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.