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November 2017


  1. CEO’s report
  2. Affordable Housing Conference 2018 Sponsorship and Exhibitor prospectus is here!
  3. New partnership to provide transitional housing for women Experiencing homelessness
  4. The Gardens at Campbelltown
  5. Build to Rent
  6. Federation Exchange Update
  7. CTSH Update
  8. The Magic Mix: Housing initiatives in Holland
  9. Aboriginal Housing Peak Development
  10. Premier recognises Homeless Effort
  11. Social and Affordable Housing Fund Speed Networking Event
  12. Tribunal Updates
  13. New Federation staff members
  14. Sector position vacancies
  15. In the Media


CEO's Report

In the past couple of weeks or so we have seen NSW community housing providers demonstrating their capacity to deliver new homes and great services for households across the state. We feature a number of their initiatives in this issue.

Over in SW Sydney, the Federal Treasurer the Hon Scott Morrison MP opened BlueCHP’s The Gardens, a mixed tenure scheme they planned and delivered using a financing combination of national rental affordability subsidies (NRAS), private finance and cross subsidisation from market sales .  At the Build to Rent event jointly convened by PWC, the Committee for Sydney and the Federation, Andrea Galloway Evolve Housing’s CEO spoke about putting together the deal to deliver social and affordable housing at Hart’s Landing in Penrith, working in partnership with the developer, Payce.

Bridge Housing Limited announced their tri-partite partnership with the PAYCE Foundation, and Women’s Community Shelters to provide transitional housing for women and their children who have experienced domestic and family violence or homelessness.

And finally (in this issue anyway) Hume Community Housing in partnership with CORE Community Services and YFoundations won the 2017 Premiers Award for their Youth Housing Options Program

These are a taster of what the community housing sector can deliver in collaboration with Government, the private sector, financiers and specialist support providers. Canada has just  published its first comprehensive national  housing strategy  and we will be hearing more at the  AHURI National Housing Conference in Sydney from the CEO of the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, Evan Siddall. We hope he inspires a similar initiative over here so that the community housing sector’s capacity can be unleashed.

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Affordable Housing Conference 2018 Sponsorship and Exhibitor prospectus is here!

The Federation is delighted to announce the return of the Affordable Housing Conference, to be held on 27th and 28th June 2018.  The conference will feature a new half day caucus on the 26th of June.  The 2016 conference was an outstanding success with record attendance, a wide-ranging program of high quality speakers and presentations along with excellent delegate feedback.

The 2018 conference is expected to be even better, with the theme:  Everybody’s Home.  Mark the date now to ensure you don’t miss out. Sponsorship will give your organisation a fantastic exposure to enhance key messages to delegates and offers a unique opportunity to align your brand with a highly successful, high profile event.  The Conference Sponsorship and Exhibitor prospectus is not available here.

Date: 26-28 June 2018
Venue: Sydney Masonic Centre, 66 Goulburn Street Sydney

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New partnership to provide transitional housing for women experiencing homelessness

Bridge Housing has partnered with Sydney property developer Payce Consolidated and Women’s Community Shelters in a unique “Pathways Home” venture to house women experiencing homelessness in properties earmarked for redevelopment.  Payce has plans for a $100 million urban renewal project in north western Sydney that will ultimately provide 5,000 new apartments for families in the region. In the interim, five existing homes have been made available to Bridge Housing and Women’s Community Shelters to house women and their children escaping family violence.

Bridge Housing CEO John Nicolades said: “While transitional housing is only ever intended as a temporary solution, it will put a secure roof over the heads of women and their children while they get their lives back on track. It also uses underutilised properties in a city with a severe housing shortage, at no cost to government.”  “We hope our project is the start of a broader trend of not-for-profit organisations working in partnership with the property development industry to find innovative solutions to our common supply and affordability issues.”  There are currently more than 60,000 people on the waiting list for social housing in NSW. 

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The Gardens at Campbelltown

cid:D9746957-6DB7-4108-90A2-B3C76C5B3E7B@HomeThursday 23 November was perfect weather for BlueCHP, a Tier 1 registered community housing provider, to open its new affordable housing development - The Gardens at Campbelltown.  The Gardens is the largest residential timber building in Australasia, having been built with Cross Laminated Timber.  The Gardens, consists of 101 apartments, 56 of which will be made available for affordable housing for people on low incomes. 

A great example of density done well - attractive; close to the station, shops and jobs; and built to last. The Honourable Scott Morrison MP, Federal Treasurer, opened the development and acknowledged the critical role community housing providers can play both in developing and managing affordable housing, was positive about the impact the bond aggregator will have, and took away an appropriate memento of the occasion, a block of wood; the building product of the future.

Lovely refreshments were provided by One Meal, a great charity providing real on the ground food support in the local community - find out more here.  

And finally, the Gardens was manufactured off site and assembled in double quick time – see how it’s done here.

Scott Morrison MP and Charles Northcote open The Gardens at Campbelltown

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Build to rent event PwC Event

The Federation held a joint event with PWC on the Build to Rent model and it’s potential in Australia on 22 November.  The Built to Rent model has the potential to boost the supply of secure, affordable rental housing by bringing in long term institutional investors who’s priority is a stable return in the long term. To ensure this stable return, Build to Rent investors need to offer housing that renters want to live in. This means that there is often a strong focus on community development in Build to Rent precincts.
The Build to Rent model was trialled by a number of Community Housing Providers in Australia under the National Rental Affordability Scheme (NRAS).  NRAS helped to boost the supply of affordable rental housing , but was not specifically set up to encourage institutional investment.

For the Build to Rent model to work effectively to boost the rental supply, particularly for low to middle income households, then government backing is essential. The provision of social and affordable housing must be supported, both through subsidy schemes and the planning system. The government must also ensure that the Build to Rent model is a sound institutional investment option.

Social and affordable housing underpins the Build to Rent model and central to its success. There will be a growing role for community housing providers in this space, with the introduction of a social housing bond aggregator under the National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation.










Wendy Hayhurst, Mike Myers National Affordable Housing Consortium, Andrea Galloway Evolve Housing

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Federation Exchange Update

The Federation Exchange is back in 2018 with exciting guest speakers and content.  As always, FedEx is a unique opportunity for the sector to get together to share ideas, experiences and best practice. 

The Federation has recently restructured its events program to ensure we continue to deliver content of the highest possible standard.  Due to a number of factors, including the December Federation AGM and AHURI National Conference, there will not be a Federation Exchange held in December. The next Federation Exchange will be held on the 14 and 15 of March 2018.  For more information please get in touch with Molly O'Halloran (MollyO@communityhousing.org.au or 02 9281 7144 ext. 218). We look forward to seeing you in 2018!

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CTSH Update

As we come towards the end of the training year we have had many requests for professional development training, meaning our formal training will finish mid-December.

This year the CTSH have had many highlights.  More providers have contacted us to deliver training in the new Domestic and Family Violence Toolkit.  We now have a number of options in the type of training we offer and one of these includes linking the training to our accredited unit which carries a nationally recognised Statement of Attainment.  Our first delivery of training to CHPs in the Aboriginal Cultural Competency Standards was very. There are many ways we can deliver this essential training so please contact us for more details

The CTSH is continuing work on the training handbook for Employers, due for completion by 2018.
The preparation of our new program ‘Foundations in Social Housing Practice’ is on-going and we expect to be ready to deliver the first of these modules in February 2018. As mentioned in the last Housing Matters this program focuses on a range of topics delivered in 2 hour blocks.  

We are working on our 2018 Training schedule at present and I will email all providers once this is ready and up on our website. At this stage, it is expected to be the last week in November.
Finally, we will be sending out an Expression of Interest for our Orientation to Social Housing Unit –‘Work with clients within the social housing system’ on 30th October. The planned day for the training is Thursday the 30th November 2017.

As always, our Training Manager, Kevin is happy to meet with you and discuss your training needs.  Please contact him at kevins@communityhousing.org.au or phone 02 9281 7144 (ext. 215) or 0418716463

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The Magic Mix: Housing initiatives in Holland, by Oona Goldsworthy

With over 40% of homes in Amsterdam owned by Housing Associations, Australian Housing Associations could be forgiven for feeling a little jealous. However, with the population of Amsterdam growing by 10,000 every year, plus a huge increase in students, the pressure on existing housing feels very real. De Key HA has responded to this with an innovative way of housing students and young people in what they refer to as the ‘Magic Mix’.

Startblok Rivetskin is a joint refugee and student housing scheme in 500 converted shipping containers. It was developed as a response to the pressure to provide homes for newly arrived refugees. Recognising that a 100% refugee development would not help the newly arrived migrants to learn the language or understand Dutch culture, the suggestion was made that 50% of the residents could be students, thereby helping to meet the need for student housing too. Not content with just the housing, Key brought it an independent agency to set up the critical structure for designing self-management by the residents. The cluster flats are all 50:50 student/refugee and there are key roles for residents in managing social and education aspects, as well as the day to day running of the buildings. The result is attractive, adaptable and comfortable homes. The homes can also be moved and put up on another site if the land they are on is needed in the future. But don't take it from me; the residents in this short film speak much more powerfully about what their homes and living together means for them.

Oona Goldsworthy
United Communities and 2017 Churchill Fellow.

The Magic Mix Housing Scheme

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Aboriginal Housing Peak Development

The Minister’s Roundtable on Aboriginal Housing was held in Sydney on 4 October as part of the process to develop an Aboriginal Housing Strategy. The new strategy seeks to build on work accomplished under the Aboriginal Housing Office’s (AHO) Build and Grow Strategy (which is due for completion in 2018) and support the growth of a strong Aboriginal Community Housing Providers (ACHPs).

The roundtable heard from AHURI’s Dr Michael Fotheringham who presented the findings from the work they done to underpin the strategy.

A robust discussion then ensued about more targeted capacity building with ACHPs to build robust management and governance structures and the transfer of property management to the sector to achieve efficiencies and sustainability through economies of scale. The ACHP management model, a Social and Affordable Housing Fund specifically for Aboriginal Housing and the need for good quality data on demand for new housing in different locations. 

The importance of wrap around services, culturally appropriate housing and services, and robust asset management practice were also priorities for respondents to the research. Homeownership should also not be dismissed as an option for Aboriginal people.

Based on consultation and results from the Minister’s Roundtable, the AHO will develop a Cabinet Submission for approval of the proposed strategic directions for submission in December 2017.

The AHURI report is and the notes from the roundtable are available here.

Interim Peak Committee Update
The Interim Peak Committee has been moving forward on developing the organisation framework for the new peak body including preparing a draft constitution and communication strategies.  To keep the Aboriginal members and sector informed with the progress, a monthly e-bulletin will be distributed. 

The Committee is also participating in the discussions with National Congress on the development of the national peak Aboriginal housing body. The Committee acknowledges there are a number of key benefits to supporting a national peak body as it will strengthen the need for State and Territory peak bodies to provide information and advice.

Community Housing for Aboriginal People (CHAP) Review
The Federation has been in discussions with FACS on the need to review the Community Housing for Aboriginal people (CHAP) in light of the how the sector is evolving and moving forward with new inititatives and direction. One of the success stories of the CHAP was the launch and roll out of the  Aboriginal Cultural Competency Standards resource.

The Federation will be holding a initial meeting in December with a small number of participants including CHP’s,  ACHP’s  and SHS’s to review the current CHAP objectives and to consider whether these objectives are still relevant in light of the new targets and moving forward. It is intended that a draft CHAP will be forwarded to the mainstream sector to provide comment  and feedback on the revised document.

Homelessness NSW – Addressing Aboriginal Homelessness Reference Group
On the 9 November the first meeting of the reference group was held. This was a follow on from the forum that was held in August 2017. The group’s main purpose is to advise the Industry Partnership on the roll out of the Strategy which was the result of the information obtained from the forum. 

The Federation has developed a close working relationship with Homelessness NSW to identify areas where assistance can be provided to the SHS’s in reducing the number of Aboriginal people becoming homeless. This includes ensuring the Industry Partnership is included in future discussions on the delivery of the revised CHAP and rolling out cultural competency training to the SHS services.

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Premier recognises Homeless Efforts

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has awarded Hume, CORE Community Services and Yfoundations for their efforts in reducing homelessness through the Youth Housing Options Program (YHOP). The award was awarded under the Reducing Youth Homelessness category in the Premiers Award for Public Service.
This Reducing Youth Homelessness category recognises those who have worked on programs, initiatives, innovations or improvements that support more young people to successfully move from Specialist Homelessness Services to long-term accommodation. The award directly supports the Premier’s Priority to increase the proportion of young people who successfully move from Specialist Homelessness Services to long-term accommodation to more than 34% by 2019. YHOP also shares the Future Directions goal of reducing young people’s dependence on social housing.
Via a combination of direct support and workshops, YHOP provides young people with links to housing knowledge, education and employment support and community engagement activities.

The Premier’s recognition highlights Hume’s innovative service delivery and leadership in the Community Housing Sector.

For further information on YHOP please contact Lara Hook on lara.hook@humecha.com.au or visit: www.humecha.com.au/YHOP.html


Premier award winners

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Social and Affordable Housing Fund Speed Networking Event

NCOSS are hosting a Speed Networking Event on 6 December.  With EOIs for SAHF Phase 2 open from late January/early February 2018, now is a great opportunity to build partnerships and make sure you are EOI ready.

NCOSS invites you to join them for a morning of networking with key players from the finance and investment sector, landowners and community housing providers.  More information about the event is available here.

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Tribunal updates November

The Federation is part of an NCAT consultative committee that meets six monthly. The following are some updates from the meeting held in November 2017

Linwood v Coffs Harbour and District Aboriginal Land Council Case
The Federation asked for updates on the 154E factors from the Linwood case.  Were social housing providers presenting evidence to address those factors, and were members dismissing cases?  The Tribunal said they had also posed the question to the members and with little effect on decisions.  This means social housing providers are presenting that evidence if seeking termination. The Tribunal pointed out that for most termination cases of social housing tenancies, the member was already able to exercise discretion.  It is only with termination on fixed terms that have been potential issues.  A take away lesson is that social housing providers need to be prepared to address 154E factors if they are seeking any termination at Tribunal.  The lesson is that SHP need to be prepared to address these factors.
They Linwood decision is set down for an appeal hearing on Friday 24 November. We will inform you when we know the results of that appeal.  

Burns v Corbett (February 2017)   
This case is based on a section of the constitution and it means that Tribunals are not able to make decisions if one party lives interstate.  Basically, where there is a dispute between residents of two different states the case diverts to the Commonwealth. The Commonwealth has extended those powers to the States (but not to Tribunals). There are exceptions, such as it doesn’t apply when a company is involved.  Clearly it can be a problem when in border towns.

State government just passed legislation that states parties can come to Tribunal for conciliation even without jurisdiction, and then they can go to the local or district court. NCAT will publish a fact sheet soon on this.   See here for an article on the effects of the Burns v Corbett decision.

Notice times when serving notices by post
The Tenants Union raised an issue that when notices are served by post they can arrive too late for natural justice to be served. This is particularly the case in regional areas. We would be encouraging housing providers to take this into account and give longer periods of time. However, although the Commonwealth has already changed the time frame when notices are served by post, the State has not yet done so.  It is expected it will do so soon.

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New Federation Staff

Ellis Blaikie, Project Officer
Ellis comes to the sector with a background in ageing policy, having previously worked as the Policy Coordinator for an advocacy organisation representing pensioners. Her role is to provide project support and policy advice, particularly around the needs of older people, while supporting the Federation’s advocacy and campaign work. Ellis has a first class honours degree in Political Economy from the University of Sydney.

Tom Kehoe, Senior Project Officer
Tom is committed to social justice and the central role that housing plays in it.  Tom has a BA (Hons) degree in Housing and Society from Sheffield Hallam University.  Tom has joined the Federation after more than ten years working in the housing sector first in the UK and most recently in Australia. 
In the UK, Tom worked in an inner London Borough Council in frontline and service development roles before taking up a key role working with the local community to establish the Council’s arms-length management organisation.  After coming to Australia, Tom worked in FACS in a range of housing and homelessness policy and operational roles.  Tom has an excellent understanding of housing policy and is excited to be working with the community housing industry to help it grow and adapt to the opportunities and challenges ahead.

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Sector position vacancies

Tenanct Manager, North Coast Community Housing (Tweed Heads)
The Tenancy Manager is responsible for the delivery of best practice social and affordable housing management services. The role provides a broad range of tenancy services to clients and ensures that important relationships with community agencies and other key stakeholders are built and maintained. More information here or contact Elizabeth Olivieri on (02) 6627 5317.

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In the Media

Over the past month the Federation and CEO Wendy Hayhurst have been mentioned in the following news articles:

New online tool helps CHPs partner with local councils and developers (28/11/17)
A new online database will allow community housing providers to register information about their projects, services and expertise in a centralised location, making it easier for local councils and property developers to partner with the not-for-profit sector.  “By connecting community housing providers directly with councils and developers, the tool will help us meet growing demand in NSW for affordable rental housing in more local communities,” NSW Federation of Housing Associations chief executive Wendy Hayhurst said.

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