CEO Conference Overview
A month on from the 2018 Affordable Housing Conference – Everybody’s Home – we extend our sincere thanks to the sponsors, speakers, facilitators and delegates who made it such a success and a conference worth tweeting about. In 2016 we said we were ready to meet the challenge of delivering the additional social and affordable homes needed to tackle homelessness and housing stress. Since then it has been a case of holding steady as – despite progress on social housing management transfers, announcements on the Social and Affordable Housing Fund and Communities Plus and most recently the NHFIC’s establishment – we are all still waiting for Governments to launch some big time programs to fund serious numbers of new homes.
However, when I say holding steady there was little evidence that the nearly 600 delegates and well over 100 speakers were any less enthused and full of ideas than two years ago. Over the two days we heard from expert speakers from across the globe talk about clear directions ahead for the housing industry and calls to action. There were too many good things to mention them all but I will highlight a few, either because they are going to stick in my memory or because I learnt something new.
So here is my list – in no particular order. It goes without saying, but I will anyway, that any conference needs politicians to demo its relevance and we were lucky to have two – the Hon Pru Goward, MP (Minister for Family and Community Services, Minister for Social Housing, and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault) and Michael Daley, MP (Deputy Leader of the Opposition, Shadow Minister for Planning and Infrastructure) explaining what the Government is doing and what the Opposition would suggest as alternatives.
Barb Shaw the inaugural Co-Chair of Aboriginal Housing NT explained in clear, compelling language why investment in remote Indigenous housing so badly needs restoring. Richard Eccleston from the Institute for the Study of Social Change at the University of Tasmania did the seemingly impossible – made tax policy (relatively) easy to grasp and reform politically possible. And while David Orr was personally inspiring he was trumped by that video – the best promotional pitch for the NFP housing sector ever – and John Murray from the Community Housing Tenants Network and Link Housing gave him a run for his money in the panel discussion.
Rosanna McGregor from the Cariboo Friendship Society and Aboriginal Housing Management Association in Canada urged policy-makers to include Indigenous leaders in solving Indigenous challenges and spoke movingly about managed alcohol programs in her hometown, William’s Lake BC. Emily Cadik from the US Affordable Housing Tax Credit Coalition told us we don’t need to reinvent the wheel, just leverage off the initiative that’s delivered three million homes for seven million people in the States and Stephen Anthony at Industry Super explained how we might…
Then there was Brendan Coates from the Grattan Institute who did his renaissance man act by popping up to talk about the economy, housing supply, inclusionary zoning and tax reform, and Marcus Spiller from SGS who suggested that the 500K new homes the Everybody’s Home argues for may be a shade too few. Saul Eslake reminded us that supply might be the answer – if the State got back into the business of investing as it did in the 1950s.
It was also lovely to catch up again with David Condliffe, Executive Director at the Center for Community Alternatives that promotes reducing reliance on incarceration and supports individuals who have been, to reintegrate into their communities. I met David last year and was very impressed with his work and its relevance to a project we were kicking off to look at housing pathways for people leaving prison.
We were sent on our way by a nearly all women panel of Rebecca Huntley, Lord Mayor of Sydney, Clover Moore, Susan Ryan AO, Tania Mihailuk MP, Jenny Leong MP and our anything but ‘token male’ Paul Green MLC who all seemed to be in furious agreement that “everybody deserves to have safe secure shelter, and that’s what housing is”. It’s a right, not a privilege. Let’s hope the start button is pressed soon.
CHIA NSW and Homelessness NSW also want to thank all the sponsors for AHC 2018. It would not have happened without them: www.ahc2018.com.au/sponsors-exhibitors/
Link to David Orr’s video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gv8PSlby0Qc
CHIA NSW Exchange
The next CHIA NSW Exchange will take place on Wednesday 12th and Thursday 13th of September at the Mercure Sydney. Already confirmed across two days are meetings for CEOs, Finance Officers, Middle Managers, Community Development, Asset Network, NDIS Network, Planning & Development, and Performance/Outcomes. More details and ticket information will be posted as it becomes available.
National Homelessness Conference 2018
Last chance to register!
The National Homelessness Conference 2018 will be held next month in Melbourne on August 6-7 and tickets are selling fast!
Key highlights of the program include:
- Five keynote speakers – Professor Marah Curtis (US), Professor Nicholas Pleace (UK), Juha Kaakinen (Finland), Martin Foley (Vic Minister for Housing and Homelessness) and Sally Capp (Lord Mayor of Melbourne)
- Three major plenary panel sessions examining national priority responses to homelessness; responding to the criminalisation of inner-city homelessness, and media reporting on homelessness
- 12 concurrent sessions examining best practice responses from across Australia.
View the full program and register now at www.ahuri.edu.au/events/homelessness2018
NSW Boarding Houses – A welcome ‘no change’ to homes delivered by not for profit community housing providers
On 29 March 2018 the Hon Anthony Roberts MP the Planning and Housing Minister announced that in response to community concerns new boarding houses would be required to provide 0.5 car parking spaces per room instead of the current 0.2, where the buildings are located near to public transport. While CHIA NSW appreciated that residents might be concerned about any negative effects from new development in their localities, we also knew that many other residents in the same areas were in need of just the sort of homes these new boarding houses could provide. Moreover, the evidence from our members – not for profit community housing providers (CHPs) – was that boarding housing residents rarely owned cars. In some cases car spaces provided were even lying empty. When every space provided costs dollars that could go towards more affordable housing, we need to be sure resources aren’t being wasted.
CHPs who had built these homes also provided evidence that the increase in car parking spaces envisaged would have threatened the viability of many genuinely affordable schemes.
Happily this was no tokenistic consultation process. The Department of Planning and Environment (DPE) listened and heard. They also watched. CHIA NSW and its members want to work with local communities to build homes that fit in and meet needs. Spare the time and watch these short videos that tell the story of two boarding houses in Summer Hill (managed by Hume Housing) and Wollstonecraft (managed by Link Housing).
And last week DPE announced that while car parking standards for boarding houses delivered under the State Environmental Planning Policy (Affordable Rental Housing) 2009 (ARHSEPP) has been amended to 0.5 car parking spaces per boarding house room, an exception has been made where a not for profit ‘Social Housing Provider’ provides the accommodation. For the latter, existing standards remain in place. This exception is based “on feedback that Social Housing Providers play a unique role in providing boarding houses for lower income earners and other groups”.
The amended ARHSEPP is here.
Landcom Affordable Housing Prequalification Scheme
Landcom’s Affordable Housing Prequalification Scheme is an online tool that connects developers with nationally registered Community Housing Providers.
You can find the tool and more information at www.ProcurePoint.nsw.gov.au/scm4421 – see tab ‘Information for buyers’, then click on ‘How to buy from this scheme’.
Information about the scheme will be included in member newsletters for:
- Property Council
- Urban Taskforce
- Western Sydney Business Connection
- Sydney Business Chamber
New World Wide Study shows what Australia can learn from the rest of the world about fixing the housing crisis with co-operative housing
Common Equity (NSW) is pleased to announce a new world-wide study to identify the extent and value of housing co-operatives around the world.
The research, commissioned by Australia’s Peak Co-op Housing Bodies; ‘ Articulating Value in Co-operative Housing’ was undertaken by researchers from Western Sydney University and the University of Newcastle. It analysed existing research in a dozen countries. The findings point to the significant benefits of Co-operative Housing Models.
- Cost Savings: up to 14% lower capital and operating costs under the co-operative model
- Social Capital: Stronger social networks and sense of community – higher than any other form of housing
- Health & Wellbeing: Widespread reports that living in a housing co-operative provides a greater sense of physical, emotional, mental health and well-being
- Resident Satisfaction: Widespread reports of lower costs, high quality homes with better security and housing stability
“The existing research indicates numerous potential benefits created by cooperative housing in many countries. This gives us a solid starting point for identifying the extent and nature of the value created by Australia’s housing co-operatives, including the value generated by the people who live in co-operatives” says Louise Crabtree, Senior Researcher, from Western Sydney University.
The researchers found widespread report of stronger social networks and support, and better relationships with neighbours, with higher reported levels of social capital than any other forms of social housing. Housing co-operative residents reported a strong sense of community and of ‘home’ and ‘safety’, with Canadians feeling that their neighbourhood is improved by the presence of housing co-operatives.
Based on the evidence from housing co-operatives in Canada it is clear that “social capital” even among poor resident populations, adds value to public investments in housing.
The research found that the economic benefits of co-operative housing are clear. Canada demonstrated that the co-operative housing sector cost 14% less in capital and operating costs than any other affordable housing model. And evidence in the United Kingdom suggests lower rates of arrears, faster re-letting and lower vacancy rates. Additionally, inference from Germany suggested that living in a co-operative might lead to reduced health care needs and costs too.
Common Equity CEO, James Brown says; ‘With the extent of housing co-operatives overseas, the evidence is clear that co-operative housing should be a more significant part of the housing mix in Australia to deliver more diversity and choice in affordable housing and to enhance the broader economic, social and community benefits. Especially at a time when in Australia, with one of the most diverse populations in the world, in which many are facing a housing crisis, this research provides valuable information to support the case for change’.
The full Research Report for Stage One will be released in mid-late August 2018. To find out more about Co-operative housing; www.youtube.com/watch?v=NpkzUVlaANk
A second stage of the Research is expected to commence by the end of 2018 and will quantify the extent to which co-operative housing delivers value in the Australian context.
For media enquiries and to contact researchers please contact:
Welcome Catherine Tracey and Brigitte Garozzo
Catherine is our new Head of Learning and Development in CHIA NSW’s Centre for Training in Social Housing.
Catherine Tracey has worked as a senior executive and senior manager in vocational education in both the public and private sectors. As the recently appointed Head of Learning and Development at CHIA NSW, Catherine’s passion and experience in vocational education, her desire to foster learning practices which engages the student and lead learning innovation will complement the work of the Centre for Training in Social Housing.
Catherine’s work in education is supported by her extensive experience within the social housing sector with over twenty years’ experience in the delivery of social housing in not for profit, state government and affordable housing. The challenges facing the sector and expected growth in innovative housing practices will be supported with appropriate, engaging and innovative educational programs.
Brigitte is our new Project Coordinator
Brigitte is an organiser and activist who has worked for various political organisations including as an Office Manager for Greens NSW Senator Lee Rhiannon and an organiser for the National Tertiary Education Union. She is passionate about a variety of social justice issues including; worker’s rights, women’s and LGBTIQ rights, Palestinian justice, and universal housing for all. She is also a fully qualified florist and in her spare time loves to cook, garden, attend protests, and play with her ginger cat ‘Melon’. She is a member of the ASU.
Farewell and thank you from Lyndall Katz
It is with a mix of both excitement and sadness that I have resigned from CHIA NSW (the Federation). I am moving on to pursue other passions more fully and to be with family and friends.
I have been working at the Federation for 19 years, and was involved since its beginnings. I have been with CHIA NSW for one month – since its beginning! I was at North Coast Community Housing for 13 years. That’s 32 years – more than half my life (just) with you! And that’s not including the time I was working in women’s refuges at the start of my working life.
It has been a pleasure and a privilege to know you and to work with you over the years. It’s a marvelous thing to be connected with other humans, righting wrongs to make the world a better place. That is what we attempt to do in our work together.
From an eager 19 year old feminist being excited to volunteer at the first women’s refuge in the 1970s; to moving to the north coast and randomly getting a job with North Coast Community Housing Co in 1987; to moving back to Sydney to work at the Federation in 2000, I have seen many changes.
We started with passion, activism, caring and “chutzpah.” Now we have a vibrant, growing, professional, well-respected community housing sector and that makes me proud. That’s not to say we haven’t had big losses, and faced big challenges, but as a sector we have hung in there, and continued to move forward. Our continued determination to keep the community focus in the work is one of the things that has kept me here in the face of such great change. I’m pleased to have been part of all that, and done my part towards all that.
Through the Federation I moved from providing service, to training and resourcing others to provide service. I liked that move – being part of the professionalisation of the sector from the start. Thanks for that chance. At NCCHC I was a student in the first ever-training program – HATPIN (Housing Associations Training Program In NSW). The Federation provided that training. All I remember is being at a resort once a month in Coffs Harbour with my colleagues from all over northern NSW sitting in the spa. I have a certificate to prove it! Ah times have changed!
I have loved working at the Federation training and resourcing the sector. It gives me so much pleasure to be with you in that environment. I got to know some of you well over many years and many roles, some from the start of your careers. That’s exciting. And I am pleased to have added my knowledge, skill and humour to that work.
The Federation has been a brilliant workplace for me. I won’t mention all the names – there are too many – but I do want to thank Jen Crowe for seconding me to the then Good Practice Unit in 1999, which brought about the change in focus of my career. There have been many changes in staff and structure since that time, but one constant is, and has been, a fabulous workplace – respectful, connected and, above all, hilarious.
I have had wonderful managers with different perspectives; been inspired by exciting and vibrant trainers; supported by excellent and patient administrative teams; partnered with policy and business development teams to resource the sector in good practice. I have made some good friends. And the “couch” sessions are always fun.
Thank you to all who have worked with me, for giving me a home in my workplace, in this important industry, and for caring with me about the work we do. Without all this I could not have stayed for so long. And it has been so long! So long!
In the media