Housing Matters – October 2019

Housing Matters

CEO Report

Welcome to the October edition of Housing Matters.

CHIA NSW and its members are working hard with partners in Government and the private sector to reduce the number of NSW low-income families in housing stress.  The challenge is a big one – with considerable unmet demand for low-income housing in communities across the State.  The community housing sector will continue to use all the resources it can to meet this challenge, because whilst we build, own and manage houses, what we are most focused on is providing homes to people.  Community housing providers own or manage more than 50,000 homes across NSW, and we are proud of the work we do in helping low-income families to find secure and affordable housing.

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Housing Matters September 2019

Housing Matters

CEO Report

Welcome to the September edition of Housing Matters – another busy month for the community housing sector.

Last week, we held a fantastic CHIA Exchange with more than 100 participants across the sector participating on the day across several separate work streams – more details are below.

In other sector news, Hume Housing has completed its Social Housing Management Transfer of 2,200 properties and officially opened its new regional office in Maitland earlier this month – congratulations to all the team at Hume for their fantastic work on the transfer.

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ACHIA Newsletter September 2019

Strategic Planning Day

We recently held our strategic planning day with the ACHIA committee and had Justin Noel from Origin communications facilitate the day. All the feedback from consultations held with ACHIA members helped to enhance the direction of the day.

Once we have the finalized strategic plan we will be consulting with members from the northern, southern and western region to see if we have captured everything that was said.

ACHIA Central and Western Aboriginal Community Housing Provider Forum

On the 19th September we will be holding our 2nd ACHIA Central and Western Aboriginal Community Housing Provider Forum any ACHPs or LALCs who wish to attend please let us know so we can cater on the day and add you to the email list. This forum gives us a chance to get together and discuss housing related topics and help inform each other about what is happening in the sector.

Contact: Chadr@communityhousing.org.au or Ph.  0438 038 269

CHIA Exchange Dates

CHIA NSW hosts a series of member events as a key part of the services we provide to the community housing sector in NSW. In the last twelve months, these events have included two CHIA Exchanges, the Good Growth Housing Conference, the NSW Aboriginal Housing Caucus, several report and toolkit launches and a diverse range of smaller workshops both in Sydney and our regional areas. These events are pivotal to our role of assisting NSW housing providers to develop and maintain their services as well as to help build skills and capacities within their own organisations.

The CHIA Exchange is a regular sector wide opportunity for all CHIA NSW members to hear from industry leaders regarding sector innovation and policy updates. It also provides a forum to share ideas and networking opportunities.

As part of a review of member feedback and support for the CHIA Exchange, we have considered how the Exchanges are delivering on member expectations and needs.
We are delighted to advise that this year we have changed the format of the CHIA Exchange to make it easier for more of our members and their staff to attend.

There will be three CHIA Exchanges this year as follows:
Tuesday 24th September, 2019 (Networks: Asset Managers, Operations Managers, Planning & Development, Community Development, CHP Aboriginal Staff Network, Emerging Leaders)

Wednesday 12 February, 2020 (Networks: Asset Managers, Operations Managers, NDIS, CHP Aboriginal Staff Network, Emerging Leaders)

Wednesday 10th June, 2020 (Networks: Asset Managers, Operations Managers, Planning & Development, Community Development, CHP Aboriginal Staff Network, Emerging Leaders)

Venue: Rydges Central Sydney, 28 Albion Street.

As usual, entry is provided free to staff of CHIA NSW full members, with any non-members charged a small fee to attend where appropriate.

Registrations for the September event are open now via this link. We will send a link for registrations to the 2020 events closer to the date. For any information regarding the CHIA Ex, please contact Annette at annetteb@communityhousing.org.au

Last chance- complete survey on Capacity Building for Aboriginal Community Housing Providers by this Friday

Please help us by completing this important survey.  It will take no more than five minutes.  The survey asks you if you have any further training or support needs to help you get ready for the National Regulatory System for Community Housing or the NSW Local Scheme (NRSCH / NSW LS)

The survey also asks about the capacity building program run by CHIA NSW in 2018 and 2019.

Your views are essential to the development of the sector and we would be very grateful if you could take a little time to provide your feedback.

If you have any questions about this survey, please contact Paula Coghill at

Still time to join the peak body 

The purpose of ACHIA is to be the industry body for Registered Aboriginal Community Housing Providers in NSW and in doing so, to:

• promote the human rights of all Aboriginal people in NSW to decent, affordable and secure housing;
• promote the right of all Aboriginal people to self-determination, including the right to choose a culturally appropriate social landlord;
• develop and support public policy which promotes a more just housing system for Aboriginal people in NSW;
• in partnership with counterpart organisations across Australia, develop and promote policy at a national level for housing justice and self-determination for Aboriginal people;
•  support the development of best practice in the provision of housing for Aboriginal people by encouraging networking and collaboration between Aboriginal Community Housing Providers; and
• support the provision of culturally appropriate housing by mainstream community housing providers.

ACHIA has been actively advocating and representing through various fora to ensure the voice of Aboriginal Community Housing is being heard and now have established ongoing relationships with our key stakeholders.

Continuing work will include;

  • Chairing of the Aboriginal Housing Office, Aboriginal Social Housing Strategy (ASHS) Peak Reference Group established to support the AHO in the development of the sector investment strategy, priorities and other support initiatives
  • Co-Host of the Aboriginal Housing Caucus 2019
  • Member forums to gather feedback and help shape the future path for ACHIA
  • FACS Aboriginal Outcomes in Housing Working Group (AOIH)

Join now for your free Membership and get access to CHIA NSW member benefits as well  
(Please note voting rights to Community Housing Industry Association NSW are reserved for CHIA  NSW full members )

Please see all form link below on becoming an ACHIA member

ACHIA membership form

Housing Matters August 2019

Housing Matters

CEO Report

Welcome to the August edition of Housing Matters. You will notice that we have changed the format and presentation of Housing Matters to make it easier to access on smartphones and tablets. This is the first step in improving the access to the newsletter – more changes will be coming over the coming months to allow you to access Housing Matters wherever you are and not miss out on the important sector news each month.

In this edition, CHIA NSW is delighted to announce the dates of our CHIA Exchanges for the financial year ahead.  With a shorter format, CHIA NSW is looking forward to the Exchanges once again delivering fantastic learning and networking opportunities for our members and partners.

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Housing Matters July 2019

Housing Matters

CEO Report

Community housing providers have been in the news this month with Hume Community Housing signing a MOU with the Tharawal Aboriginal Corporation and Tharawal Aboriginal Housing Corporation to work together to improve housing and social outcomes across South West Sydney. I was fortunate to be able to attend the ceremony and it was a great celebration of community and the culmination of an enormous amount of hard work. More details on the partnership are below – congratulations to all.

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Housing Matters June 2019

Housing Matters

CEO Report

The community housing sector has seen some welcome news this month with NHFIC announcing the launch of its Capacity Building Program which we hope will help support our ability to deliver more social and affordable housing in the community. More details on the program are provided below.

CHIA NSW also welcomes the Premier’s statement that homelessness is one of the areas that will receive her priority focus.

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Housing Matters May 2019

CEO Report

Welcome to the May 2019 edition of Housing Matters – my first as CEO of CHIA NSW.

I am excited to take on the role here at CHIA NSW, and the first few weeks have already indicated that there are plenty of opportunities and challenges for us to address on behalf of our members and community housing tenants across NSW.

Both the NSW State and Federal elections have returned incumbent Governments, but a range of Ministerial and departmental changes mean there is plenty for CHIA to do in forging new and strengthening existing relationships with Government.  The new Federal Government Ministerial appointments are welcomed by the community housing sector and these developments are outlined elsewhere in this Edition.

At the State level, CHIA has been busy engaging with the new Government.  We have already met with Minister for Families, Communities and Disability Services Gareth Ward and will meet both Planning and Public Spaces Minister Rob Stokes and Water, Property and Housing Minister Melinda Pavey in early June.  We are working hard to understand the ramifications of these Ministerial changes as well as working with our departmental and other stakeholders to see how we can best collaborate to improve community housing policy and outcomes.

Elsewhere in this Edition, there are some great articles on new research from AHURI on the business case for social housing as infrastructure, the opening of the new round of AHO grants and CHIA’s visits with Councillors from the Hills Shire to community housing developments in Western Sydney.  Don’t forget also the CHIA Exchange and NDS Accommodation sub-committee Roundtable on June 11th (details below).

I look forward to working with our members and stakeholders to promote the positive role of community housing in NSW.

Mark Degotardi, CEO

Federal election outcome

The Liberal-National Coalition’s federal election win has been met with mixed feelings by the community housing sector.  Significant progress was made in the previous term of government with the establishment of the National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation.

The community housing industry was hoping that NHFIC signalled the start of broader government support for social and affordable rental housing growth.  In the build up to the election, the Coalition was largely silent on its plans for social and affordable housing.  Labor on the other hand, took a potentially game-changing affordable housing policy to the election, announcing it would launch a program to deliver 250,000 new affordable rental homes over the next decade.

The Coalition victory means then that there is uncertainty about national housing policy, certainly it would appear that an NRAS mark 2 is off the table.  There may though still be cause for optimism.  On 26 May, the Prime Minister, the Hon Scott Morrison announced that his new Ministry would include the Hon Michael Sukkar as Minister for Housing, under the Treasurer.

CHIA NSW is hopeful that this signals that the Morrison-McCormack Government recognises that housing is a key economic issue.  This is the argument that CHIA NSW has been making through its research agenda and we think the evidence is clear that affordable rental housing is positive for the economy.

Mr Luke Howarth MP has also been appointed Assistant Minister for Community Housing, Homelessness and Community Services which is the first time community housing has been part of a title in a Federal government ministry.

The productivity benefits of affordable rental housing means that it should be a bi-partisan issue and CHIA NSW looks forward to working with partners and the new Coalition Government to shape effective housing policies that benefit all Australians.

The Business Case for Social Housing: AHURI Report

AHURI has released its next report in the Social Housing as Infrastructure series. The business case for social housing as infrastructure looks at how to develop a cost-benefit analysis (CBA) for new social housing investment proposals, and it works through some of the challenges of CBA for social housing.

CBA are common for infrastructure projects, and they provide a clear framework for analysing social housing projects. They can also clearly present the productivity benefits of social and affordable housing.

But AHURI notes that CBA often exclude the non-financial benefits of social housing and the outcomes that cannot be easily monetised. The report looks at a range of ways of estimating housing benefits.

Other appraisal methods could suit social housing projects better, including an avoided cost methodology. This approach considers how the security of social housing can deliver avoided costs for other public services, for example the public health and justice systems. It is often used in the public service and is accepted by Treasuries when it is backed up by a rigorous evidence base.

Ultimately this research finds that policy decisions and the intersections between analysis and political decision making are complex and are not as driven by economic rationalism as is assumed.  Could it be that investment in social housing is a political call after all?

Hills Shire councillor visits

This month, councillors from the Hills Shire visited three developments in Western Sydney to see firsthand how community housing providers are delivering quality homes for people.







This day was organised by CHIA NSW in partnership with the GSC, which is engaging with councils about affordable housing.  Visitors included 5 councillors from the Hills Shire, staff from the Hills Council, commissioners and staff from the GSC and a group from Landcom.





The party was hosted by SGCH at its Westmead development, Wentworth at its St Marys development and by Evolve at Harts Landing.  The councillors seemed impressed by what they saw and they certainly engaged on the issues, asking questions about tenants, management, planning processes and design.

Local councillors are a key stakeholder for CHIA NSW and finding creative ways like these visits are a valuable tool to influence them about affordable housing.  Getting support from local government councillors for affordable housing will be critical as councils explore ways to address need through local planning systems.  Support from councillors can also make the difference when community housing providers are working to deliver projects in local communities.

If you are interested in working with CHIA NSW to engage with local councillors please get in touch with Tom Kehoe (tomk@communityhousing.org.au)

Aboriginal Partnerships: building cultural competence

Adam Hansen, CHIA NSW’s Aboriginal Partnerships Specialist has been working on rolling out the Aboriginal Cultural Competency Standards self-assessment tool to CHPs and providing support to CHPs who are using it to promote culturally competent practice.  He has also been providing advice and practical guidance on how CHPs can build stronger relationships with local Aboriginal communities, tenants and organisations.

So far Adam has run five cultural competency standards sessions around the state and has four more scheduled in the next two months.

He also held or took part in seven sessions designed to bring CHPs closer to Aboriginal CHPs and the wider Aboriginal community, as well as re-energising the Aboriginal Staff Network.

Please get in touch with Adam via adamh@communityhousing.org.au if you would like advice or an Aboriginal Outcomes workshop.

There is plenty of work to be done in this space and while Adam has made a good start, he would like to invite any CHPs who haven’t contacted him already to get in touch if they would like advice on supporting Aboriginal Outcomes or implementing the Aboriginal Cultural Competency standards.  Adam can hold workshops or just provide informal guidance.

Adam will also be sharing some best practice case studies from the sector, re-convening the reference group and the Aboriginal staff networks and working with the Aboriginal Housing Office on their peer learning and mentoring initiative.

Round 2 of AHO’s IT Grants Program is now open

We are pleased to announce that Round 2 of the AHO’s grants program is now open and you can submit applications via CHIA NSW’s website. Applications can be accepted until 5 p.m. on 5 July. Grants will range from $15,000 to up to $70,000 depending on how many homes you manage.

The IT Grants Program is aimed at Aboriginal Community Housing Providers (ACHPs) that are registered or intend to become registered under the National Regulatory System for Community Housing (NRSCH) or the NSW Local Scheme (NSWLS). The IT grants will allow your organisation to invest in technologies that improve performance and reporting, increase access to IT training to make the best use of new technologies, and become as efficient as possible in the areas of tenancy and asset management.

The objectives of the grants program are to:

  • Provide funding to access the latest technologies to increase productivity and competitiveness
  • Access to IT training to help you use new technologies more effectively
  • Funding to create business efficiency through the introduction of technology in the areas of tenancy management and asset management

What are the assessment criteria?
To help with your application please read the following documents. These are also available here

What can the AHO IT grants be used for?
Your organisation can decide what the IT grant will be used for as long as it falls under at least one of these areas:

  • Organisational capacity: improving the capabilities of your office and IT systems
  • Reporting systems: IT system(s) to maintain asset/properties/tenancies and to create and provide reports to different agencies
  • IT training: to improve the IT skills of your organisation’s workers and make their workplace more IT friendly
  • Digital capability: specialised digital technology or software (business specific), content development (web site and pages, mobile applications, visual and audio media etc.) and related training

To find out more information, including what IT grants are available, please visit the CHIA NSW website

AHURI National Housing Conference

Register now for the National Housing Conference (NHC), which will be held in Darwin for the first time August 27–30. This year’s program will shine a spotlight on Indigenous housing, drawing on the unique experiences and opportuneness facing the housing sector in the Northern Territory.

The NHC is the largest gathering for the social and affordable housing sectors in Australasia, convened every two years by the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI).

The NHC plays an important role in guiding the national dialogue on housing and homelessness priorities, providing a platform for housing practitioners, policy makers and researchers to share, debate, celebrate and promote impactful ideas. Delegates will have the opportunity to be a part of the conversation, forge new partnerships, and work towards innovative housing solutions.

Attended by key decision makers from all sectors, this is a must-attend for anyone wanting to be a part of Australia’s housing future. Register now: www.nhc.edu.au

Partnering to ensure better SDA outcomes: a CHIA Ex and NDS Roundtable

Date: Tuesday 11 June 2019

Time: 9.30am- 3pm

Venue: Mercure Sydney, 818-820 George St, Chippendale NSW 2007

Register via Eventbrite

CHIA NSW is partnering with NDS, the peak body for disability service providers, to deliver a roundtable event bringing together community housing providers and supported independent living providers (SILs) who work together to deliver specialist disability accommodation.

With a practical focus, the event will be an opportunity to unpack the key challenges for CHPs and SILs to identify how can we work together to deliver the best possible outcomes for people with disability living in SDA. The idea is to develop a shared advocacy position that CHIA NSW and NDS can take forward.

Review of CHC42215 Certificate IV in Social Housing

A Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) has been established by SkillsIQ to review the current CHC42215 Certificate IV in Social Housing. The TAC comprises a number of representatives from community housing providers, homelessness support services and training organisations. Others will be able to review and comment on the proposed changes in the near future as the proposal is finalised. To date the proposal is for a Certificate IV in Housing with specialisations in Social Housing and Homelessness Support Workers. It is expected that there will be an increase in the number of units’ studied from 15 to 18 and more emphasis on client care. The following outlines the proposal to date.

Current Certificate IV in Social Housing Proposed Certificate IV in Housing
15 units with 8 core and 7 electives 18 units with 12 core and 6 electives
No specialisation Specialisation in Social Housing and Homelessness Support Work
Removed from core units:

Manage and maintain tenancy agreements and services – removed to specialisation

New units  in core are:

Provide brief interventions

Respond effectively to behaviours of concern

Promote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural safety

Provide services to people with co-existing mental health and alcohol and other drugs issues

New Unit – Sustainable Tenancies

The units for social housing which will make up the specialisation include:

Social Housing – Group A Electives Homelessness Support Work Group B Electives
Manage and maintain tenancy agreements and services Provide advocacy and representation services
Manage housing application processes Develop, facilitate and review all aspects of case management
Manage housing allocations Recognise and respond appropriately to domestic and family violence
Manage tenancy rent and rent arrears Work effectively in trauma informed care / Implement trauma informed care
Manage vacant properties
Respond to property maintenance enquiries

The issue that has been raised by some organisations is the inability to include the unit Represent the organisation in a court of tribunal in the Certificate IV.

CTSH will be sending out a questionnaire shortly to discuss the proposed changes.

Fantastic Training Opportunities

CRA Training Returns

Jennifer Townsend will be leading a workshop on CRA at CHIA NSW offices on Tuesday 18th June for $300 per participant. Morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea will be provided. There is a limit of 15 participants. Training will commence at 10.00am and conclude by 4.00pm.

To enrol please contact Sadhona at SadhonaM@communityhousing.org.au

Sustainable Tenancies Toolkit

Jennifer will be leading participants through the Sustainable tenancies Toolkit and how it can be used. This is particularly useful for new starters who have heard about the resource and would like to find out more. Morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea will be provided. There is a limit of 15 participants.

To enrol please contact Sadhona at SadhonaM@communityhousing.org.au

NCAT Training at a Reduced Price

NCAT Training will be run at the offices of CHIA NSW on Tuesday 23rd and Wednesday 24th July from 9.00am until 4.00pm for both days. The cost of the workshop will be $250. Morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea will be provided. There is a limit of 15 participants.

To enrol please contact Sadhona at SadhonaM@communityhousing.org.au

In the Media

CHIA NSW Chair, John McKenna: Housing system is ‘monumentally messed up’ warns political party

CHIA NSW Chair, John McKenna: Strategy needed to address ‘chronic’ housing stress

Author of the DFV Toolkit Sue Cripps: Domestic violence victims to remain home, perpetrators given crisis housing in SA trial


Housing Matters- April 2019

The annual Anglicare Rental Affordability Snapshot has revealed an alarming picture of Australia’s private rental market, and the results for people on low incomes and income support are dire.
Contrary to what some commentators have been expressing the recent downturn in house prices, particularly in major metropolitan areas of NSW, has not led to an increase in the amount of affordable rental housing available.

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Housing Matters – March 2019

NSW Liberals on the cusp of majority government

The Liberal Party were successful at the recent NSW Election and are set for another four years government in NSW. So what does their re-election mean for housing and homelessness in NSW?  

While much is still up in the air, the one certainty is that there will be a new Minister covering the social housing portfolio in light of former Minister Pru Goward’s retirement from politics. Although any major changes in the current policy direction are unlikely, a new minister will come with a new approach and potentially new priorities for us as a sector to respond to. 

In terms of policy, the Liberal Party has reaffirmed its commitment to delivering the housing targets in Future Directions – 24,000 properties of which 7,000 are new social housing properties  as well as the two rounds of the Social and Affordable Housing Fund. Whilst this is a welcome contribution, the current shortfall of social and affordable housing in NSW, as calculated recently by UNSW, is 316,766. 

In 2017 the Government announced its Housing Affordability Strategy with their priorities being to increase the supply of housing and the introduction of a first home owners grant. CHIA NSW supports young people being able to enter the home ownership market affordably, but we have also consistently argued that whilst housing supply has been at record levels in NSW over the past few years this has not led to increased rental affordability for many families. 

In relation to homelessness just prior to the election the NSW Government committed to reducing rough sleeping across NSW by 50% by 2025. This is to be done through the ‘A Place to Call Home’ initiative founded by the Institute of Global Homelessness. There is no additional funding for housing associated with this initiative which aims to support homelessness services in Sydney to set goals and strategies to reduce rough sleeping numbers and to measure and track their progress. 

 So we have to keep up our advocacy for more subsidised affordable rental housing in NSW – speaking to local members about what it means for the communities they represent and working with councils and the NSW Government on affordable housing strategies and contribution schemes that deliver local housing outcomes.  

Filling the Gap: Australia needs 1 million social and affordable homes

CHIA NSW published a UNSW report jointly commissioned with Homelessness NSW looking at how much it would cost to meet the shortfall in social and affordable housing over the next 20 years.  

This research shows that Australia needs 728,600 social housing properties and 295,000 affordable rental homes by 2036 – of which 316,766 are needed in NSW.  

The cost of meeting the shortfall has been assessed in the report as being $8.6 billion a year – $5.3 billion per year for social housing and $3.3 billion per year for affordable rental housing. To put that into perspective Australia currently spends $11.8 billion on negative gearing and capital gains tax subsidies. With a third of the shortfall NSW would need to see at least an investment of around $3b and probably more given the higher cost of delivering new homes in this State. 

The project costed the delivery of new supply of social and affordable housing based on needs estimates developed by earlier AHURI research for social housing extended to estimate the need for affordable housing. This research focused on an assessment of housing needs, rather than who strictly qualifies for housing assistance, or is on a formal wait list for social housing.  

The analysis centres on two sets of people. The first is households deemed to be in need of ‘social housing’ and includes only those households in the bottom income quintile (Q1) for Australia and who are in private rental stress, and including homelessness figures. The second category is households in need of ‘affordable housing’, which includes those assessed as being in housing stress who are in the second income quintile (Q2) for Australia. 

The report also looked at what the relative benefits of funding that additional supply – comparing the cost to government of using different financing mechanisms such as capital grants, financing through the NHFIC, an annual service subsidy etc. 

The main findings of the report are: 

  • Australia needs 1,023,888 social and affordable homes by 2036 – that equates to 36,400 social housing properties a year and 14,800 affordable rental homes a year. Read the media release for a detailed breakdown of housing need by location.
  • The Government will save $3.2 billion a year delivering the affordable housing through the not for profit sector ($1.1 billion) than the for profit sector ($4.5 billion) – because it removes investor return and equity
  • The cheapest way to deliver the housing we need is through a combination of capital grants and financing through the National Housing Finance Investment Corporation (NHFIC), which would reduce the money CHPs need to borrow and provide access to cheaper financing 

Check out In The Media below for more articles about the report. 

2000 people pack Sydney Town Hall

Almost 2000 people from all walks of life packed Sydney Town Hall in March to call for change on housing and energy policy from NSW state and federal politicians. The Assembly, convened by Everybody’s Home, Sydney Alliance and Vinnies NSW, put the spotlight on decision-makers, calling for public commitments ahead of the NSW and federal elections. 

Many existing policy commitments – including Labor’s plan to deliver 250K additional affordable homes were reaffirmed on the night  but there were a few new announcements, including a commitment from both the major parties in NSW to conduct and energy efficiency audit of NSW social housing properties. Sydney Alliance has published a summary of commitments 

The success of the event and policy commitments achieved on the night were based on the power of community represented in the audience. Among housing, homelessness and community organisations, the community housing sector was well represented on the night, with staff and tenant delegations from Uniting, Compass, Link, Bridge, SGCH, Women’s Housing Company and more in the audience. There were also large delegations from Filipino, Jewish, Muslim, South Asian, Vietnamese and Pacific Islander communities, as well as unions and church-based delegations. 

It was a fantastic evening – the energy in the room was palpable as a truly diverse community of people and organisations joined forces to collectively demand action in two of the most pressing policy areas. The networks and relationships formed through the process of bringing everyone together under one roof will serve us well as we continue to push for change on energy and housing policy in the lead up to the Federal election in May. 

Delivering effective regulation for a diverse and dynamic industry – what we want from the Review of the Regulatory System for Community Housing

CHIA NSW has submitted its response to the Review of the National Regulatory System for Community Housing Discussion Paper. We support regulation for our industry, but we want it to be proportionate to reflect the diversity of the industry and to represent a reasonable regulatory burden. We want it to be sophisticated enough to regulate the growing complexity of our industry, but also to drive performance improvement through a transparent approach to the provision of information.  

We particularly want to see the system integrated across Australia with a nationally consistent approach. We want it to be culturally competent in responding to the registration of Aboriginal community housing providers, as well as in the regulation of mainstream providers providing housing for Aboriginal people. We want it to take a more risk based approach to regulation and to rethink the current tier classification, and we really want there to be a reasonable allocation of compliance burden between contracting arrangements and regulatory requirements. 

In order to do this, Registrars’ offices need to be resourced effectively and have the right mix of staff capabilities to undertake consumer assurance activity as well as the asset and prudential aspects of regulation.   

The main principles underpinning our submission are:  

  • the NRSCH should operate independently of the government agency the commissions/funds community housing organisations and have new governance arrangements that reflect and reinforce that independence
  • there should be an integrated and consistent national approach to regulation of the community housing industry  
  • there should be adequate resourcing of regulation and registrars’ offices assisted by the redirection of resources from the rationalisation of other regulatory functions such as contractual compliance
  • any reform to the system should look to reduce the regulatory burden and to redistribute resources currently used 
  • the classification of community housing providers under any new arrangements reflect a more nuanced approach to risk
  • the system should deliver improved information about the role and performance of the community housing industry in meeting regulatory and community expectations 

FACS is holding a stakeholder consultation on 28 March and the deadline for submissions has recently been extended to 5 April if you still want to send in comments. 

The CHIA NSW submission can be found here. 

Making sure that all growth is good growth: the Good Growth Housing Conference 2019

It’s just over three weeks until the CHIA NSW Good Growth Conference on April 15The theme of the conference is ‘Planning for our Future’: how do we plan, fund and build our cities and regional centres? 

We are looking forward to bringing you a fantastic day of panels and debate, rounded off with our Networking drinks. We’ve had a very positive response to the news that we’ve re-opened our special early bird registration rate for bookings of 5 or more! To take advantage of this offer, contact us at conference@communityhousing.org.au for group bookings.  

Program update: What is Good Growth? Our last session of the day, What is Good Growth? is shaping up to be really inspiring. The Good Growth Housing Conference will close with a panel discussion about what we mean by Good Growth. The Good Growth Alliance is working with Urbis and Landcom to design a hypothetical Good Growth development. Based on a real site in Macarthur, the Urbis design will bring to life the principles of Good Growth. 

To introduce the final session, Urbis will present the design and describe its features and benefits as well as what has been traded-off to deliver on what the Alliance sees as Good Growth. The panel discussion will reflect on the development of the design and the broader ideas that have featured in the other conference sessions. This session will include facilitator Councillor Jess Scully (City of Sydney), Tasha Burrell (Landcom) William Power (Property Council), Karen Walsh (Shelter NSW) and is sponsored by Landcom.  

The Good Growth Housing Conference is of interest to people working in all tiers of Government, the not for profit sector, private industry and communities who want to work together to create a city based on equitable, sustainable, and liveable growth.  

You can register yourself and/or staff from your organisation here and each ticket includes networking drinks from 5.30-7.30pm 

For all program and registration information, please visit www.goodgrowth2019.com 

ACHIA Aboriginal Caucus Day and Breakfast: April 16

Join us after the Good Growth Housing Conference for the ACHIA Aboriginal Caucus Day and Breakfast. The NSW Aboriginal Community Housing sector is undergoing a period of rapid change and the Aboriginal Caucus day will give the sector an opportunity to discuss and workshop three key elements designed to strengthen the sector and develop stronger ties with non-Aboriginal partners.

These are: • The development of a new Aboriginal peak organisation- the Aboriginal Community Housing Industry Association (ACHIA) to provide an independent voice for the sector, • Work with Aboriginal community housing providers to strengthen their organisations to prepare for registration • And a focused approach to support non-Aboriginal and Aboriginal housing organisations to further develop mutually respectful partnerships. The Caucus day will also include national and international speakers on First Nations housing and sector development.

The ACHIA Caucus day will include:

* An Aboriginal Women’s Leadership Breakfast and

* A Brothers in Housing Breakfast (Note: this will be held at Australian Hall 150 Elizabeth Street, Sydney)

This event is open to all ACHPs and Aboriginal staff members from the sector.

COST: Free, thanks to sponsorship from the NSW Aboriginal Housing Office Register here:


Training: new short courses coming up

Centre for Training in Social Housing is launching a new course in Mental Health First Aid. Many members have asked for this course and we will be running our inaugural course on the 1st – 2nd May 2019 with our experience and qualified trainer Chris Wilson. Please register your interest on the website or through enrolments@communityhousing.org.au. 

Mental Health First Aid 1st May- 2nd May 9am-4pm, Centre for Training in Social Housing, 619 Elizabeth St Redfern NSW 2016. Booklet & Lunch provided. $270 per participant. 



De-escalation in the work place and in the field has become an issue of concern for many staff. This short course will discuss and role model how to identify behaviours of concern, what to do to de-escalate a situation and how to ensure you are in a safe environment.  An important part of this course is how to debrief after an event and how to support your staff.  The course cost is an amazingly low $250. Please register your interest on the website or through enrolments@communityhousing.org.au. 

Work safely: de-escalation in the workplace and in the field. 2nd May 9am-4pm, Centre for Training in Social Housing, 619 Elizabeth St Redfern NSW 2016. $250 per participant. 

We come to you: CTSH has expanded its course offerings. We come to you if you have more than 7-8 students. Call and discuss your training needs on 02 9690 2447 ext 215 and speak with Catherine Tracey Head of Learning and Development or go to our website at www.ctsh.org.au. 

Everybody’s Home gears up for the federal election

With the Federal election tipped for May, Everybody’s Home is ramping up activities as housing shapes up to be a key issue on the campaign trail. Organisations that are yet to join as campaign supporters can do so on the sign up page – we want to have as many NSW community housing providers on board as possible! 

To boost the profile of the community housing sector and the role we have to play in delivering the social and affordable housing that Australian communities need, Providers are encouraged to invite local candidates to visit their offices. This is great way to show the work that we do and build support for policies that will enable us to expand our work within the grass roots of political parties. 

Another campaign strategy is hosting housing and homelessness community forums in key marginal electorates, with candidates from all sides invited to spruik their party’s position on the five Everybody’s Home asks.  

In regional NSW, key electorates include Page (Lismore), Richmond (Tweed Heads), Lyne (Forster), Gilmore (Nowra), and Robertson (Gosford), while in Sydney key electorates include McMahon (Fairfield), Bennelong (Ryde), Reid (Canada Bay) and Lindsay (Penrith). 

For organisations interested in hosting or supporting a community forum or arranging a candidate visit, Everybody’s Home has some materials available including electorate level housing data, branded doormats for photo opportunities and more. For information please contact Robin Fletcher at Link Housing Robin.Fletcher@linkhousing.org.au or everybodyshome@communityhousing.org.au 

Community Housing Innovation Fund (CHIF)

Information and Design Workshop Rydges World Square

FACS recently held a very well received information and co-design workshop on the new Community Housing Innovation Fund (CHIF). The CHIF is a NSW Government program that is offering $50 million in grants over three years to Community Housing Providers (CHPs) to boost the supply of social and affordable housing.

The CHIF is open to all registered CHPs and aims to encourage regional and smaller providers, who may not have had the opportunity or capacity to participate in large-scale tenders.

The workshop demonstrated a strong commitment to co-design – participants were able to make recommendations about program design, minimum and maximum bid sizes, evaluation criteria and the procurement methodology to be adopted amongst other issues. The workshop demonstrated that FACS has adopted a new and very welcome approach to commissioning this program. Participants agreed that procurement design should be as simple as possible whilst still meeting all probity and value for money requirements.

Value for Money – CHIA NSW welcomes Societel to the project

CHIA NSW is delighted to announce that consultants Societel have joined the project team for the Value for Money (VfM) Industry Development Strategy project.

VfM is important in the light of the need to demonstrate both efficiency and effectiveness and is an essential element in making the case for the industry’s future growth. The project will develop a set of VfM indicators and definitions that measure the sector’s efficiency and effectiveness that have been agreed with CHPs. The project will also include a pilot first data collection round.

Societel have recently completed the NSW Registrar of Community Housing’s review of community housing sectoral viability and offer the skills and proven experience necessary to deliver this important project. Societel will be running a series of consultation events to develop an industry definition of VfM, to identify a wide range of possible VfM indicators and to develop an industry led VfM prioritisation process.

CHIA NSW will be reconvening the project reference group shortly and we will be back in touch with further information on the project stages. If you would like to register your interest in the project or have any questions, please contact adamw@communityhousing.org.au

Staffing changes at CHIA NSW

There are some changes at CHIA NSW as we say goodbye to some long standing staff – even if temporarily – and welcome new people.

Leoni Lynch, our stalwart survey manager, hotline guru and asset and community development network facilitator is having a baby (yay) and will be leaving us in mid-April. She will be returning after 12 months maternity leave and to cover her role, at least partially, Zed Tintor will be joining us for three days a week – big shoes to fill!

Lacy Barron has joined us for two days a week until June just to help tide us over whilst the search for a new CEO continues. Lacy was most recently a senior director with FACS and has significant understanding of the community housing industry having been Manager of the Affordable Housing Unit for many years.

Jane Worrall has resigned to go travelling and return to her home in Queensland – we wish her well! Sally Dumbrell has been engaged to provide high level support in the development of training resources for the next 3 months. Sally comes to us with a wealth of experience from vocational education and housing.

In the Media

It’s been a big month of media with the release of two major landmark UNSW studies and the announcement of the first round of National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation (NHFIC) finance for community housing providers.

Australia will need 1 million more social, affordable homes by 2036 – Australian Financial Review 

Sydney faces shortfall of more than 200,000 homes for low to moderate-income earners, report shows – Domain 

Build social and affordable housing to get us off the boom-and-bust roller coaster – The Conversation 

Illawarra will need thousands of new social and affordable rental homes by 2036: report – Illawarra Mercury 

One Million Social and Affordable Homes Needed to Combat Rental Stress – Pro Bono 

1 million affordable homes needed by 2036 – Architecture & Design 

Australia needs one million new affordable and social homes, researchers say – The Mandarin 

Affordable housing bond four times oversubscribed – Australian Financial Review 

Affordable housing body offers first loans – Blue Mountains Gazette 

Australia’s largest social bond tackles affordable housing shortage – Pro Bono  

Affordable Housing Close to City Brings Billions in Economic Benefits – Sourceable 

Upcoming events

All upcoming events are listed on our calendar here

April 9 Energy Training, Penrith. Info here

April 15 Good Growth Housing Conference. Info here

April 16 ACHIA Aboriginal Caucus Day and Breakfast. Info here