Housing Matters November 2020

Welcome to November 2020 edition of Housing Matters.

This month has been focussed on the NSW Budget and social housing stimulus.

Unfortunately, the level of support from the NSW Government falls short of the stimulus required to make significant inroads on housing demand, with more than 50,000 NSW people currently on the social housing waiting list.

The NSW Budget put forward an $812 million package of some new and pre-announced projects.  Less than $300 million will be spent this year, with promised funding to come in the forward estimates. While the NSW Government has committed to some money for Community Housing Providers’ maintenance, there was no new supply funding for CHPs. (Our media release is here and here is some reported commentary which shares more details).

Any investment is of course welcome, but this is simply not enough.

As noted in our opinion editorial in the Sydney Morning Herald, the Victoria government conversely has announced a $5.3 billion dollar package to build and revitalise 12,000 homes. This is a package that will kick-start new infrastructure, creating new jobs and opportunities in the Victorian economy.

Victoria will see the full benefit of a post-COVID19 economic boom through this investment. Social housing infrastructure stimulus directly drives jobs and economic growth and delivers social and economic benefits to people experiencing homelessness or housing stress.

With JobKeeper due to end in March 2020 we expect that the NSW Government will have to revisit social housing stimulus as thousands more households face homelessness and housing stress.

The community housing sector will continue to advocate in the coming months arguing the case for the NSW Government to address the crisis level of housing need with significant and sustained investment in social and affordable housing in the May 2021 Budget.

I hope you enjoy this edition of Housing Matters, the last for 2020.

I hope you all have a safe and enjoyable summer and a happy new year.

Mark Degotardi
CEO, CHIA NSW

House Keys: Operations launchedRound 6 of House Keys: Operations launched at the start of the month. 

House Keys is the national community housing benchmarking service that enables participating CHPs to compare their performance with detailed peer groups. 

27 CHPs from five jurisdictions: ACT, NSW, Queensland, South Australia, and Western Australia took part this round and participants gained some unique insights into the areas where they were performing well and where there is scope for further attention. 

House Keys Operations includes over 60 of the most significant metrics in the housing, asset and finance and efficiency areas. 

Headline results for NSW included:An improvement in occupancy rates from 97.2 in 2018 to 99.1 in 2019.An improvement in Tenancy turnaround (tenantable) days from 18.2 in 2018 to 15.5 in 2019,An increase in rent outstanding from 1.66% to 1.95%.Some key asset metrics included an increase in the average amount spent on planned maintenance of just under $100 per property and an increase of around $50 per property on responsive maintenance.

Total operating expenses per property decreased slightly from $13,384 in 2018 to $12,164 in 2019, although corporate overheads per property slightly increased from $2,109 to $2,223.  The number of properties per FTE increased from 31.73 to 37.52 in the past year. CHIA NSW would like to thank all the CHPs that took part in the latest round of House Keys. 

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 launches new websiteCHIA NSW recently launched our new website, which will provide both a strong platform for members to access resources and news from CHIA NSW and a central point for information on the sector for our stakeholders.

New features will include:Easier access to CHIA NSW’s policy priorities, joining processes, and organizational information.A dedicated space for our ‘Publications’ –  including local council submissions and Industry Development Strategy projects.A dedicated space to access information on CHIA NSW’s Learning & Development initiatives.A secure Member Portal area for CHIA NSW’s members – more details to access this will be sent to members in December.
Visit Website
Link Housing launches new Mosman housing for women over 55Link Housing, in partnership with Women’s Community Shelters (WCS), has turned a former private hospital into secure housing for 18 women in the Mosman area.

Mosman House is the second collaboration between WCS, the first being Beecroft House. Given that the fastest growing cohort of homelessness is older women this is a project that will play a vital role in changing lives in the local community. Twilight Aged Care has also provided support for two years to the facility rent-free.

Commenting on the launch of Mosman House, Link Housing CEO Andrew McAnulty shared:

“The increasing prevalence of homelessness among older women in our society means that projects and partnerships like Mosman House are incredibly important – it demonstrates that the local community and business actually care.”

CHIA NSW congratulates Link Housing, WCS and Twilight Aged Care on their successful partnership and the launch of Mosman House.
 
Community housing sector receives funding for social housing cadetshipsAs per a recent government announcement, as part of the NSW Budget, the community housing sector will receive funding to design and implement a cadetship program in social housing.

The funding will go towards cadetships in social housing tenancy and property management. CHIA NSW will deliver training to cadets through the Certificate IV in Social Housing, with further support to come from on-the-job experience.

Through this program, 100 new cadets over four years will have the opportunity to start their career in social housing while gaining valuable professional skills.

More details about the program are due to come in the coming weeks. CHIA NSW will be in contact with community housing providers in due course to discuss how they can be involved in the program.

CHIA NSW is glad to see the recognition from the NSW Government that the sector is a long-term job creator. We look forward to ensuring the program is a success for all cadets.
 
SGCH wins Urban Taskforce award for Brickmakers PrecinctSGCH recently won the Urban Taskforce Development Excellence Award for Affordable Housing for their Brickmakers Precinct project.

Delivered in 2019-20 the project is located in south west Sydney and has provided 194 new social housing and affordable housing residences locally. The sites in the Brickmakers Precinct include: Willan Drive, Cartwright, Nuwarra Road, Moorebank, Elizabeth Drive, Liverpool, and Cabramatta Avenue, Miller.

With sustainable energy use built in tenants will save an estimated $500 a year through energy efficient design.

You can read more about the award here, CHIA NSW congratulates the SGCH team on this great recognition for their continued leadership in social and affordable housing development.