Welcome to the September edition of Housing Matters.
This month, CHIA NSW was delighted to host the graduation of our first year Cadets who undertook comprehensive industry placements while obtaining a Certificate IV in Social Housing. This diverse cohort has been highly engaged and passionate about making a difference to the lives of people in social housing. An enormous thank you goes to our members for hosting placements, and a huge congratulations to all Cadets on your achievements - I am confident the community housing industry is in good hands.
CHIA NSW recently attended an affordable housing development and investment summit, held by CHIA, the national peak body for community housing. It was a great opportunity to hear from representatives across a range of sectors communicate some of the challenges faced by the industry across the country and collaborate on innovative solutions. More on the summit in this edition.
Together with our members, CHIA NSW has also continued to engage with MPs across the state. These ongoing discussions have proved insightful and robust, especially as we approach the NSW election early next year.
In other news, the Greater Cities Commission has released a discussion paper outlining their future vision for Greater Sydney and surrounding regions. It is critical that any plans to create liveable cities include generous affordable housing supply, and this paper takes some promising steps forward.
We also have updates from CHIA NSW members regarding new housing developments, results of a councillor survey looking at sentiments around affordable housing, as well as the wider economic impact the lack of affordable housing is having on the Central Coast region.
Please enjoy this edition of Housing Matters.
CEO, CHIA NSW
Cadetship Program: Graduation ceremony and 2023 Cadetship applications open
CHIA NSW, along with the Parliamentary Secretary for Planning and Member for Mulgoa Tanya Davies MP, had the pleasure of celebrating the graduation of 16 of our first ever Cadets on Friday 23 September.
Out of the 20 Cadets who undertook the program in 2021:
- 80% are graduating today and a further three of those will graduate with the 2022 cohort
- 75% of those have found a job in community housing and one in community services
- Three of those Cadets have already been promoted by their employer
- Nine live in social housing while another has previously lived in social housing.
“Today’s graduates have been given a fantastic opportunity by the NSW Government and they have grabbed it with both hands,” said CHIA NSW CEO, Mark Degotardi.
“We can’t wait to see these graduates and all future Cadets explore their potential and develop their careers with community housing providers - an industry which values their newly developed skills. CHIA NSW congratulates the NSW Government on this fantastic initiative.”
Walbunja woman, Iesha Simon was one of the graduates and is now a Housing Officer with SEARMS Aboriginal Corporation. Iesha spoke about her experience in the Cadetship Program.
“The cadetship program gave me the opportunity to get back into the workforce and full-time work… I got my license and studied for the first time in 9 years, when I thought I was not competent,” Ms Simon said.
“When being out of the workforce for 7 years, I doubted myself and what I was capable of. I had never worked in an office job and did not think I was going to make it through the 12 months. Working whilst studying was hard but also the most rewarding.”
“This is the best thing I have done, and I would not be doing anything like this in the last year and a half if it were not for the cadetship,” Ms Simon said.
CHIA NSW is now accepting applications for Round 3 of its Cadetship Program which provides new training opportunities directly connected to jobs in the community housing industry.
2023 will be the third year of this exciting program, which offers successful Cadets a year-long opportunity to undertake paid employment and training in application/allocation services, tenancy, property and asset maintenance management with a community housing provider whilst completing their CHC42221 Certificate IV in Housing.
For more information go here or contact the program team at [email protected]
Applications are due by 5pm on Friday 28 October 2022.
CHIA National Affordable Housing Development and Investment Summit
CHIA NSW, together with many CHP members and state peak colleagues, recently attended the 8th Annual Housing Development and Investment Summit in Melbourne.
Hosted by national peak body, CHIA, the Summit provided an important opportunity to hear from experts across the housing, finance, government, and property sectors who are working collectively to increase the supply of social and affordable housing in all jurisdictions across Australia.
The opening day of the summit focused on the lessons from overseas, including Scotland and Canada, which could be considered to inform the development of Australia’s National Housing and Homelessness Plan and to maximise social and affordable housing supply delivered through the Housing Australia Future Fund. Such lessons are also particularly valuable in the context of NSW’s current Housing Strategy, Housing 2041.
Other program highlights from the summit included the presentations focusing on innovative affordable housing models, key worker housing, institutional investment, and the community housing sector’s inaugural ESG reporting standard.
Our congratulations to CHIA for a successful and informative event, and to our members from Bridge Housing, CityWest Housing, NAHC, Pacific Link Housing and SGCH for their excellent presentations.
House Keys benchmarking service getting a refresh
After providing the industry’s benchmarking service for the last seven years, CHIA NSW is completely refreshing the House Keys platform.
Guided by CHIA NSW’s Future of Data industry reference group, a new data platform is being built from the ground up, with the prototyping stage recently having been completed.
The changes to House Keys are driven by the need to:
- Tell the story about the sector’s performance and impact as effectively as possible
- Bring different data sources together and visualise effectively
- Provide more detailed analyses (program, level, LGA, demographics etc.) and bring in new sources of data to add value and depth.
House Keys 2.0 will include a wider range of data sources and provide additional granularity in reporting and data visualisation. The new Industry Data Hub software system which will power House Keys 2.0 will be built in phases, with initial testing expected to take place by December 2022.
New inclusions for House Keys 2.0:
- Registrar’s Community Housing Asset Performance Report (CHAPR – for information about property age and maintenance responsibility by LGA)
- Socio-Economic Indexes for Areas (SEIFA)
- Tenant satisfaction data by LGA, headline program and demographics (where participants have used CHIA NSW to collect their survey data)
- Community Housing Information Management and Engagement System (CHIMES) selected data (NSW only, if provided by CHP).
The new data sources will bring better contextual information into the platform and enable comparison of data on key themes from different sources in the same dashboard. For example, the repairs and property dashboard will include property age (by state and LGA), tenant satisfaction with property condition and repairs (by state and LGA) alongside maintenance spend (by CHP). Other dashboards, such as neighbourhood, housing management, finance and efficiency will take a similar approach.
We’re excited to share with you a new era of data storytelling in the coming months. For more information, please contact Head of Business Development Adam West at [email protected].
CHIA NSW continues MP visits to discuss housing vulnerability crisis
CHIA NSW, along with CEOs from various community housing providers, have continued to meet with MPs across the state, recently visiting Wagga Wagga, Prospect and Terrigal.
Wagga Wagga is feeling the effects of the housing affordability crisis, and we shared a valuable discussion with Wagga Wagga MP Dr Joe McGirr who recognises the need for more secure and affordable housing. Speaking to The Daily Advertiser last month, Dr McGirr said "I've argued directly to the premier… with my fellow independents, that, when you've got such a need for social and affordable housing, across society, we ought to be partnering with community housing organisations".
Joined by Pacific Link CEO Ian Lynch, we also met with Terrigal MP Adam Crouch. We had a great conversation about the role community housing plays in his electorate and Mr Crouch reiterated his support for the sector.
Together with Link Wentworth Housing CEO Andrew McAnulty and Evolve Housing General Manager Jitender Balani, we met with Prospect MP Dr Hugh McDermott to discuss the community housing sector’s solutions to address housing affordability and homelessness in Western Sydney. We welcomed Dr McDermott’s strong support for our sector and look forward to collaborating on shared solutions to address housing challenges in his electorate.
CHIA NSW appreciates the time given by MPs to discuss the contribution that community housing can make to providing diverse and secure housing solutions for their constituents. With the NSW state election fast approaching, we hope our members of parliament keep these conversations front of mind.
Greater Cities Commission releases its vision for a new mega-region
Formerly the Greater Sydney Commission, the Greater Cities Commission’s (GCC) remit is to coordinate strategic planning across an expanded ‘Six Cities’ mega-region covering Greater Sydney, Illawarra-Shoalhaven, the Central Coast, Lower Hunter, and Greater Newcastle City.
Under current projections, the Six-Cities region will grow to 8 million people by 2041. To coordinate this growth the GCC is preparing new strategic plans for the region. As a starting point it has released a discussion paper, which outlines key policy directions that will shape the future of the region.
The discussion paper seeks to create a globally competitive, more liveable and better connected Six Cities Region. Enabling people to travel anywhere in the mega-region within 90 minutes and be within 30 minutes of housing, jobs and services is a key part of the vision. This includes support for a fast rail network connecting key regional centres. Delivering housing supply, diversity and affordability is also central to the vision for the region. Key proposals outlined in the discussion paper include:
- Setting 5, 10, and 20 year housing targets for each council area and key growth precincts. This includes targets for affordable housing.
- The GCC will work with councils, and the NSW and Australian governments, and industry to improve the delivery of affordable housing, including new financing mechanisms.
- When land is rezoned, it will be expected to provide at least 10% of homes and affordable housing – currently such a requirement only applies to Greater Sydney.
- A target of 30% of homes being affordable housing is proposed for Government owned land.
The GCC is seeking feedback on the discussion paper until 30 October. Feedback will inform the development of the new suite of draft plans for the regions, which will begin to be released from 2023.
For more information and to make a submission, visit the exhibition page.
Housing Trust councillor survey: a clear mandate for Affordable Housing in the Illawarra and surrounding areas
A survey commissioned by Illawarra-based Community Housing Provider, Housing Trust, has revealed that 98% of surveyed councillors who contested the December 2021 council elections in the Illawarra and surrounds recognised their LGAs needed more affordable rental housing.
Fifty candidates from across the regions’ four LGAs completed the survey, half of whom were ultimately elected. This result shows there is a clear mandate for action on the affordable housing rental crisis in the region.
“Since conducting the survey the housing crisis has become even worse”, said Michele Adair, CEO of Housing Trust. “Although the cost of buying a home has stabilized or even declined in some areas, rising interest rates are placing more households at risk of homelessness.”
Candidates strongly agreed that housing is a basic human right and that councils can, and should, use all the levers available to them to make a difference:
- 93% of candidates understood the role and responsibility Councils have in helping to increase supply
- almost half of all respondents believed at least 20% of all new supply should be allocated to affordable rental housing
- 89% believe affordable rental housing should be spread throughout their LGA.
“This isn’t just a state or federal government problem”, said Adair. “We’re here to help and partner with Councils to ensure that there’s a decent home for everyone in our region. We’ve spent a great deal of time working with Councillors, briefing them on the options and how we can all play a part”.
“We are cautiously optimistic about some early signs from Councils taking action and will continue to develop innovative solutions to increase the supply of Affordable rental housing for the region.”
In a sign that housing is a key area of commitment, Wollongong City Council recently voted to seek community feedback on its draft Housing Strategy.
Arncliffe mixed tenure development set to start construction next year
Content supplied by Evolve Housing
Evolve Housing is proud to be partnering with the New South Wales Land and Housing Corporation (LAHC) and developer Billbergia Group to deliver 744 mixed tenure dwellings in the heart of Arncliffe.
Comprising 564 private and 180 social housing dwellings, the $253 million project is set to deliver a significant housing boost to the area.
Evolve Housing will be managing the social housing dwellings while supporting the tenancies of the residents living there.
This integrated housing model requires collaboration and a shared commitment from our partners to deliver much needed social infrastructure in NSW.
Receiving approval in August, construction is due to commence in the first quarter of next year. The development will feature four towers – one with 21 storeys, two with 20 storeys, and another with 17 storeys.
We look forward to the development’s commencement and celebrate another step towards growing the critically needed social housing stock in NSW.
Economic growth hampered by lack of affordable housing on the Central Coast
Content supplied by Pacific Link Housing
A collaboration between Business NSW, Regional Development Australia Central Coast and Pacific Link Housing brought over 100 business leaders together at the inaugural Central Coast Housing Forum to discuss the impact of housing affordability gaps for the region.
The Housing Forum, held on 6 September, addressed how the lack of affordable housing supply impacts economic growth across the region and unpacked the linkages between labour shortages and affordable housing.
Business NSW Senior Director Regions and Visitor Economy, Paula Martin, says the Coast's housing shortage is inhibiting regional business growth and economic development. "According to Business NSW's Business Conditions Survey, business growth across the Central Coast is hampered by staff housing shortages. This Forum was host to some of the Central Coast's largest employers, who spoke of ongoing difficulties in finding housing for prospective employees, restraining their ability to grow and meet consumer demand," Ms Martin said.
Pacific Link Housing CEO, Ian Lynch, shared an evidence-based perspective from an organisation working on the frontline of affordable housing on the Central Coast. "As the Central Coast's largest community housing provider, Pacific Link Housing is very close to this problem, but to see some of our largest local employers from the health, manufacturing and university sectors participate in this Forum, really drives home how our affordable housing shortage has become a mainstream economic issue," Mr Lynch said.