Welcome to the July 2022 edition of Housing Matters.
The housing vulnerability crisis appears to only have worsened recently for renters across NSW against a backdrop of rising interest rates, inflation, and cost of living pressures.
Recent data from Domain reveals Sydney rent prices for houses have jumped almost 20 percent since the pandemic began, while rent prices for units have had their steepest annual increase in 14 years at over 10 percent. As these trends continue, the role of community housing only grows in importance for addressing the housing needs of our state’s people.
CHIA NSW has recently wrapped up its Community Housing Industry Day, an event for our members to come together and reflect on the recent journey of the sector and collaborate on what’s to come.
We’re grateful for the generosity of our guest speakers, including Angela Jackson and Nathan Dal Bon, who shared their expertise on the current state of play in community housing and engaged in meaningful discussions with CHIA NSW’s member CEOs and senior executives.
CHIA NSW has also just released its Community Housing Snapshot report, a refresher on the current profile of the state’s community housing sector and what it has achieved in the past decade. While full of data, it presents information which can be understood by any person who wants to know more about today’s industry.
Over the last month, CHIA NSW, together with our members, has been visiting MPs in regional NSW to discuss the housing solutions that our sector contributes to address the housing vulnerability crisis. I would like to acknowledge the commitment of the many MPs who recognise the value of community housing and its unique ability to provide safe, secure and affordable housing at a time when regional NSW needs it most.
More on these and more in this edition which I hope you enjoy.
CEO, CHIA NSW
Community Housing Industry Day wrap
CHIA NSW recently held its Community Housing Industry Day, an event for members to reflect on the sector’s achievements and learnings and collaborate on priorities and opportunities to come.
Due to illness, the Minister for Planning and Minister for Homes, the Hon Anthony Roberts was unable to speak at the event as planned. Emma Nicholson and Michelle Roberson from the Land and Housing Corporation (LAHC) stepped in to lead Q&A session with members about LAHC’s current focuses and how its relationship with the community housing sector can be further bolstered. This includes the updated Community Housing Direct Dealing Policy, which was recently revised in consultation with CHIA NSW and our members. The new policy is available here.
The strategic and environmental outlook of the sector was dissected by Nathan Dal Bon, CEO of National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation and Dr Angela Jackson, Lead Economist at Impact Economics and Policy. Both speakers brought their own unique expertise to the event which subsequently garnered a lengthy discussion amongst attendees.
In other sessions, various CHIA NSW teams presented on projects covering climate change, the future of data, CHIA NSW’s Cadetship program, affordable housing, and employee capability frameworks.
Presentations throughout the day provided a stage to celebrate the recent achievements of the sector as well as a foundation to spring towards forthcoming opportunities, none more important than the 2023 NSW state election.
CHIA NSW releases Community Housing Snapshot 2022
CHIA NSW has released its latest Community Housing Snapshot.
The report provides an accessible and current profile of the community housing sector. It provides an accessible explanation of how community housing works, a snapshot of statistics and figures, how it contributes to society outside of money invested and houses built, and where it’s growing most across the state.
Key facts and figures:
- CHPs manage more than 54,000 properties across the state
- CHPs have supported 15,300 jobs in the last decade
- Community housing is a billion- dollar industry… CHPs have invested $1.82 billion over the last decade.
CHIA NSW regional road-tour
CHIA NSW has been travelling across the regions of NSW, meeting with MPs to discuss all things community housing.
So far, we’ve visited the members for Albury, Cootamundra, Dubbo, Goulburn and Wollondilly in their respective hometowns, with more visits in the diary for August and September.
We were joined by the CEOs from Argyle Housing, Homes Out West, and Housing Plus, who shared their local knowledge and expertise with the MPs.
The highlights of our road tour so far have included our conversations with Steph Cooke (Cootamundra) on regional housing issues in her electorate, Wendy Tuckerman (Goulburn) on the role of local councils in increasing affordable housing supply, and Justin Clancy (Albury) on the community housing’s success in providing safe homes and support services to formerly homeless people through the Together Home.
CHIA NSW has greatly valued the time and engagement of the MPs that we’ve met to date and looks forward to continuing these important conversations in the lead-up to the 2023 election.
CHIA NSW and industry partners appear at homelessness amongst older people Inquiry
CHIA NSW has joined forces with its members and industry partners at a recent Inquiry examining the growing rates of older people facing homelessness in NSW.
Older residents in New South Wales are facing a fresh wave of housing and homelessness vulnerability with increased rental costs compounding pressure on growing waitlists for social housing. The recent Inquiry into homelessness amongst older people aged over 55 in NSW provided the opportunity for the community housing, welfare and not-for-profit industries to advocate for the better futures of those people.
CHIA NSW, Community Housing Limited, Women’s Community Shelters and The Salvation Army Australia joined forces to draw attention to the alarming growth of older Australians facing homelessness.
Head of Policy at CHIA NSW, Caitlin McDowell said it’s not too late to house the struggling older citizens of NSW.
“People are spending so much of their aged pension on rent that they are going without food, medicine or heating and those are the ones who aren’t couch-surfing, sleeping in their cars, or homeless,” Caitlin said.
“These people should not have to pay the price for decades of severe underinvestment in social and affordable housing by successive governments, and it is not too late to help them.
“We need a significant and long-term investment in social and affordable housing where the NSW Government partners with the community housing and not-for-profit sectors to deliver more housing and support services to older people.”
Across in Western Sydney, we were proud to see Link Wentworth resident, Marie Sillars providing evidence at day two of the Inquiry’s hearings. Being an older tenant of community housing, Marie takes her lived experience into her own powerful advocacy, fighting for the future of others like her.
Give Me Shelter report released
Housing All Australians has released its Give Me Shelter report, looking at the long-term costs of underproviding public, social and affordable housing.
The report issues a warning of what continued underinvestment in social and affordable housing will bring and makes an urgent call to governments across the country to begin turning the tides. It also seeks to show the returns to the community if homelessness and housing stress were eliminated.
It estimates the direct financial savings to governments if they invest in the subsidies required to meet social and affordable housing need. These savings are primarily related to:
- reduced outlays for health care
- reduced outlays in the criminal justice system
- reduced outlays in domestic violence services, and
- income tax revenue arising from enhanced human capital and increased labour market productivity.
NHFIC: new bonds issued and Home Guarantee Scheme places released
Content supplied by National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation
June 2022 Bond
On 30 June 2022, National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation (NHFIC) issued an additional $65 million in bonds increasing its 2036 sustainability bond line to $408 million. The funds raised from this issuance will directly support four community housing providers’ (CHPs), including Evolve Housing, City West Housing, Haven Home Safe and Queensland Community Housing Limited with their planned delivery of social and affordable housing.
Australian Government Home Guarantee Scheme: 40,000 new places released
From 1 July, 40,000 new places under the Federal Government’s Home Guarantee Scheme (HGS) became available to help Australians to buy their own home.
The Home Guarantee Scheme comprises the First Home Guarantee (FHBG), previously known as the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme, and the Family Home Guarantee (FHG).
The number of places available through the First Home Guarantee has increased from 10,000 to 35,000 per financial year, while the Family Home Guarantee has an annual allocation of 5,000 places from 1 July 2022 until 30 June 2025.
NHFIC anticipates making 50,000 new Scheme places available to eligible homebuyers in the year ahead, including 10,000 places in the Australian Government’s announced Regional First Home Buyer Support Scheme. Read more here.
Sustainable living forefront at City West Housing
Content supplied by City West Housing
City West Housing's approach to sustainable design forms the framework for how we deliver our affordable housing developments, beginning with site location.
Head of Development at City West Housing, Lisa Sorrentino, said: “We’re taking advantage of well-located sites to encourage less reliance on car ownership. The benefits include lowering our residents’ living costs, decreasing our carbon footprint and helping to meet Councils’ sustainability goals. It also reduces the need to build expensive basement car parking and therefore development costs, enabling us to supply more affordable housing.”
City West Housing’s upcoming Tallowwood Apartments development in Rockdale is within 400 m of the train station and is close to bus stops. Acknowledging that eliminating car use is not currently practical, City West Housing has also factored our partnership with GoGet car sharing service into the design.
City West Housing has designed parking, and GoGet has confirmed its support, for six share vehicles on the site, available for hire by the residents and the broader community. City West Housing residents receive complimentary GoGet memberships, which unlock the lowest hire rate.
This partnership is a strong example of City West Housing working with other organisations to achieve quality, innovative and economic design. This in turn also enhances resident wellbeing, creates a sense of community and optimises the lifecycle of our assets.