boost social housing in Hepburn

The Hepburn Shire Council is partnering with national not for profit housing provider, Community Housing Limited (CHL) as part of a joint venture program that will increase the number and quality of social housing dwellings within the region.

Locals in housing need or those facing the risks of homelessness will benefit from the program, which will provide safe and appropriate housing in the form of 19 dwellings.

With grant funding provided by the Hepburn Shire Council in the amount of $589,000, CHL will deliver four (4) new purpose-built double bedroom units to low income earners in the Clunes community.

‘This program will not only increase the supply of social and affordable housing in the Shire of Hepburn, which is so desperately needed, but will greatly improve the quality of life for struggling residents providing them with real opportunities and pathways,’ says CHL State Manager Shari McPhail.

As part of the CHL’s management, tenants will reap the benefits of services that will connect them with employment, education, training and other community engagements opportunities.

‘We are totally committed to serving the community, and we are really looking forward to working within the region and with the council. Not only will this project provide much needed housing options, but it will also contribute to the local economy with a host of employment opportunities both long and short term, expected to be generated.’

A tender invitation for the construction of the new units is expected to be released shortly, with CHL encouraging local builders and trades within the Clunes Community to partner in the delivery of this very exciting project.

Mayor Cr John Cottrell said that Council was pleased to be working collaboratively with Community Housing Limited.

‘Affordable housing is an issue facing all communities and this is a great opportunity to make a difference in Clunes. The funding raised by Council together with the Clunes community will deliver additional housing options and real opportunities for low income earners.’

Upon completion in the second half of 2019, the new properties will be made available as housing options for the elderly, key workers and younger people, and via CHL will be coupled with resources and support to allow them to engage with their community, develop support networks and grow and lead productive lives.

For almost a quarter of a decade, CHL has been managing the end to end delivery of affordable housing including design, construction, tenancy and property management and currently has more than 9,000 properties under its management nationally, of which over 15 percent are in Victoria.

 

PhD Scholarship in Social Housing

The Unison Housing Research LaB (UHRL) is a unique education and research collaboration between RMIT University and Unison Housing, Victoria’s largest social housing provider. The LaB is situated in the Social and Global Studies Centre (SGSC) in the School of Global, Urban and Social Studies (GUSS). The LaB was established in 2017 and is funded for five years to undertake an innovative research program informed by the experiences of service users and providers.

We are seeking highly motivated and qualified applicants for a PhD scholarship to commence in February, 2019. The successful applicant will have, at minimum, an Honours level qualification in social science or related discipline (e.g. sociology, psychology, anthropology, criminology, law, gender, politics, health) and will have experience in quantitative research methods. Utilising their skills with administrative and survey data, the successful candidate will examine why people leave social housing and what happens to them subsequently. The candidate will investigate three questions:

  1. What are the reasons households leave social housing?
  2. What sort of housing do people subsequently move into and, relatedly, what proportion end up experiencing homelessness after they exit.
  3. What are the patterns of service use following exits from social housing.

In answering these questions this PhD project will provide important insights into the personal, social and economic costs of leaving social housing. It will also provide useful information for Unison with respect to maximising positive exits and minimising negative exits which are costly to everyone.

A stipend of $30,900 per annum pro rata (full time study) for three years.

Expressions of interest must be submitted via email by Friday October 26th, 2018.

Expressions of interest should contain the following information:

  • A one-page summary justifying the applicant’s suitability for the role
  • An academic CV
  • Transcript of qualifying degree
  • A copy of any publications, thesis or other scholarly writing

For further information contact:

Dr Juliet Watson,  03 9925 3477

Prof Guy Johnson,   03 9925 9893

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?

Gas heater update

If you have a client who has had their gas heater shut off who is over 75 years old or has a serious health condition then it is possible to have the replacement of their heater prioritised.

Simply contact the Department of Health and Human Services’ Call Centre and ask them to escalate the replacement of a gas heater that has been shut off, giving your tenants age or their specific health condition as the reason. You should not require supporting evidence.

The Call Centre has hired more staff to cope with the increase in calls due to the heater recall and briefed them on the need to escalate heater replacements for these cohorts.

There are still limits to how fast the replacements can be installed, so although the escalation process will prioritise the replacement, it may not be immediate. This is due to safety requirements that limit the number of installations gas plumbers can perform in a day and, potentially, issues with accessing appropriate replacement heaters.

DHHS compensation for high electricity bills

DHHS sent out letters last week with details of the compensation available for public housing tenants facing high electricity bills due to the removal of their gas heaters. CHIA Vic has been advocating for a similar treatment for tenants in DHHS-owned properties although, at this stage, nothing has been confirmed.

Please circulate this information to your staff.

Members feature in social enterprise book

CHIA Vic members Haven: Home; Safe and St Kilda Community Housing (SCH) both feature in a new book on social enterprise.

Haven: Home; Safe’s maintenance subsidiary, HIVE, provides trade and non-trade services, to maintain its short and long-term housing portfolio across Melbourne and the Barwon South West region.

HIVE employs a mix of mature, experienced workers and young people who want to join the workforce for the first time or maintain work. The HIVE Team achieves a property clean turnaround time of 2.8 days, well below the commercial average of 7-10 days; it created 12,851 paid work hours in the 2017 financial year, and HIVE staff reported an overall satisfaction level of 85 per cent.

SCH also has its own maintenance social enterprise, TCM, which enables SCH to employ residents and develop and enhance the skills of tenants through training opportunities. SCH also runs its own social enterprise graphic design company skydesign, which puts money back into the housing organisation.

The book, Dollars & Sense, features 40 case studies to raise awareness of the impact of social enterprises – businesses that trade to intentionally tackle social problems, improve communities, provide people with access to employment and skills development, or help the environment.

Purchase Dollars and Sense.

Read more...

The Myer Innovation Fellowships are being offered to people with ground-breaking ideas that will tackle poverty and disadvantage; education; or sustainability and environment and need a year to develop an action plan.

Successful Fellows will receive $120,000 for their 12-month commitment to the program and an additional $30,000 for approved expenses such as work space, rent, travel and contracting of external expertise.

Read more…

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.

 

$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.