HeyVan helping homeless in Bendigo

A year on from its Bendigo launch, Haven; Home, Safe’s HeyVan initiative has helped more than 160 people experiencing homelessness.

The HeyVan is a safe space where rough sleepers can connect with Haven’s Homeless Assertive Outreach Response team. It carries basic foods and essential items and stops at several locations across the City of Greater Bendigo.

An initiative of the Victorian Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Action Plan, the HeyVan is one of eight assertive outreach programs across the state to service areas identified as having the highest incidence of rough sleeping.

The Bendigo and another service in Swan Hill services have been funded for $1.28 million over two years and have the capacity to provide assertive outreach to people sleeping rough, including rapid access to emergency accommodation, health services, ongoing case management and housing support.

Housing Richard Wynne says,’The results of the first year show this program is making a lasting difference for people sleeping rough’.

World first for Haven

Haven; Home, Safe has become the first Housing Association in the world to receive the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) certification for its asset management system.

ISO: 55001:2014 recognises HHS’s world-class governance and best practice over the management of its portfolio of housing assets worth more than $350 million.

CEO Ken Marchingo AM said achieving ISO certification highlighted the Non-Government Organisation’s innovative and systematic approach to align its asset management objectives with its organisational goals.

‘The benefits are improved effectiveness and efficiency, financial performance, risk management, better services and outputs, and demonstrated social responsibility and compliance, he said.

‘Best practice asset management also protects two decades of investment and ensures a robust future for both the organisation and, more importantly, the people we house.’

The ISO certification project was led by Assets and Maintenance General Manager Rachael Skipper and took 18 months to complete.

‘The process has created greater awareness and understanding across the organisation that asset management is not just “a maintenance thing”, Ms Skipper said.

‘What we have established through ISO certification is a sound basis for good practice management of our assets and a fit-for-purpose plan to achieve it.”

The ISO certificate registration came into effect on 26 June.

New board members

New directors get on board of HHS

Three new Directors have joined Haven; Home, Safe’s board, bringing a broad range of business and cultural skills to the homelessness service and affordable housing provider, Chair Sue Clarke says.

Jan Snell, Gerard José, and Damien Tangey have been appointed to the Board of Directors of Haven; Home, Safe.

‘Their background, qualifications and experience will add considerable value to our Board and I look forward to working with them to deliver on our organisational purpose as we progress our five-year strategic plan to deliver more supports and more homes through more partnerships and increased capacity,’ Sue says.

Jan has had a long and distinguished career in the Victorian Public Service and has held a number of senior executive positions, more recently Deputy Secretary, North Division, Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). Gerard has significant experience in community engagement, change management, organisation development, policy facilitation and program evaluation. Damien is a highly respected property developer with a strong understanding of national, state and local government policy impacting the housing affordability framework.

The three new appointees join fellow Directors, Chair Sue Clarke, Andrew Cairns, David Brant, Ken Belfrage, Melanie Rogers, Jan Boynton, Candy Broad, and Warwick Cavanagh.

Caption: New HHS Directors Gerard José, Jan Snell, and Damien Tangey with Chair Sue Clarke.

New COO for Haven

Haven; Home, Safe has promoted Trudi Ray to the newly created position of Chief Operations Officer (COO) as part of a restructure of Victoria’s only fully integrated homelessness services and affordable housing providers.

Prior to being appointed COO, Ms Ray was the Executive Director for Operations in the southern region of Victoria for two years after serving as Executive Director Corporate Services from 2010 to 2016.

HHS Chief Executive Officer Ken Marchingo AM said last week the appointment followed the recent departure of Executive Director for Operations (North) Niall Hensey after nine years’ service.

‘This created an opportunity to deliver a different structure that more closely supports the strategy of the Board and the organisational requirements into the future,’ Mr Marchingo said.

‘Trudi has worked closely with me for over 14 years and is an outstanding and valued member of the Executive Management Team.

‘I look forward to working with her and the Executive as we drive the next stage in the organisation’s evolution and growth.’

Ms Ray said she was excited about the opportunity to work with the General Managers and staff to turn HHS’s strategy into operational and financial success.

‘With single IT housing systems and the development of a new CRM, we are in the process of being fully data-driven where the business can be guided by real-time data,’ Ms Ray said.

‘Operations across the organisation are complex and diverse and we have a genuinely talented and committed team who daily work towards preventing homelessness and giving people a place to call home.

‘The Board has set a great strategy and with my fellow executive we will continue to keep our strategy front and centre, ensuring we build towards more homes, more supports, more partnerships and more capacity,’ she said.

Ms Ray said that while there had been significant investment and commitments made in recent times, Victoria’s overall social housing stock was on the decline when measured as a proportion of all housing.

‘Wherever you look, in metropolitan Melbourne or in regional and rural Victoria, there is a chronic shortage of affordable and available rental housing which has significant social and economic costs not just to the individuals and families but also communities,’ she said.

HHS as always will continue to work with the sector and all levels of government to advocate for the housing and support needed.

Ms Ray will maintain offices in Preston and Geelong and conduct regular staff and stakeholder meetings in the Loddon and Mallee offices in Bendigo and Mildura.

The restructure will include the creation of two Executive General Manager positions to oversee day-to-day operations in the south and north of the state reporting to the new COO.


Trudi Ray has been responsible for growing and managing Haven; Home, Safe’s support services and housing portfolio across the northern and eastern suburbs of Melbourne in addition to expanding HHS’s footprint in the Barwon South West Region since 2016 in her former role of Executive Director Operations (South).

Over the past two years, HHS has secured more homes and supports for women and families fleeing family violence and those that are homeless working in concert with many support partners also delivering on a 17-unit development in the centre of Geelong.

Trudi’s strong work ethic and diverse management and leadership skills developed over the past 14 years has stood her in good stead as she takes up the Chief Operations Officer role.

Trudi has worked out of both our Geelong and Preston offices and prior to relocating to Geelong in 2015, Trudi was HHS Executive Director Corporate Services responsible for the agency’s Human Resources, IT, Risk Management, OH&S and communications programs

In November 2016 Trudi was elected to the Board of the Community Housing Federation Victoria (now CHIA Vic) and believes in advocating strongly for those most vulnerable in our community, those that are homeless, fleeing family violence or those in housing crisis.

Trudi understands the complexities of vulnerable communities and her passion for social justice and strong community spirit extends beyond the workplace having been the youngest women to be elected a local government councillor in Regional Australia in 2004.

She is a Justice of the Peace, Interim Chair Victorian Branch of Australasian Housing Institute of Australia, a member of the Manningham Council Healthy City Advisory Committee, and has been invited to participate on the Hume Moreland Housing Action Group and Intervening early to prevent homelessness working group with DHHS.

Trudi has received certification two years running into the AHI certified housing professional Level 3, one of only seven housing professionals in Victoria to do so.

Ranked in the top 15 per cent of all La Trobe University graduates in 2013, Trudi is now mentoring other MBA students through the La Trobe Alumni.

-article courtesy of Haven; Home, Safe

Excellence in housing showcased

Community housing organisations had a chance to hear about innovations in community housing at the Australian Housing Industry (AHI) Housing Excellence Showcase held in May.

The luncheon was part of the series of special events showcasing some of the standout achievements from the 2017 AHI Professional Excellence in Housing Awards.

James Wray from HousingFirst (formerly the Port Phillip Housing Assocation) spoke about two of his organisations award-winning programs: the Ashwood Cook Up, which took out the Tenant Led Initiative Award, and the Tenant Induction Program, which took out the Leading Asset Management Award.

The Cook Up saw 80 tenants of Ashwood Chadstone take part in cooking classes to tackle issues around food and loneliness.

Caroline Larcher, Women’s Property Initiative’s  Development Manager spoke about the trials and tribulations of building a townhouse project in Coburg on a tricky site next to the train tracks, which won the Leading Housing Development Project Award.

Housing Choice’s Jane Crombie spoke about the Love Your Laneway Mural Project that saw tenants, including Linda Newman, involved in creating a laneway mural that has improved their sense of safety and community. ‘It brightens up our day,’ Linda says.

Haven; Home, Safe’s Rachel Gellatly and Sue Farrell spoke about the success of their innovative Sidney Myer Haven project, which houses those who are keen to make a better life for themselves and their children in a gated community with 24/7 support and an intensive social curriculum program.

Launch Housing’s HomeGround Real Estate also featured as the industry’s first private rental agency, which offers landlords the opportunity to lease their properties at sub-market rent.