Housing Matters - March 2021

Welcome to the March 2021 edition of Housing Matters.

This month has seen us launch exciting initiatives in what will be a critical year for community housing.

I am pleased to share that CHIA NSW has officially launched our social housing cadetship program in partnership with the NSW Government and the NSW Land & Housing Corporation.

These cadetships will provide 100 social housing tenants with opportunities to take on a job that will provide them with nationally recognised skills and qualifications for a lifelong career in housing management.

These cadetships will be funded by the NSW Government and we are grateful for this investment which will help create more skilled workers in the community housing sector, while also helping to break the cycle of disadvantage for participants.

More information on the cadetships is available in this edition of Housing Matters.

Our 2021 Community Housing conference is another initiative which will highlight the great things our sector has achieved. Registrations are now open for the conference which will be run from August 11th-12th at the Sydney Masonic Centre.

The 2021 Community Housing conference will include a range of  sessions and networking events for the  sector  to meet, share insights and map the future of community housing. More details on how to register for this event below.

Despite these positive announcements, the challenge ahead for the housing sector remains significant. Recent AHURI figures show that  Sydney now has 71% of lower-income households paying unaffordable rent, and that there is a national shortage of 173,000 affordable homes. (see below)

With economic uncertainty still lingering around the final impact of changes to JobKeeper payments and the associated loss of employment, there is a clear need for further investment in affordable and social housing from Federal and State governments. 

There must be a commitment to a significant net growth in social and affordable housing if we are going to make an impact on the thousands of families in housing stress in the NSW community.

As always, the NSW community housing sector stands ready to do our part to support all government initiatives that create more affordable homes and secure safe housing for more NSW families.

We hope you enjoy this edition.

Mark Degotardi
NSW Government and CHIA NSW partnership to create new jobs and skills in community housingTogether with the NSW Government, the Community Housing Industry Association (CHIA) NSW is providing new training opportunities connected to jobs in the Community Housing Industry through a Cadetship Program.

Funding for the program has been provided through the NSW Land & Housing Corporation.

This exciting program provides an opportunity for cadets to undertake paid employment and training in property management and asset development.

With 25 cadetships offered each year from 2021 until 2024, all participants who successfully obtain a place will enter a 12- month paid employment contract with a Community Housing Provider and enrol to study the CHC42215 Certificate IV in Social Housing.

This nationally accredited qualification will provide foundation skills and knowledge in:

• understanding the community housing workplace
• working with tenants and understanding their needs
• assessing and managing property maintenance and asset development.
Over the coming months CHIA NSW will work directly with community housing providers to source partners for the cadetships.
You can find out more about the cadetships program by visiting the CHIA NSW website.

CHIA NSW's Community Housing conference 2021 launches registrationsRegistrations for CHIA NSW’s Community Housing 2021 are now open.

Running from August 11th-12th 2021, CHIA NSW’s Community Housing conference is an event solely dedicated to bringing together NSW community housing professionals with government, academic, and investor stakeholders.

More information on the first-round speakers will be announced in the coming weeks.

You can now register for our conference and get ready to discuss new insights and bold ideas!
CHIA NSW running Aboriginal Cultural Competency sessions for CHPsCHIA NSW is pleased to announce the next step for CHPs committed to developing their Aboriginal Cultural Competency based on the Aboriginal Outcomes Strategy (AOS) 2017 - 2021.Building on the sessions delivered throughout 2020, CHIA NSW will be running training sessions that take a practical approach to using the Aboriginal Cultural Competency Standards to support better outcomes for Aboriginal tenants living in community housing.These training sessions will unpack the final Standard in the cycle of training events based on the Aboriginal Cultural Competency Framework Standard 1 to 6.  The sessions will demonstrate how this can help CHPs deliver on their AOS commitments, in particular how this will fit into the organisation’s strategic planning (including their Reconciliation Action Plan) to make sure that the other Aboriginal Cultural Competency actions are built into CHPs’ strategic and business plans.We are offering three half day sessions via MS Teams on this topic, on:•             APRIL 16th•             MAY 17th•             JUN 16thPlease click here to book a place for any of the sessions or to see further information about the events.  Please note that place numbers are limited so that we can have a good learning environment.If you have any questions about the sessions please contact CHIA NSW’s Aboriginal Specialist, Paul Teerman at [email protected]
Affordable housing website WelcomeMat joins CommBank's Benefits finderCommBank’s Benefits finder aims to support the financial wellbeing of its customers by helping them find benefits, rebates and concessions they may be eligible to claim.WelcomeMat helps more people access affordable housing and is now one of the hundreds of benefits available on Benefits finder.  General eligibility criteria is available through the CommBank app or NetBank and customers can then apply through WelcomeMat. More information on WelcomeMat can be found here and information on CommBank’s Benefits finder can be found here.
AHURI report details impact of underinvestment in affordable housingResearchers from the University of Sydney, Swinburne University and RMIT recently launched a new AHURI report detailing the impacts of underinvestment in affordable housing.The national shortage of affordable, private rentals for lower income households now stands at 173,000 dwellings. The most severe shortages were in Sydney with 71 per cent of lower income households paying unaffordable rent.The full report is available at AHURI’s website.
An update from NHFIC CEO Nathan Dal BonOn 17 March, we were pleased to announce a funding agreement with HousingFirst that will allow the Victorian community housing provider to access more than $18 million in NHFIC loans and grants through our National Housing Infrastructure Facility (NHIF). HousingFirst will use these funds for services such as water, gas, power, communications services and a pedestrian crossing. This funding agreement is our first NHIF umbrella agreement with a community housing provider (an umbrella agreement funds multiple sites over time).  You can read more about the NHIF on our website.Over the past weeks, NHFIC has participated in a number of events and webinars. I presented to CHIA Vic’s Board in mid-March to talk about NHFIC’s current priorities and operational improvements, and participated in the Property Council of Australia's Residential Outlook 2021 as a keynote speaker and as part of a panel Q&A. A copy of my presentation is available on our website. Additionally, our Head of Research, Hugh Hartigan, recently presented to members of the UDIA SA branch as part of their Knowledge Series.For those of you working through the CHP financial model, you may be interested to know we recently released a user guide to accompany the financial model. The user guide supports CHPs in completing the CHP financial model requirements and training sessions are expected to occur soon. Please email us at [email protected] if you’d like further information.As always, feel free to connect with us on social media (Twitter and LinkedIn) to stay up to date with the latest news from NHFIC.

Housing Matters - February 2021

Welcome to February 2021 edition of Housing Matters

February started with an important speech from Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Philip Lowe as he shared that a permanent increase to the JobSeeker supplement is ‘not a macroeconomic management issue, it is a fairness issue.’

Later in the month, the Federal Government announced that the JobSeeker base rate would increase by $50 per fortnight from 1 April. The announcement was strongly criticised by business groups, the not-for-profit sector, and economists, on the basis that this would further exacerbate the level of disadvantage already experienced by the most vulnerable.

Given that more and more Australians have been left behind through COVID-19 (an estimated 88,000 households will be in financial stress by June 2021) access to safe, secure and affordable housing is likewise a ‘fairness issue’.

We need to restore a sense of fairness to our economy.

That is why our NSW Pre-Budget submission ‘Funding Fairness’ puts real proposals on the table for the NSW Government to consider, including a dedicated pipeline of 5,000 new homes every year for the next decade that will allow community housing providers to deliver more homes for NSW families. 

To see the real impact of new social and affordable housing you only have to look at some of the work our members are doing.

In this issue, you can see new developments, new partnerships and new innovations that speak to the positive impacts our members are having in the lives of 50,000 families across NSW.

This is the work that the NSW Government should support in the 2021 NSW Budget, so that together we can create a fairer economy and society for families across NSW.

We hope you enjoy this edition.Mark Degotardi
CHIA NSW welcomes new Board Directors and ChairCHIA NSW recently announced a renewed Board, following Board elections at the 2020 CHIA NSW Annual General Meeting. The new Board had their first meeting for 2021 in February.

Michele Adair (CEO, Housing Trust - pictured) has been elected to the role of Chair of the CHIA NSW Board.

Michele brings extensive business experience to the role, including her experiences in managing Housing Trust to support 2,100 families based in the Illawarra region. Michele brings many years’ experience in driving optimal outcomes in partnership with government and sector stakeholders.

We are also delighted to welcome Charles Northcote and Maree Mackenzie, Charles Northcote and Rebecca Pinkstone to the Board.

Maree McKenzie has been the CEO at Homes North Community Housing since 2007 and has overseen the transformation of the organisation from a small provider managing 150 properties to one now managing over 2,700 properties. Most recently Maree has overseen Homes North’s success contributing to the largest project to date in Australia transferring public housing to the Community Housing sector.
Charles Northcote Charles brings over 35 years’ of international leadership across the construction, resources and business sectors. As CEO of BlueCHP, Charles has helped BlueCHP become the leading developer of Specialist Disability Accommodation under the NDIS, participate in the successful initial NHFIC $315m bond raising in the Australian capital markets, and raised new funding through government and private investors. Charles is the current Chairman of PowerHousing Disability Housing Community of Practice.
Rebecca Pinkstone Rebecca is Chief Operating Officer with Bridge Housing. Rebecca has spent the last 15 years working in the social housing sector.  Before joining Bridge Housing, Rebecca worked for the NSW Government in a variety of senior roles to deliver major social housing reform initiatives to improve services and grow both the Aboriginal and mainstream community housing sectors.
CHIA NSW congratulates all new Board members on their elections.
CHIA NSW members continue to push for better tenant servicesFollowing the recent launch of CHIA NSW’s latest benchmarking survey, CHIA NSW hosted an inaugural tenant survey information and exchange session. Presentations from Metro Housing, Evolve Housing and Link Housing provided practical examples of how community housing providers can best utilize tenant complaints data and improve on tenant care. This discussion was informed by CHIA NSW’s benchmarking work which gathers data from around the sector on KPIs for tenant and operational performance. ‘Despite tenants reporting an 84% satisfaction rate with their housing across the sector, community housing providers reiterated their desire to for heightened standards of responsiveness to tenant needs’, says CHIA NSW Manager, Business Development, Adam West. ‘The drive to constantly improve services to tenants sets community housing apart from other housing models. It remains one of the main reasons why facilitating information exchange sessions has been strongly taken up by our members.’ Any CHIA NSW members interested in receiving a copy of the presentations from the session can contact CHIA NSW’s Service Delivery Coordinator, Maryann Wei at [email protected].  
Dates announced for CHIA NSW's Community Housing Conference 2021CHIA NSW is excited to confirm that our rescheduled conference, Community Housing 2021, will be held on Wednesday 11 August and Thursday 12 August at the Sydney Masonic Centre.

Registrations will open later this month. Further information about the conference program will be released over the coming months.
Please refer to our conference website for the latest news and updates. This can be accessed at: https://communityhousing2021.com.au/
Queries about the conference can be directed to Kalia Bell, Events Coordinator ([email protected]).
Hume Community Housing, local churches help support Armenian community in TelopeaHume Community Housing has been partnering with churches and the Armenian community in Telopea, many of whom of refugees, to support new residents.As part of the Communities Plus program, in partnership with Frasers Property and the NSW Government, Hume will deliver 4,500 new homes to help the local community in Telopea thrive.You can read more about some of the inspiring tenant stories from Hume’s community work at their website.
NSW Civil & Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) Training course enrolments filling quicklyCHIA NSW Learning & Development will soon be running its first 2021 sessions of the popular NCAT Training course.

Community housing organisations have a responsibility to ensure that tenancy issues are managed well and that attempts to resolve issues are made in a timely manner. Designed for housing professionals the course will equip participants with the knowledge and understanding of the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) and its processes.

Members are encouraged to enrol as soon as possible, as spots are filling quickly. Enrolments are available for either non-accredited (2 sessions) or accredited (4 courses, plus Statement of Attainment on completion) versions of the course.

The NCAT course will be hosted on the following dates in March:

March Class
Session 2                  9th March 2021                    all participants
Session 3                 16th March 2021                   accredited participants
Session 4                  23rd March 2021                  accredited participants
 For non-accredited NCAT enrolments click here: https://enrol.vetenrol.com.au/?clientID=VT-NFH&occuID=8064

For accredited NCAT enrolments click here: https://enrol.vetenrol.com.au/?clientID=VT-NFH&occuID=8066
New group pricing announced for CHIA NSW's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Safety courseThis 1-day course is an exploration into understanding shared history, colonisation and government policies which impact Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and the workplace of today. It will explore how we model cultural safety in our own work practice and develop strategies to enhance cultural safety.Organisational groups (of up to 15 people) can attend the course for $2,000 (GST inclusive), individuals can still attend the course for $200 per person (GST inclusive).

Course dates and links to enrol in the course are available below:

Enrol for March 16th 2021, 9:30am-3:30pm: https://enrol.vetenrol.com.au/?clientID=VT-NFH&occuID=8652

Enrol for May 18th 2021, 9:30am-3:30pm: https://enrol.vetenrol.com.au/?clientID=VT-NFH&occuID=8655
An update from NHFIC CEO Nathan Dal BonOn 17 February, we hosted a webinar on the State of the Nation’s Housing: 2021 and Beyond. Stockland Managing Director and CEO, Mark Steinert and the Centre for Population’s Assistant Secretary, Merrick Peisley joined me in a panel Q&A, along with NHFIC Head of Research, Hugh Hartigan.

We reflected on the recent State of the Nation’s Housing 2020 report and Australia’s first Population Statement, and looked at the implications of these reports alongside the most recent property market data. If you missed the webinar, catch up with the recording on our websiteWe note state and territory government announcements over recent months around increasing the number of social and affordable dwellings. We look forward to working with CHPs to provide support and leverage assistance provided by the states and grow the community housing sector.Please connect with us on social media (Twitter and LinkedIn) to stay up to date with the latest news from NHFIC.
CHIA NSW working to restore CHP Facebook pages impacted by banAs part of Facebook’s recent move to ban Australians from re-sharing news stories some community housing providers had their organisational Facebook pages banned from public sharing and content viewing.
CHIA NSW is working to assist any CHP members who have experienced their Facebook page being banned, and have yet to have resolved full public access and posting for their page.

If you are a CHIA NSW member experiencing these issues, please contact our Communications Advisor, Seb Wrangles ([email protected]) who is noting member names to be white-listed by Facebook and aiming to restore CHP Facebook pages in association with other NGO digital providers.

Housing Matters January 2021

Welcome to our January 2021 edition of Housing Matters.

On behalf of CHIA NSW, we welcome our members and supporters to a new year of action in 2021.

The Christmas and New Year break captured the realities of the continuing uncertainties we are living through.

While many families across Sydney were able to gather for Christmas, those impacted by the most recent outbreak of COVID-19 had to cancel trips across and beyond the State to see family.

Happily, New South Wales is emerging from the most recent outbreak and will continue to navigate through uncertain times for government, businesses, and social services providers.

Effective Federal and State Government policy will therefore be critical throughout 2021 to provide stability for our economy and society.

At a national level, continuing support through the JobKeeper program will be essential, as will re-consideration of significant investment in social housing as critical infrastructure and a boost to job growth.

At a State level, we need significant and urgent funding for social and affordable housing. With 50,000 people on the social housing waiting list, the commitment in November’s State Budget for 780 new homes will simply not be enough to scratch the surface of the current need.

As this issue of Housing Matters demonstrates, the good news is that community housing providers are creating new developments for those who need housing most.

We build high-quality housing quickly and efficiently. We leverage public and private investment to build and regenerate housing stock and provide services to tenants for pathways to work and improved wellbeing.

Our sector’s role in providing hope and security to thousands of NSW families has never been more important.

In 2021 CHIA NSW will continue to advocate and build productive partnerships with government, industry and investors to bring that hope to more families in these uncertain times.

We hope you enjoy this edition.
 Mark Degotardi
SGCH, Uniting, SVA, NSW Government partners on Foyer Central Social Impact BondCHIA NSW congratulates our members SGCH and Uniting on the Foyer Central Social Impact Bond.

The bond is currently in the capital raise phase and is being run by SVA. Funding from this social impact bond will directly support Foyer Central, an integrated learning and accommodation center that supports young people who have been in out-of-home care on their path to independence.

St George Community Housing (SGCH) and Uniting will be providing services in Foyer Central to the residents. The program aims to empower those exiting out-of-home care towards independence through access to employment, education and training services and opportunities.

CHIA NSW congratulates our members, the NSW Government and Social Ventures Australia on this bold and innovative approach to empowering those in need.

More information can be viewed at SVA’s website here.

Interested investors can access more information about the capital raising here.
NSW pre-Budget submissions due to close February 12thNSW Treasury is currently finalizing pre-Budget for the State Budget due to be handed down in a date to be confirmed in June 2021.

CHIA NSW members wishing to make a submission should be aware that submissions will close on 12th February, 2021.

NSW Treasury’s website contains more information to assist with submissions
CHIA NSW Learning & Development 'Mental Health Awareness', 'NCAT' courses now enrolling
CHIA NSW’s Learning & Development team will be running courses throughout the February and March period.

Mental Health Awareness will allow frontline CHP staff and management to upskill their capacities to support tenants struggling with mental health.

Developed in partnership with the Mental Health Coordinating Council, it is supported by funding through the NSW Ministry of Health – meaning it is free for participants.

The first sessions are already booked so interested participants are encouraged to apply as soon as possible to secure their spot.

CHIA NSW’s Learning & Development team is also running the popular NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) course throughout February & March.

Tailored for CHP staff navigating NCAT, the course develops knowledge and best practice by guiding participants through practical real-world case studies and scenarios.

More information on both courses can be found at our website.
 If you have any further queries, please contact CHIA NSW’s Learning & Development team directly at [email protected]
CityWest Housing team wins award for Blackwattle apartmentsCWH’s Blackwattle apartments in Glebe were recently shortlisted in two Awards for Excellence categories as part of the 2020 UDIA NSW Crown Group Awards. The two categories were Excellence in Medium Density Development and Excellence in Affordable Development.
The award winners were announced on 11 December and CWH was announced as the winner of the Excellence in Medium Density Development (above 75 dwellings) award.
CHIA NSW congratulates the CityWest team on this fantastic achievement.
We are sure CityWest’s Blackwattle apartments will continue to be a leading benchmark for best practice community housing that brings together great design with leading tenant services. 
Pacific Link Housing finishes 2020 with multiple awards despite COVID-19 challengesThe Central Coast’s only locally based Tier 1 Community Housing Provider (CHP), Pacific Link Housing, has finished 2020 with some significant award wins and achievements.

The Company received multiple outstanding award wins including a prestigious national award with PowerHousing Australia, recognising their outstanding efforts in providing affordable housing and support for those in need in difficult COVID-19 impacted times.

In addition to this, Pacific Link Housing won the Housing Industry Association (HIA) Hunter Housing Award for Affordable Housing Project of the Year in partnership with Kingston Building Australia for a mixed tenancy development at Glendale, and most recently, won the prestigious Urban Design Institute of Australia (UDIA) NSW Affordable Housing Development of the Year Award in partnership with Evolve Housing for a development at Roselands. Pacific Link Housing Chairman Wal Edgell said that the award wins have come at an extremely exciting and pivotal time in the organisation’s 35 year history and despite the difficult operating challenges faced during the past year, Pacific Link Housing has celebrated many recent successes

“Within the last 12 months Pacific Link Housing has built 51 affordable homes for those people in our community in greatest need, secured significant low cost finance to deliver additional housing stock, moved to new premises and successfully implemented a new housing first program to assist people experiencing homelessness during COVID-19”, Mr Edgell said.

“The development awards reflect the quality of design and construction in the new homes delivered which is a reflection of the experienced and capable team at Pacific Link Housing, from Board level, all the way through the organisation, and are just rewards for the dedication and commitment of the entire team”, Mr Edgell said. “On top of this, we are delighted to have recently commenced construction on our latest development on the Peninsula which will provide 12 one and two bedroom units to mainly assist women aged over 55 who are struggling to afford housing in the current difficult rental market.”

The PowerHousing Award recognised the significant efforts of Pacific Link Housing and their support partner, Uniting Central Coast, in successfully housing 30 tenants in a newly completed development during the height of COVID-19 lockdowns. Many of the tenants were in crisis accommodation and required additional support to settle into their new home. Ian Lynch, CEO of Pacific Link Housing said successful partnerships with wider community groups provided opportunities for tenants to secure homes and help build pathways out of homelessness.

“A home is just the first step. It is collaborative partnerships and community assistance that ensures those people most in need are provided with the necessary care and support to rebuild their lives,” Ian Lynch said. wider community,” Mr Lynch said.

CHIA NSW congratulates Pacific Link on this fantastic recognition and looks forward to seeing what the team delivers in 2021.