Housing Matters – August 2020

Housing Matters

Message from the CEO

Welcome to the August 2020 edition of Housing Matters.

As we move towards the final quarter of 2020 the pressure of revised Federal and State budgets loom large for our governments.

Already postponed since mid-2020, these budgets will be a critical test of whether governments will continue rising to the economic challenges posed by COVID-19. The situation in Victoria demonstrates that the challenges of controlling the virus when it springs up have direct and acute economic consequences.

This dilemma poses a direct challenge for policy makers – how to balance the need for responsible financial management and the importance of job creation and stimulating economic growth.
Our governments must show the leadership and the strength to invest and fund the services we need to stimulate our economy and keep more families safe from unemployment and homelessness.

Recent announcements this month from Federal Housing Minister Michael Sukkar and NSW Housing Minister Melinda Pavey offer some hope.

The joint commitment to ninety six new homes over six sites in NSW through the Land and Housing Corporation’s Community Housing Renewal Program and a further seven hundred and eighty one new homes promised through grants and loans through the National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation are a step in the right direction. The recent Together Home program is also a leading example of how governments can partner with CHPs and homelessness services to assist NSW families at risk at suffering from COVID-19 related economic impacts. More on all of those announcements in this issue.

However, these welcome initiatives are only the start of what is required to meet the demand for housing in NSW.

As we noted in our recent submission to the NSW Housing Strategy, the anticipated shortfall for safe, affordable housing in NSW is 317,000 homes by 2036. That was prior to the 2019 bushfires and the arrival of COVID-19.

CHIA NSW is calling for viable, pragmatic policies that will start to address this shortfall including a dedicated Social and Affordable Housing Fund to fund 5,000 extra homes per annum in NSW.

CHIA NSW will continue to support our members who are leading the way in continuing to achieve best practice tenant care through COVID-19 and advocate for a more equitable way leading up to the Federal and State budget announcements.

Make no mistake. The 2020 budgets will be a test for governments on whether they have the moral vision to set aside funding to create a fairer future for all.

Mark Degotardi

CEO, CHIA NSW

Government announcements to support new housing investment

The NSW Government and Federal Government have made recent announcements that commit to build almost nine hundred new homes in NSW through the Land and Housing Corporation’s Community Redevelopment Program (96 homes over 6 sites) and through grants and loans provided through the National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation (NHFIC).

CHIA NSW welcomes these announcements as a step in the right direction to creating more homes through COVID-19.

You can read the announcements by clicking here and here.

Together Home update

NSW community housing providers have continued to rollout the $36 million Together Home program, recently launched by the NSW Government.

Thanks to the program Ruby, now a Hume Housing tenant (pictured above), has been able to move from rough sleeping into stable accommodation in Fairfield where she will be supported over the next few years by Hume and other providers to ensure she can manage her tenancy day-to-day.

Ruby is one of fourteen rough sleepers Hume will be assisting in Southwest Sydney who will move to more secure accommodation thanks to Together home.

You can read more about Hume Housing’s work by clicking here.

Bridge Housing have also committed to assisting 45 rough sleepers in the Eastern Suburbs and Inner Sydney region as part of Together Home.

On the announcement of the partnership with the NSW Government, Bridge Housing CEO John Nicolades stated that Together Home would help secure more rough sleepers through COVID-19:

‘Every additional person who can be found safe, secure housing with the support services to sustain their tenancies is less vulnerable to COVID-19 and has the chance to improve their health, wellbeing and life circumstances.’

You can read more about Bridge Housing’s work by clicking here.

COVID-19 Member updates

Our members continue to lead the way through rapid adaption to NSW Government regulation and best practice for controlling COVID-19.

You can read how Homes North, Link Housing, and Compass Housing are continuing to make their business and tenants safe from COVID-19 below, simply click on the logos.

 

 

Staff changes at CHIA NSW and ACHIA

With the Aboriginal Community Housing Industry Association (ACHIA) soon to be incorporated as an entity independent, the organization is currently going through the recruitment process for the appointment of a Chief Executive Officer.

We are hoping that recruitment will be finalized shortly with a candidate to be appointed in the coming months.

In other changes, Chad Ritchie has left his role as ACHIA Coordinator to take up a role in the NSW Government. Chad has brought a great deal of energy to the role and will be missed.

Any queries related to ACHIA should be directed to Paula Coghill at paulac@communityhousing.org.au.

Finally, as part of CHIA NSW’s own ongoing commitment to the Aboriginal Housing Sector we welcome Paul Teerman to the CHIA NSW team.

Paul has been appointed as CHIA NSW’s Aboriginal Partnerships Specialist. A man from the Durag and Gamillaroi Nations, Paul has significant experience in NSW Government, including AHO, non-government and small business organisations.

Paul will initially be assisting CHPs on Aboriginal cultural competency, supporting CHPs to implement the Aboriginal Outcomes Strategy and building partnerships between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal CHPs.

You can contact Paul at pault@communityhousing.org.au.

In the media

CHIA NSW CEO, Mark Degotardi, spoke with Domain this one on the challenges COVID-19 could pose in housing in NSW, and why investment in social housing is an important part of the response.

You can read more by clicking on the image above.

An update from NHFIC CEO Nathan Dal Bon

This month, we finalised a ground-breaking deal with the NSW Land and Housing Corporation (LAHC) to allow them to access up to $100 million in loans and grants through our National Housing Infrastructure Facility (NHIF). The agreement will support infrastructure works to enable the delivery of 781 new social and affordable homes at significant development sites across Sydney. Read our media release for more information.

We were also pleased to see the announcement of LAHC’s  Community Housing Renewal Program (CHRP), which involves LAHC partnering with CHPs to deliver new social, affordable and private dwellings on selected LAHC-owned land under a long-term lease. The CHRP pilot program includes six shovel-ready sites in Sydney that will deliver 96 dwellings. A second tranche of sites is being prepared for release after the pilot which will include 300 new social, affordable and private dwellings in metropolitan and regional NSW. We have been working with leading industry fund Cbus Super to support this program, outlining a debt package that gives registered CHPs the option to access low interest, long-term funding to participate in the CHRP.

Please connect with us on social media (Twitter and LinkedIn) to stay up to date with the latest news from NHFIC.

Regards

Nathan

AHURI releases affordable housing and innovation report

The Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI) this month released a new research report detailing the impact that affordable housing can have in helping build ‘smart cities’.

The report notes that a focus on ‘inclusive innovation’ where affordable housing is a holistic part of innovative considerations supports sustainable innovation districts.

You can view the full report by clicking on the image above