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June 2017

Contents

  1. CEO Talking Points
  2. The NSW Budget 2017 – Households needing affordable rental housing lose out
  3. Moving towards an independent peak Aboriginal Housing body
  4. New projects designed to help organisations respond to challenging housing management issues
  5. Elder Abuse – knowing the signs
  6. NSWFHA Housing Management Hotline
  7. Indigenous Housing Caucus at the Canadian Housing and Renewal Association Conference
  8. Affordable Housing Pressures in New York City
  9. Working to help tackle homelessness in San Francisco
  10. Supreme Court decision affecting social housing terminations
  11. Positive results for Pacific Link Project
  12. Grenfell Tower, Kensington, London
  13. New Affordable homes in Willoughby
  14. In the media

 

CEO's Talking Points

Over the last week our thoughts have been with everyone who has been affected by the dreadful fire at Grenfell Tower in Kensington, London.  Amazing work has been done by the emergency services, local community and other housing organisations in response.

There has been much commentary about causes and contributory factors as well as about how the authorities responded. The sector is monitoring the outcomes from the formal investigations whilst keeping in close touch with our own regulators about their response.  Some further information is below.

Last week was also NSW budget time. It was a missed opportunity (given the $4.5 billion surplus) to tackle the massive short falls in affordable rental housing across NSW.  Record investment is planned for health, schools and transport infrastructure. We believe affordable housing is essential social and economic infrastructure and that where there are shortfalls the productivity, and ultimately economic health of places, will be affected. It is why many global cities have clear strategies to deliver affordable housing. Take New York City’s 10 year housing plan  to preserve and deliver 200K affordable homes. Only two years in and it is ahead of its targets.

While efforts to streamline the planning system are welcome, new supply will not on its own make housing affordable for most households locked out of home ownership, even with the additional support the budget offered to first home buyers. For a clear summary of the various measures and relative effectiveness to tackle housing affordability it’s worth revisiting this article by the SMH’s Jessica Irvine and Matt Wade.

More positively the $14 Billion future fund does give the NSW Government an excellent opportunity to use some proceeds to greatly expand the Social and Affordable Housing Fund in its anticipated future phases. Along with a strong inclusionary zoning policy that shares the windfall gains from public planning decisions between communities and land owners and, the use of government land for affordable rental housing, the problem could be tackled.

More on what made it into the budget is below.

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The NSW Budget 2017 – Households needing affordable rental housing lose out

The NSW Government brought down its 2017 Budget on 20 June and there was little to cheer for people locked out of home ownership including the 60,000 on the state’s housing waiting list.

Housing affordability did not merit a separate budget chapter but is subsumed within ‘Helping families with the cost of living’ and is focused on measures to assist first home buyers and facilitate supply. For the many people whose incomes and savings fall well short of what they need to pay a deposit and service a mortgage along with all their other outgoings, there wasn’t much on offer.

The Family and Community Services (FACS) budget was increased. An additional $459 million has been allocated primarily to child protection and out of home care services and supports for people with disabilities. We would not disagree these are services that need additional funds but that at a time of big budgetary surpluses FACS could have received more to facilitate more new housing development.

For 2017/18 existing commitments such as Communities Plus which should deliver around 6500 additional homes are continued.  $20 million ($5M a year for four years) has been identified to support a transitional housing program and support packages for rough sleepers.

Other expenditure on housing services and renovation are as previously promised and include $19m to ‘empower people to break the cycle of disadvantage in social housing through improved parenting, health, education work and training’, $81M to support community housing providers head lease private rental accommodation, $37M for capital expenditure to finance and establish new homes for people with disabilities and $152M to carry out capital and maintenance works to Aboriginal housing.

The Social and Affordable Housing Fund (SAHF) is mentioned in the budget papers but the size and scope have not been determined. Industry soundings will start this coming financial year.

In the Western Sydney Overview, whilst mention is made of the need for diverse housing to support the region’s growth, there are no apparent measures to ensure housing affordability other than via land release and unspecified zoning regulations. Measures to facilitate affordable rental housing are absent.

The main message conveyed by the budget about housing is once again that ‘housing construction is booming’, with detail about housing completion levels and a large construction pipeline – there is no analysis of why this isn’t making a difference to house prices, particularly in metropolitan markets.

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Moving towards an independent peak Aboriginal Housing body

The interim Committee held an initial meeting on the 23 February and its first meeting on the 4 April.

The interim Committee is comprised of the following members:

  • Suzanne Naden – Bungree Aboriginal Corporation
  • Cathy Craigie – Ngalawi Aboriginal Housing Co-op
  • Nathan Moran – Metropolitan LALC
  • Guy Jones – Many Rivers Aboriginal Corporation
  • Seth Toomey – Mid Lachlan Aboriginal Housing Co-op
  • Charlie Trindall – Mid Lachlan Aboriginal Housing Co-op
  • Brendan Harris – Coonamble LALC
  • Jesse White – SEARMS
  • Uncle Tom Slockee – SEARMS

The purpose of the interim Committee is to assist the Federation in seeking comments and feedback from the sector about what the Aboriginal peak housing body will look like and how will it represent the sector.  The interim committee will assist and provide guidance to establish a number of key aspects of the Aboriginal peak body which includes a governance structure, body registration and constitution and membership base. 

Providers are encouraged to complete the sector survey to provide their thoughts and comments on these key aspects. The survey can be found at
https://www.snapsurveys.com/wh/s.asp?k=147554187909

The Federation will be seeking input from the sector through its regional ACHP network meetings on what could be undertaken in its work plan for year 2. This could include support to the sector in the means of training to prepare for the NRS registration or developing/improving capacity in the areas of sector need such as Assets, Strategic Planning, etc.

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New projects designed to help organisations respond to challenging housing management issues

The Federation is embarking on two new projects designed to give community housing providers insights into issues associated with housing people who are leaving correctional services and in managing the tenancies of the perpetrators of domestic and family violence.  These areas present challenges to any housing landlord.

Housing for People exiting the Corrective Services System will look at what is currently being done in NSW, across Australia and internationally. It seeks to identify new options for the community housing industry to provide secure and sustainable accommodation for people leaving the prison system. It will identify best practice in building strong and supportive links between housing, support providers and government agencies in NSW. The project will involve stakeholder interviews, a workshop and survey for all community housing providers and a forum designed to disseminate findings of the final report.  Tony Gilmour will be carrying out this work for the Federation.

Housing Management for Perpetrators of Domestic and Family Violence is designed to be an extension of the Domestic and Family Violence Toolkit and will give community housing providers practical resources about tenancy management approaches, understanding the law as it relates to perpetrators, men’s behaviour services, workplace health and safety for staff, options for housing/rehousing perpetrators and how to work with families experiencing domestic and family violence who are not ready to separate. Sue Cripps and associates will be carrying out this work for the Federation.

If you are interested in either of these projects and want to know more or become involved, please contact Deborah Georgiou on 9281 7144 (ext. 204).

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Elder Abuse – knowing the signs

It was World Elder Abuse Awareness Day on the 15 June, which also saw the launch of a report by The Australian Law Reform Commission, Elder Abuse - A National Legal Response. Elder abuse is rising in Australia with many cases being reported of older people signing away their homes and their savings to others, often relatives, who prey on their vulnerability. Maurice Blackburn Lawyers report that the five key warning signs of elder abuse are;

  • Someone close to an older person tries to force changes to their will quickly
  • Older people express fear and anxiety and loss of trust when discussing their finances
  • There are unexplained amounts of money missing from bank accounts and the older person starts to get into debt
  • An older person has frequent changes of mind about enduring power of attorney
  • A loss of jewelry or personal belongings.

A community housing provider is often a trusted entity in an older person’s life so being aware of some of the signs that this could be happening to one a tenant is critical.  Homes North Community Housing has recently developed a policy on elder abuse. Andrew Parker, Homes North Project Officer, says ‘it was the tenants who raised it with us as an issue and following this we worked with the NSW Elder Abuse Helpline and Resource Centre, local aged care provider Australian Unity and our staff and the tenants, to develop something that would work for us as a community housing provider’.

The policy is based largely on FACS NSW Preventing and Responding to Abuse of Older People – NSW interagency policy.  The Homes North Elder Abuse Policy is available online at: http://homesnorth.org/tenancy-policies/.  Anyone wanting to know more can contact Andrew Parker on (02) 6772 5133.

For older tenant’s seeking advice, the Elder Abuse Hotline in NSW is 1800 628 221, the Seniors Rights Service is 9281 3672 or 1800 424 079, or online at www.seniorsrightsservice.org.au.

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A new Hotline Service for the Domestic and Family Violence Toolkit

Community housing providers are committed to ensuring that they deliver an effective and sensitive response to any applicants, tenants and their dependents that are experiencing domestic and family violence.

To assist with this the NSW Federation of Housing Associations has broadened the Hotline service to assist members managing tenancies that involve domestic and family violence.

The additional Hotline support will include assistance to members to:

  • Implement the Strengthening Practice in Responding to Domestic and Family Violence: A Toolkit for Community Housing Providers
  • Manage tenancies that involve domestic and family violence.

This service won’t provide specialist expert domestic and family violence advice relating to individual cases, however it will be able to refer you to appropriate support such as to 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732) or the Domestic Violence Line 1800 656 463.

Hotline numbers
Sydney Metropolitan: 9281 7144
Non Metropolitan: 1800 652 877

The Federation’s Hotline service is available Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 10.00am to 1.00pm.

For urgent enquiries at other times, please email the Hotline team at hotline@communityhousing.org.au and we will endeavour to reply as soon as possible.

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Indigenous Housing Caucus at the Canadian Housing and Renewal Association (CHRA) Conference

CHRAWhile at the CHRA conference the Federation’s CEO Wendy Hayhurst attended the Indigenous Housing Caucus on May 2nd in Halifax.  Over 120 delegates gathered to share ideas, discuss innovation in the housing sector and find new opportunities for growth.
Delegates spanned the urban and regional non-profit Indigenous Housing corporations with a combined portfolio of circa $3.2billion and the remainder ranged from local homelessness service provider
s and regional homelessness coordinators, to representatives of all levels of government, Indigenous women, First Nations and private sector delegates.

Similar issues to Australia abound even if the history, culture and politics are very different.  Accommodation and services for ‘off-reserve’ households is desperately needed and many provinces don’t have a co-ordinated approach to funding.  British Columbia’s Aboriginal Management Housing Association, which was Canada's first Aboriginal housing authority and was devolved from BC Housing to provide subsidies while building the sector capacity, is possibly the most advanced approach.  The Federation is hoping we can forge links with the AMHA and the NSW Aboriginal member led interim peak.

To introduce the NSW Aboriginal sector to the Canadians, Wendy took a video featuring the Federation members and staff explaining the NSW Aboriginal story. It went down a storm and we hope you both enjoy watching and learn from it.  I’m sure you will agree it is an excellent resource for inducting new staff involved in housing.  Play the video here by entering the password: housing.

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Affordable Housing Pressures in New York City and one example of a response - Camba Housing Ventures

New York’s Mayor Bill de Blasio has made affordable housing a top priority and has committed the City to "build or preserve nearly 200,000 affordable units, and help both tenants and small landlords preserve the quality and affordability of their homes."

Infographic - Index of New York City Median Gross Rent and Renter Household Income, 2005-2012Sydneysiders will be familiar with the problem of incomes failing to keep pace with rent rises as the graph illustrates.  Many households are spending way above 30 percent of their incomes across all five boroughs.

The NYC population is growing again with a 10 percent increase forecast over 30 years to reach 9 million in 2040. Supply isn’t meeting demand especially for those on the lowest incomes.

 

Infographic - Supply and Demand among Extremely Low Income and Very Low Income Renter HouseholdsOlder residents are aging in place rather than moving after retirement; young families are remaining in the City rather than moving to the suburbs when their children reach school age; empty-nesters are returning to the City after their children are grown and people are moving to the City from all over the United States, as well as migration from other parts of the world.

 

 

 

 

There has been high (in comparison to Sydney) public investment for housing affordable to low- and moderate-income New Yorkers but not enough to keep pace with demand. This excess demand has also contributed to high rates of homelessness. Although street homelessness is relatively low, around 50,000 New Yorkers sleep in homeless shelters every night.

The Mayor’s housing plan sets out a range of initiatives including implementing a mandatory Inclusionary Housing Program where there are rezoning’s, preserving the affordability and quality of the existing housing stock where protected tenants are threatened by rent deregulation, incentivising landlords to preserve affordable housing via tax incentives to upgrade and building new affordable housing for those on the lowest incomes.

The City intends to audit all vacant sites and ‘use this tool to encourage affordable housing and mixed-use development on underused sites within our own portfolio, as well as in partnership with the  State, public authorities, not-for-profit institutions, faith-based organizations, and private owners who have land that could be deployed for affordable housing’.  They are introducing funding programs to support this initiative.
 
Homeless, senior, supportive, and accessible housing will be promoted including a shift from high-cost homeless shelters to lower-cost permanent housing and developing more supportive housing to improve health outcomes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Images: CAMBA Housing exterior and interior

CAMBA, a non-profit agency (see here), is one organisation well placed to respond to the new 10 year strategy. Established in 1977, CAMBA ‘takes a comprehensive approach to helping individuals, families and communities thrive, offering integrated programs in: Economic Development, Education & Youth Development, Family Support, Health, Housing, and Legal Services’.  CAMBA’s affiliate, CAMBA Housing Ventures (CHV) develops sustainable, affordable and supportive housing, completing over 2062 units by 2015, representing $620 million in public/private investment.
 
I had the opportunity to visit the award winning CAMBA Gardens Phase I and II in Brooklyn. The scheme is a partnership between a public hospital and CAMBA/CHV to build affordable and supportive housing on underused hospital grounds. The partnership was motivated by a 2005 Corporation for Supportive housing white paper to create housing as healthcare. The first phase was developed in 2013 at a cost of US$66.8 million, providing 209 units. Of these 146 are for formerly homeless families and individuals and the remaining for households on less than 60% of the area median income.

Together with New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC), the project co-locates health, social and housing services for those who need the additional support.  Programs include living skills, job training and healthy living programs delivered by CAMBA or its partners.


 

 

 

 

 

 

Images: CAMBA Housing exterior and interior

The project was financed from a variety of sources with capital including over $34 million State in tax-exempt bonds, $26.1 million in HOME funds through the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development, $1.4 million from the Federal Home Loan Bank Affordable Housing Program and other New York City and State resources including US$25M low income housing tax credit equity syndicated by Enterprise Community Investment. Operations financing is via Project Based Section 8 rental vouchers and NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. By providing the land the hospital was relieved of costly operating liabilities and the environment was very much beautified. Phase 2 has recently opened at a cost of US$100M with an additional 293 homes also targeted at both low income and formerly homeless households. The internal and external environments are beautiful with a completely non institutional feel. It’s close to transport and community facilities.
Enterprise Communities included CAMBA Gardens Phase I in its social return of investment report to assess the early outcomes from its Loan Fund-supported projects. The report examines the challenges that the developers were addressing with these developments, along with the innovative partnerships and investments that enabled each project’s completion despite barriers to development. The summary of the project’s achievements taken from the report are presented in the diagram below.

For those wanting to read more about this research and it is definitely worthwhile -  the report is here.

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Working to help tackle homelessness in San Francisco

Anyone visiting San Francisco comes away shocked by the sheer scale of street homelessness, not just in ‘traditional’ areas around Tenderloin where numbers remain the highest, but also in many inner city areas. Across the US homelessness has been on the rise with the Housing and Urban Development Department (HUD) estimating in its 2016 homelessness assessment report that ‘on a single night in 2016, 549,928 people were experiencing homelessness in the United States’. Of these almost a third are in unsheltered locations. Almost a quarter of this total are homeless in California and of the state’s 118,000, 66% were unsheltered – equal to half of the US total. By way of contrast New York’s 86,352 homeless are predominately in shelters, transitional accommodation or safe havens, with around 4,000 counted as unsheltered.

It is not a recent problem in San Francisco (emerging in the 1980s after Reagan era welfare cuts) and the street count has stayed relatively stable over the last few years. This article isn’t the place to analyse and explain the history and reasons but talking to people working in the sector reveals there hasn’t been one singular cause. First it is stressed that the proportion of homeless people is roughly similar to the US average 7-9% of extremely low income households but that it appears higher as individuals are concentrated in areas where people work and tourists visit.  Reasons reportedly include the perceived opportunity to get a job, the relatively benign climate (NY winters cannot be survived on the street and even in Spring the numbers sleeping above heating ducts tells a story about how hard it is), toleration (though that has varied over the years),  the mismatch between new housing supply and the demand generated by the tech boom leading to the highest median house prices and a high rate of rental evictions illustrated by the San Francisco Anti-Eviction Project. A map of San Francisco Eviction Notices can be found here.

There is also no doubt that the problem feels worse, too, as many homeless people appear to be experiencing mental illnesses. According to a 2013 report on homelessness in San Francisco 37% of homeless people suffered from a severe mental illness.  The same report also shows that over half those surveyed had either been homeless for long periods or had had repeated episodes.

There is a long history of attempts to tackle homelessness,  the most recent initiative articulated in the city’s 2016 budget saw US$1.2 billion for "human welfare and neighbourhood development", from which funding for homelessness programs comes.  The city’s department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing was established to co-ordinate initiatives to provide assistance and support to the homeless and it is working towards a strategic plan that will aim to

  • End homelessness for 8,000 people in the next 4 years
  • Reduce the length of time people spend homeless
  • Reduce street homelessness
  • Develop a strategy and plan for addressing homelessness in SF.

One of the city’s budget promises was to provide 500 new "supportive housing units" for the homeless. I had the privilege to meet staff including the EO, Gail Gilman, from one supportive housing provider – Community Housing Partnerships CHP in the heart of Tenderloin, and to visit a supportive housing project in central San Francisco - the Richardson Apartments.

CHP is a non-profit organisation established in 1990 to respond to homelessness by integrating affordable housing development with on-site supportive services. They own and manage over 1,100 ‘supportive’ homes and have a further 300 under development.


 

 

 

 

 

 

Opened in 2011, the Richardson apartments have 120 units for extremely low income chronically single homeless people. The units are studios and the building also has office space, program (training rooms etc.) and a rooftop garden and patio.

UCSF’s Citywide Case Management program is the tenant services provider at Richardson Apartments. Citywide, in partnership with the San Francisco Department of Public Health, offers direct behavioural health services to support residents in maintaining housing stability. They also provide linkages to ongoing services with outside providers as well as preventive medical and psychiatric care based on site.


The accommodation is permanent – the HUD standard is that 71% will remain in supportive housing. And while that might be appropriate for substantial numbers, many could and do aspire to move. CHP’s new five year strategic plan includes an objective to promote resident self-sufficiency and for those able to afford and manage to do so, assistance to move to less ‘service enriched’ housing such as public, affordable housing or market rate (with a voucher) housing.

To support this objective CHP has introduced / built on a series of initiatives, including services to help their tenants (and other ex-homeless people) into employment in the property management field. Service users receive job training at CHP’s Employment Training Program (previously Learning Academy) and job placement through their social enterprise, Solutions SF. The schemes are illustrated in the diagram below. In its five year history Solutions SF has had an impressive success rate. Its employees earned US$1.5M in unsubsidised wages during 2016 and a 36% annual placement rate into full time jobs; no small achievement given the recent past history of those being helped.  

One of the tenants who has really benefitted from the program is Cheryl who was homeless for 5 years before moving into a CHP supportive housing property. Eager to regain her own housing, she worked closely with her CHP Resident Counsellor Brande and, among other achievements, enrolled in CHP’s Employment Training Ladder and was offered a job as a desk clerk through Solutions SF.  Cheryl found that she really enjoyed and excelled at her new career and that having a stable place to live and a job gave her the stability she needed to move on. Her dream became reality when Brande helped her apply for a Moving On voucher and she successfully transitioned to her new apartment in San Francisco’s Bernal Heights district.

However, finding affordable housing in San Francisco isn’t easy and to promote more opportunities for their tenants, CHP has recently issued a policy statement – Housing Mobility 2017 – calling on the city and county of San Francisco to prioritise placements of people living in supportive housing ready to move on. CHP has received an endorsement for their proposals from eleven affordable and supportive housing providers.

Gail Gilman will be speaking at the AHURI National Housing Conference in Sydney in November - a perfect opportunity to learn more about CHP’s work to respond to homelessness in a one of the world’s most pressured housing markets.

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Supreme Court decision affecting social housing terminations

In April 2017, a Supreme Court ruling (Lynwood v Coffs Harbour and District Local Aboriginal Land Council [2017] NSWSC 424) found that section 154E of Residential Tenancies Act 2010 must be considered when making a termination order for a social housing tenancy. This includes grounds where there would otherwise be no discretion e.g. section 85 (90 day no grounds) and section 84 (end of fixed term agreement).

This means when seeking termination of a social housing tenancy agreement at NCAT, social housing providers must address 154E factors, which are:

  1. the effect the tenancy has had on neighbouring residents or other persons
  2. the likelihood that neighbouring residents or other persons will suffer serious adverse effects in the future if the tenancy is not terminated
  3. the landlord’s responsibility to its other tenants
  4. the history of the current tenancy and any prior tenancy arising under a social housing tenancy agreement with the same or a different landlord
  5. whether the tenant, willfully or otherwise, is or has been in breach of an order of the Tribunal.

In circumstances where a section 84 (end of fixed term agreement) has been served for transitional properties, section 154E is not exclusive and the Member can consider other discretionary factors. It is recommended that in this situation CHPs provide evidence about that about the transitional nature of the property with supporting policies on termination.
An appeal of the Supreme Court decision has been lodged with the Court of Appeal however, it is unlikely to be heard this year.

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Positive results for Pacific Link Project

Western Sydney University has completed a review of tenant satisfaction following Pacific Link Housing’s self-funded refurbishment of the 100-home Dunbar Way housing estate in North Gosford.  Conducted using before and after studies, the review found that prior to the project being implemented, residents saw the estate as stigmatised, fractious, and subject to high levels of antisocial and criminal behaviours such as drug-dealing.

Following the refurbishment residents reported significant improvements in quality of life for all tenants. Most significantly:

  • The installation of CCTV in public areas led to an immediate and significant reduction in crime, with police figures showing a 23% reduction in total crime malicious damage down by 83%, and assault down by 25% in the first year.
  • As tenants responsible for antisocial or criminal behaviours were moved on the resident body felt they were living in a safer, stronger community.
  • The installation of a new children’s playground – allowing young children once kept indoors to interact with others, was warmly welcomed
  • The playground was also seen as a positive for supervising parents – bringing them together and helping foster a sense of community across the site.
  • Once reluctant to admit they lived in the estate, residents are now largely optimistic, have a strong commitment to Pacific Link’s objectives and look forward to the continued improvement of the neighbourhood.

Pacific Link is now embarking on Phase 2 of the refurbishment via Social Housing Community Grants to allow for new Community Gardens, a new Multi-Use Sports Court, a Peak Fitness Outdoor Gym and upgrading of the Community Hub. More information can be found here at the Pacific Link website.

kidsplaying

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Grenfell Tower, Kensington, London

The Federation and its members would like to offer condolences to the families of people lost or injured in the Grenfell Tower fire and to everyone who has been affected by the tragedy.

Community housing providers are monitoring what is emerging from the investigation in the UK and the advice coming from the Australian authorities. At the same time our members are subject to the National Registration Scheme for Community Housing and are regularly assessed for compliance against the performance standards in the regulatory code.

These include activities such as asset management, risk management and development.
Community housing providers are not complacent and are aware of the need to regularly review and ensure practice remains up to date. Most are members of the Federation’s asset and development management network, and the group will be considering the lessons from Grenfell Tower; both those specific to the event but also the broader issues it raises about design, materials, procurement and contract management. 

If you want to know more about the work of the network then please contact Leoni Lynch at leonil@communityhousing.org.au

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New Affordable Homes Open in Willoughby

Northern Sydney based community housing provider Link Housing, has recently opened 43 new affordable homes in Willoughby, on Sydney’s North Shore. The modern ‘Sienna’ building will provide housing for those on moderate to low-incomes, including our communities’ key workers.

Link Housing Chief Executive Officer, Andrew McAnulty said, “Collaboration between Link Housing, local and state government and property developer, Hyecorp, has increased affordable housing in a desirable Sydney suburb. This is a fantastic example of what can be achieved through a partnership approach, and highlights the possibility to further increase high-quality housing options, in high-value areas.’

Link Housing currently manages 353 affordable properties on the North Shore – roughly 25% of the 1,500 homes they own or manage. ‘Continuing to increase affordable housing is a priority. With rent prices in Sydney becoming increasingly unattainable, we run the risk of pushing out members of the community that we rely on. Essential workers including nurses, teachers and police officers, need to live near their place of work. Developments like ‘Sienna’ will improve options for individuals and families, and keep communities together and functioning effectively,’ said Andrew McAnulty. The ‘Sienna’ development was officially opened by the NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian on Friday, June 23rd.

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In the Media

Over the past month the Federation has been mentioned in the following news articles:

28 June 2017: ABC Radio – talking retirement village issues
Wendy Harmer speaks with Jeff Fidler regarding retirement village issues in the media.  Listen to the program here.

22 June 2017: A Homeless ‘Safe Space’ Challenges Australia’s Power Brokers
Over the past six months, an unsanctioned shelter under a towering construction site in the heart of Sydney’s central business district has become a gathering place for the homeless and the working poor. “Increased homelessness and street homelessness is a symptom of a bigger problem, of a lack of affordable rental housing in Sydney and other parts of New South Wales,” said Wendy Hayhurst.  Read full article here.

30 May 2017: NSW Labor ups affordable housing ambitions
A quarter of all dwellings built on government-owned land would be designated affordable housing, under new policy revealed by NSW Labor. The NSW Federation of Housing Associations and Homelessness NSW welcomed the package. “It is good to see a plan that recognises there are people at many different places on the housing spectrum who all need support in different ways – from first home buyers who need a pathway into to the market to people who need to rent at below market rent prices,” the Federation’s Deborah Georgiou said.  Read more here.

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