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
CEO, CHIA NSW

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].

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