Housing Matters - April 2022

Welcome to the April 2022 edition of Housing Matters.

With the Federal election just weeks away, housing affordability has maintained its presence in mainstream media as a significant cost of living issue. In recent days, Anglicare Australia’s latest Rental Affordability Snapshot has further illustrated the crisis we’re in. For Australians earning minimum wage or receiving income support payments, the chance of affording a rental anywhere in the country is slim to none. More on Anglicare’s report in this edition.

Earlier this week, the Australian Labor Party formally launched its Federal campaign with new announcements on tackling housing affordability and homelessness, which was welcomed by our colleagues at CHIA (National) and National Shelter.  

The Help to Buy shared ownership scheme follows earlier announcements about the Housing Australia Future Fund to deliver new social and affordable supply, and a commitment to deliver a National Housing and Homelessness Plan. Additionally, the announcement about a proposed National Supply and Affordability Council and an expanded remit for the National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation was also welcomed by our Federal peers.

Closer to home, we’re now fast approaching the NSW State Budget being handed down on 21 June. CHIA NSW will be continuing its advocacy on critical issues, including the importance of further investment in the Community Housing Innovation Fund, a focus on regional housing, repairs and maintenance of social housing and more.

Later in this edition, we’ve got some great news about the achievements of our Cadets.

Please enjoy this edition of Housing Matters.

Mark Degotardi

CHIA NSW Chair appears on 7.30 Report to discuss rental crisis

CHIA NSW Chair and CEO of Housing Trust, Michele Adair has appeared on ABC’s 7.30 Report to discuss the rental crisis currently gripping Australia.

The story looked at how the issues of rental affordability and availability of social housing are lacking attention by politicians on either side of the election, despite the shortfalls only growing.

Michele reflected on findings coming out of the recent Anglicare Rental Affordability Report and discussed what’s needed to address the problems we face.

“The focus has been on first-home buyers and home ownership, and that's been at the cost of the rental market.

“Being priced out of the rental market and not being able to own is the reality facing hundreds of thousands if not millions of Australians today.

“The housing market's out of control. One of the fundamental problems in Australia is that we've only ever considered housing as being a vehicle for personal wealth creation. We've never understood the criticality of it as a human right.

“In Sydney, a single person can earn as much as $86,000 a year and still be eligible for subsidised housing under the New South Wales Government's own rules.

“We've already got a national shortfall of hundreds of thousands of affordable rental homes. Conservatively, 200,000 homes right now.

“Unless we build homes with a specific and a safe guarantee that they are going to be made available only for affordable rental, then we're not doing anything at all,” said Michele.

To view the story, visit https://www.abc.net.au/7.30/rental-crisis-worsens-as-vacancies-fall-to-record/13863902.

Latest national Rental Affordability Report released

Anglicare Australia have just released their Rental Affordability Snapshot, a yearly report designed to highlight the lived experience of looking for housing while on a low income.

The 2021 Rental Affordability Snapshot surveyed over 74,000 rental listings across Australia and found that affordability is at record lows for those on minimum wage and benefit recipients.

Some key takeaways from the report include:

  • When the snapshot was taken on 19 March 2022, there was 45,992 available rentals nationally, down 38% from March 2021, when there were 74,266 listings.
  • A single person on minimum wage could only afford 720, or 1.6%, of available listings, while a couple on the age pension could only afford 663, or 1.4%,  of what was on the market.
  • There were no affordable options for people on youth allowance, and only seven properties that were affordable for single people on jobseeker.
  • 51 properties – 0.1% – were affordable for people on the disability support pension.

You can download their report here: https://www.anglicare.asn.au/research-advocacy/rental-affordability/.

Big Housing Debate unpacks Western Sydney social housing crisis

Link Wentworth’s recent Big Housing Debate held at Penrith brought together a host of speakers from across the political, business and community spectrum to unpack the current social housing needs of NSW, with a close lens on Western Sydney.

Hosted by the ABC’s Juanita Phillips, the discussion heard from State Shadow Minister for Water, Housing and Homelessness Rose Jackson, The Hon Shayne Mallard MLC, CEO of Tenants’ Union NSW Leo Patterson Ross, Link Wentworth CEO Andrew McAnulty, and several speakers across private business.

The various panels unpacked the demand for social housing in Western Sydney which makes up 16% of all demand in NSW with a significant shortfall of supply expected over the coming 15 years. The call was made by several panellists for a national housing strategy.

However, the most powerful input of the day came from Mary, a social housing resident who shared her personal story of finding affordable housing as a single mother with two children.

To read more about the event, visit: https://www.linkwentworth.org.au/big-housing-debate-social-affordable-housing-shortfall/.

Panellists at The Big Housing Debate

Newest Cadets begin, 2021 Cadets up for awards

The 2022 Cadetship Program has officially begun with cadets kicking off their studies and employment, while some from the 2021 program have been nominated for NSW Training Awards.
The 2022 cohort have begun their studies with CHIA NSW’s Centre for Training in Social Housing as well as their employment with various CHPs. The majority of the 22 people which make up the recently started 2022 cohort are female and from regional/rural NSW. 45% of the group identify as Aboriginal/Torres Strait Islander.
Meanwhile, five cadets from the 2021 program have been nominated for NSW Training Awards, all progressing to the next stage where they will be interviewed. CHIA NSW congratulates them on an incredible achievement and wish them well for the next stage.

2021 Cadets

CHIA National release new reporting standard to demonstrate community housing industry’s ESG credentials

The Community Housing Industry Association and a consortium of private and public sector partners have commenced the development of an industry specific environmental, social and governance (ESG) reporting standard.
Apart from the UK, Australia will be the first country to develop a community housing ESG. The reporting standard will demonstrate the added value community housing generates in driving improved economic and social outcomes and in doing so will help encourage and attract more diverse private sector lending, including from ESG investors.
For more information, visit https://www.communityhousing.com.au/chia-media-release-new-reporting-standard-to-demonstrate-community-housing-industrys-esg-credentials/.

Upcoming Professional Development Courses

NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (Accredited)

21 June 2022 |APPLY

Trauma Informed Practice

1 June 2022 |APPLY

Housing Pathways

7 June 2022 |APPLY

If you’re interested in a course not listed here or you’d like to make a separate group booking, please contact [email protected].

Keep updated with our sector. Follow CHIA NSW online:

Housing Matters - March 2022

Welcome to the March 2022 edition of Housing Matters.

With the Federal election confirmed for Saturday 21 May, housing affordability has emerged as a significant cost of living issue for hundreds of thousands of lower-income rental households.

The recently released Federal Budget included some wins for the community housing sector – most notably, a $2 billion increase in the National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation’s liability cap, and $100 million funding injection for the Safe Places program. More on our responses in this issue to the Budget and the recent final report on the ‘Inquiry into housing affordability and supply in Australia’.

Consistent with our Federal and State counterparts, CHIA NSW continues to strongly support increased Commonwealth investment in social and affordable housing supply, as well as a long-term National Housing Strategy.

In this edition, we’ve got updates from our Business Development Team on the Digital Transformation Project and we also hear about the upcoming offerings from our Learning and Development team.

Also, news from one of our associate members, WelcomeMat and their updated online platform for affordable housing, as well as details on Link Wentworth Housing’s ‘Big Housing Debate’ event, which is set to include an impressive list of speakers at a pivotal time for such a discussion.

Please enjoy this edition of Housing Matters.

Mark Degotardi

CHIA NSW’s response to the Federal Budget: $2 billion for non-profit housing a step towards the homes Australians desperately need, but still falls short

CHIA NSW has responded to the recently announced Federal Budget, saying that while there are wins for housing accessibility and affordability across Australia, it falls well short of the where we need to be directing our focus.

A $2 billion boost to the NHFIC (The National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation) liability cap and a $100 million funding injection for the Safe Places Program in #Budget22 are steps in the right direction but they alone cannot solve our housing crisis.

By the Federal Government's own projections, this additional NHFIC investment will support around 10,000 more affordable homes – which falls short of the 891,000 social and affordable homes that Australians need over the next 20 years. The $100 million funding boost for the Safe Places Program is absolutely welcomed, however, while crisis accommodation is crucial, it's only temporary. Women and children need long term, affordable housing options providing them with every opportunity to rebuild their financial security.

Read our media release on our website.

Federal Government’s recent final report on the ‘Inquiry into housing affordability and supply in Australia’ fails to address all Australians' needs

CHIA NSW has responded to the final report on the ‘Inquiry into housing affordability and supply in Australia’, calling on the Federal Government to broaden its focus from home ownership to providing tangible support for the growing number of struggling renters and homeless.

The report from the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Tax and Revenue released Friday 18 March 2022 confirms the Federal Government’s appetite to prioritise supporting Australians into home ownership and explore the potential of emerging models like discount-to-market rent-to-own affordable housing.

Read our media release on our website.

Watch NHFIC’s State of the Nation’s Housing webinar

In March, the National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation (NHFIC) hosted the State of the Nation's Housing 2021-22 webinar.

NHFIC CEO Nathan Dal Bon was joined by Mirvac CEO Susan Lloyd-Hurwitz, Boral CEO Zlatko Todorcevski, and NHFIC’s Senior Advisor Hugh Hartigan, as they explored key themes from the report and the future of housing in Australia.

A lively and engaging panel discussion covered topics ranging from the issue of supply and demand and housing affordability, to land supply and construction trends, and the impacts of COVID-19.

If you missed the live webinar, you can watch it on NHFIC’s website here: Media | Watch the State of the Nation's Housing 2021-22 webinar (nhfic.gov.au).

Screenshot from State of the Nation's Housing webinar

Release of new research report, ‘Cost of inaction’

New research commissioned by CHIA National from Swinburne University of Technology has estimated that the national shortage of social and affordable housing is costing the national economy almost $677 million per annum.

By 2036, it is estimated that this cost will increase to approximately $1.290 billion per annum in the absence of sufficient investment.

According to the research, increased investment in social and affordable housing creates the following benefits:

  • Public sector cost savings (health cost associated with homelessness and stress/depression)
  • Reduced health and justice system costs associated with domestic violence,
  • Reduced private sector costs (such as absenteeism associated with stress/depression),
  • Higher educational attainment feeding into increased productivity
  • Increased disposable income to spend on other goods and services, or save for a house deposit.

The report can be accessed here.

Digital Transformation project now underway

The Digital Transformation project, a joint effort between CHIA NSW and CHIA Vic is now underway, with the project inception meeting attended by a collection of NSW and Victorian CHP reference group participants. 

For more information about the origins and expectations of the project, read our media release here.

Members will shortly be invited to take part in the initial stages of the project, with the distribution of a digital transformation readiness survey. The survey will provide a baseline and enable individual CHPs to assess their readiness for digital transformation objectively and in depth.

The survey will also allow the tailoring of other project deliverables.  The project consultants will also be seeking a range of CHPs to participate in the persona and journey mapping stages on behalf of the sector.  The international and cross sector research stage is also underway, with the consultants identifying a range of relevant case studies and models from the Netherlands, US, and UK housing sectors. 

For more information on the project, email Business Development Manager, Adam West at [email protected].

Upcoming Professional Development Courses

NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (Accredited)

19 April 2022 | APPLY
21 June 2022 | APPLY

NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (Non-accredited)

19 April 2022 | APPLY

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Safety

3 May 2022 |APPLY

Mental Health Awareness

10 May 2022 |APPLY

Trauma Informed Practice

1 June 2022 | APPLY

Housing Pathways

7 June 2022 | APPLY

If you’re interested in a course not listed here or you’d like to make a separate group booking, please contact [email protected].

WelcomeMat 2.0 is now live

Congratulations to our associate member, WelcomeMat, for the launch of ‘Version 2’ of its online platform for affordable housing. Hear from the WelcomeMat team below. 

Following a grant from the City of Sydney, the enhanced platform now includes a full application form (with document upload functionality), on top of the existing prequalification tools.  Housing applicants can now conveniently use (and re-use) their completed online profile to apply to various affordable housing providers for their vacancies directly through WelcomeMat. This streamlining should benefit both applicants and providers and result in significant time savings. Various enhancements have also been made to better help DFV survivors secure an affordable home. 

City of Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore spoke on the importance of the platform for key workers in Sydney.

“It’s vital our key workers, nurses, police officers, childcare workers are not pushed further away from their places of work in our city.  While local government isn’t responsible for housing, we’ve taken every opportunity to promote the building of mostly affordable housing, but also social and supported accommodation.

“Supporting programs such as WelcomeMat will help us ensure we meet this growing demand,” Ms Moore ended.

Rebecca Pinkstone, CEO of Bridge Housing shared her support for the platform’s service for enhancing access to affordable housing.

“It is crucial that tenants are able to find and access affordable housing in their local area. WelcomeMat’s new industry-standard form – supported by the City of Sydney – is a significant step towards helping speed up the process for renters in Sydney.”

Scott Langford, CEO of St George Community Housing mentioned how important for WelcomeMat’s platform to offer simplicity and ease of access for tenants.

“There is a great need for affordable housing and St George Community Housing supports a simple, streamlined process for tenants to check eligibility against a range of products. An industry-standard form will make the process easier for all involved and provide a range of people access to high quality and affordable housing solutions.”

As part of the City of Sydney grant, WelcomeMat will also share certain affordable housing demand and supply data for the LGA with the City of Sydney, CHIA NSW and other peak bodies and CHPs later in 2022 and 2023. 

CHIA NSW commends the City of Sydney for its continued support of our sector and looks forward to collaborating with WelcomeMat when the data is available.

To find out more, or to list your property, please visit www.welcomemat.com.au or send an email to [email protected].

Keep updated with our sector. Follow CHIA NSW online:

Housing Matters - February 2022

Welcome to another edition of Housing Matters covering February 2022.

As I write, communities across NSW and QLD are being devastated by unprecedented flooding. The CHIA NSW team sends our best wishes to those communities impacted by the floods, including our members and partners across the industry.
These communities need support and they need it now and over the longer term.  The Government must respond quickly and at scale.  Temporary accommodation and services are desperately needed, and the process of rebuilding must also begin as soon as possible.
CHIA NSW and the community housing sector are ready to support the NSW Government and other industry members to deliver a housing recovery package to those who need access to safe and secure housing, now more than ever in those flood-affected regions.  More on the housing recovery package we’ve called for with other peak bodies appears later in this edition.
In other news, the NSW Government announced a $30 million Regional Housing Fund grant program in February. While the motive behind this investment is welcomed, we’ve called for an expansion of the Fund to deliver desperately needed social housing to our regions. More on that in this edition.
We’re proud to share that once again, all positions in our Cadetship Program will be filled for a second consecutive year.
The program has provided young people and those living in social housing the opportunity to study and find employment with community housing providers, not only developing their skills but strengthening our workforce.
After seeing some incredible people come through the program in 2021, we can’t wait to see these new cadets from across regional and metropolitan NSW seize the opportunity head on.
As well in this edition, we’ve launched our Antisocial Behaviour Toolkit, announced projects in the works with our Business Development team, shared some professional development courses being offered this year, and heard from our partners at the National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation.

We hope you enjoy this edition of Housing Matters.

Mark Degotardi

Joint Media Release: Housing For Those On Low-Incomes Must Be Top Priority In Flood Recovery

A coalition of peak bodies is urging the NSW Government to invest in an immediate housing recovery package to support communities affected by the NSW flood emergency.

NSW Council of Social Service (NCOSS), Community Housing Industry Association NSW (CHIA NSW), Aboriginal Community Housing Industry Association NSW (ACHIA NSW) and Homelessness NSW are calling for:

  • immediate temporary housing options for people on low incomes;
  • the rebuilding of existing social housing affected by the floods;
  • a major construction program to build social and affordable housing and address the critical shortage of housing in the flood impacted areas;
  • and recovery grants to be made immediately available to local community housing providers, Aboriginal community-controlled organisations and homelessness services to assist people made homeless as a result of the floods.

The peaks have released a joint statement detailing the immediate steps needed to address the housing and homelessness crisis which will be significantly exacerbated by widespread flooding events.

The organisations said the scale of the disaster in northern NSW deserved an urgent and proportionate response.

“We are seeing devastation throughout northern NSW, and we need an immediate response to support those now without a roof over their head,” NCOSS CEO Joanna Quilty said.

“We welcome the Premier’s acknowledgment that housing will be a priority in the recovery effort. We look forward to working with him to urgently support communities in need, including those who were already experiencing disadvantage and who can be hardest hit when disaster strikes.”

The North Coast of NSW was already at the forefront of the housing crisis – with 250 people on the priority housing waiting list at June 2021 and a private rental market vacancy rate of 0.5%.

The 2021 Tweed, Byron Bay and Lismore homelessness street counts identified over 300 people sleeping rough. 

“Before the floods of recent days, North Coast families were already being forced to live in tents, cars, and other makeshift arrangements because they couldn’t afford a home,” Homelessness NSW CEO, Katherine McKernan said.

“The devastating floods in regional areas like the NSW North Coast have turned a difficult housing market into an impossible one.  A massive and speedy response is required to help these communities,” CHIA NSW CEO, Mark Degotardi said.

“Community housing providers are ready to support the NSW Government and industry partners in getting communities struck by flooding on the road to recovery, starting with making sure people have a safe and secure roof over their head,” Mr. Degotardi said.

NSW had a housing and homelessness crisis before the floods with 50,000 applicants on the social housing waiting list and a private rental market that is unaffordable, particularly in regional NSW.

More than 30% of all clients of homelessness services are Aboriginal. Homelessness services are supporting 25% more clients than funded for and are turning away more clients than they can accommodate due to high demand that has been exacerbated by COVID-19.

“For many Aboriginal communities, the problems of overcrowding in substandard housing and the detrimental impacts of this on health and well-being have been longstanding. The situation will now be so much worse – this catastrophe will widen the gap in life outcomes even further,” ACHIA NSW CEO, Lisa Sampson said.

Media contact: Josh Appleton (CHIA NSW): [email protected] 

Pre-Budget submission spotlight: Regional Housing Fund

In our last edition, we discussed our Pre-Budget Submission’s priorities, one of them calling for the establishment of a $500 million Regional Housing Fund to alleviate housing stress in regional areas.
Since then, the NSW Government has announced a $30 million Regional Housing Fund grant program which will provide funding for regional councils to support the delivery of new housing supply.
The Regional Housing Taskforce Recommendations report (released late last year) recommended that the NSW Government commit to the establishment of an ongoing program to deliver new and renewed social and affordable housing in regional NSW. Unfortunately, this recent announcement by the NSW Government falls short of addressing that recommendation.
While the intent behind this $30 million investment is welcomed, the availability and affordability of housing in regional NSW are hitting unprecedented highs, which is why we’ve called for an expanded $500 million Regional Housing Fund to deliver new and renewed social housing properties, affordable housing properties, and key worker homes over two years in the regions.
Read more in our 2022-23 Pre-Budget Submission.

Design and Place State Environmental Planning Policy

CHIA NSW has finalised its submission to the NSW Government on the draft Design and Place State Environmental Planning Policy (DP SEPP). 

The DP SEPP is a major new policy framework which will establish new design requirements for new development across NSW and apply to a range of new development types including apartments, townhouses, boarding houses and seniors housing. The new requirements are expected to commence in late 2022.

Key aspects of the proposals include:

  • New design principles and considerations that development proposals will be assessed against
  • Increased Building Sustainability Index energy efficiency targets for residential development
  • Updated design requirements for new apartments in the form of a revised Apartment Design Guide
  • New urban design requirements for sites over 1ha in the form of a new Urban Design Guide
  • New design review procedures for development applications. 

While the standardisation of good design practice is welcomed, CHIA NSW’s submission raises concern with several aspects of the proposals which, if implemented rigidly, would impose additional barriers on community housing development. The submission recommends a series of changes to the DP SEPP and supporting documents to better balance good design with other important outcomes, including the delivery of more social and affordable housing. Recommendations include:

  • Requiring the consideration of affordable housing needs as part of achieving good design outcomes.
  • Providing increased flexibility to ensure the feasibility of development by community housing providers is not impacted and to enable schemes to be tailored to the specific needs of residents intended to be housed.
  • Delivering an early and ongoing program of training and capacity building for industry and consent authorities to ensure that the new policy framework is implemented consistently and as intended.

For more information on CHIA NSW’s submission, please contact Senior Policy Officer, Michael Carnuccio at [email protected]

Release of Antisocial Behaviour Toolkit

CHIA NSW has launched its Approaches to Managing Antisocial Behaviour Toolkit.

The Toolkit aims to assist and support the community housing industry to respond fairly and effectively to all forms of antisocial behaviour, in order to:

  • Increase the proportion of complaints resolved without the need to escalate to enforcement action
  • Reduce the number of tenancies terminated on the grounds of antisocial behaviour
  • Increase tenant satisfaction with community housing providers’ handling of antisocial behaviour complaints.

The Toolkit was recently launched at an online event attended by CHIA NSW members, where speakers from CHIA NSW and SC Consulting provided an introductory overview to the toolkit and practitioner resources, as well as information about the latest learning and development opportunities available to industry to support the management of best practice responses to antisocial behaviour.

CHIA NSW would like to acknowledge the funding provided by the NSW Department of Communities and Justice (DCJ) to support the development of this toolkit under the NSW Community Housing Industry Development Strategy, a partnership between CHIA NSW and DCJ.

Commonwealth Rent Assistance Rent Calculator – Maintaining and Developing an Essential Tool for the community housing industry

Over the next 12 months, CHIA NSW will be updating its Commonwealth Rent Assistance (CRA) rent calculator and developing an innovative online rent calculator (ORC).
CHIA NSW has maintained an Excel based Commonwealth Rent Assistance rent calculator on behalf of the community housing industry for over six years.  It is an essential piece of infrastructure for community housing providers and is used by well over 100 organisations. 

The Excel calculator now needs an update to incorporate recent changes to the community housing rent policy rent assessment rules that state that the assessment rate may be between 25-30% of assessable income.

After receiving funding support from the NSW Department of Communities and Justice (subject to meeting technical requirements and demand from the sector), CHIA NSW will be – as requested by CHPs – developing an ORC to:

  • Streamline the calculation process.
  • Provide a more user-friendly interface.
  • Allow for greater checking of calculations.
  • Increase accuracy by using coding rather than Excel formulas.
  • And most importantly, allow bulk rent assessments to save significant staff time.

For more information, please contact Business Development Manager, Adam West at [email protected].

Strengthening Cyber Security Defences in the Community Housing Industry

CHIA NSW is working with the community housing sector to collectively raise its cyber security posture by developing tailored training opportunities and manuals.

Community housing providers manage highly sensitive personal information about their tenants, making the strength of their cyber security defences critical to securing their operations.

The project entered planning after consultation with the CHIA NSW Digital Network (made up of CHIA NSW members working in digital-based roles) found there was a consensus about the need for a collegiate approach to cyber security which could be led by CHIA NSW as the peak body.

The project will:

  • develop a community housing specific guide for CHPs to follow to raise their cyber security maturity levels;
  • deliver practical cyber security education – board and staff; and
  • develop a cyber incident response plan.

For more information, please contact Business Development Manager, Adam West at [email protected].

Upcoming Professional Development Courses

NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (Accredited)

19 April 2022 | APPLY

21 June 2022 | APPLY

NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (Non-accredited)

19 April 2022 | APPLY

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Safety

3 May 2022 | APPLY

Mental Health Awareness

8 March 2022 | APPLY (only 3 places left)

10 May 2022 | APPLY

Trauma Informed Practice

10 March 2022 | APPLY

1 June 2022 | APPLY

Housing Pathways

5 April 2022 | APPLY

7 June 2022 | APPLY

Hoarding and Squalor

29 March 2022 | APPLY

If you’re interested in a course not listed here or you’d like to make a separate group booking, please contact [email protected].

A closer look at Professional Development Course: Hoarding and Squalor

Did you know that around 2.6% of the population suffer from a hoarding disorder?  And for those who are renting, the consequences can be harder if the possibility of eviction and homelessness loom.
Hoarding and squalor is a complex mental health condition with widespread impacts that can affect the person, their family, and neighbours.  In some situations, it can have serious effects on quality of life and pose great health and safety risks.
To learn about the issues behind this condition, strategies for how to effectively manage situations and the relevant legal and regulatory requirements, join us for our next session on Tuesday 29 March. The session costs $200 per person and is delivered online via Zoom over 4 hours from 9am-1pm AEDT.
You can apply to enrol here or to make a separate group booking, please contact [email protected].

National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation (NHFIC) – February 2022 Update

The National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation (NHFIC) recently released its flagship ‘State of the Nation’s Housing 2021–22’ research report.
First introduced in 2020, the State of the Nation’s Housing is NHFIC’s flagship research report. It provides analysis into housing demand and supply across Australia, as well as long-term projections, with a view to identifying potential drivers of, and challenges to, housing affordability.
NHFIC CEO Nathan Dal Bon said: “Our second flagship ‘State of the Nation’s Housing’ research report provides a comprehensive overview of key housing data and projections. It has been a remarkable past 18 months for Australia’s housing markets, with the largest population shock in a century, unprecedented government stimulus, a widespread flight to the regions, and accelerating house price growth and tightening rental markets impacting housing affordability. This research has been informed by extensive consultation with stakeholders including industry and provides on-the-ground insights to understand Australia’s housing supply and affordability trends in the coming decade.”

The latest State of the Nation’s Housing 2021–22 research report includes new chapters on housing markets in Australian states and territories which provides detail on recent supply constraints in the development industry, as well as detail on recent housing prices and vacancy rate trends. There is also has a new chapter on regions and cities highlighting the impacts of the pandemic. The 2021–22 report features 10-year projections (increased from 5-years) to better align to housing development cycles.

State of the Nation’s Housing is complemented by NHFIC’s core ongoing research program, which aims to contribute applied and practically-focused research.

You can view the report’s key findings and find more information about the research here.

Connect with NHFIC on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Keep updated with our sector. Follow CHIA NSW online:

Housing Matters - January 2022

Welcome to the January 2022 edition of Housing Matters.

On behalf of the Community Housing Industry Association NSW, we welcome our members and supporters to a new year of action in 2022. 

We enter the new year in even more challenging times than the last as record increases in COVID-19 cases continue across our state and nation, placing significant pressure on our health system, essential services, and economy. 

The prevalence of COVID-19 in the community poses a threat to all but even more so to those without access to safe, secure, and affordable housing. Effective Federal and State policy reform is urgently needed now more than ever to address unprecedented housing affordability pressures in our cities and regions. 

As the Federal election looms on the horizon, the community housing sector has an important opportunity over the coming weeks to contribute to the Productivity Commission’s Review of the National Housing and Homelessness Agreement, which is set to expire in June 2023. 

In addition to a significant increase in Federal funding for new social and affordable housing supply, a National Housing Strategy that provides a coordinated framework for governments and key delivery partners and sets the direction for future planning and investment decisions is critical. 

Closer to home, the NSW Premier has announced significant changes to the Cabinet, with two new Ministers taking the reins of critical portfolios in the lead-up to the 2023 State election. We welcomed Minister for Homes and Minister for Planning, Anthony Roberts and Minister for Families and Communities, Natasha MacLaren-Jones. 

The Premier has recently stated that authorities should “put everything on the table” to address housing affordability. We anticipate that housing affordability will be a key state election issue and that 2022 will bring more announcements on housing, planning, and taxation reform – including the state government’s response to the Regional Housing Taskforce recommendations. 

In our recently finalised Pre-Budget Submission, CHIA NSW calls on the NSW Government to invest in social and affordable housing supply, repairs and maintenance programs, and energy efficiency upgrade programs to generate much-needed economic activity in uncertain times. 

In 2022, CHIA NSW will continue to advocate and build productive partnerships with Ministers, governments, and industry partners to ensure that our members can continue to provide quality homes and services where they are needed most. 

We hope that you enjoy this edition of Housing Matters.

Mark Degotardi

CHIA NSW pre-budget submission

CHIA NSW has finalised its 2022-23 Pre-Budget Submission to the NSW Government with new  priorities and a call to ensure the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic is a recovery for all Australians.

CHIA NSW has called on the Government to commit to three housing priorities:

  1. Social housing as infrastructure
  2. Sustainable Homes, Sustainable Futures
  3. Reducing homelessness in every community.

These priorities call for action from Government by:

  • Investing $400 million to extend the Community Housing Innovation Fund, extending the successful existing program and building more homes through leveraging CHP capacity to invest capital and raise debt;
  • Establishing a $500 million Regional Housing Fund to alleviate housing stress in regional areas;
  • Improving the quality of existing social housing through a $250 million repairs and maintenance program;
  • Funding a $50 million in a net-zero community housing pilot program to improve the environmental efficiency of older homes; and
  • Building an additional 200 social housing properties over two years for people exiting from the Together Home program.

These priorities and recommendations will work towards not only creating greater housing diversity and opportunity and reducing homelessness in NSW, but create thousands of jobs in the construction industry, as well as driving economic growth across local communities and deliver savings for the state government.

New CHIA NSW Research Report

CHIA NSW has recently published a new report focusing on the current and future provision of affordable housing in NSW through the National Rental Affordability Scheme (NRAS).

What’s next for NRAS: Community Housing leading the transition, provides an overview of the significant long-term outcomes achieved by community housing providers to leverage NRAS and deliver more than 3,500 NRAS properties in unaffordable locations in NSW.

The report shows that, by the end of NRAS in 2026, community housing providers will retain 3,161 NRAS properties that they own and continue to manage them as affordable housing, whilst 3,360 NRAS properties owned by other investors will exit the affordable housing system.

This report analyses the projected trends and likely impacts on housing markets, affected tenants, the social and affordable housing system, and community housing providers.

The research was featured in The Sun Herald, available here.

National Affordable Housing Alliance

The National Affordable Housing Alliance has recently launched its policy platform, Increasing the supply of social and affordable housing: at scale and in perpetuity.

If implemented by the Australian Government, the policy options proposed could deliver between 11,150 to 14,950 additional social and affordable homes per annum on top of the new supply already being created by state and territory governments through separate initiatives.

The Alliance’s core members include the Australian Council of Trade Unions, the Australian Council of Social Service, the Community Housing Industry Association, Industry Super Australia, Homelessness Australia, the Housing Industry Association, Master Builders Australia, National Shelter and the Property Council of Australia.

You can read more on the core policies proposed by the Alliance here.

CHIA NSW to build on Data Dashboard

CHIA NSW is updating its Data Dashboard which will include more data on affordable housing in NSW as well as freshly released official numbers of community housing homes across the state.

The Dashboard, which was launched mid-way through 2021, is a portal of various datasets presented on an accessible platform. The data shown covers the spread of community housing homes across the state including who they are owned and managed by, numbers of social and affordable housing homes built and to be built in NSW, and rates of tenant satisfaction, rent outstanding, and occupancies.

After undertaking several research projects looking at affordable housing in NSW, CHIA NSW will be incorporating fresh data into the Building more homes section of the Dashboard. Further to that, the Housing people across NSW section will be populated with new data once its released by the Department of Communities and Justice (DCJ).

To stay updated on updates to the Data Dashboard, keep a close eye on CHIA NSW announcements on our website and social media accounts: FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.

CHIA NSW’s Data Dashboard

Review of the National Housing and Homelessness Agreement

The Productivity Commission is conducting its scheduled review of the National Housing and Homelessness Agreement (NHHA).

The NHHA is a multi-year agreement between the Australian Government and State and Territory Governments for providing housing and homelessness services and outlines the roles and responsibilities in improving housing outcomes.

The review provides an important opportunity for stakeholders to provide input on the effectiveness of the NHHA’s objectives and outcomes. Further information is outlined in the Issues Paper here. Submissions close on 22 February 2022.

CHIA NSW 2022 Cadetship Program

After a successful first year of the program, CHIA NSW is again partnering with the NSW Government to offer cadetships to 25 young people and social housing tenants in NSW. With a strong initial take-up from our regional providers, the call is now out for metropolitan providers to submit applications.
The program offers cadets a 12-month employment contract with a community housing provider and enrolment in nationally accredited training course, the CHC42221 Certificate IV in Housing. The program is a fine example of how the community housing sector can partner with our State Government to empower young people into employment and drive growth in our industry.
So far, 19 Community Housing Providers (CHPs) have submitted expressions of interest for the 2022 program for 27 locations, the majority of which across regional NSW. CHIA NSW is encouraging metropolitan CHPs to get involved with the program which had so much success in 2021.
Go to our website for more information on the Cadetship Program.

CHIA NSW 2021 cadets

House Keys Round 7

CHIA NSW has updated the approach to House Keys, the national community housing benchmarking service that enables participating CHPs to compare their performance with detailed peer groups. 

Round 7 of the benchmarking service included several new data points, including current and cash ratio with a more detailed breakdown of maintenance costs as well as forecasting data.

An additional Value for Money section was also included which is based on an Industry Development Strategy project developed by CHIA NSW, in which community housing providers identified a matrix of 15 Value for Money indicators across five domains. More information on this project and the metrics behind the work can be found here.

Headline results from House Keys Round 7 for NSW included: a decrease in occupancy rates from 98.88 in 2019 to 92.64 in 2020; a decrease in rent outstanding from 1.71% to 1.44% ; some key asset metrics included an increase in the average amount spent on planned maintenance of just under $200 per property and a stable result since 2019 for responsive maintenance; and an improvement to total operating expenses per property has seen a decrease to $12,392 in 2020.

If you would like more information about the data available to participants, an individual briefing for your CHP or if you have any questions, please contact [email protected].

CHIA NSW holding Tenant Engagement Information Session

Results from analyses with recent survey datasets highlight the important role of tenant engagement in overall satisfaction.

CHIA NSW will hold an information exchange session on tenant engagement on 17th Feb, 1PM - 3PM AEDT, via Microsoft Teams. This session is the second of a series and is part of our ongoing commitment to helping benchmarking club members maximise the value of tenant survey outcomes.

CHIA NSW is grateful to the top-ranking providers who have kindly agreed to share on their best practice strategies for tenant engagement during the session, and for facilitating peer learning opportunities.

As well, responding to expressions of interest from Social Housing Management Transfer (SHMT) providers, CHIA NSW will be holding a SHMT tenant engagement information exchange session. This session (attendees will be SHMT providers only) is separate to the 17th February tenant engagement session (open to all CHIA NSW benchmarking club members). 

This session will be held on 24th Feb, 10AM - 12PM AEDT (via MS Teams). Invitations will be distributed to SHMT providers.

For more information on either of these sessions, please contact Maryann ([email protected]).

Keep updated with our sector. Follow CHIA NSW online:

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.