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February 2016

Talking Points
From the CEO

Is affordable housing becoming an election issue?  At the weekend, Matt Wade in the Sydney Morning Herald News Review reflected on the results of recent polling about what voters nominate as the biggest issues facing the nation. Housing is rising up the agenda. As he reported, “In Sydney the regular 'Issues Monitor' survey by Ipsos showed that housing had surged past healthcare and the cost of living as the top issue facing the city in the September quarter. That was soon after the median price for a detached house in Sydney topped the $1 million mark”.

On 24 February, the Housing Industry Association which represents the residential building industry, released the 2016 edition of Housing Australia’s Future - which estimates what residential building is required up to 2050. It uses estimates of population growth from the Australian Bureau of Statistics and models different scenarios, predicting annual home building requirement ranges of between circa 135,000 and 250,000 new homes (with a mid-point of 190,000) across the country if demand is to be satisfied. They point out that supply has rarely made the threshold in the last 30 years.  While supply on its own will not address affordability, insufficient supply will make matters worse.

Timely then that on Friday 26 February, the Council on Federal Financial Relations Affordable Housing Working Group’s roundtable on boosting investment in affordable rental housing takes place in Sydney. The Working Group was set up primarily with a purpose of “improving the supply of affordable housing, through the introduction of innovative, transformative and implementable financing models. These would apply to the social housing sector, and the private rental market for low-income and disadvantaged households”.  The roundtable is also meeting on the day we anticipate the City of Sydney may release the result of its latest count of rough sleepers.  For those of us attending, the results should remind us why what comes out of these sessions really matters.

House Keys Operations aggregate report
The Federation has released the first aggregate report from House Keys: Operations. The report provides information about the levels of tenant satisfaction, housing management and financial performance amongst the 37 community housing providers that have participated in the industry’s own benchmarking system, House Keys.  Click here to view the report. House Keys will be released annually and expanded over time.

Announcement of the 2016 Affordable Housing Conference – 28th and 29th July!  
The NSW Federation of Housing Associations and Homelessness NSW are jointly hosting the conference, with support from the University of Sydney (Urbanism Program). The 2016 Affordable Housing Conference will be held at the Sydney Masonic Centre on the 28th & 29th of July.

The conference theme is What would it take to create 100,000 new affordable housing dwellings in NSW? Confirmed speakers are Minister Hazzard and Suzanne Fitzpatrick (Professor of Housing and Social Policy in the Institute for Social Policy, Housing, Environment and Real Estate (I-SPHERE), Heriot-Watt University). Suzanne is recognised as one of the foremost international experts on homelessness and housing exclusion. We have also received positive indications from Minister Stokes.

Click here for more details.

Stay tuned for more information. We look forward to seeing you all there.

banner saying "2016 Affordable Housing conference" -Save the date

Platinum Sponsor for the 2016 Affordable Housing Conference: PAYCE Consolidated Limited

The Federation is pleased to announce PAYCE Consolidated Limited as the Platinum Sponsor of the 2016 Affordable Housing Conference. PAYCE is a leading property investment and development group and is listed on the ASX.

PAYCE have recently been named finalists across five categories in this year’s prestigious Property Council of Australia/Rider Levett Bucknall Innovation and Excellence Awards. PAYCE is a finalist in the Best Affordable Housing Development category for their Washington Park project in North Riverwood.

This is an exciting opportunity to bring together the skills, expertise and ideas of the non-governmental sectors to deliver the best solutions to the affordable housing challenge. 

The Federation would like to thank PAYCE for their generous support for what will be the premier housing event of 2016!

PAYCE logo with tagline

CEFC Report on community housing opportunities on clean energy
On 9th February, the CEFC released its new Market Report: Financing Energy Efficient Community Housing which identifies an immediate opportunity to improve energy efficiency, lower tenant costs and lift the sustainability of Australia’s cities through finance for the community housing sector.  It has also announced a major new program to accelerate the construction of market-leading energy efficient community housing properties. The new Community Housing Program aims to drive the construction of as many as 1,000 new energy efficient social and affordable homes in 2016.

The CEFC has created this program to fill a funding gap in the sector. The $250 million program provides tailored long-term loans for new social and affordable housing designed and built to an average seven-star rating under the Nationwide Housing Energy Rating Scheme (NatHERS). Finance is also available to retrofit existing buildings to improve energy efficiency for tenants, such as switching to LED lighting, updating household appliances, installing solar panels and improving insulation.

 The program is available to eligible projects that can demonstrate commercial viability to the satisfaction of the CEFC. Community housing providers wishing to secure finance under the program can email the CEFC's community housing team: communityhousing@cleanenergyfinancecorp.com.au.

There is more information on their website.

CSBA Service Excellence & Managing Service Challenges Training for Housing Providers

Federation partners, CSBA, are holding two half day sessions in Sydney on Wednesday 16 March designed especially for the Social Housing sector.

The Social Housing Service Excellence program is a half day training session perfect for staff to learn how to manage customer expectations and drive service improvement. The program is designed for frontline customer service staff, team leaders and managers.

  • Date: Wednesday 16 March 2016
  • Venue: NSW Federation of Housing Associations, Suite 301, 64-76 Kippax St, Surry Hills
  • Time: 09.00am – 12.30pm
  • Cost: $440 (incl GST)

Managing Service Challenges in Social Housing is a half day training session and follow on from the Service Excellence session and equips staff with skills to deal confidently and competently with service challenges.

  • Date: Wednesday 16 March 2016
  • Venue: NSW Federation of Housing Associations, Suite 301, 64-76 Kippax St, Surry Hills
  • Time: 1.00pm – 4.30pm
  • Cost: $440 (incl GST)

Download information and registration CSBA Housing Provider Customer Service Training Brochure 2016.

Contact Megan Sulzberger, megan.sulzberger@csba.com.au, CSBA Event Manager to register your attendance.

NSW Community Housing Industry Development Strategy
The Federation has received support via the NSW Government Community Housing Industry Development Strategy to take forward a series of projects in 2016 that will assist organisations in increasing affordable housing supply and providing high quality services.

In summary the projects are as follows:

  • Providing organisations with the practical tools and skills to work with tenants with complex / mental health conditions which we are doing in partnership with Homelessness NSW and the Mental Health Co-ordinating Council.
  • How non-specialist organisations respond to domestic and family violence - in partnership with Homelessness NSW and Domestic Violence NSW.
  • Mixed tenure housing developments (design, development and management).  We have representatives from the property development industry and Land and Housing Corporation participating
  • Overcoming community resistance to affordable housing and densification. UrbanGrowth and Planning and Environment are involved with us and UrbanGrowth are contributing additional resources to allow an extension to focus on the Parramatta Road corridor. We’ve also hoping for a local government representative.
  • Industry information - enhancements to our House Keys benchmarking platform to incorporate indicators on cost effectiveness
  • The business case for a Financial intermediary - essentially this is an independent, specialist, not-for-profit organisation that aggregates the debt requirements of multiple providers. It acts as principal and borrows in its own name. It on-lends immediately and only to registered housing.  

If you would like to know more about any of these projects please contact nswfha@communityhousing.org.au

City of Sydney Street Count

Late on Monday 22nd night, volunteers participated in City of Sydney's bi-annual street count of those sleeping rough in the local area. The sector was well-represented through volunteers from Domestic Violence NSW, Homelessness NSW and the Federation.

The results from the count will be released next week. The Federation will be keeping you posted as the news comes in.

Jobs in the Sector

See our Jobs page for recent advertisements placed by Global Skilled Solutions and Blooming HR.

  • Housing Manager- Link Housing
  • Chief Operations Officer – Link Housing
  • Senior Manager, Asset & Capital Works- Housing Plus
  • Community Cohesion Officer










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