Housing Matters – January 2019

CEO Report

Will 2019 be the year where we get commitments from governments to invest in social and affordable housing programs that will make significant inroads into the numbers of households that are homeless or in rental stress? With both a state and federal election around the corner the opportunity for change is there.

Recent research  published by AHURI   – An investment pathway to provide social housing infrastructure estimates that NSW requires over 200,000 social rented homes to make up for the current shortfall and meet future needs up to 2036. New work by UNSW for CHIA NSW, due for publication in February, examines the additional affordable housing that NSW needs over the same period for households in the second bottom income quintile – that is 100,000.

Big numbers certainly, but not impossible to build or finance, if all levels of government come together to support a long term program. Some of the ingredients are either in place or under development. The NHFIC was established in 2018 and through its Affordable Housing Bond Aggregator (AHBA) will provide cheaper and longer-term secured loan finance for community housing by issuing bonds in capital markets. The NSW state government has taken steps throughout 2018 that bring mandatory targets for affordable housing in certain new development sites closer. And existing housing programs such as the social and affordable housing fund and Communities Plus should deliver around 10,000 additional new social and affordable homes over the next ten years. If targets for affordable housing on government owned sites were more ambitious – our platform recommends 30% – and the Commonwealth came to the party with a complementary funding mechanism to replace and improve on the National Rental Affordability Scheme we could be looking at the something special.

In this edition of Housing Matters we are focusing on some of the work we will be doing to keep housing front and centre and as importantly work with our sector, the community housing industry to ensure the homes we hope to build and the services delivered to people who call them home are the best.

Happy New Year.

NSW Election Campaign Ramps Up

With the NSW State election less than two months away, CHIA NSW has been ramping up the campaign activities and will soon be releasing some resources to support the sector in our push to get affordable housing on the agenda.

As a sector, we need to make sure that candidates of all creeds understand the role that the community housing sector can play in making sure everybody has a home they can afford. We’re encouraging all providers to get out there and meet with the candidates in their local electorates. Site visits are a fantastic way to build and strengthen relationships, while also providing an opportunity to showcase the work we do to support our communities.

Targeting local electorates rather than ministers and shadow ministers is key as it helps to build support for community housing within parties, which in turn helps to influence decision making and ensure that housing affordability is on the agenda.

CHIA NSW has a number of resources to support providers in their campaign activities:

  • An Election Platform with four key asks to support the growth of the community housing sector as a way of addressing the growing shortage of affordable housing and rising homelessness rates
  • An infographic that breaks downs the data, telling the NSW Housing story in a simple and effective way (click the image to download a PDF version)
  • Housing affordability data broken down by NSW state electorates (to be made available in the coming weeks)

These resources can be used as talking points in meetings with local candidates, as key messages when speaking with the media, for events and for digital campaigning through social media, newsletters and websites.

CHIA NSW will provide more detailed advice on the NSW State Election strategy and resources available to providers via the CEOs network in the coming weeks. This will include details of upcoming events hosted by providers and other organisations, as well as more information about the electorate data.

While plenty of providers are already out there on the campaign trail, we want to see CHPs of all shapes and sizes out there spruiking the sector and all that we have to offer.

Launch of New Website for Centre for Training in Social Housing

Centre for Training in Social Housing (CTSH) has launched their new website for 2019. The website provides information on courses, a timetable for professional development workshops and information on how to enrol. Go to https://www.ctsh.org.au/

Study Alongside Full-Time Work

We have structured our courses flexibly so you can study alongside fulltime work. Course material is available online through Moodle, and face to face workshops are run in Sydney metropolitan areas and where there is demand in regional areas of NSW.

Attend a Workshop onsite at your work

Professional development, short courses and accredited training in the Certificate IV and Diploma can be delivered at your workplace. If you have 6-10 people we can come to you. Check out the workshops and contact us to discuss your training needs.

Up Coming Workshops

Click here to view the Training Calendar








Thinking of Supporting Your Staff in Training or Professional Development

We can offer professional development workshops and accredited training to your staff onsite. Advantages of undertaking training with CTSH:

  • Onsite training
  • Training designed to meet your needs
  • Monthly reporting on your staffs’ progress
  • Support for participants wanting to undertake accredited training with assessments
  • High quality trainers with expertise and knowledge of their subject area and experience within the social and affordable housing sector
  • Ongoing weekly support for staff completing assessments

If you would like further information on our courses, would like to discuss a contextualised course design relevant to your staff or to chat about future possibilities please contact us on trainingenquiries@communityhousing.org.au    or go to our website: https://www.ctsh.org.au/

CHIA NSW presents: The Good Growth Housing Conference 2019

The Good Growth Housing Conference takes place on Monday April 15, hosted by CHIA NSW and supported by the Committee for Sydney, Elton Consulting, Property Council of Australia, Homelessness NSW, Shelter NSW and the Sydney Business Chamber.

Registrations for the Good Growth Housing Conference are now open and with a special early bird registration fee which is only available until Friday 8 February.

It will be a full day of discussion, debate and dialogue with ample opportunity for networking, on how to plan, build and fund our cities and regional centres for today’s and tomorrow’s communities.

CHIA NSW wants to see a more positive conversation in Sydney, NSW and nationally about our growth. The choice is not between growth and no growth, but about whether we plan well or not. We’ve seen other global cities become economic success stories while at the same time experiencing serious growing pains. In some cities homelessness has exploded and rents have risen to exorbitant levels, pushing people further and further from the centre away from employment opportunities and thus threatening the basis for the city’s original success.

Good growth must include planning for the housing everyone needs – whether they are a young family, an older person retiring after a lifetime of hard work in a low waged job or a woman escaping domestic violence. And planning for housing that is well integrated into other infrastructure – schools, transport, health and green space.

The Good Growth Housing Conference will be of interest to people working in all tiers of Government, the not for profit sector, private industry and communities who want to work together to create a city based on equitable, sustainable, and liveable growth.

Program details

The conference program will address key themes which include examining what Sydney can learn from other global cities. Key questions we will be asking are how can our cities remain competitive and retain the qualities that make them liveable? What role does sustainability play? How can opposition to development be tackled? Other sessions include analysis of urban regeneration done well and how to plan for growth in regional areas.

Confirmed speakers include the incoming CEO for the Committee of Sydney, Gabriel Metcalf (formerly President and CEO of SPUR, the leading civic planning organization in the San Francisco Bay Area); Mark Kelly, Managing Director Weston Williamson & Partners and Anna Chubb, Director of Strategy with the Hunter & Central Coast Development Corporation.

The conference will also look at issues for regional communities and we are pleased to announce international speaker Dr Robert Wiener, Executive Director at the California Coalition for Rural Housing in the US. Under his leadership, CCRH has played a major role in federal and state housing policy and program efforts that have gained billions of dollars in financing, as well as land use supports, for production of affordable homes for rent and purchase by low-income and rural families.

The Good Growth Housing Conference presents an excellent sponsorship opportunity to raise your organisation’s profile as a leader in this critical and but still emerging debate on growth. For more information on sponsorship please contact us at conference@communityhousing.org.au

For all conference and delegate information, please visit www.goodgrowth2019.com

Date: Monday 15 April 2019

Location: Rydges World Square, Sydney

Aboriginal sessions at the next CHIA Exchange

The CHIA Exchange is fast approaching and we see this as a good opportunity to network and make progress on two of the Aboriginal initiatives that are underway.

We’ll host an Aboriginal staff network event on the afternoon of the first day (6th March).  This session will be about Aboriginal staff coming together and networking and discussing all matters housing.  We will also run a session on day two about progress on the Aboriginal Outcomes work in a joint session with the Operations Network.  Look out for the CHIA Exchange program and please give me a call if you have any questions.

We look forward to facilitating these workshops at the exchange this year and we are looking forward to seeing you there.

Aboriginal Partnerships Specialist
Adam Hansen
0459 776 848
T 02 9690 2447 (ext 205)
E  AdamH@communityhousing.org.au

Book Early for the March CHIA NSW Exchange

Community Housing Industry Association (CHIA) Exchange presents its first session of 2019 with exciting guest speakers and content!

As our members know, the CHIA NSW Exchange (CHIA Ex) is a unique opportunity for the sector to get together to share ideas, experiences and best practice.

The March 2019 CHIA Ex will take place over two days – Wednesday March 6 and Thursday March 7. The venue is Rydges Central Sydney, 28 Albion Street, Surry Hills NSW 2010.

The Exchange will include a number of networks, including on Day 1 the Asset , NDIS, Planning and Development Networks, as well as a half day emerging leaders session and an Aboriginal staff network session in the afternoon.

For day 2 the focus is on the CEOs and Finance Officers, the Operations Network (formerly the Middle Managers) and Community Development.

Full program details will be sent out shortly.

Registration for the March CHIA Ex is now open and members can register for either one day or both days. When registering we would appreciate it if you could indicate your primary network, although you can attend other sessions during the two days, and also any dietary requirements.

Register here: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/community-housing-industry-association-nsw-chia-nsw-exchange-march-2019-registration-54958736059

For more information please get in touch with Joanna Forman at joannaf@communityhousing.org.au.

ACHIA Nominations NOW extended until the 27th February

ACHIA is the new peak body for Aboriginal Community Housing providers. ACHIA is currently running elections for its first directly elected committee.

The revised timetable as follows:
• Nominations open until 27th February
• Skills checked by independent panel 28th Feb
• Election starts 4th March
• Election closes 27th March
• Committee announced 29th March

Please see the links below if you are interested in becoming an ACHIA member and nominating for the committee. Please note that the ACHIA Charter says that members must be “an entity which as a part of its activities provides housing wholly or predominantly to Aboriginal people and which is under Aboriginal community control. “

The ACHIA membership form
ACHIA committee skills matrix
A nomination form if you would like to stand for election and A fact sheet about the elections

The NSW Community Housing Tenant Network

Dolores Close, Chairperson

The purpose of NSW Community Housing Tenant Network is to provide a stronger, broader voice for community housing groups through co-operation, advocacy, and engagement through activities of common interests based on geography, cultural or special needs.

Advocacy is speaking, acting, writing on behalf of the interests of a person or group in order to defend the welfare of and justice for either a person or group. Every person matters. It is the purpose and responsibility of Tenant Network to advocate for all community housing tenants through peak bodies such as CHIA, Shelter, the Tenants Union and others.  We advocate for policy changes that will benefit fellow tenants, and we pursue funding from government for our initiatives.

The Tenant Network is in the process of Strategic Planning, revitalising the Committee, training new and old representatives, redeploying human resources, and encouraging and providing participation connections through the training provided by CHIA.

Membership in the “Network” is open to all community housing tenants. There is no fee or charge. You can join at any time. Just contact your TAG, TCP, or your Network representative, or directly get in touch with us at https://www.facebook.com/tenantnetwork

The Tenant Network is primarily composed of two tenant representatives elected by fellow tenants from their community housing providers. Representatives attend bimonthly meetings, training sessions, and housing conferences. Every representative is actively involved in their community. They represent the voices and concerns of many. These representatives are supported by their housing providers and in turn report back to their TAGs, or TCP, or other tenant groups, and where invited submit written reports to their management team, or executive team, or their Board of Directors.

By request or invitation Network members may attend local tenant group meetings as consultants or for presentations.

One of our current processes is to create a training and skills analysis of tenant representatives and active members of the Network. This will improve networking effectiveness and reflect in the focus of our policies.

In this chaotic election year the voice of the Tenant Network will join with others to change government housing policies, provide more affordable and social housing, and redress the issues of homelessness effecting the vulnerable.

In 2020 we will take ownership of our own mini-housing conference – tenants for tenants – sharing with other tenants from a wide spectrum of community housing providers. Hear us roar!

Join as an ordinary member of the Network: contact us at https://www.facebook.com/tenantnetwork. Or join as an Associate Member (non-tenant, non-voting) of an organisation that supports our aims, you too can be informed and participate in events.

Revitalising the National Community Housing Standards

Together with the national Community Housing Industry Association (CHIA) and CHIA Victoria, CHIA NSW is undertaking a project to update the old community housing standards and introduce a voluntary accreditation scheme for the not for profit community housing industry to demonstrate how they measure up against these new standards.

The original standards were developed back in 1998 and predate the state and national regulatory schemes. So why would the industry be interested in setting what some may view as additional standards?

Lately there have been encouraging signs that the governments may be moving to invest in more social and affordable housing.  While the regulatory regimes operating in Australia provide investors and to some extent tenants with assurance about registered organisations compliance against a range of performance standards we believe that there is scope for the not for profit sector to go further to demonstrate the additional value it can add. By developing our own more ambitious standards we hope to raise the bar and encourage a culture of continuous improvement.

The standards won’t duplicate the regulatory performance standards but fill the gaps that a compliance based regime isn’t well placed to fill. While not wanting to predict what the project will deliver the standards may include for example responding to family and domestic violence, Aboriginal competency, and property development.

CHIA NSW is grateful to the NSW Government for generously supporting the project in its initial stages through its NSW Community Housing Industry Development Strategy. It is a long term project and the standards are likely to be introduced one by one. We have kick started the process by a publicity drive with the industry itself before widening the consultation process.

Further detail about the project is here and you can contact nchs@communityhousing.org.au for more information or if you have any questions / queries.

CHIA NSW’s Tenant Satisfaction Survey Service

CHIA NSW has been offering a tenant satisfaction survey service since 2013. Our independence combined with our knowledge of the industry and our knowledge of, and commitment to, tenant engagement, means we’re able to deliver an impartial and in-depth analysis of the information provided to us by tenants. Our survey service has grown over the past 6 years to include 35 community housing providers in 6 jurisdictions.

Our surveys are based on extensive work conducted with the industry, including tenants. They use international best practice and they meet all the National Regulatory System for Community Housing (NRSCH) requirements.

In addition to this, CHIA NSW produces a benchmarking report which allows comparisons to be made between your survey results and the benchmark average. Data comparison is a powerful tool to assess results and in time this drives sector wide improvements in performance.

For more information on CHIA NSW’s tenant satisfaction survey service refer to our survey brochure or contact Leoni Lynch LeoniL@communityhousing.org.au

Parental leave cover opportunity coming up at CHIA NSW

How would you like to work for your industry peak body for a year?  There is an opportunity to work for CHIA NSW while our Service Delivery Co-ordinator is on parental leave from mid-April 2019.  This position is the engine house for many of our member services including the tenant satisfaction survey service and our House Keys Benchmarking.  The role is very diverse and can also include industry development projects, work with partner agencies and sector networks.  It’s great chance to try a new and varied position and use your housing knowledge to support the sector.  This position could also be an opportunity for a secondment, subject to discussions with employers.  We would also be open to part time working and job share.

If you are interested, please send an expression of interest and CV to adamw@communityhousing.org.au or call Adam on 0403 845 366 for more information

Helping to Support Improvements in Practice in 2019

CHIA NSW has been funded under the NSW Community Housing Industry Development Strategy for two projects focusing on helping providers to improve their practice in 2019.

‘Capability and resources to better support older tenants’

This project is aimed at enhancing the industry’s capacity to support older tenants to age in place by assisting frontline staff to develop new skills to engage with older tenants and to recognise the circumstances in which referrals to support providers are required.

It will develop a toolkit of resources to support community housing providers to improve their capacity to identify and respond to the needs of older people through implementation of best practice policies and processes.

The project will encourage the development of relationships between community housing providers and aged care providers to improve outcomes for older tenants through early intervention and prevention.

This project is already underway and the toolkit is being developed by Sue Cripps and Associates for CHIA NSW. It is due for completion in mid to late June 2019. The contact in CHIA NSW for this project is Ellis Blaikie at ellisb@communityhousing.org.au.

‘Housing Options for People leaving Custody’

This project will trial local approaches to ensuring better housing outcomes for people leaving custody in two of the new Social Housing Management Transfer areas – the Mid North Coast and Shoalhaven.

The project is being done in partnership with Homelessness NSW and aims to increase the number of people being sustainably housed after leaving custody by developing a co-ordinated program based on a housing first approach.

The project is just getting underway with a reference group having been set up with representatives from Corrective Services, FACS, and the Community Restorative Centre (CRC). There will also be local advisory groups that will develop and implement the project at each trial site. The project will be evaluated with a 24 month report providing information about project outcomes.

The contact in CHIA NSW for this project is Deborah Georgiou at deborahg@communityhosuing.org.au.