Housing Matters August 2019

Housing Matters

CEO Report

Welcome to the August edition of Housing Matters.  You will notice that we have changed the format and presentation of Housing Matters to make it easier to access on smartphones and tablets.  This is the first step in improving the access to the newsletter – more changes will be coming over the coming months to  allow you to access Housing Matters wherever you are and not miss out on the important sector news each month.

In this edition, CHIA NSW is delighted to announce the dates of our CHIA Exchanges for the financial year ahead.  With a shorter format, CHIA NSW is looking forward to the Exchanges once again delivering fantastic learning and networking opportunities for our members and partners.  More detail on the dates and formats for the exchanges is provided below.

CHIA NSW is also delighted to advise that our biennial conference will be held on 31st March and 1 April 2020 in Sydney.  It will be another great conference and I encourage you all to hold the date in your diaries to make sure you don’t miss this important event.  More information on the conference will be available in the coming weeks.

Don’t miss out on reading this month about the great progress made by CHPs in housing NSW families – congratulations to Compass for its award win, to the Evolve and Pacific Link partnership for its new development and to Bridge Housing for its new office opening on the northern beaches of Sydney.

CHIA NSW is proud to see its members continue to innovate and grow and to deliver on our mission to be a leading provider of secure and affordable housing to individuals and families across NSW.

Mark Degotardi

CEO, CHIA NSW

CHIA Exchange dates

CHIA NSW hosts a series of member events as a key part of the services we provide to the community housing sector in NSW. In the last twelve months, these events have included two CHIA Exchanges, the Good Growth Housing Conference, the NSW Aboriginal Housing Caucus, several report and toolkit launches and a diverse range of smaller workshops both in Sydney and our regional areas. These events are pivotal to our role of assisting NSW housing providers to develop and maintain their services as well as to help build skills and capacities within their own organisations.

The CHIA Exchange is a regular sector wide opportunity for all CHIA NSW members to hear from industry leaders regarding sector innovation and policy updates. It also provides a forum to share ideas and networking opportunities.

As part of a review of member feedback and support for the CHIA Exchange, we have considered how the Exchanges are delivering on member expectations and needs.

We are delighted to advise that this year we have changed the format of the CHIA Exchange to make it easier for more of our members and their staff to attend.

There will be three CHIA Exchanges this year as follows:

Tuesday 24th September, 2019 (Networks: Asset Managers, Operations Managers, Planning & Development, Community Development, Aboriginal Staff Network, Emerging Leaders)

Wednesday 12 February, 2020 (Networks: Asset Managers, Operations Managers, NDIS, Aboriginal Staff Network, Emerging Leaders)

Wednesday 10th June, 2020 (Networks: Asset Managers, Operations Managers, Planning & Development, Community Development, Aboriginal Staff Network, Emerging Leaders)

Venue: Rydges Central Sydney, 28 Albion Street.

As usual, entry is provided free to staff of CHIA NSW full members, with any non members charged a small fee to attend where appropriate.

Registrations for the September event are open now via this link. We will send a link for registrations to the 2020 events closer to the date. For any information regarding the CHIA Ex, please contact Joanna on joannaf@communityhousing.org.au.

NHFIC fact sheet

NHFIC, the National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation, has recently reached twelve months of operation and has been acknowledging its stakeholders who have been instrumental in helping NHFIC expand and accelerate the supply of social and affordable housing.

NHFIC has also provided an additional factsheet to provide information on finance and the resources it can provide. The NHIF is a $1 billion facility that provides finance for eligible infrastructure projects that will unlock new housing supply, particularly affordable housing. The NHIF offers concessional loans, grants and equity investments. To read more, please click here for the factsheet.

Compass Housing win Australian Business Awards

Congratulations to Compass Housing who earlier this month won four ABA100 2019 Australian Business Awards.

Compass has been recognized in these categories: Employer of Choice; Community Contribution; Training Excellence and HR management.

Last year (2018) Compass was also an ABA100 winner in four categories: Employer of Choice; Business Excellence; Community Contribution and Business Innovation.

These awards are on the back of Compass being named as a finalist in four categories in the upcoming Hunter Business Chamber Awards.

Group Managing Director Greg Budworth said it is an honour to be recognised against other high calibre organisations in these awards.

He said Compass’ accolades are a credit to the dedicated team of people who work for the organisation.

“To meet our continued growth, we are focused on enabling our new and existing staff to build skills, take on challenges and experience success,” Mr Budworth said.

“That means we are Investing in training and development with a particular focus on induction of new staff and building leaders,” he said.

“To be recognised as an employer of choice is satisfying because we strive to create a workplace where people can grow and succeed while providing our tenants with affordable housing and building sustainable communities.”

The Australian Business Awards are an annual all-encompassing awards program which recognises organisations that demonstrate the core values of business innovation, product innovation, technological achievement and employee engagement via a set of comprehensive award categories.

For more info: www.compasshousing.org

Evolve and Pacific Link partnership opens new affordable housing development

The Canterbury-Bankstown area will benefit from much-needed affordable housing for very low to moderate income earners with the recent launch of Kings Landing, a 26-apartment development in Roselands.

Kings Landing is a new community housing project that was developed through a partnership between Evolve Housing and Pacific Link Housing, supported by the NSW Government. The development, managed by Evolve Housing, provides high-quality accommodation for social and affordable housing tenants.

The development was officially launched during an event on Wednesday 14 August, with project partners, the Mayor of the City of Canterbury-Bankstown and other dignitaries in attendance.

For more info: www.evolvehousing.com.au

Bridge Housing opens new office in Northern Beaches

Earlier this month some 1,200 social housing tenants and their families on the Northern beaches transitioned their tenancies from the NSW Government to leading Sydney community housing organisation Bridge Housing and specialist housing provider the Women’s Housing Company.

The providers will manage all social housing on the Northern beaches on behalf of the Government for the next 20 years, following a competitive tender in 2017.

Bridge Housing CEO John Nicolades said: “We are delighted to welcome these new residents to our diverse community. We will draw on more than 30 years’ experience of supporting low-to-moderate income residents across greater Sydney to sustain their tenancies and create opportunities for social connection to help integrate our new tenants.”

No tenant has had to move homes as a result of the NSW Government’s Social Housing Management Transfer (SHMT) Program.

Bridge Housing, in partnership with the Women’s Housing Company, will be responsible for delivering all social housing services on the Northern beaches including managing applications for housing assistance, tenancy management, asset management and community engagement. We will also help to run the Social Housing Service System with Link Housing and SGCH, across the entire northern region of Sydney.”

The Northern beaches portfolio stretches from Mosman in the south to Collaroy in the north. Many of the residents are aged over 50 and live in single-person households.

For more info: www.bridgehousing.org.au

Interested in a health check or consultation with one of the UK’s leading social housing consultants?

Lydia Dlaboha, deputy CEO of the Housing Quality Network and one of the UK’s leading social housing consultants is planning to be onsite in NSW from October 2019.  Lydia will have some availability for consultancy work in NSW from mid-October into November.

The brochure (click here) describes some areas where Lydia can add some real value to the industry in NSW through specialised consultancy on:

  • Organisation wide In-Depth Assessments of your governance, risk, financial resilience, structure and organisational dynamics
  • An audit and review of your complaints handling processes
  • Value for Money reviews

Please get in touch with Adam West at CHIA NSW on 9690 2447 ex 211 or adamw@communityhousing.org.au if you might be interested in working with Lydia and to discuss costs for the different consultancy options.

Occupant Survey of Recent Boarding House Developments in Central and Southern Sydney

Southern Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils has published research it commissioned looking into whether boarding house developments permitted by the Affordable Rental Housing SEPP are meeting the intentions of this policy which include providing accommodation that is accessible to tenants who could find it difficult to obtain mainstream rental accommodation, reducing social housing waitlists and providing a market-based form of transitional housing.

By surveying occupants, the research attempts to examine the lived experience of people living in housing permitted by ARHSEPP.  The results highlight how the ARHSEPP has encouraged the growth of a market sector to meet the need for small, well-appointed and well-located apartments. The results also show how ineffective this policy has been at delivering affordable housing outcomes.  Read the research here.

Local Strategic Planning Statements

By the end of August, about a third of Sydney councils will have finished exhibiting their draft Local Strategic Planning Statements.

Local Strategic Planning Statements are a new requirement in the planning system, sitting above the local environmental plan.  Councils use the Local Strategic Planning Statement to set out a 20-vision for land use in the local area, articulating how the council will implement the directions set in regional and district plans and its own priorities identified under its community strategic plan.

CHIA NSW is a strong interest in what the Sydney councils have been saying in their draft Local Strategic Planning Statements because for many it will be the first time they set out a position on affordable housing.  What is identified in the Local Strategic Planning Statements will ultimately shape all localised planning priorities over the next 20 years, so it is absolutely critical that affordable rental housing is elevated as a focus.

CHIA NSW has so far made 13 submissions to councils about their draft Local Strategic Planning Statements.  Broadly, we are encouraged by what councils have exhibited because affordable housing has features in all the statements seen so far.  There is some variability between councils on concrete action proposed, with actions and steps ranging from commitments to numerical targets or developing contributions schemes to commitments to investigating opportunities or working with neighbouring councils to consider affordable housing in the wider area.

CHIA NSW has taken the view that an undertaking to developing a local housing strategy is a good thing and has highlighted that this is an opportunity to quantify need for affordable rental housing and appropriate mechanisms to support the delivery of affordable rental housing.

CHIA NSW will continue to advocate that Local Strategic Planning Statements:

  • Explicitly identify affordable rental housing as a strategic priority for the community
  • Acknowledge the economic and social benefits of affordable rental housing and the role it plays in supporting job growth and economic prosperity for local communities
  • Acknowledge the directions established by the Greater Sydney Commission Plan and the affordable housing targets it proposes
  • Commit to developing an local housing strategy which quantifies housing need now and into the future and includes a focus on the need for affordable rental housing
  • Identify mechanisms for delivering affordable rental housing through the planning system and/or by leveraging other opportunities available to the council such partnering with registered community housing to redevelop council owned land
  • Identify how the council will work in partnership with community housing providers and the NSW and federal governments to deliver affordable rental housing in their communities

If you would like to discuss submissions to these consultation processes, please contact Tom Kehoe (tomk@communityhousing.org.au)

Construction of Social Housing Pathways across Australia

AHURI has published a new report on The Construction of Social Housing Pathways across Australia. This research reviews operational policies in social housing and looks at how these policies shape the experiences of people moving in, out and within the social housing system.

Broadly, the research finds that operational policies are much more focussed on the rationing of social housing than on creating an environment which is responsive to the changing needs and circumstances of people in social housing.

The research is part of a broader inquiry by AHURI focussed on understanding and reimagining social housing pathways. Read the research here.

Centre for Training in Social Housing receives a tick for training

Every year a Quality Indicator Survey is sent to employers and students of CTSH to provide feedback on CTSH’s performance in training. The 2018- 19 Quality Indicator report has been finalised and shows a high level of satisfaction with the accredited training provided by CTSH. Areas where CTSH excelled were the quality of the trainers, our learning materials and that the training prepared the students for work. Students responded positively that they developed knowledge and skills expected from the training, and a high percentage of respondents stated that they would recommend CTSH to others for training.  Employers were also overwhelmingly satisfied with the delivery of our training. They commented on our ability to customise training to suit the needs of their organisations.

More info: www.ctsh.org.au

In the Media

Have social housing levels fallen to historic lows?

Apps target social housing, homelessness

Access to land is a barrier to simpler, sustainable living

Social housing wait lists are failing

Disused aged care facility to provide innovative solution