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January 2018


  1. CEO’s report
  2. Affordable Housing Conference 2018 Sponsorship and Exhibitor prospectus is here
  3. Affordable Housing Conference website is live!  
  4. Everybody’s Home Campaign Launch Event
  5. House Keys Workforce - goes live!
  6. Industry Development Roundup
  7. SEPP 70 Breakthrough
  8. National Housing Conference 2017
  9. Staff Exchange Program
  10. Farewell to Adell Hyslop
  11. Positions vacant

CEO's Report

Back to work and the first thing on our agenda was the official launch of the 2018 Affordable Housing Conference, Everybody’s Home.

Everybody’s Home echoes the national housing campaign that will be ramping up this Autumn to highlight the difficulty faced by lower income households in finding any decent, well located affordable housing across many parts of the country. Even as house prices moderate, so are many people’s incomes, so the need for both the Commonwealth and State government to do more by investing in significant additional new affordable rental housing remains.

My holiday reading included Richard Florida’s ‘The New Urban Crisis’ and while focused on the USA and the UK, its arguments apply equally to Sydney and Australia’s other big metro regions.  This is an urbanist coming of age when cities such as New York were hollowing out and the policy priorities were all about how to stop the flight to the suburbs and regenerate the disadvantaged urban core. And in places such as New York they were pretty successful, but, the consequences for workers in the service and blue collar jobs have not been so impressive. He compellingly presents the evidence for how the cost of housing in the best located areas (in terms of jobs and schools) is prohibitively expensive to these households and is leading to rising inequality. The book examines how neighbourhoods are becoming more unequal (and segregated) and the impact this has on the opportunities available to households (including their children) in terms of jobs, qualifications and incomes.

As the book goes on to argue, inequality is bad for a country’s economic health and more affordable rental housing is high on his list of prescriptions.

In July 2018 we should see the official launch of the Commonwealth’s bond aggregator and possibly the publication of state housing strategies. The Federation’s advocacy work this year will be very much focused on making the case that for a national plan to complement the states’ and that collectively these plans include policies to bridge the affordable housing funding gap so that bon aggregator has plenty of work to do and Everybody gets a home.

Happy New Year.

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Affordable Housing Conference 2018 Sponsorship and Exhibitor prospectus is here

AHC 2018 will provide a tremendous and diverse platform to interact and network with fellow industry colleagues in the affordable housing industry. It is our pleasure to extend an invitation for you to consider becoming one of our valued sponsors or exhibitors at AHC 2018. Visit the conference website to download and peruse the Prospectus.

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Affordable Housing Conference website is live!  

The 2018 Affordable Housing Conference - Everybody’s Home - is NSW’s largest housing event for the social and affordable housing industry. 

The NSW Federation of Housing Associations are thrilled to convene the Conference, in partnership the Homelessness NSW, 27 - 28 June 2018 at the Sydney Masonic Centre.  The 2018 conference theme –Everybody’s Home – highlights the current and growing shortfall of accessible and affordable housing in Australia across the entire housing continuum.  Over two days, housing professionals from the private, not for profit, and government sectors will come together to share expertise and find out about the latest news in the industry. We hope to see you there!

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Everybody’s Home Campaign Launch Event

A coalition of housing and homelessness peaks and providers has developed a research-based campaign to broaden the public debate around housing and put our policy priorities at the centre of the debate. The Everybody’s Home campaign was presented to the sector at a soft-launch event as part of the National Housing Conference in late 2017.

The campaign will be launched to the public at the National Press Club in Canberra on 21 March 2018. It is an open event held over lunch and we encourage all those who support the campaign to attend. Individual and table tickets will be available for purchase, with all proceeds being donated in support of the campaign.  For more information, or to register your interest in securing tickets when they become available, please contact everybodyshome@commnityhousing.org.au.

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House Keys Workforce - goes live!

The Federation is very pleased to announce the release the second interactive workforce benchmarking platform for the community housing industry, House Keys Workforce.

House Keys Workforce provides a series of essential community housing workforce indicators such as staff turnover, qualifications, diversity and efficiency ratios, as well as detailed salary benchmarks by major roles in community housing.  The Federation has worked closely with staff with HR responsibility in different jurisdictions to ensure that the right range of indicators are collected, and a number of additional Governance indicators have been included in Round 2.

The data has been collected from 26 community housing providers operating in six jurisdictions – New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia and Tasmania.  
Click HERE for our House Keys Workforce brochure or contact leonil@communityhosuing.org.au for more information.

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Industry Development Roundup

Industry development projects are already underway for 2018:

The Sustaining Tenancies to Support Tenants with Complex Needs project is almost complete. This project, previously known as ‘complex conditions capable’, was carried out by Sue Cripps and Associates for the NSW Federation of Housing Associations in partnership with Q Shelter. Community housing providers in both states have been involved in workshops to identify the issues in managing tenancies of people with complex needs and also in testing the Toolkit of resources that have been developed. The Toolkit has sections on approaches, policies and pathways for managing tenancies, working with people affected by hoarding and squalor, trauma informed care, and tools and resources to support practice. We are looking at holding a formal launch of the Toolkit with Q Shelter in March and it will then be available to all members through the Federation’s website.

The DFV Toolkit continues to spark more engagement and more work! Presentations of the Toolkit at both the National Housing Conference in Sydney and the STOP Domestic Violence Conference in Melbourne in December were really well received, with housing, homelessness and support providers from interstate being keen to access the Toolkit and get support with implementation. We have followed up with a safety modification survey of members to understand what their processes are for approving and funding safety modifications. Thanks to everyone who completed the survey as there was a great response. A report of the results is currently being prepared and this will be sent out to all members.

Also, as a result of the work done to develop the Domestic and Family Violence Toolkit it was agreed to look at the management issues for community housing providers working with the perpetrators of DFV. This work is also nearly finished with the resources currently being tested by three providers in metropolitan and regional NSW. This is really ground breaking work for the community housing industry, tackling a very difficult area of tenancy management where there are few resources for community housing providers to draw upon to support their practice. This work will be finalised in the first half of 2018 and then made available to all Federation members.

The Financial Inclusion: effectively preventing and managing rent arrears project reference group met in November and interviews are now being scheduled with a range of providers to understand what practice currently looks like in the industry. The reference group for the Anti-Social Behaviour project is currently being put together and the literature review is underway.

The development of Private Rental Assistance Training for the Social Housing Management Transfer recipients is also underway, with a consultation held with the nine successful tenderers in January. This training will be rolled out to providers as the transfer implementation takes place. The Federation has also been asked to develop generic Housing Pathways Training for all providers and also a training module on Facilitating Access to Private Rental Assistance. More information will be provided as these components get underway.

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SEPP 70 Breakthrough

The Department of Planning and the Environment has just released changes to State Environmental Planning Policy 70 that would extend the ability of local councils to set up affordable housing contribution schemes that would require developer contributions to provide affordable housing to a further five councils -  Randwick City, Inner West, Northern Beaches, City of Ryde and City of Canada Bay. At the moment the provisions are limited to the City of Sydney (Ultimo-Pyrmont and Green Square) and Willoughby City Council, so this is a really important step forward.

The Department of Planning and Environment is strongly encouraging organisations that support the proposed changes to make a submission and the Federation will of course be making a submission. Even where your organisation does not operate in the five Councils proposed for inclusion, we would still recommend making a submission on the basis that we would like to see other local government areas included in the SEPP in the future. Submissions about the draft Affordable Housing SEPP 70 review are due by 31 January 2018.

If the revised SEPP is approved by the Minister, the identified councils will then need to develop affordable housing contribution schemes and update LEPs before they can use the new SEPP 70 provisions.

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National Housing Conference 2017

One of the main highlights of the National Housing Conference was the keynote presentation from Canada about their launch of a new National Housing Strategy – an integrated approach to tackling housing and homelessness issues, developed following major consultation with the community and with strategies and initiatives that are funded! The contrast of this with the lack of a national strategy in Australia was consistently raised by conference participants. The other major theme running through the conference was the increasingly important role of the community housing sector in meeting growing levels of social and affordable housing demand. Politicians and key speakers took the opportunity to highlight their support for the community housing industry and the Federal Government used the conference as an opportunity to announced its intention to guarantee loans made to community housing providers through the ‘bond aggregator’.

Community housing and homelessness service providers were really well represented as speakers at the conference and there were lots of really informative and challenging presentations. There were also many awards given to NSW community housing providers at the AHI Awards ceremony so congratulations to all those organisations and individuals that were successful!

Congratulations to the following NSW award winners:

Outstanding Achievement Award
Greg Budworth | Compass Housing | NSW
Inspirational Team Member Award
Julie Davenport| Hume Community Housing | NSW
Leading Innovation Award
Hand Up |Bridge Housing         
Leading Housing Development Project Award
Highly Commended: Lawrence Street, Peakhurst | SGCH | NSW
Tenant Led Initiative Award
Stucco Solar Storage | Stucco Co-operative | NSW
Leading Asset Management Award
Compass Housing Services Co | Asset Management Compass Housing | NSW


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Staff Exchange Program


Over the past couple of years, community housing and homelessness staff have expressed a need for greater information sharing and networking opportunities. They have also called for new career pathways and avenues for professional development. In one response to these calls, the housing and homelessness peaks have established a collaborative Staff Exchange Program that aims to support staff to gain new skills and perspectives, and open career paths. Host organisations will also benefit, gaining a temporary staff member with different abilities and experience.

The program will begin in the first six months of 2018, with a trial of up to five staff exchanges between the housing and homelessness sectors. Each exchange will be for 1-4 weeks. Participation is voluntary, with the peaks providing implementation support. The trial will inform the program and result in the best outcomes for staff and services involved. Following the trial, the Staff Exchange Program will be ongoing. The first services signed up to engage in the program are Compass Housing and Samaritans Foundation in Newcastle.

To find out more and to be involved in the Staff Exchange Program trial, please contact Kevin Saide at the Federation of Housing Associations (Ph: 02 9281 7144 ext 215, kevins@communityhousing.org.au) or Rochelle Braaf at Homelessness NSW (Ph: 02 8354 7602, rochelleb@shssectordev.org.au).

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Farewell to Adell Hyslop

Federation Aboriginal Project Officer, Adell Hyslop has announced her decision to move on from the Federation after more than seven years.  We would like to take the opportunity to thank Adell for her wonderful work and for all she has achieved with both the Aboriginal Community Housing sector and with mainstream CHPs.   In her time with the Federation Adell has been an exceptional advocate and worked tirelessly to improve outcomes for tenants and for organisations and to bring about cultural change in the sector.  Adell has been completely dedicated to the cause and we wish her all the best in her new ventures.

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Positions vacant

Please see the following positions vacant for the month of January:

Chief Housing Officer – $120-130K plus super and salary packaging
The CHO reports to the CEO and is a member of the executive committee.  Drive performance, policy and growth in this tier 1 CHP located in Wollongong.  Applications close on Friday February 2. Full details and application process here. http://bloominghr.com.au/job-details/query/Chief+Housing+Officer+%28Wollongong%29/in/Wollongong%2C+Illawarra+and+South+Coast/7231094/

Tenancy Management Officer – Package up to $75K per annum
Located in St Kilda Melbourne, your tenancy management and client management expertise is required for this tier 1 CHP.  Immediate start. Applications close on Friday 27 February. Full details and application process here.  http://bloominghr.com.au/job-details/query/

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