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November 2016


1. CEO Talking points

2. Greater Sydney Commission

3. Moving towards a united voice for the Aboriginal Housing Sector – Ministerial launch 9th December 2016

4. IPART review of rent models of social housing

5. Moving forward with the In Depth Assessment pilots

6. Federation member survey

7. St. Vincent de Paul’s Right to Home campaign

8. New data on homelessness from the Heading Home project

9. Nominations for the 2016 Impact 25 Awards

10. Hume’s new Community Cohesion Strategy and Development in Guildford

11. Sydney Olympic Park Master Plan 2030

12. Evolve wins NSW Excellence in Business Ethics

13. NFP Executive of the year awards

14. In the News

CEO Talking Points

Walking to work last week, I was struck by the amount of media coverage the affordable housing crisis is getting. News.com.au had two articles, one reporting on the latest national rental affordability index that shows no let up for renters in Sydney and another more or less spruiking a vacant property tax. The Conversation published an erudite piece demolishing the argument that the GSC’s five to ten percent affordable housing target is going to send house prices through the roof. On the 23rd  two papers highlighted the plight of couch-surfing policemen, and I spent 30 minutes with the Manly Daily talking about care workers who can’t find places to live in the Northern Beaches. 

Is the tide turning? With UrbanGrowth NSW publishing its plan for Parramatta Road and the Greater Sydney Commission releasing its six district plans and Minister Stokes making his speech to CEDA on Friday 25th and all recognising affordable housing; just maybe. 

-Wendy Hayhurst, 25th November

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Greater Sydney Commission (GSC) Releases its Six District Plans

The GSC launched its eagerly awaited draft district plans on Monday 21st November to an audience representing all the key interest groups. We thought it was a really informative session and struck a good balance between the process and more personal reflections from the Commissioners about what they’d heard about the priorities in their areas.  It was also good to hear a focus on environmental sustainability and protecting and improving green spaces.

Affordable rental housing targets are included in every plan and the rationale explained in a separate information note.

The target has been nominated at between 5% to 10% and applies to land where Government has made a decision to increase the amount of housing that can be developed.   The calculation only applies to the increased floor space. In addition at every site the precise target will be set only after a viability test has been completed. It will be important that Government conducts its own assessments using a robust and transparent methodology. We also think the targets should apply to rezoned land throughout Sydney.

The Federation has argued for higher targets on up-zoned land recognising the massive and growing shortfall in social and affordable housing across Sydney. We heard on Monday about the potential for Sydney to develop new jobs hubs based around (for example) the proposed ‘aerotropolis’. Developing a mix of housing for not only the highly paid professionals but also the bus drivers, nursery workers, shop assistants and cleaners will be critical to the economic performance of the city. If we are to create great places to live in we will also need to accommodate the growing number of older single person households the plans project.  

The community housing industry recognises the importance of designing and building housing that is attractive, energy efficient and fits well into existing communities. We do believe this is achievable at a variety of densities.

We think the targets are a positive start and contrary to some of the reactions, very unlikely to make any development unviable. After all they currently are modest and apply only to where a developer makes a windfall profit. We predict the sky will not fall as a result and that the city will gain.

That said, while welcoming the target more action will be needed.  Government land must be subject to higher targets. This applies not only to the sites being master-planned by UrbanGrowth NSW but to land owned by other departments such as Department of Transport.

The plans are on exhibition until the end of March. We encourage everyone to respond to the GSC’s invitation to make a submission.

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Moving towards a united voice for the Aboriginal Housing Sector – Ministerial launch 9th December 2016
Over the next two years, the Federation will provide support to establish an Aboriginal housing peak body to ensure that Aboriginal housing providers have an independent collective voice. It will provide support for the sector’s capacity and make sure it is represented in consultation and negotiations with government and non-government bodies.

It will also make sure that Aboriginal housing providers have access to high quality advice and support, and have the opportunity to collectively discuss and determine their position on key proposals.  Over time, the peak will become a fully independent and an Aboriginal-run organisation.

History will be made for the Aboriginal housing sector in NSW with the announcement of the move towards the formation of a peak body for Aboriginal housing in NSW.

Family and Community Services and Social Housing Minister Brad Hazzard will launch the move to establish the Aboriginal housing peak on 9th December 2016 at University of NSW CBD campus at 9.45am.

If you have any questions about the new body please contact Adell Hyslop, Aboriginal Project Officer adellh@communityhousing.org.au

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IPART review of rent models of social housing
The IPART Review of rent models for social and affordable housing could have profound effects on the community housing sector and tenants.  As well as disincentives to work the review examines eligibility criteria and prioritisation, allocation priorities and a wide range of possible rental model options.  The Federation is developing a detailed submission to IPART and encourages CHPs to make their own submissions as well.  We held a webinar to discuss the review on 22nd November and we are planning a second webinar on 5th December.  In the mean time we also have a survey open to collect sector views and we have recently announced a short life reference group to provide detailed input into the submission. 

IPART are presenting at the Federation Exchange on 15th December and they would be interested in hearing sector views as part of that session.

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Moving forward with the In Depth Assessment pilots
The Federation will shortly be able to announce which organisations have been selected to take part in the first In Depth Assessments.  An In Depth Assessment (IDA) is a complete organisational workout based on the English Regulator’s (Homes and Communities Agency) regulatory requirements.  Supported by FACS through the Industry Development Strategy we will be working with leading UK firm the Housing Quality Network (HQN), local experts and two NSW pilot CHPs to conduct the first IDAs.  The IDAs will examine:

  • Business strategy
  • Organisational structure
  • Financial strength
  • Risk management
  • Governance

Once the pilots are complete around the end of the current financial year, other CHPs will be able to benefit from IDAs to support their strategic and organisational resilience and planning.  You can find out more at the Federation Exchange when HQN Deputy CEO Diaboha addresses the CEO Forum on 14th December.

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Federation member survey
The Federation’s annual member survey will be released this week.  This year we have engaged the Voice Project to conduct the survey independently.  We are also inviting a range of external stakeholders from different parts of government and private sector partners to complete the survey so that we can get a comprehensive view on how members and other stakeholders view us and the sector. 

The member survey is extremely important to us as we use the results to set our strategic and operational priorities.  It is also a contractual requirement and we have to report to FACS on its outcomes, so your participation would be appreciated.

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St Vincent de Paul Society’s Right to Home campaign

St Vincent de Paul Society’s Right to Home campaign and petition calls for urgent reforms to fix the affordable housing crisis. Vinnies are hoping to get over 10,000 signatures to spark a conversation in the community and in Parliament. Vinnies are gathering broader support for changes to planning rules, which would require that for each new residential development at least 15% is set aside for affordable housing.

Online petitions are not accepted by the NSW Parliament so they have opted for the paper version. Here’s how it can be completed:

  • Download and print the petition
  • Circulate the petition widely, along with the Right to Home poster (attached) and collect as many signatures as possible (please note that signatures must be added after the text of the petition and that addresses are required)
  •   Post the completed petitions to P.O Box 5 PETERSHAM NSW 2049 (must be originals, not copies)
    While thousands of new units are being built for high income earners in areas close to transport and jobs, lower to middle income earners are being left out. It’s time to change the rules.
    For more information visit their campaign page on Vinnies’ website.

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New data shows concerning cost to health system of people experiencing homelessness
Homelessness across Penrith, the Blue Mountains and Hawkesbury cost the health system almost $250,000 over the last six months, the Heading Home - Ending Homelessness Here project has found as part of its registry week that took place from 1-3 November.

The project, led by Wentworth Community Housing in partnership with Platform Youth Services, Mission Australia (Kingswood) and supported by the Mercy Foundation, surveyed 78 individuals and families. It found that of the 66 individuals surveyed, 63 had one or more interactions with emergency departments, ambulance transport and hospitalisation over that time.

Wentworth Community Housing Chief Executive Officer, Stephen McIntyre, said the survey findings which are being released at community briefings across the three LGAs showed not only the significant social and health challenges of homelessness, but the economic cost to the community. “The cost of $250,000 to the health system over the last six months, relates to the people we surveyed. If we also take into account the people we found but couldn’t survey, this cost will be significantly greater.

Read the write-up and findings HERE

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Nominations for the 2016 Impact 25 Awards

With great pleasure we share that Community Housing Ltd’s Managing Director, Steve Bevington and City West’s Housing CEO, Janelle Goulding have been nominated for the 2016 Impact 25 Awards – A Pro Bono Australia’s Initiative.  

Impact 25 is the only accolade recognising the most influential people in the Australian social sector. Some of Australia’s best known CEOs, politicians, advocates and innovators, along with students and refugees, have been recognised for their influence on a sector that accounts for 4.3 per cent of Australia’s GDP and employs over one million people. Last year more than 280 people from all fields of work were nominated and 13,000 votes were cast to choose the most influential members of the social sector.

Winners will be decided via votes so submit your vote today by clicking on the VOTE NOW BUTTON towards 2016's most impactful 25!

Please spread the word in your personal and professional networks and on social media channels and encourage your contacts to vote.  Voting ends on 1st December 2016.

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Hume’s new Community Cohesion Strategy and Development in Guildford

Community Cohesion
With the help of over 40 partners, customers and staff Hume officially launched their Community Cohesion Strategy at Glenroy Cottage, Claymore on the 3rd of November MP Greg Warren presented local residents with their Certificate of Achievement for completing the Mental Health First Aid Officer training.

Hume’s Community Cohesion Strategy has been developed to guide the achievement of vibrant, sustainable and cohesive communities. The strategy focuses on our customer’s social, recreational and economic needs, building independence and choice.

Central to the Community Cohesions Strategy is Hume’s focus on learning and employment. Hume links the attainment to education with the prospects and achievement of employment, providing customers pathways for employment, enabling people to become financially stable and choose their own destination in alignment with the NSW Governments Future Directions for Social Housing in NSW.

New Developments

Hume is committed to designing and constructing developments to alleviate the increasing pressure on supply of affordable and social housing. Hume’s development pipeline of social and affordable development projects totalling $50 million being realised.  Hume is proud to deliver additional social and affordable housing to the Western Sydney market, where housing affordability is a growing concern and challenge.

Construction continues on our Hamilton Road development which will provide the Fairfield LGA with an additional 60 affordable units.

On 31st October Hume completed their first design and construct development, providing 21 social housing units in Guildford. The development has been completed to a high standard within budget and approximately 4 weeks ahead of schedule.

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Sydney Olympic Park Master Plan 2030
The Federation recently provided feedback on behalf of its members to the NSW Department of Planning and Environment’s (the Department) Sydney Olympic Park Master Plan 2030 (2016 Review) and State Significant Precincts SEPP Amendments. We were pleased to see the Strategy’s focus on new housing delivery. However, more attention is needed on the delivery of social or affordable housing. We advocated for government to use its sizable land holdings as a catalyst for housing provision in key locations. Tenders for the sale of government land should include a requirement for a set and ambitious component of social and affordable housing to be incorporated in the development. We also noted that robust inclusionary zoning provisions should be incorporated into the development of the region with 30% of all new development being dedicated to affordable housing. We highlighted the successful partnership between the Sydney Olympic Park Authority and the community housing provider ‘Bridge Housing’ that already exists on the site. The full submission is available here

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Evolve wins NSW Excellence in Business Ethics

From Andrea Galloway, CEO of Evolve Housing
"Last Friday night we were honoured with a very special award. Evolve Housing is the 2016 NSW Business Chambers Winner of Excellence in Business Ethics.  There were 15 regional winners including ourselves for Western Sydney vying for the top award.

This state award recognises a business that practices ethically aware behaviours in their business dealings to build win/win enduring relationships with suppliers, customers and the community.

This award speaks volumes of the kind of team we are -inspirational, honest, empathetic, accountable and respectful!"

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NFP Executive of the year award

On Thursday 24 November 2016, Anne Bryce, CEO of Achieve Australia was the winner and Janelle Goulding, CEO of City West Housing, was one of the finalists for the 2016 CEO Not for Profit Executive of the Year Award, and , in the publication’s 2016 Executive of the Year Awards.

Janelle and Anne were two of 102 finalists in The CEO Magazine’s 2016 Executive of the Year Awards, which this year covered over 24 categories.  The awards honoured and acknowledged some of the finest business leaders and professionals in Australia.

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In the News

Over the last month, the Federation and Wendy Hayhurst have been referenced in the following news articles:
28 October, SMH, Revealed: Lucy Turnbull's affordable housing plan for Sydney

31 October, Pro Bono Time for Meaningful Reforms for Housing Affordability

9 November SMH, Infrastructure concerns follow Parramatta Road $31 billion redevelopment plan

21 November, The Fifth Estate Sydney sets a sustainable future in draft district plans

24 November, Sourceable Australia’s Public Housing System is Broken

24 November, Sourceable, Greater Sydney Commission Wants 10 Percent Affordable Rentals

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