Identifying older Aussies at risk of homelessness

A new AHURI report investigates the issues affecting older Australians who are experiencing or facing homelessness.

The research, An effective homelessness services system for older Australians identified three broad groups of older Australians who become homeless: those with conventional housing histories who experience a financial or other ‘shock’ late in life, such as eviction from rental housing, the death of a spouse, or a decline in their health; those who had experienced long-term social exclusion and had previously experienced homelessness; and people with transient work and housing histories.

One of the findings was a recommendation to expand the Assistance with Care and Housing program (ACH) as a simple first step to better support this vulnerable group.

Click here to download the report.

CHIA Vic launches our first online annual report

In a first for CHIA Vic, we have gone digital with our annual report, creating an interactive website, which you can view here.

A downloadable Word version is also available.

 

 

Five ways community housing has an edge over private developers

Victoria’s community housing industry is making an increasing significant contribution to the development of housing for people in need. Between 2010 and 30 June 2019, the community housing industry provided 1,033 additional social and affordable homes in Victoria.

Here are just five of the reasons why community housing organisations are well placed to be the engine room for social housing growth in Victoria:

  1. community housing organisations can deliver 25-30 per cent more dwellings than for-profit developers by folding the developer margin and tax advantages back into additional supply
  2. they can benefit from land lax, stamp duty and GST concessions through their charitable not-for-profit status
  3. they can complement government funding with other forms of investment, including philanthropic, to increase supply
  4. they can design and build high-quality homes with lower running costs for tenants
  5. they can protect social and affordable housing as public assets.

Download our Development Snapshot for details.

AHURI conference wrap up

The Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI) Conference has wrapped up, delivering a wealth of evidence and information on what we in Australia can do to end homelessness.

If you missed out on attending the conference in Darwin, you can still click here for the wrap up and to download presentations from the conference.

Social housing need 310% higher than thought

If every household in Australia who met the eligibility criteria for social housing decided to apply, waiting lists across the country would increase by more than 310 per cent, according to a discussion paper released by Compass Housing Services.

The paper, Estimating Current and Future Demand for Housing Assistance, used housed income date to estimate the number of households in Australia who meet current eligibility requirements in their state or territory and looked into the likely impact of the expected wave of automation and digital disruption on wages.

It found while there were currently more than 144,000 households on the social housing waiting list, income and asset data suggested an additional 452,000 households were also eligible to apply for housing.

Report author Martin Kennedy said the findings were “deeply concerning” and could cause future headaches for governments already handling a backlog of housing applications.’

Click here to download the report.

CHOs key role in affordable build-to-rent

A report on Build to Rent in Australia has recommended providing discounted land grants to community housing organisations as the best method to ensure primarily market rental developments include an affordable component.

The report, Build-to-rent in Australia: Product feasibility and potential affordable housing contribution, by Landcom found the sector can more feasibly provide build to rent units though mixed-tenure affordable housing projects than by private developer for-profit projects.

Click here to download the report.

Few social housing tenants are lonely

Older social housing tenants are far less lonely than those in private rental, according to an article published in The Conversation.

The article, by Research Professor, University of Technology Sydney Alan Morris and Research Associate, University of Technology Sydney, Andrea Verasco states many older private renters have little disposal income, because the cost of housing uses up much of their income. They also live with the constant possibility that they may be asked to vacate their accommodation. Their limited budgets mean they often end up living in a poorly located property. These features, individually or in combination, create fertile ground for anxiety and loneliness.

Their dire financial situation was often an obstacle to social activities. One interviewee told of how she had to choose between food or breaking her isolation by using public transport.

‘In sharp contrast, only a small proportion of the social housing tenants interviewed said they were lonely. Almost all were adamant they did not experience loneliness and felt they had strong social ties. Their affordable rent, security of tenure, long-term residence and having neighbours in a similar position meant they could socialise and were not beset by anxiety.’

Read the full article here.

 

CHIA Vic launches new strategic plan

CHIA Vic has launched its new strategic plan setting the organisation’s vision, mission and key priorities for the next three years.

The plan, Building the Foundation for Opportunity, was developed using the Theory of Change principles, which involve setting a goal, then working backwards to achieve it. In our case, the goal is to achieve our mission: ‘A thriving Victoria where everyone has the safety, security and dignity of a home – the foundation of opportunity.’

CHIA Vic’s mission is to: Lead and enable a diverse and dynamic community housing sector that is integral to the housing system.

Four key priorities have been identified:

  1. Provide strategic policy leadership and champion a reform agenda.
  2. Harness and strengthen the capacity and capability of the community housing sector to play its integral role in a larger more inclusive housing system.
  3. Build awareness, engagement and trust in the community housing value proposition.
  4. Enhance CHIA Vic’s organisational strength.

You can read more about the objectives and outcomes in the Strategic Plan by downloading the four-page document here.

AirBnB impact on Melbourne ‘minimal’

Contradicting accepted wisdom, an SGS Economics and Planning report has found Airbnb has had little impact on Melbourne’s housing market.

The report, which used official Airbnb data, found the number of AirBnB listings in Melbourne in 2017 was equivalent to only 0.5 per cent of all dwellings in Melbourne.

Report co-author Terry Rawnsley, Principal and Partner at SGS Economics and Planning, said the hosting rate of Airbnb listings averaged less than 50 per cent of the time they were available.

In Melbourne, the median number of nights hosted per year has increased from 42 nights to 66 nights per year. Of the listings that have hosted guests, over 35 per cent of listings host guests for up to 30 nights per year. Approximately 27 per cent of listings host guests for more than 180 nights per year.

Mr Rawnsley says, broadly speaking, it is not financially beneficial to host a property on Airbnb instead of renting to a long-term tenant, unless the property is in the City of Melbourne, where the hosting rate averages 70 per cent.

‘In only a small number of cases, it is more profitable to list a property on Airbnb full time rather than on the rental market.’

Download the report