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April 2017

Contents

  1. CEO’s Talking Points
  2. FedEx update
  3. Centre for Training in Social Housing Update
  4. The Federation’s response to the Greater Sydney Commission’s District Plans
  5. Canadian Housing and Renewal Association’s (CHRA) 2017 National Congress
  6. Complex Conditions Capable – Supporting community housing providers to work with tenants with complex conditions
  7. Domestic and Family Violence – Working with Perpetrators Toolkit
  8. Summer Foundation – NDIS Housing Market Development Initiative
  9. SSROC Affordable Housing Forum 2017
  10. Media release: New funding to combat homelessness
  11. Dr Tim Williams joins Link Housing’s Board of Directors
  12. In the media

CEO's Talking Points

Housing affordability and at times affordable housing has been all over the media this month. This month has also seen the release of two important reports. The first is the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART), which released its draft report into social and affordable rent models.  The report brought home the scale of investment needed to fix the state’s social housing system.  Among its 27 recommendations IPART proposes retaining the 25% of income contribution made by social housing tenants whilst recognising that making rents affordable comes at a price and thus a proper funding model for providers.

The second major report was the AHURI Inquiry into the Affordable Housing Industry launched by NAB on Thursday 20 April. While there is a long report to digest, the authors are to be commended on their digestible visual report that gets the key messages across and encourages further reading. The Australian government has funded AHURI to do this work to better understand how to generate more supply, enable the improvement or renewal of existing properties and promote better service outcomes. The existing shortfall in affordable housing is calculated as circa 140,000 and to this total the authors estimate that meeting the future need for affordable housing requires at the very least another 200,000. A major national infrastructure project if ever there was one.

The report finds the community housing industry pretty well prepared to respond however there is significant underutilised capacity. Using government subsidy schemes –the National Rental Affordability Scheme (NRAS) and the Social housing Initiative – community housing providers have delivered 23,000 affordable homes since 2008. But these schemes are winding down and the welcome initiatives currently on the table in VIC and NSW fall well short of meeting the challenge.

The report also pulls no punches on what it identifies as inadequate political leadership, a failure of national regulation and the attrition of housing policy making capacity. It also tells the community housing sector to co-ordinate better to make its case.

Let us hope that its timely release just before both the Commonwealth and state budgets persuades the purse string holders to make the investment. Affordable housing has social benefits but it also has positive economic benefits. Not least
the additional cash left in the pockets of households moving to more affordable housing will go into goods and services all to the benefit of the wider economy and the government’s tax take.

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Federation Exchange Update

The next NSW FedEx Conference will take place on Wednesday 31st of May and Thursday 1st of June at Karstens Conference Centre in Sydney.  Already confirmed across two days are CEOs, Planning, Asset & Development, NDIS network, Finance Officers, Middle Managers, Outcomes & Performance and Tier 3 Providers networks. 

More details and ticket information will be posted as it becomes available.

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Centre for Training in Social Housing update

We are currently accepting more enrolments in the Government subsidised Smart and Skilled program so please contact trainingenquiries@communityhousing.org.au for forms and further information.  Of course, you can still enrol in single Units at any time by following this link to our website and completing the Unit Selection Form B and the registration form if you have not previously completed one.

One of the issues our students are currently experiencing is the amount of time they have allocated to attend and complete their study. As you are aware our priority is to deliver high quality training and ensure that all students have the time to complete their assessments and receive their qualification. We are flexible with our expectations and we are currently preparing an employer’s training guide for CHPs to help you understand our role in delivering training.  We are also finding that CHPs have a range of policies relating to study leave.  We appreciate that CHPs already allow substantial time off for staff to attend training and of course financially supporting the training as well. However we wanted to make you aware of this issue and encourage you to discuss with your workers if they are having problems managing their study time and commitments. We would also welcome any comments or suggestions you would like to make.

Further to this, we are in the process of introducing a course withdrawal form to be completed by the students and their Manager to help us further understand how we can improve our training services.  As always please contact our Training Manager, Kevin Saide with any specific requests for training and professional development.

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The Federation''s response to the Greater Sydney Commission District Plans

The Federation’s response  to the Greater Sydney Commission’s (GSC) six District Plans was being finalised as the last issue of Housing Matters went to press. The Federation supports the approach being taken by the GSC and believes the clearly articulated, integrated approach taken provides a solid starting point for planning for the growing and changing needs of Greater Sydney. In particular, the proposed inclusionary zoning requirements foreshadowed draft District Plans are an important first step to securing more of the affordable rental housing the city desperately needs. The Federation believes the proposals can be strengthened and have recommended several solutions to achieve more affordable housing. The recommendations are summarised in a short easy to read two page document.  Key recommendations include:

  • An overarching comprehensive housing plan for Sydney with clear numerical targets for affordable housing supported by a robust housing needs assessment of the existing and future demand
  • Bolder affordable housing targets that are tracked and reported on every year
  • Support and capacity building for local councils to enable them to plan and deliver on affordable housing requirements
  • Recognition that households on moderate incomes who are priced out of homeownership and market rental housing also need access to below market housing
  • All levels of government using its own land for affordable housing, setting far more ambitious targets than those currently in the District Plans.

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Canadian Housing and Renewal Association's (CHRA) 2017 National Congress

Wendy Hayhurst will be speaking at the Canadian Housing and Renewal Association’s (CHRA) 2017 National Congress in Halifax, Nova Scotia on May 2nd and 3rd, 2017.

Wendy will discuss with delegates business transformation models, including risk management and capacity building with governments and key stakeholders, and perspectives on how new business lines are evolving to address changing operational resources, capacity and needs. In a separate session on social housing regeneration and renewal, Wendy will feature case studies in Australia and UK on NIMBY’ism in relation to multi-tenure estate re-design and management projects.

The CHRA Congress 2017 will convene over 600 delegates for three days of professional development and engagement covering a wide range of housing and homelessness issues.

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Centre for Training in Social Housing update

The Training team continues to be passionate about delivering training in social housing to CHPs as well as some Specialist Homelessness Services. So far this year we have delivered over 25 Units of Competency to workers in NSW, Tasmania and the ACT. A reminder too that we can deliver non accredited professional development training on any area you wish and tailored to your organisation’s needs.

We recently ran a Hoarding and Squalor workshop facilitated by Sue Cripps and this proved very successful. We will run another one later in the year unless there is a need beforehand. The feedback we receive from participants is always very encouraging and we thank you for the opportunities to meet your training needs.  There are still vacancies in many of our courses so please click HERE for the full calendar

We have just received additional funding for our Smart and Skilled program to enrol more workers in this generously Government subsidised program. As always please contact our Training Manager, Kevin Saide with any specific requests for training and professional development.

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Complex Conditions Capable – Supporting community housing providers to work with tenants with complex conditions
The Federation has engaged Sue Cripps and Associates to develop a toolkit to support community housing providers to develop their capability in working with people who have complex conditions. The approach builds on the Domestic and Family Violence Toolkit which was launched in March and which provided housing practitioners with practical and targeted resources to help them to better manage in situations where people experience mental health and co-existing difficulties.

The Complex Conditions Capable Project will start in May with a workshop for practitioners to help inform development of the toolkit. The aim of the workshop will be to understand what community housing providers need to assist them as they work with tenants and applicants with complex conditions. It will seek to gain an understanding of the issues and challenges that they experience when working with tenants and applicants with complex conditions, understand these across all aspects of a provider’s business, and learn about the practices being used and developed by providers that support them in their work.

Anyone interested in the attending workshop, which will be held at the Federation’s office on 18 May, should contact Molly O’Halloran on 9281 7144 ext. 218. If you would like any further information about the project please contact Deborah Georgiou on 281 7144 ext. 204.

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Domestic and Family Violence – Working with Perpetrators Toolkit
The Federation has been funded by FACS  to carry out a further stage of work to improve community housing provider practice in relation to domestic and family violence. The project is due to commence from July 2017 and will be led by Sue Cripps and Associates. It will build on the domestic and family violence work launched in March 2017,  and will look at tenancy law and its relationship to DFV perpetrators, other relevant legislation, information about perpetrators (facts and stats), and workplace health and safety issues for organisations working with perpetrators. The Toolkit will be piloted with providers to ensure that it is practical and relevant. It will give provider’s the resources they need to work through housing and rehousing options for perpetrators, and provide comprehensive information about the programs and resources available for perpetrators and how they can be accessed by community housing and support providers.

If you would like any further information please contact Deborah Georgiou on 281 7144 ext. 204.

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Summer Foundation – NDIS Housing Market Development Initiative
The Summer Foundation has received funding from the Department of Social Services to deliver a range of projects to help build an mature NDIS Supported Disability Accommodation (SDA) housing market. Due for completion by December 2017, the projects that the Summer Foundation will be delivering are:
-          Project 1: Platform to identify participant demand and connect with SDA housing
-          Project 2: Resource bank of housing information for people with disability
-          Project 3: National Supported Disability Accommodation Demand Study
-          Project 4: Toolkit to separate housing and support
-          Project 5: Development of a shared equity and home ownership product for Supported Disability Accommodation

The Summer Foundation is keen to engage with community housing providers as soon as possible in the development and implementation of the projects. In particular, they have identified Project 1 (Platform Project) and Project 3 (Demand Study) as areas where community housing providers could really help them to shape their approach. If you are interested in working with them, please contact Melanie Southwell, Housing Sector Development Coordinator on 0477 123 484.

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SSROC Affordable Housing Forum 2017

The Southern Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (SSROC) and the Planning Institute of Australia (PIA), in collaboration with southern Sydney Community Housing Providers, are hosting a one-day Affordable Housing Forum in NSW on Monday, 24 July 2017.  Join industry experts and leaders from Local Government, community housing, planning, and academia for a robust discussion about affordable housing in the metropolitan Sydney region. This one-day Forum is designed to generate practical solutions for real-world application, with a formal Communique to be developed on the day.
Presentations by experts & industry leaders

  • Setting the Scene by an Expert Panel
  • Planning mechanisms and affordable housing
  • Housing as social and economic infrastructure
  • Financing affordable housing – making it happen locally
  • Urban renewal and affordable housing opportunities
  • Affordable Housing Bond Aggregation – is it a game changer?

Keynote Speakers

  • Heather Nesbitt | Social Commissioner, Greater Sydney Commission
  • Professor Hal Pawson | City Futures Research Centre, UNSW
  • Marcus Spiller | Principal and Partner, SGS Economics and Planning
  • Richard McLachlan | Development Director, Frasers Property Australia
  • Wendy Hayhurst | CEO, NSW Federation of Housing Associations
  • Sally Betts | President SSROC, Mayor Waverley Council

Registrations close 17 July 2017 – CLICK HERE TO REGISTER
Registration: $200 – lunch, morning and afternoon tea provided.
Enquiries:
SSROC: Kate Toohey – kate.toohey@ssroc.nsw.gov.au or 02 8396 3811
PIA Events:  nswevents@planning.org.au  or 02 7200 0810

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Media release: Homes for Homes Federal Government Seed Funding Submission: New funding to combat homelessness

As you are aware, we are in the process of encouraging the Federal Government to provide Homes for Homes with seed funding support to allow us to fully capitalise on the significant interest and momentum already generated to raise billions of dollars to improve the supply of social and affordable housing.

With the budget decision looming, we have decided to provide the Federal Government with a copy of a draft press release in support of the funding announcement to further encourage their consideration of Homes for Homes. Full release is expected next month.

“A number of community housing providers from several states have had the opportunity to be consulted and involved in the operational development of Homes for Homes.  As the CEO of the NSW not-for-profit housing provider peak I am fully supportive of this exciting initiative.”
Wendy Hayhurst, CEO, NSW Federation of Housing Associations Inc.

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Dr Tim Williams joins Link Housing’s Board of Directors

Urban development and affordable housing expert, Dr Tim Williams has joined Link Housing’s Board of Directors. Dr Tim Williams is the CEO of the Committee for Sydney. In addition, he also advises cities and governments here and internationally on their housing and economic development strategies.  He was raised in public housing in Beddau, South Wales, before studying at universities in Cambridge, Oxford and Wales.  Link Housing is the largest community housing provider in Northern Sydney managing over 1500 homes.

Andrew McAnulty, Link Housing, CEO, said, ‘I’m extremely pleased to welcome Tim to the board. His extensive industry experience and knowledge will be an asset to Link Housing as we continue to support our tenants and execute our long-term strategy.’ Tim commences his position as a Director with Link Housing’s Board in April 2017.

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In the Media

Over the past month the Federation and CEO Wendy Hayhurst have been mentioned in the following news articles:

5 April 2017 Showcasing Innovation on Youth Homelessness Matters Day
Innovative youth refuges with wrap-around services are being showcased as part of a Youth Homelessness Matters Day forum on Wednesday - an initiative of the National Youth Coalition for Housing (NYCH). NSW Federation of Housing Associations CEO Wendy Hayhurst said people were working on creative, long-term accommodation solutions that would give young people the security and safety they needed to find jobs and “get on with their lives” – but they needed government support.

6 April 2017 Wendy Hayhurst discusses Inner West Council’s new affordable housing policy on Radio Skid Row breakfast show. Listen to the full interview here.

11 April 2017 $1 billion a year boost needed for NSW public housing: pricing regulator
The NSW public housing system faces a billion-dollar annual funding gap, according to the state's independent economic adviser. Wendy Hayhurst, the chief executive of the NSW Federation of Housing Association, said "moderate income earners cannot be forgotten. They are not going to get into home ownership very easily".

13 April 2017 Report Calls for Funding Subsidy to Bridge the Gap in Social Housing Costs
A draft report into social and affordable housing in NSW has called for a subsidy to bridge the estimated $950 million a year needed to run the social housing system in that state – a recommendation that has not-for-profit support. The NSW Federation of Housing Associations and Homelessness NSW welcomed IPART’s acknowledgement that housing providers need an explicit subsidy to bridge the $950 million a year it estimates is needed to run the social housing system properly.

18 April 2017 ABC Newcastle
Wendy Hayhurst talks affordable housing on ABC Newcastle Radio. Listen to the full interview here.

20 April 2017 Affordable housing providers ‘not being used to their full capacity’, report says
The federal government says it wants to provide more affordable housing for Australia but is instead proving the major hurdle to creating cheaper homes and abating the crisis, a major report into the issue claims. Wendy Hayhurst, chief executive of the NSW Federation of Housing Associations, says the report is very fair and underlines what many have been saying in the industry for years. “The amount of resources put into affordable housing, in comparison to the increasing need, shows there’s a large gap,” she says. “It illustrates that there needs to be a lot more resourcing.

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