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What's New - Archived

Housing Matters: December Edition
The December edition is available here

Housing Matters: November Edition (27 November 2015)
The November edition is available here

Ecclesia Housing success at Wadalba (27 November 2015)
In October 2015 Ecclesia Housing completed construction of 19 affordable and social housing dwellings at Wadalba on the NSW Central Coast. Read more...

SGCH celebrates 30 years of creating homes (27 November 2015)
SGCH celebrated 30 years of creating homes with a stakeholder event at Parliament House on 17 November. The event was well attended by politicians, government agencies, corporate partners and SGCH’s Board and staff. Read more...

Hume Community Housing starts a new development in Warwick Farm (27 November 2015)
With affordable housing presenting as one of the most significant issues facing NSW today, Hume Community Housing’s innovative $7 million residential development in Sydney’s Warwick Farm provides a model of how these challenges may be met through collaborations between the non-government, government and private sectors. Read more...

MEDIA RELEASE: Rental Index highlights need for 30% affordable housing targets (24 November 2015)
Sydney's last place ranking in today's National Shelter's Rental Affordability Index again
highlights the need for urgent action at all levels, including 30% affordable housing targets on
new developments, the NSW Federation of Housing Associations said today.

Federation CEO Wendy Hayhurst said National Shelter report show that almost all renters
struggle, with low-income households having to spend 65% of their income to rent a property
under current market conditions. Read more...


MEDIA RELEASE: Time for NSW Government to reveal plans for housing affordability (20 November 2015)
NSW needs a clear plan for addressing the housing affordability crisis affecting 4 in 5 renters, the state's peak not-for-profit housing body said today.

NSW Federation of Housing Associations CEO, Wendy Hayhurst, said urgent action was needed to increase the supply of social and affordable housing for low and middle-income earners struggling to find anywhere to live in Sydney or regional centres.

"The are about 60,000 applications on the public housing waiting list, with waiting times of more than 10 years in most of Sydney, according to Government estimates updated yesterday," Ms Hayhurst said. Read more...

New Masters Degree Program at UNSW (20 October 2015)
The new Urban Renewal and Housing Masters Program is being launched in 2016. The first Degree of its kind in Australia, this Program aims to appeal to mid-career professionals as well as recent graduates. It will equip students to enter or progress in a range of employment fields including not-for-profit housing development and management. Enrolments for Semester 1 (March 2016) close 30th November. Read more on our Events Page.


Housing Matters: October Edition
The October edition is available here.

MEDIA RELEASE: Partnerships the way forward for affordable housing in NSW (22 October 2015)
The NSW Federation of Housing Associations is delighted that the Government is seriously interested in partnering with the community housing industry to build new affordable housing in the 2500 unit Ivanhoe Estate at Macquarie Park.

Advertising in today's Australian Financial Review this morning calls for Expressions of Interest in providing "integrated social, affordable and private housing redevelopment opportunities" at the Ivanhoe Estate, and 550 new homes on six sites in Sydney, Gosford, Newcastle and Tweed Heads. Read more...


MEDIA RELEASE: "NSW needs 30% target for affordable homes" under a new affordable housing strategy by the Federation (30 September 2015)
One third of all new homes in NSW should be designated affordable housing under a new
strategy by the NSW Federation of Housing Associations.

Federation Chief Executive Wendy Hayhurst said the state's 40 largest community housing
providers are calling for a major overhaul of NSW planning laws to encourage investment in
new affordable housing for key workers and households on very low to moderate incomes.

The detailed industry paper also targets roadblocks at a local council level. Read more...


Read the full Industry Strategy here.
Read the summary here

Housing Matters: September Edition
The September edition is now available.

Talking to Tenants about Assets(23 September 2015)
Most organisations do tenant participation because it is recognised to be best practice and because, if it is done well, it can significantly improve service delivery and save money. So why don’t you ask tenants about the assets you manage? Read more...

MEDIA RELEASE: Community housing "sophisticated", "sustainable: Auditor General (16 September 2015)
The state's peak not-for-profit housing body has welcomed today's NSW Auditor General's
findings that community housing can help ease the housing affordability crisis for struggling
households. Read more...

Sydney Morning Herald article on taxing vacant properties (17 August 2015)
The Federation's CEO, Wendy Hayhurst, has been quoted in a SMH article today, advocating for taxing vacant properties: "While debate on affordability has so far centred on major reforms to negative gearing and land tax, the Federation wants to instigate local change." Read more...

Launch of the CFO Network (11 August 2015)
The Federation is pleased to launch its new Chief Financial Officer Network. CFOs and other staff with financial management, investment and reporting responsibilities are welcome to connect and keep up to date with others in the sector. First meeting is free to all who would like to attend. More details available HERE.

City of Sydney’s Housing Issues Paper (30 July 2015)
The Federation has submitted its response to the City of Sydney’s Housing Issues Paper available HERE. The response outlines how community housing can deliver solutions to Sydney’s affordable housing crisis through several key areas.

Bridge Housing creates affordable housing pipeline in western Sydney  (3 July2015)

Media Release

Growth Strategy for community housing launched (19 February 2015)
Our new industry growth strategy Housing Affordability: the Challenge is available here.  The growth strategy, which was developed in close consultation with members, sets out five priority areas for action on housing affordability.

Neighbourhoods Masterclass – Taking place on 18 & 19 November in Sydney (24 September 2015)
The Federation is holding a one and a half day Neighbourhood’s Masterclass which will build on the community housing industry’s understanding and capacity in order to support community housing providers’ work in neighbourhoods and communities. Read more…

MEDIA RELEASE Tax vacant properties to address Sydney's housing affordability (17 August 2015)
A vacant-property levy on the city's absent home owners could help fund new affordable
homes for key city workers, the state's peak not for profit community housing organisation
said today.

In its submission to the City of Sydney Council's Housing Issues Paper, the NSW Federation
of Housing Associations urged Council, as one of a number of recommendations, to consider
charging higher rates on the habitable properties sitting empty in the city for months at a time. Read more...

Industry Strategy Launch Invitation 29 September: Building More Affordable Housing Through the NSW Planning System (15 September 2015)             
With NSW in the middle of a housing affordability crisis, the NSW Federation of Housing Associations is releasing its action plan: 'Homes for all: A plan for housing affordability' in NSW that sets out clear proposals on how the planning system could be used to help drive change. Read more...

Housing Matters: August Edition
The August edition is now available.

MEDIA RELEASE Committee of Sydney signals "game on" for community housing (17 August 2015)
The Committee for Sydney's plan for housing affordability shows that big ideas can bring the development and community sectors together to tackle Sydney's affordability crisis, the state's peak not for profit housing organisation said today. Read more...

MEDIA RELEASE Community housing the solution to north coast rental affordability (5 August 2015)
Community housing models are one of the best solutions to the region's housing affordability
crisis the CEO of the NSW's peak not-for-profit housing body will tell a housing summit in
Lennox Head tomorrow (Thursday, August 6). Read more....

Housing Matters: July edition
The July edition is now available.

MEDIA RELEASE Community housing the key to affordability crisis  (26 June 2015)
The state’s peak not-for-profit housing body today welcomed Opposition calls to transfer 20,000 public housing properties to community housing associations. NSW Federation of Housing Associations CEO, Wendy Hayhurst, said title transfer could unlock hundreds of millions of dollars of public money to invest in new housing and help solve the state’s housing affordability crisis. Read more…

Housing Matters: June edition
The June edition is now available.

Housing Matters: May edition
The May edition is now available.

Federation's Briefing Paper on the Review of the Federation Issues Paper on Housing and Homelessness (16th January 2015)
This briefing paper is now available on our website.

CHIA CEO job advertisement
(3rd August 2015)
The job advertisement for CHIA's CEO is available here.

House Keys: launching soon
In June 2015 two new online tools developed for the community housing industry by the Federation will set industry standards and allow providers to see how they compare with peers across NSW and beyond.
Community housing providers want detailed, reliable information to help them compare their costs and performance with peers and like organisations across the sector, over time. House Keys is a tool for generating the data the industry wants about its own performance.

Our members are asking for an easy to access, personalised data comparison tool that allows them to see how they compare to other providers in our growing sector and provide them with an in-depth analysis of their costs and their performance.

In developing the new tools we’ve consulted with industry groups, providers, specialist networks, housing managers, government and the industry regulator about what information will add most value to providers and the industry.

Click here to register for further information and for details about webinars about House Keys

Click here to see a video demonstration of House Keys: operations 

Click here for House Keys leaflet

Click here to visit the House Keys pages

MEDIA RELEASE: Community housing welcomes bipartisan approach to housing affordability. (Tuesday 5th May 2015)
The state's peak community housing body has welcomed today's announcement that the NSW Government will hold an urgent forum to increase housing supply and improve housing affordability in NSW. Read more...

MEDIA RELEASE: Experts hold housing affordability talks, Sydney May 5-6 (Monday 4th May 2015)
Housing experts and policy makers are meeting in Sydney tomorrow to fast-track solutions to NSW's housing affordability crisis. The two-day conference hosted by the NSW Federation of Housing Associations will be opened by NSW Minister for Family and Communities and Social Housing, Brad Hazzard. Read more...

Housing Matters- April Edition
The April edition is now available

Housing Matters- March 2015 edition
The March edition is now available.

MEDIA RELEASE: Community housing welcomes Labor commitment to affordable housing
(21 March 2015)
Community housing organisations welcome a commitment by Labor today to elevate the priority of housing within government with a Premier’s Council on Housing Affordability. NSW Federal of Housing Associations CEO Wendy Hayhurst said Labor’s policy reflected an emerging recognition that affordable housing is a mainstream and urgent political issue. Read more...

MEDIA RELEASE: Community housing ready to innovate with billion-dollar affordability fund (12 March 2015)
Community housing organisations look forward to expanding affordable housing projects across NSW with Premier Mike Baird's announcement of a $1 billion housing affordability fund.
Read the media relase here.

ABC NEWS STORY (6th May 2015)
You can see ABC's news story on the 2015 NSW Community Housing Conference here. This will be available until 8pm tonight.

Conference News Flash! (17 April 2015)
We are delighted that The Hon. Brad Hazzard MP has accepted our invitation to attend and present at the opening session of the Conference! This will be one of Minister Hazzard's first major speaking engagements, and not to be missed if tackling housing affordability is your thing. We look forward to hearing his priorities for making inroads into the affordable housing shortfall across NSW. We look forward to seeing you. The full program is available here.

Sad News
(1 April 2015)
We received some very sad news today, that one of the stalwarts of the community housing sector, Lesley Oatley away on Tuesday 31 March after a battle with cancer.

Lesley will be very well known to many of you after a long and successful career in the sector. She was the CEO at Wingecarribee Community Tenancy Scheme and was instrumental in the founding of Argyle Housing back in the late 90s. Together with Brian Murnane she oversaw the growth of Argyle from a tenancy manager with around 120 homes to one with 2000 plus properties and its own development programme. Among many other achievements in a career that included advocating for the sector she was the key to getting the Police Record Of Understanding extended to community housing providers. After retiring from Argyle in 2013 she continued to remain very much involved in community housing by bringing her deep knowledge and experience to many of the sector including her assessor role at Global Mark. A number of you have already mentioned how generous she was with her time, supporting and mentoring ‘new entrants’ to the sector. She leaves a lasting legacy not least a healthy and expanding community housing sector. Our thoughts are with her friends and family, they can be confident she will be remembered for a long time to come.

2015 NSW Community Housing Conference - Program announced and early bird offer extended
(1st April 2015)
By popular request we are extending the early bird deadline for the NSW Community Housing Conference and Awards Dinner to Tuesday 7 April 2015.
See more here.

Position Vacant: Service Delivery Coordinator role at the Federation, Salary up to $85,812 (12 March 2015)
Please see the job advertisement here + position description

2015 NSW Community Housing Conference 5 + 6 May - Registrations now open
The Federation is excited to announce that the 2015 NSW Community Housing Conference will be held at Rydges World Square in the Sydney CBD on Tuesday 5 and Wednesday 6 May. Conference info and to Register.

Nominations are also open for the 2015 NSW Awards for Excellence in Community Housing.
All community housing providers in New South Wales are encouraged to enter the 2015 NSW Awards for Excellence in Community Housing, including housing co-operatives, Aboriginal housing providers, churches, housing companies and housing associations, supported housing providers and local government providers. Partnerships can also be nominated provided that at least one of the partners is a community housing provider in NSW. Awards info + Nomination Guidelines + Nomination Form .

Round 2 Tools for Success Scholarship open now.  (3rd February 2015)Tools for success logo


Encouraging women living in social housing to take up a career in non-traditional trades
A trade apprenticeship is a pathway to a flexible, high-paying career. Traditionally these jobs have been taken up by men, with women accounting for just 2% of those working in non-traditional trades. Tools for Success is a one year demonstration project to encourage women living in social housing to move into non-traditional trades. Download the guidelines and access the online application.

Housing Matters- February 2014 Issue
The latest issue of Housing Matters is now available.

Housing Matters- January 2014 Issue
The latest issue of Housing Matters is now available.

Federation Office Closure
The offices of the NSW Federation of Housing Associations will be closed from noon on 24th December 2014 and re-opening on 5th January 2015.

Housing Matters- November 2014 Issue
The latest issue of Housing Matters is now available.

Federation's Annual Report (17/11/2014)
The latest Federation's annual report is available here.

Housing Matters- October 2014 Issue
The latest issue of Housing Matters is now available.

Providing housing for people with a disability: New report published by CHFA and the Federation (14th October 2014)

Community Housing Federation Australia, with the assistance of the Federation, has just published a new report which examines the issues, challenges, and opportunities of providing housing for people with disability in the context of the roll out of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).  It does this from the perspective of community housing providers, who will have a significant role to play in delivering and managing new housing for NDIS participants.

Housing Matters- November 2014 Issue
The latest issue of Housing Matters is now available.

Federation's Annual Report (17/11/2014)
The latest Federation's annual report is available here.

Housing Matters- October 2014 Issue
The latest issue of Housing Matters is now available.

Providing housing for people with a disability: New report published by CHFA and the Federation (14th October 2014)

Community Housing Federation Australia, with the assistance of the Federation, has just published a new report which examines the issues, challenges, and opportunities of providing housing for people with disability in the context of the roll out of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).  It does this from the perspective of community housing providers, who will have a significant role to play in delivering and managing new housing for NDIS participants.

Tools for Success -  encouraging women living in social housing to take up a career in non-traditional trades (3rd October 2014)

A trade apprenticeship is a pathway to a flexible, high-paying career. Traditionally theses jobs have been taken up by men, with women accounting for just 2% of those working in non-traditional trades. Tools for Success is a one year demonstration project to encourage women living in social housing to move into non-traditional trades. The scholarships are available for eligible women. Read the guidelines and access the application form

Tools for success logo

 

Anti-Poverty Week 2014 (22nd September 2014)
Talking points about housing and poverty available here.

Housing Matters - September 2014 issue (18 September 2014)
The latest issue of Housing Matters is now available.

Inquiry into social tenancy management (15 September 2014)
The Federation prepared a submission to the Public Accounts Committee’s Inquiry into social housing management.  Download a copy of the submission here.

Shared Home Ownership (26 August 2014)
More information

Anti-Poverty Week (26 August 2014)
Anti-Poverty Week will take place on 12-18 October 2014. Find out about what you can do.

Shelter NSW announces Urban Issues lecture series
(20 August 2014)
Shelter NSW is excited to announce a new community education product - a lecture series on Urban Issues.  Urban issues and planning have become increasingly important in shaping our housing system.

See more information on the lecturers and topics and fees.  Registrations are now open and can be made on-line or by downloading the registration form.

Housing Matters - August Newsletter

NSW Federation of Housing Associations (15 Aug 2014)
Please see the Federation's Business Plan 2014-2015 and Strategic Plan 2014-2017.

Industry Development Strategy (12 June 2014)
The Industry Development Strategy is a joint initiative of FACS Housing NSW and the NSW Federation of Housing Associations. The aim is to support the industry to respond to the challenges and opportunities of the emerging environment. Find more information here

Housing, Disability and NDIS Forum Communique now available (22 April 2014)
CHFA has produced a brief communique summarising the key issues raised during the Housing, Disability and the NDIS Forum held in Canberra on 27 March 2014. The communique is now available for download via the CHFA website here

A copy of the speech by Hon. Kevin Andrews MP, Minister for Social Services from the Forum is also available from the Minister's webpage

Tenanted Property Transfers:  Towards an Industry Approach to Managing Future Property Transfers in NSW (14 April 2014)
This policy paper, prepared by the Federation of Housing Associations, presents a community housing industry preferred approach to managing future property transfers with eight key elements. The paper is based on industry-wide consultation and input from key stakeholders, and is informed by the experience of previous property transfers in NSW.  It also takes into account the lessons learned from past growth opportunities such as the Nation Building Economic Stimulus Plan and affordable housing programs.  The paper is available here.

Building Communities Seminar to be held on 14th May (31 March 2014)
See our Events page for more information on this seminar.

NSW Parliamentary Inquiry into Social, Public and Affordable Housing (6 March 2014)
The Federation has prepared a detailed submission to the Social, Public and Affordable Housing Inquiry. In its submission, The Federation proposes a number of specific solutions to tackle housing unaffordability, with a focus on partnerships between NSW Government and community housing providers  to create a supply of affordable housing options. Read our submission here.

The Federation’s New President (20 February 2014)
The Board of the NSW Federation of Housing Associations last week elected a new President: John Nicolades, CEO of Bridge Housing Ltd. John has served as a Director of the Federation since 2008 and as Vice President since 2010. John replaces Bobbie Townsend, CEO of Women’s Housing. Bobbie decided to stand down as President, a role which she held since 2009. The Board would like to acknowledge the extraordinary commitment Bobbie has made to the Federation and to the community housing industry, especially in leading the Federation and representing the industry through times of great change. Bobbie was first elected to the Board as Treasurer in 1996 and served several terms as Director, Treasurer, Vice President and President. She was re-elected in 2013 and remains a Director.

Proposed unrelated business income tax on charities halted (17 December 2013)
The Assistant Treasurer has recently announced a number of decisions relating to tax measures proposed by the previous Government. Of particular interest for community housing providers has been the proposed unrelated business income tax (UBIT) on the income of not-for-profit (NFP) entities, formally known as 'better targetting' of not-for-profit tax concessions. Originally intended to commence on 1 July 2011, the UBIT measure was postponed twice, being most recently scheduled to commence on 1 July 2014.  The Assistant Treasurer has stated that "the Government will also not proceed with the measure to ‘better target’ not-for-profit tax concessions at this stage, but will explore simpler alternatives to address the risks to revenue". The full media release from the Assistant Treasurer can be found here

Community Housing CRA Rent Calculator eLearning Course (12 December 2013)
The CRA Rent Calculator eLearning Course has been developed in consultation with and funded by Housing NSW to provide assistance to community housing providers and specialist homelessness services in using the Calculator to calculate their tenants' rents.
You can access the module by clicking here or clicking on the link on the menu bar at the left. For further information

Professional Development Training Calendar now available:
Jan to June 14
July to December 14

Centre for Training in Social Housing: 2014 Training calendar - now available

The Federation has published its business plan for 2013/14.  The business plan is available here

Housing, Disability and the NDIS – CHFA’s Forum in Canberra (26 March 2014)
A special forum in Canberra this week (Thurs March 27) will address a chronic housing shortage for some of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged in our society—those with a disability. It is estimated that once the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is running at full capacity there will be an unmet need of over 80,000 dwellings for NDIS participants. The forum will host over 200 people from the community housing, disability, and government sectors to discuss solutions to this potential housing crisis. See CHFA’s Media Release and check the Program.

Senate Economics Reference Committee Inquiry into Affordable Housing Announced(13 December 2013)
An extensive Inquiry into Australia's affordable housing under the Senate Economics References Committee has been announced following a successful motion by Senator Jan McLucas, Shadow Minister for Housing with support from the Australian Greens. Submissions are due 25 March 2014.
The Inquiry Terms of Reference are available here.

NSW Legislative Council to conduct Social, Public and Affordable Housing Inquiry (11 December 2013)
The NSW Legislative Council has recently established a Select Committee on Social, Public and Affordable Housing, to inquire into and report on demand for social, public and affordable housing in New South Wales.   The Committee has called for submissions which are due on Friday, 28 February 2014.  The Committee is due to report to Parliament by 9 September 2014. Further information can be found via the Parliament of NSW website

Community Housing Scholarship Program (CHSP) (29 November 2013)
Application forms and Guidelines are now available for the CHSP. Scholarships provide up to 75% of the course fee costs for employees of a registered community housing provider to undertake courses focusing on the delivery and management of social housing. Applications close on Friday 13th December 2013 at 5pm. For further information

Housing  and the new Charities Bill – Seminar (5 December 2013)
An important seminar on housing and the new Charities Bill will be held in Melbourne on 5 December 2013. Charitable tax status is a critical component in the business model for community housing providers, and this seminar will illuminate the key concerns with the new Act as well as provide clarification and guidance on the interpretation of appropriate housing activities.  This seminar is being co-sponsored by Community Housing Federation Australia (CHFA), The Australian Centre for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Studies, and the Australian Charity Law Association.  Further information is available here.

Minister Kevin Andrews Closing Address to the National Housing Conference 2013
(6 November 2013)
The new Minister for Social Services, the Hon. Kevin Andrews MP has delivered his first major speech on housing since his appointment, at the 2013 National Housing Conference. 
A copy of the speech can be downloaded via the CHFA Website.

ACNC release 2014 AIS guide (15 July 2013)
The Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) have recently released a guide for completing the 2014 Annual Information Statement. The 2014 AIS is not due until at least July 2014, but the ACNC have released this guide to allow treasurers and others who provide advice to charities to make preparations ahead of time. The guide can be downloaded here.

ACNC Governance standards come into effect (15 July 2013)
The ACNC’s Governance Standards have now come into effect, applying to all organisations registered with the ACNC, with the exception of Basic Religious Charities. Charities that are already listed with the ACNC will be held to the new standards in order to remain registered. The ACNC website explains the regulator’s phased approach to monitoring compliance with the standards, explaining that for the first two years it will only act in cases of serious or deliberate breaches – such as money being diverted to non-charitable purposes, non-disclosure of serious conflicts of interest, or gross financial negligence.
The Governance Standards can be viewed here.

NAIDOC Week 2013 – 7th - 14th July 2013 (15 July 2013)
NAIDOC is a celebration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and an opportunity to recognise the contributions of Indigenous Australians in various fields.    NAIDOC stands for the National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee.  The theme for NAIDOC Week 2013 is We value the vision: Yirrkala Bark Petitions 1963. This year’s theme proudly celebrates the 50th anniversary of the presentation of the Yirrkala Bark Petitions to the Federal Parliament.
The Federation encourages Housing Associations to celebrate NAIDOC week by participating in local events.  Details can be found on the NAIDOC website:  http://www.naidoc.org.au/

NSW Government commits to the NRAS Round 5 (1 July 2013)
The NSW Government announced its commitment to securing its per-capita share of incentives for approximately 3,500 properties as part of NRAS Round 5. Applications close on 6 August 2013. The properties must be delivered by the end of 2015/2016. Please refer to the NSW Program Requirements for more information.

NSW Budget 2013-2014 (18 June 2013)
NSW Treasurer Mike Baird today declared that the three themes of the 2013/14 budget are “jobs, housing and infrastructure”. The Federation is pleased to see the priority accorded to housing, but would like to see a much stronger commitment to supporting low and moderate income households in NSW. The Government has set aside significant funding for infrastructure projects to activate new housing supply, as well as additional taxpayer support for first home buyers. However, without the right funding mix and policy settings, there is nothing to ensure that new supply increases housing affordability.  Read our brief analysis of the Budget

Analysis of the Federal Budget (16 May 2013)
There is little to report on housing in yesterday’s Federal Budget.  There was no further commitment to the National Rental Affordability Scheme (NRAS) beyond the existing 60,000 incentives. On a good note, the Budget does include funding for the National Partnership on Homelessness Agreement which was announced in March 2013. Regarding the National Affordable Housing Agreement (NAHA), the Budget paper show that  the Commonwealth will provide almost $2.1 billion in National Affordable Housing Special Purpose Payments and National Partnership payments.  The figure represents an estimated growth factor of 1.5%. For more information please see the CHFA’s Report on the 2013-2014 Federal Budget.

Housing Appeals Committee is seeking three new members(15 July 2013)
The Housing Appeals Committee (HAC) is an independent body which hears appeals from clients of public and community housing who are dissatisfied with a decision made by their housing provider. Applications are now being sought from people for nomination to the Committee to sit as a panel member on appeal hearings. Members are nominated by the Minister for Family and Community Services and appointed by State Cabinet. There are currently three vacancies. For more information visit http://www.hac.nsw.gov.au/About+Us/Careers/

The Federation welcomes Minister Pearce’s announcement about title transfers (22 April 2013)
NSW Minister for Finance and Services Greg Pearce said this morning that the ownership of 1,302 NSW Land and Housing Corporation properties will be transferred to nine community housing providers. The announcement comes after the NSW Department of Finance and Services completed a review of the transfer of government owned property to community housing providers.  Minister Pierce said the change is aimed at providing the non-government sector with a greater base of capital against which it can borrow money from the private sector to invest in more housing.  For more information please see the Minister’s Media release and the story in the SMH.

New Planning Policy Released (16 April 2013)
The NSW Government has released their much anticipated plan for new planning system in NSW, outlined in their White Paper. There is an opportunity to provide feedback on the policy. Check the NSW Planning and Infrastructure website.

Definition of Charity Consultation
(16 April 2013)
The Commonwealth Government has been working on developing a statutory definition of charity to replace the existing common law definition. Treasury have recently released an Exposure Draft on the proposed legislation. Submissions are invited and are due by 3 May 2013.  The current exposure draft does not specifically mention the provision of affordable rental housing, although it is mentioned in the explanatory material accompanying the exposure draft.  For more information, please see CHFA e-bulletin or the media release.

NRAS Round 5 Announced (2 April 2013)
Round 5 Call for applications under the National Rental Affordability Scheme (NRAS) has been announced by the Minister for Housing and Homelessness, Mark Butler. The new NRAS round opens on 18 April and closes on 22 May 2013. It is predicted that the new round is for up to 1000 ‘shovel –ready’ projects to be completed by June 2014.  Minister Butler also announced that the fifth round of incentives to build about 10,000 new affordable rental homes under the NRAS would open on 7 May and close on 6 August 2013.   Check FACHSIA website for more information.

2013 NSW Community Housing Conference - a great success (22nd March 2013)
Last week the NSW Federation of Housing Associations in conjunction with the NSW Aboriginal Housing Office and Churches Housing hosted the NSW Community Housing Conference.

A big thank you is extended to all the conference delegates, speakers, our Government Partner, Housing NSW, our Gold Sponsor, the NSW Aboriginal Housing Office, and all our Partners, Sponsors and Exhibitors for making the conference one of our best ever! To check out the presentations from the conference, click here or to find out who won at the 2013 Community Housing Awards for Excellence, click here. To see photos from the 2013 NSW Community Housing Conference - click here.

Community Housing celebrates excellence and achievement (15 March 2013)
The 2013 NSW Community Housing Sector’s fifth Awards for Excellence in Community Housing were held on Monday night at the Menzies Hotel in Sydney. The event also coincided with the celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Federation. The winners of nine categories have been awarded the recognition for their efforts and achievements in various aspects of service delivery to tenants and communities. The awards were presented by Mike Allen, the Chief Executive of Housing NSW and Aboriginal Housing Office, Department of Family and Community Services, and three past executive directors of the Federation, Joan Ferguson, Eleri Morgan-Thomas and Adam Farrar. To find out who won click here.

Vale Col James (1936 -2013)
It is with great sadness that we pass on the news of the death of Col James, one of Australia’s most prominent housing activists and architects. Col was a force for houses-for-the-people in South Sydney and beyond all his adult life. In his long career, Col helped establish many housing co-operatives and he worked tirelessly to promote recognised housing education and training in Australia.  Col worked closely with the Aboriginal housing community for many years, including at The Block in Redfern. He was also a great and respected teacher, both at the Faculty of Architecture at Sydney University and out in the community organisations with which he worked. In 1994 Col was awarded a Member of the Order of Australia for services to architecture and to the community.  Col is survived by his wife Karine Shellshear, a close colleague of the Federation during her long service at ARCH and CHFA. Col will be hugely missed by many.

Tenants’ Rights Manual fourth edition (6 February 2013)
The Tenants’ Rights Manual is a useful publication for housing professionals.  It is an accessible guide to tenancy law in NSW.
Practical and easy to use, it explains legal rights and obligations and how to resolve problems before they become major disputes.
This edition has been updated for the Residential Tenancies Act 2010 including new provisions about rent arrears, sales of premises, share housing and tenant databases.
It has an expanded chapter on social housing – including eligibility, rent rebates and public housing policies – and a new chapter on marginal renting – with information for boarders and lodgers on the new Australian Consumer Law.
The Tenants’ Rights Manual is available:
•       For purchase in print from Federation Press (02 9552 2200)
•       On the ‘Legal Books Online’ website

The publication was funded by the Law and Justice Foundation and NSW Fair Trading.

 

2013 NSW Community Housing Conference draft program is now available (4 February 2013)
The draft program for the 2013 NSW Community Housing Conference is now available, click here. Hosted by the NSW Federation of Housing Associations in conjunction with the NSW Aboriginal Housing Office and Churches Housing, the conference will explore key issues across the full breadth of community housing.

Any questions? Please contact Terry Jones on terryj@communityhousing.org.au or phone 02 9281 7144 ext. 203.

The program will be updated as more sessions are confirmed.

Only 3 weeks left to apply for 2013 NSW Awards for Community Housing! (4 February 2013)
Nominations are now open for the 2013 NSW Awards for Excellence in Community Housing!  You are invited to nominate a community housing provider that you think deserves to be recognised for their excellence. There are nine award categories.
The Awards were established in 2002 to recognise the achievements of the community housing sector and to encourage excellence.  The Awards are open to housing co-operatives, Aboriginal housing providers, churches, housing associations, supported housing providers and local government providers. Partnerships may be nominated provided that at least one of the partners is a community housing provider in NSW.
To nominate an organisation for an Award, please read the Nomination Guidelines and complete the Nomination Form.
Nominations close at 5pm EDT Friday 22 February 2013.
Nomination Guidelines

Social housing stimulus construction review released (25 January 2013)
The Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs released a report by KPMG reviewing the Social Housing Initiative of the Nation-Building Economic Stimulus Plan. The report, dated September 2012, found that the initiative delivered economic benefits to the social housing sector as well as to the wider Australian economy, that the number of dwellings to be delivered exceeded targets by approximately 13 per cent and that it provided dwellings for approximately 8,400 homeless people. Read the full report.

The Federation’s submission on the latest Tax Discussion paper now available (21 December 2012)
The Federation has submitted its response to the NFP Sector Tax Concession Working Group regarding the “Fairer, simpler and more effective tax concessions for the not-for-profit sector” Discussion Paper. 
In our submission we highlighted the necessity of tax concessions for the operation and growth of the social housing sector, and cautioned against the ATO’s revision of taxation concessions in any manner which would hinder community housing providers from continuing to grow and develop their business. 
The submission is available here.

The Federation farewells outgoing Executive Director Adam Farrar
After almost 10 years as Executive Director, the Federation bids farewell to Adam Farrar. Adam led the Federation during a time of significant change and growth in the community housing sector. His passion for social housing began long before the Federation and he brought that experience and commitment to moving the sector forward with him to the Federation. His strong relationships, intelligence and integrity will be missed by the staff and board of the Federation and by the sector.

The Federation’s board held a farewell celebration for Adam in November. Many from the sector and beyond came to bid him farewell as a testament to the legacy he has left to social housing.  Adam appeared to be happy with his gift from the staff - the full catalogue of the Federation’s newsletter “Housing Matters”, dating back to circa 1983. He will be missed, and we wish him well in his next endeavours

farewell

Welcome to Dr Lucy Burgmann as CEO of the Federation
The Federation is delighted to announce the appointment of Dr Lucy Burgmann as the new CEO. Lucy brings a strong mix of expertise in policy development, the political process, the public sector, affordable housing and the Federation itself. The board is very pleased to have been able to fill Adam’s role, as he moves on, with someone who combines an ongoing knowledge of the sector and the Federation, together with new areas of knowledge and energy.

2013 Training Calendar Now Available (27 November 2012)
The 2013 training calendars for both our Certificate IV in Social Housing and Diploma of Social Housing programs are now available within the Training Section of our website.
Registration and Enrolment Forms
In response to student requests we have streamlined our enrolment process to make things easier with smaller sized forms and less paperwork.
New Students - If you are a new student to CTSH you will need to complete a registration form, to provide us with your personal details.  You will also need to complete an enrolment form, which tells us the units of study that you want to complete in 2013
Continuing students - If you have studied with us before you no longer need to complete the registration form each time you choose a new unit.  Please complete the enrolment form only, indicating the units that you wish to complete for the year.
Should your details have changed since we last had contact with you, you will also need to complete a change of details form, found here.
With the success of our program we are growing to meet the demand.  It is still important to remember there are limited places in our programs so we advise you to register as early as possible to avoid disappointment.
For any enquiries, please contact Joanne Williams,  Training Administrator at CTSH on (02) 9281 7144  Ext 216 or via JoanneW@communityhousing.org.au

LANDMARK REFORM - Boarding Houses Act 2012
The new Boarding Houses Bill passed through both houses of parliament. Click here the latest NSW Tenant’s Union news on the law and boarding houses. 

Consolidation of Tribunals in NSW
The NSW Government has decided to establish the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT). It will consolidate many existing Tribunals including the Consumer, Trader and Tenancy Tribunal (CTTT) and the Administrative Decisions Tribunal . Government is aiming to introduce legislation by the end of 2012, and develop practices, and procedures over 2013. The NCAT is expected to commence in January 2014.

The Government's response to the Standing Committee on Law and Justice regarding its Inquiry into Opportunities to consolidate tribunals in NSW is now available on the Committee's website  

National Homelessness Services Achievement Awards (10 October 2012)
Each year, many Australian organisations and services work tirelessly to help those who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. The National Homelessness Services Achievement Awards recognise the outstanding achievements and contributions that community organisations make to supporting people who are homeless in our communities. The Awards celebrate excellence and innovation by organisations, services and programs responding to the needs of people experiencing, or at risk of, homelessness.
If your service or organisation, or one you know, has made a significant contribution to addressing homelessness issues—either at a local, regional, state or national level—tell us about it by nominating for a 2013 National Homelessness Services Achievement Award.
To nominate, you can download the guidelines and nomination forms from www.fahcsia.gov.au/homelessnessawards.
Nominations close at 5pm EDT Friday 18 January 2013.

Community Housing Limited’s Armidale house wins HIA award, tenants win a new lease on life (12 September 2012)
Community Housing Limited (CHL) has won the 2012 Northern NSW Special Purpose Housing Project of the Year at the HIA Northern NSW Housing and Kitchen & Bathroom Awards for its development in Dumaresq Street, Armidale. This outstanding development received the accolade for being highly successful in providing its tenants with far more appropriate accommodation and lifestyle after having lived in aged care or high care facilities for periods of between 12 months and 10 years. Read more

Federation supports the community sector campaign for investment in homelessness services (4 September 2012)  
NSW Council of Social Services (NCOSS) and three peaks in the homelessness sector have joined their efforts in advocating for additional investment in homelessness services system past June 2013. While the Homelessness Action Plan covers the period 2009-14, funding under the Homelessness National Partnership (NPAH) is due to cease at the end of June 2013. To date neither the Commonwealth nor NSW Governments have committed to a further funding package from July 2013.  The Future of NPAH was discussed at the meeting of the COAG Select Council on Housing and Homelessness on 31 August. The Ministers noted the importance of ongoing investment in homelessness, but no concrete resolution was achieved.
The Federation has joined the campaign and has written to both minsters calling for continuation of funding.  For more information on how to add your voice to this campaign, please check the NCOSS website

 

Australians for Affordable Housing releases a 4-point plan to fix our housing crisis (30 August 2012)
A coalition of national housing, welfare and community sector organisations, Australians For Affordable Housing (AAH), is proposing a four point plan to address affordable housing in Australia.  The plan would deliver affordable housing options for two out of every three people currently on public and community housing waiting lists, as well as take pressure off house prices and ease demand in the private rental market. The plan is launched ahead of the COAG meeting of the Select Committee on Housing and Homelessness on 1 September 2012. Australians for Affordable Housing are urging Australia’s Housing Ministers to consider the proposals at the tomorrow’s meeting in Perth.
See the AAH Media Release or the AAH Four point Plan in full.

Federation launches best practice tenant satisfaction survey (28 August 2012)
The Federation is pleased to announce the release of a best practice tenant satisfaction survey for the community housing sector. The survey was developed in extensive consultations with the secrtor, particularly the community development workers network. The survey template is meant to assist community housing associations in developing their own tenants’ satisfaction  surveys.  The survey is based on the best available examples of tenant satisfaction surveys in NSW and internationally.  For detailed information about the survey, please see our E Bulletin.

Scoping training for community housing staff and contractors (22 August 2012)
After our three successful rounds of scoping training in 2011, the Federation is pleased to announce that we are holding two sessions of scoping this September 2012. Meredith Corrigan will again provide the training with Anna Fraser undertaking the assessment and certification. Successful participants will be provided with a “scoping passport”, valid for two years, to scope properties to Housing NSW Asset Standards. Training takes place over two days and covers the Housing NSW Asset Standards along with two site visits to gain practical experience. We are also for the first time offering a one day “refresher” option for participants who have already completed the training but whose passports require renewal.
To register, fill out the registration form and email it to SophieB@communityhousing.org.au
If you have any questions about the training, contact Poppy on (02) 9281 7144 x 213 or PoppyD@communityhousing.org.au

National Social Housing Survey - state and territory results 2010 released (11 August 2012)
The National Social Housing Survey 2010 is the most recent in a series of surveys designed to provide information on social housing tenants and their experiences.  The survey sampled tenants of public and community housing from August to September 2010. The survey results provide valuable information about demographic characteristics of social housing tenants as well as the level of tenants’ satisfaction with their housing. The results show that approximately half of all social housing tenants were 55 years of age or older.   The levels of overall satisfaction of tenants living in public housing and community housing were high: 80% for public housing and 90% for community housing nationally. In NSW, the jurisdiction with the largest social housing portfolio, the overall satisfaction levels of tenants in public and community housing were similar:  87% and 88%, respectively. For detailed results, please see the 2010 AIHW report or to see the main findings, check the Report Summary.

NSW Planning Review – opportunity to comment (14 July 2012)
The NSW Government has released a major review  paper on planning legislation in the state, titled ‘A new Planning System for NSW – Green Paper’.  The Green paper is the Government's initial response to the Recommendations of the Independent Review of the NSW Planning System that commenced in July 2011and was led by the Hon Tim Moore and The Hon Ron Dyer. The submissions are open until 14 September 2012. There is also an online consultation forum available on the NSW Planning website. The green paper and related information can be accessed here

The NSW Government announces a reform of the specialist homelessness service system (10 July 2012)
The Minister for Family & Community Services, Pru Goward, launched the consultation process for ‘Going Home Staying Home’, the NSW Government's reform agenda for specialist homelessness services. There is a consultation paper open for comment, with submissions closing on 31 August 2011. It is planned that the reforms will be developed and put in place over the next two years. The consultation paper can be accessed here. More details on the proposed reforms are available on the Housing NSW Going Home Staying Home website.

COAG Reform Council reports on the progress of the National Affordable Housing Agreement (29 June 2012)
COAG Reform Council has today released a report on the overall progress of the National Affordable Housing Agreement.  The report shows no indication that COAG has made progress toward its affordable housing commitment, and that in fact, the housing affordability has worsened.  The three key findings are: the rental stress has increased significantly for the lowest income households;  low and moderate income households could afford a smaller proportion of homes sold in 2010/11 than in 2009/10; and nationally, the estimated underlying demand for housing has outpaced the supply of new homes.  The states with the worst housing affordability problem and rental stress were NSW and Queensland.  Read the COAG Reform Council’s Report, and Australians for Affordable Housing analysis of the COAG Report. 

Submission on the Inquiry into Outsourcing Community Service Delivery (26 June 2012)
The Federation has prepared a submission to the Parliamentary Inquiry into outsourcing community services delivery from government to non-government organisations. The inquiry has received 82 submissions from a wide range of stakeholders.   In our submission, the Federation has outlined the strengths of the sector and the outcomes for tenants in delivering affordable and long term housing; and  recommended that the NSW Government continues to support the growth of the sector by outsourcing  services and assets.  The submission is available on the NSW Parliament website.

CHD is consulting the sector on a review of the performance management framework (21 June 2012)
The Community Housing Division is undertaking a review of the Community Housing Compliance and Performance Management Framework. A Consultation Paper has been prepared to provide further information about the development of the Framework and support the project review. The Division has engaged a consultant conduct an independent assessment of the framework. Following the sector consultation, CHD will then finalise the framework for implementation in the 2012/13 financial year, with Quarter 1 data due to be submitted by 31 October. The consultant will contact individuals and organisations for their feedback on the paper.

Housing Supply and Affordability – Key Indicators, 2012  (20 June 2012)
The National Housing Supply Council published its most recent assessment of the balance between underlying housing demand and supply in December 2011 in the 2011 State of Supply Report. The most striking finding is a shortage of properties that are affordable and available for lower income renters. The Council estimates that there is a shortage of 539,000 rental properties nationally that are both affordable and available for this group.  The full report is available on the Council’s website.

Homelessness Australia Report Card on the progress of the Homelessness Action Plan (20 June 2012)
The national peak body for homelessness sector, Homelessness Australia released a report card on the progress of the Australian Government’s White Paper on homelessness, The Road Home.   The report assessed the progress of all national initiatives outlined in the Paper and highlighted the areas where more work needs to happen to improve the outcomes for people who experience homelessness or are at risk of homelessness.  The full report is available on Homelessness Australia website.

The introduction of the Regulation Bill into NSW Parliament (20 June 2012)
The NSW Minister for Community Services and Women, Pru Goward has introduced the Community Housing Providers (Adoption of National Law) Bill 2012 into the NSW Parliament.   Housing Ministers agreed that the legislation setting out the National Regulatory System for community housing providers would be established in NSW and all other States and Territories would either mirror or refer to the legislation in their jurisdictions, providing national consistency in regulation.   A copy of the media release from NSW Housing Minister Pru Goward can be found here ; and draft legislation is available here

Remembering Frank Walker, 1942-2012 (19 June 2012)
Staff and the Board of the Federation of Housing Associations is deeply saddened by the death of Frank Walker, former NSW Attorney-General, federal minister and  a strong supporter of the community housing sector in NSW.  It was as NSW Minister for Youth & Community Services and Minister for Housing 30 years ago that he made his great contribution to the creation of housing associations. His long term vision and reform of public housing enabled the emergence of first Community Tenancy Schemes in the state.  He will have a lasting place in the history and memory of the community housing sector in NSW.                

The Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission Interim Report Released (12 June 2012)
The new charities regulator, the Australian Charities and Not for Profits Commission (ACNC) has been established by the Australian Government as a result of the 2010 Productivity Commission report, “Contribution of the NFP Sector”.  The ACNC aims to be a one-stop shop for charities to streamline their regulatory and reporting interactions with government agencies and will begin operating on 1 October 2012.
The ACNC has just published its first interim report outlining five key action areas that will become part of the ACNC core business: registration, reporting framework, online portal, education and stakeholder engagement. Read the Report here

Community Housing Providers and Tenants Winners of AHI Awards (8 June 2012)
Community housing providers and tenants groups were the winners of the 2012 Australasian Housing Institute Professional Excellence in Housing Awards NSW & ACT. The gala dinner and ceremony was held last night in Sydney.   Community housing providers were the winners across many categories: Bridge Housing Limited in the Leading Innovation category; Compass Housing in the Leading Practice Category and tenants from the St George Community Housing Tenant Advisory group in the Tenant Led Initiatives category. Two outstanding community housing professionals were also recognised, Phyllis Meadows from Wentworth Community Housing in the category Inspirational Colleague Award; and Joe Sneesby from Affordable Community Housing was highly commended in the Outstanding Achievement Award category.
The Federation congratulates all winners on their outstanding achievements.  Well done!

The exposure draft of new national homelessness legislation released (5 June 2012) 
Housing Minister Brendan O’Connor has released the exposure draft of new national homelessness legislation. The Homelessness Bill 2012 recognises the structural causes of homelessness and people who are at risk of becoming homeless and their need to access support services. 

The national peak body for the homelessness sector, Homelessness Australia, has welcomed the new Bill and broadening definitions of homelessness to include people who live in caravan parks as well as boarding house residents with no formal lease.  Homelessness Australia has however, expressed their concerns that the definition has introduced the concept of whether or not a person is living in a refuge or boarding house by choice. It is also concerning that and the legislation does not seek to progress the realisation of a right to housing.  Read HA’s media release, the draft exposure Bill and Minister’s media release.

St Vincent de Paul Society CEOs Sleepout Fundraiser (31 May 2012)
The CEO Sleepout takes place on Thursday 21 June in capital cities across Australia. The event challenges business and community leaders to experience homelessness first-hand for one night, raise much needed money for St Vincent de Paul homeless services, and with fresh insight go on to effect change in social opinions. This year five community housing leaders are participating in this event to raise awareness of homelessness and make the wider community aware of the need for more affordable housing. To support this great initiative please visit ‘Rise to the Challenge’ website and search for community housing.

Sydney homeless experience violence and physical assaults (14 May 2012)
THE first health survey of homeless people in Western Sydney has shown they are subject to shocking levels of assaults and violence, and high rates of serious illnesses, including cancer. More than 40 per cent of the 148 homeless people surveyed had been admitted to hospital at least once last year at an estimated cost to the state of more than half a million dollars. The survey was a joint initiative of Wentworth Community Housing, the Mercy Foundation and Common Ground, and it used the Vulnerability Index to measure the presence of eight key indicators that put a chronically homeless person at significant risk of dying. Read more here

Pacific Link Housing and Wyong Shire Council partner for affordable housing (1 May 2012)
Pacific Link Housing and Wyong Shire Council have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to co-operate in the planning and delivery of affordable housing in the area. The agreement signed last week will see Pacific Link and Wyong Shire Council working together on joint opportunities as they arise, a process they could lead to formal contracts on specific developments later on. The MOU is part of a larger Council’s housing strategy and a great opportunity for local community housing providers to fill the growing need for affordable and social housing. You can read Media Release here

The Federation is looking for Trainers and Assessors! (30 April 2012)
- Are you passionate about the Social Housing sector?
- Are you an experienced trainer looking for new opportunities?
- Are you looking for an additional source of income?
NSW Federation of Housing Associations is currently recruiting for a Panel of Trainers and Assessors. We would like to hear from candidates who are:
* TAFE certified trainers who has the knowledge and experience to deliver part or all of the training packages in Social Housing either face to face and/or online; or
* Experienced workers from the Social Housing sector with a training background or are keen on becoming a certified trainer. Further information

The PriceWarterhouseCoopers Transparency Award 2011 goes to Bridge Community Housing Limited! (19 April 2012)
The Federation congratulates Bridge Community Housing on winning a major award from PriceWaterhouseCoopers. Bridge Housing’s high standard of reporting and public accountability was recognised with a prestigious PwC Transparency Award at the award ceremony in Sydney last night. Bridge Housing won Best First Time Entrant for their Annual Report 2011 and was among top ten finalists. The award is a great recognition for the hard work and effort by the Bridge Housing staff and board. The P (PWC) Transparency Awards were introduced to Australia in 2007 to recognise the quality and transparency of reporting in the not-for-profit sector. Read articles from Australian Financial Review and the Centre for Social Impact.

The Sector Snapshot (17 April 2012)
The Registrar of Community Housing has produced a new publication in the suite of resources on the sector and regulation: the Sector Snapshot. The Sector Snapshot provides a short half-yearly profile of the registered community housing sector, together with summary data on sector performance for Classes 1, 2 and 3. The summary data on sector performance covers key indicators such as number of housing units owned and under management, rent revenue, rent arrears, turnaround times on housing units when reletting, and the balance sheet for the sector as at June 2011. You can read and download the Sector Snapshot February 2012 here

A call for leadership in improving housing affordability in NSW (4 April 2012)
The McKell Institute, a new public policy institute, has published a report calling for reform to the planning system and the tax and investment policies to enable better access to home ownership and improve housing affordability.  ‘Homes For All’ calls for a strong political leadership and an informed debate in the community to end the housing crisis. The report can be accessed here.

Extended Date for  2011/12 Budget Measure to Better Target NFP Tax Concessions (2 April 2012)
The Australian Government announced today that it will extend the start date for the 2011/12 Budget measure to better target NFP tax concessions from 1 July 2011 to 1 July 2012.  The rationale for the extension is the need to consult further with the not-for-profit sector. The extension will also reduce the uncertainty for those in the sector who have commenced commercial activities since the 2011/12 Budget that may be caught by the measure.
The extended start date of 1 July 2012 will only apply to new unrelated commercial activities that commenced after 7:30 pm (AEST) on 10 May 2011.  Existing unrelated commercial activities that commenced prior to that date will continue to be covered by transitional arrangements as announced in the 2011-12 Budget.  Further information about this measure and the Government’s NFP reform agenda can be found at www.treasury.gov.au.

Winners of the inaugural National Homelessness Service Achievement Awards announced!
(22 March 2012)
The Federation of Housing Associations congratulates two of its members, Wentworth Community Housing and the Southern Youth and Family Services Association, on their recognition for work in preventing and addressing homelessness. The two organisations have both won National Homelessness Achievement Awards, announced by the Commonwealth Minister for Housing and Homelessness, Brendan O'Connor. The awards are an important opportunity to showcase the quality, innovation and dedication of homelessness services. They also recognise the very important, yet sometimes less direct contribution that many Australian organisations make to addressing homelessness—such as philanthropic contributions, research, preventative and early intervention services, and service partnerships.

Airds Bradbury Renewal PPP – EOI announced today (22 March 2012)
Today, the NSW Government announced that it is calling for expressions of interest (EOI) for consortia to enter into a public private partnership (PPP) to deliver the Airds Bradbury Renewal Project. The renewal will take 15 to 30 years and will transform the existing 1,470 public housing homes into approximately 2,000 homes in a mix of social, affordable and private housing. The social housing component will be managed by a community housing provider.
The EOI document is available to download from the NSW Government tendering website www.tenders.nsw.gov.au/dfs (ref HOG12/6242 or search “Airds”). There will be an industry briefing at 10am on Friday 30 March. Contact the PPP Procurement Manager on 02 9268 3573 or ppp@services.nsw.gov.au if you would like to attend, and he will provide you with the venue details.

Affordable housing development at North Everleigh – EOI announced today (19 March 2012)
The Sydney Metropolitan Development Agency (SMDA) is seeking expressions of interest from registered Level 1 or Level 2 Community Housing Providers to design, construct , own and manage 61 affordable housing dwellings on the North Eveleigh site.A copy of the EOI document can be obtained by contacting George.marton@app.com.au or by phoning 02 9956 1278.
EOI submissions are due at 4pm on Tuesday 10 April 2012.

Inquiry into Outsourcing Community Services Delivery (8 March 2012)
The Legislative Assembly Committee on Community Services is commencing a review into the devolution and outsourcing of housing, disability and home care services from the Government to the Non-Government sector.
The Inquiry will focus on the extent to which this process is appropriately managed, that probity and accountability mechanisms are in place to monitor service providers, and to ensure that organisations are delivering quality services to their clients.
There is an opportunity to make a submission until 27 April 2012. For more information click here

ACNC start date delayed until October 2012 (5 March 2012)
The start date of the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) has been deferred until 1 October 2012. This will allow for further engagement with stakeholders, including the Not-for-Profit Sector Reform Council and the Charities Consultative Committee, and provide more time for the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission Implementation Taskforce to prepare and distribute further guidance materials to assist charities in the transitional period. More information in this media release.

Public Consultations of the National Regulatory System for Community Housing (5 March 2012)
Final report released
The Report of the Public Consultation for the proposed National Regulatory System for community housing has been released and is now available.
The Federation is pleased to see that its key concerns have clearly been identified in the report. This sets a good basis for further developing the National Regulatory System.

The Federation’s submission to the NSW Planning Review (2 March 2012)
The Federation made a submission to the review of the NSW Planning System. Our submission called for the new planning system to set provisions for affordable housing targets to be mandated and for local government to be equipped with a suite of planning tools to meet them. Our submission is available here and you can read about the review process here

Minister announces new policy on social housing waiting list (1 March 2012)
The Minister for Community Services, Pru Goward, announced that from 1 May 2012 applicants for social housing registered on the Pathways system will be required to make sure their contact details are up to date or risk have their applications closed.  The Federation notes that the Minister’s release indicates that applicants who may find this difficult to comply with will not be disadvantaged.  We have asked CHD to provide us with the policy ensuring this as soon as possible.  Shelter NSW has expressed concern about the risk to vulnerable applicants and has written to the Minister to ask for a meeting to discuss the policy change.  Read the Minister’s media release and HNSW fact sheet.

Changes to the Gillard Ministry (5 March 2012)
Brendan O’Connor announced as Minister for Housing and Homelessness.
Prime Minister Gillard has announced changes to her Ministry today. Brendan O’Connor moves into Cabinet to take the position of Minister for Housing and Homelessness as well as Minister for Small Business.
Former NSW Premier Bob Carr will join the Senate and will take on the role of Minister for Foreign Affairs.
Further information about the changes may be found here

Not for profit sector tax concession group (13 February2012)
Minister for Social Inclusion Mark Butler and Assistant Treasurer Mark Arbib today announced the membership and terms of reference of a new working group which will consider tax concessions to the not-for-profit (NFP) sector.
The concessions  include concessions for income tax, fringe benefits tax (FBT) and goods and services tax (GST), and also deductible gift recipient (DGR) status. 
The NFP Sector Tax Concession Working Group will examine the current range of tax concessions and how they are delivered.  For full media release and terms of reference of the NFP Sector Tax Concession Working Group, please click here.  

Australians for Affordable Housing Budget Statement 2012 -13: Easing Housing Stress
(7 February 2012)
Australians for Affordable Housing (AAH) is a coalition of national housing, welfare and community sector organisations, established to highlight the problem of housing affordability in Australia. AAH has just released a budget statement, proposing  a National Housing Strategy to address the lack of affordable housing nationally.  AAH is calling on the Government to fund an immediate a $2.5 billion stimulus payment in the 2012-13 budget to deliver 8,300 social housing properties. This would boost the capacity of the social housing sector, pave the way for future reform and help to prevent a downturn in building activity. Read the budget statement here

New Ministerial Guidelines for Community Housing Water Charging (31 January 2012)
Ministerial Guidelines are now available for community housing providers who decide to implement water charging under Section 139 of the Residential Tenancies Act 2010. This is significant because prior to the release of these guidelines, community housing providers were only permitted to charge for water usage under Section 39 of the Act. The guidelines provide the framework for providers to develop water charging policies. If you have any questions about the guidelines please visit the Fair Trading website or call our Hotline.

2011 State of Supply Report (21 December 2011)
The third National Housing Supply Council’s 2011 State of Supply Report presents the estimates of the underlying demand for housing and the supply of dwellings in Australia, and projections of underlying demand and supply over the 20 years to 2030. The report  also examines housing affordability trends, and considers the factors contributing to Australia's housing shortage.
The report shows that demand for housing has again outstripped supply, despite the increase in the housing supply in 2010.  The report also confirms that the largest housing shortfalls are in NSW and Queensland, with 73,700 and 61,900 homes respectively.  For more details, please see Key Findings and Full Report.

State of Australian Cities 2011 Report released (20 October 2011)
The 2011 State of Australian Cities was released by the Hon Anthony Albanese MP, Minister for Infrastructure and Transport on Thursday 20 October. It provides a comprehensive snapshot of Australian cities.
With respect to housing, the report highlights a shortfall of 200,000 properties across Australia.  Younger people in particular experience difficulties in buying their first home, meaning they stay in the family home or in rental market for longer. Other findings confirm that Australia has one of the largest increases in real house prices among OECD countries and this is coupled with the continuing trend of decreasing average household size.
The State of Australian Cities 2011 report is available at www.infrastructure.gov.au.
The government is offering grants for ideas on increasing the sustainability and livability of cities. The grants range from $500,000 to $4 million. Consortia of local or state governments and not-for-profit organisations are eligible - See The Livable Cities Program for more details:
www.nationbuildingprogram.gov.au/funding/liveablecities/index.aspx

Record of Understanding between police and providers announced (6 Oct 2011)
It has finally happened! We are pleased to announce that after extensive consultation, the record of understanding (ROU) between NSW Police and registered community housing providers has been announced. This has been a long time in train (some say 4 years). What this means is that community housing providers, like Housing NSW, will be able to exchange information with their local police stations about crime and anti-social behaviour. The ROU will be reviewed annually by Housing NSW and the NSW Police Force. At this stage, the providers covered under the ROU are the 26 registered providers participating in Housing Pathways.
Please find the ROU, process flow-chart and the Housing NSW FAQ sheet by clicking the hyperlinks.

Housing a priority for Australian Government Tax Forum 4 and 5 October 2011(26 Sept 2011)
A large number of community organisations represented at the at the upcoming Tax Forum in Canberra have made tax reform to improve housing affordability one of their top priorities. Adam Farrar, the Executive Director of the Federation and Community Housing Federation Australia (CHFA)  Board member, is representing the community housing sector at the Tax Forum .
The Tax Forum has been organised by the Australian Government to discuss future reform of the Australian tax system and recommendations from the Henry Report. More information on the Tax Forum can be found on the Tax Watch website
CHFA has provided the statement of priorities for the 2011 National Tax Forum to be held on 4-5 October.
The statement of priorities identifies priorities relating to the tax system as it applies to housing affordability. 
To read the statement please click here

Community housing IT implementation fund(26 Sept 2011)
Housing NSW has made funds totalling $1m + GST available to the housing association sector to assist the implementation of appropriate IT systems. The funds will be administered by Federation and are now available to the sector.
The aims of these funds are to:

  • support housing associations that need access to integrated IT systems to support their current operations and expand their services to tenants. 
  • ensure that all housing associations have access to baseline information about IT procurement and the main integrated housing IT products in the marketplace.
  • ensure that support is available for smaller housing associations where they need some enhancements to their current systems.

Further information and the application pack may be found here


NSWFHA involved in NSW Planning Review
(13 Sept 2011)
The Minister for Planning and Infrastructure, Brad Hazzard, in July announced a major review of planning in NSW to be jointly chaired by the former Environment Minister and current Land and Environment Court Commissioner, Tim Moore, and the former Labor Minister Ron Dyer.
The Review will take approximately 18 months and is currently in its first stage, “listening and scoping”.  The Federation, along with NCOSS, Shelter NSW and the Benevolent Society, met with the Chairs in August. Notes from this meeting can be viewed here
The consultation schedule, and more information on the review, can be found here: http://www.planningreview.nsw.gov.au/

Housing provider chairs AHSEPP review taskforce(13 Sept 2011)
In July, the composition of the Affordable Housing Taskforce was announced, the purpose of which is to guide the development of a new Affordable Housing SEPP. Andrew McAnulty, the CEO of MA Housing, was announced as the Taskforce Chair. The Federation is a member of the Technical Reference Group, which advises the Taskforce. The Reference Group held its first meeting in August.

National Homeless Persons Week 1 -7 August 2011 (1 August 2011)
The first week of August is National Homeless Persons week. It is a time to reflect on the issue of homelessness and seek leadership throughout Australia and NSW to invest in the resources to prevent people from becoming homeless.  Across New South Wales, at least 27,000 people are homeless and do not have a place to call home.
Theme title for National Homeless Persons' Week 2011 is “MY Address: diversity in homelessness. Homelessness engages diverse people, from diverse addresses for diverse reasons”.

Details can be found on the Homelessness Australia website: http://www.homelessnessaustralia.org.au.

Changes to tax on charities commercial activities (19 July 2011)
The Federal Budget announced changes to how commercial activities undertaken by charities, but unrelated to the charitable purpose, should be treated for tax purposes.  This follows High Court decisions that made it clear that charities can conduct such activities without threat to their charitable status.  The new arrangements mean that surpluses generated by such activities must be expended on the organisation’s charitable purpose within an appropriate time frame or it will be subject to tax.  A discussion paper was released by Treasury to seek views on how this should be implemented.  There is a significant risk that a narrow interpretation of “unrelated commercial activities” or of the time it must be expended and the reporting on this could have huge impacts on community housing providers.  The Federation made the following submission to Treasury and continues to pursue the issue in conjunction with the Community Housing Federation of Australia: See submission

NAIDOC Week 2011 – 3rd - 10th July (5 July 2011)
The first week of July is NAIDOC week. NAIDOC is a celebration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and an opportunity to recognise the contributions of Indigenous Australians in various fields. The Federation encourages Housing Associations to celebrate NAIDOC week by participating in local events .
Details can be found on the NAIDOC website:  http://www.naidoc.org.au/
NAIDOC stands for the National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee.

HAPPY NAIDOC WEEK!

NRAS amendment regulations 2011 (16 June)
The Regulations amend the National Rental Affordability Scheme Regulations 2008 (the Principal Regulations) and  to clarify the operation of two annual indexation arrangements.
The Regulations are available at: here
The Explanatory Statement is available at:here

St Vincent de Paul Society CEOs Sleepout  (16 June)
The CEO Sleepout takes place on Thursday 16 June in capital cities across Australia. The event challenges business and community leaders to experience homelessness first-hand for one night, raise much needed money for St Vincent de Paul homeless services, and with fresh insight go on to effect change in social opinions. 
Nazha Saad, CEO of St George Community Housing, will join over 450 business leaders tonight to support this initiative to raise awareness of the plight of those who are homeless and make the wider community aware of the need for more affordable housing. To support Nazha, please click here

PPPs and Nation Building move to Finance – and shared responsibility for AHO (June 6)
The changed responsibilities for housing between Ministers and Departments has been further clarified.  On June 2 a Public Sector Employment & Management Amendment was issued transferring  “…the groups of staff in Housing NSW, Department of Human Services who, in the opinion of the Director-General of the Department of Premier and Cabinet, are principally involved in public-private partnerships or in projects funded by the Nation Building Economic Stimulus Plan…” to the Department of Finance & Services.  And from July 1 all staff “principally involved in asset management”  will also be transferred.  At the same time, an amendment to the Administration of Acts gives shares responsibility for the Aboriginal Housing Act between the Minister for Family & Community Services, Prue Goward, and the Minister for Finance & Services, Greg Pearce.

Good News for NRAS Investors!  (2 June 2011)
Today a bill was introduced into the House of Representatives amending the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 that will provide a legislative solution reflecting the Federal Government’s intention that non-entity joint venture (NEJV) investors receive their full entitlement to the National Rental Affordability Scheme (NRAS) incentive.  For a full press release from Community Housing Federation of Australia (CHFA) please click here.
For the text of the Bill and the Explanatory Memorandum click here
To access an important ATO advice for NRAS investors go here
Minister Shorten reassured NRAS investors that tax benefits will be retrospective and that the ATO will accept tax returns ‘as logged’ until such time as the legislation is enacted. His letter can be accessed here.

HAC produces Q&A on new tenancy legislation (1 June)
The Housing Appeal Committee (HAC) has issued a newsletter explaining the Committee’s view to appropriate practice for social housing providers under the new tenancy legislation.  The Chair of HAC, Lynden Esdaile explained the approach to community housing providers at a Middle Managers Network training session last week.

Today is the National Sorry Day 2011(26 May 2011)
“SORRY! Still living on the borrowed time!”

The National Sorry Day is held each year on 26 May to honour the Stolen Generations and the consequences of the removal of generations of Aboriginal children as a result of the Forced Removal Policies of the past.
The Federation acknowledges the past injustices and crucial role of housing in achieving equality and distance we as a nation still need to cover to close the gap.
Read the media release by the National Sorry Day Committee here.
http://www.nsdc.org.au/


Affordable Housing SEPP Amendments Announced Today
(20 May 2011)
The NSW Government announced today amendments to the Affordable Rental Housing SEPP (AHSEPP).
The Government will develop a new planning instrument to replace the AHSEPP. The new planning instrument will be called the Affordable Housing Choice SEPP.
It also announced that it will establish an Affordable Housing Taskforce to look at the issues raised by the AHSEPP Review process that began in December 2010. The Taskforce composition has not yet been finalised but there is a commitment to include Community Housing Providers.
The Department of Planning has released fact sheets about the amendments. You can read them here.
Contact Poppy with any questions on: 02 9281 7144  ext 213 or via email PoppyD@communityhousing.org.au
 

Equal Pay Case – Fair Work Australia (20 May 2011)
In its decision handed down this week, Fair Work Australia has found that there is a need to increase wages of workers employed in social and community services. 
Fair Work Australia has found that employees in social and community services are not receiving equal pay and that the gap in pay between the SACS industry employees and state and local government employees is due to gender. Read more here.

Our Cities, Our Future - National Urban Policy for the future of Australia’s cities (20 May 2011)
The Australian Government yesterday released a long-term blueprint for the nation's 18 major cities.
The Federation was one of the 160 groups to make a written submission to the discussion paper during the policy development process. You can find our submission, and the Our Cities, Our Future policy,at: www.majorcities.gov.au
The Federation’s focus was on the Commonwealth’s public policy settings which impact on housing. In our submission we called for, in part:

  • A strengthening of the current National Affordable Housing Agreement (NAHA);
  • An increase in the National Rental Affordability Scheme(NRAS), with improvements;
  • Housing stock that is diverse and adaptable to family changes, and built to universal and environmentally sustainable design principles to prepare for an aging population and to mitigate against rising energy and water costs.

The Federation welcomes the development of a national urban policy since Australia is the most urbanised country. The Our Cities, Our Future policy sets a promising framework for affordable living. The federation will write a more detailed response as further measures are announced by the Department. If you have any questions, contact Poppy (PoppyD@communityhousing.org.au).

NSW State Election 2011 - Response to the Federation's election priorities (11 March 2011)
With the NSW Election fast approaching in two weeks time, the Federation has written to all political parties outlining our election priorities. In these letters the Federation called upon all parties to commit to implementing six housing strategies. Full election information.

For details on the 2011 Election and to access our Election Factsheets please see ebulletin click here ; or: Factsheet 1, Factsheet 2, Factsheet 3, Factsheet 4
To join our letter writing campaign please click here

Strategic workforce planning workshop (11 March 2011)
As part of our supporting growth program, the Federation is providing a strategic workforce planning workshop on Thursday 7th April. The workshop will be delivered by Interdependent. (For more info - see events page).

Title transfer cleared at last! (4 March 2011)
The Government in Executive Council has just signed the order to vest the first lot of properties to community housing providers. 3,063 units will be vested in this round. This is a little less than half the total number to be vested under Nation Building and the Asset Ownership initiative. The formal date of transfer has been set for the 18th April as soon as the order is published in the NSW Government Gazette.

NSWFHA Election Commitments (16 Feb 2011)
The NSW State Election on 26 March will set the direction for the State over the next four years.  The Federation is calling on all parties and candidates to commit to implementing a number of directions that will be essential to address the lack of affordable housing in NSW and to meet the housing needs of low and moderate income households.
The Federation has written to all political parties outlining our position and received official responses from the Coalition, NSW labor, the NSW Greens and Independent Clover Moore. The anlaysis of the responses received to date can be viewed here.

Government commits to full NRAS target (Feb 2011)
The Government has announced that it will remove the proposed cap on NRAS, as part of the agreement with the Greens to support the flood levy (see below). It is now committed to fund at least the 50,000 NRAS incentives in the current forward estimates.
The Federation wishes to thank everyone who supported our campaign and acknowledges the work of our national peak body, the Community Housing Federation of Australia and the National Affordable Housing Summit Group, whose lobbying, with our members’ support, has achieved this great result

Free energy saving for tenants - the Home Power Savings Program (/Dec 2010)
With energy prices set to increase by 35% in the next three years, the Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water (DECCW) is running the Home Power Savings Program designed to reduce energy usage in vulnerable households across NSW. Through the Home Power Savings Program, approximately 220,000 eligible households will save up to 20% a year on their power use. The program is one way in which community housing providers can prevent financial hardship and encourage consistent rent and bill payment for tenants as energy prices rise.
Every eligible household that joins the program will get a FREE:

  • Home power assessment by an energy expert to identify ways to save power in the home;
  • Power Savings Kit to help kick start savings (Housing providers can select their preferred kit. Read about the two kit options here);
  • Personal Power Savings Action Plan.

Participation in the program is voluntary, and tenants will need to call 1300 662 416 to book an assessment themselves. Housing providers can engage in the program by promoting it to tenants. To order free promotional material from DECCW, fill in this form.

Housing Pathways goes live to provide better acess for applicants (27 April 2010)
The new system for applying for social housing commenced on 27 April. Housing Pathways is underpinned by the ‘No Wrong Door’ protocol that requires collaboration between public and community housing providers in order to provide integrated responses for presenting clients.  The protocol will enable clients to receive a consistent standard of housing advice and streamlined access to social housing and other housing assistance.To find out more go to Housing Pathways website.  

Outcome of Social Housing Stimulus tender announced (30 April 2010)
Eleven preferred providers have been announced to take on ownership of 4,550 properties being developed under the Nation Building Economic Stimulus Plan (NBESP) social housing package.  The successful providers were selected through a tender that opened in December 2009 and will be required to leverage additional housing from the asset they will receive. The preferred providers are:
   

Argyle Community Housing

139

Blue CHP

285

Bridge Housing

161

Central Tablelands Community Housing

184

Compass Housing Services

787

Homes North Community Housing

252

Mission Australia Housing

1,046

North Shore Community Housing

222

On Track Community Programs

99

St George Community Housing

1,103

The Housing Trust

273


(For the full list of ‘packages’).  12 preferred providers have also already been allocated 860 stage 1 NBESP properties.  Final confirmation of transfer of ownership to the preferred providers will require approval by the Treasurer.  The date of the final announcement is not yet known.

Housing Amendment (Community Housing Providers) Bill 2009 (NSW) (11 March 2010)
The Housing Amendment (Community Housing Providers) Bill 2009 was passed by both house of Parliament on the 9th March 2010, and received royal assent on 18th March. The Bill. The object to this bill is to amend the Housing Act 2001:
(a) to enable the Governor to vest land owned by the New South Wales Land and Housing Corporation (the Corporation) in a registered community housing provider that is also a company registered under the Corporations Act 2001 of the Commonwealth, and
(b) to provide for the registration by the Corporation of an interest in certain land such as land that has been so vested or the purchase of which was funded by the Corporation, and
(c) to prevent certain dealings with land in which the Corporation has an interest without the consent of the Corporation, and—
(d) to provide other measures for the protection of the Corporation's interest in certain land.
You may find the full transcript of the debate here: (see link)

Keep Them Safe - Amendments to the Child Protection Amendment (Wood Enquiry Recommendations) Act 2009(5 Feb 2010)
Providers are encouraged to access online resources about the changes and how they impact on Community Housing Providers at the Keep Them Safe webpage: www.keepthemsafe.nsw.gov.au
You can also subscribe  to the  NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet Keep them Safe newsletter.

Federation bulletins on Keep Them Safe are posted online in the Publications page

Tenders for title transfer called (4 Dec 2009)
The tenders to allocate ownership of up to 5,500 Nation Building Economic Stimulus Plan properties and 500 of the portfolio currently managed by community housing provieders have been announced. The communique outlining the process was released on the 3rd of December. Tender documents can be accessed on https://tenders.nsw.gov.au/housing. 857 of the properties in stage one of the Stimulus Plan will be directly allocated. There will be an open tender for stage two, and a select tender for the 500 properties currently managed by housing associations. Tenders close in February 2010.

New Community Housing Regulation proclaimed (4 May 09)
The new Regulation encompassing the Regulatory Code came into effect on the 1st May 2009. This code will now apply to all registered community housing providers, and the Registrar now has the power to investigate. Assessments of all community housing providers will commence on July 1 and continue over the next two years. See copy of Regulation. For more information about Registration see www.rch.nsw.gov.au.

Large scale property transfers to housing associations (April 09)
At least 3,000 public housing properties will be transferred to community housing management over the next 12 months.  Fifteen associations will take on the management of these tenancies. The transfers are taking place in 17 local areas (across all regions) and a range of locations in Sydney.  The associations include some small regional organisations.  The transfers will see two associations double in size and seven others will increase by between 20 and 40 per cent.

Federation proposes new affordable housing charitable provisions to Henry Tax review (March 09)
To see the Federation submission:
http://taxreview.treasury.gov.au/content/submissions/post_14_november_2008/ NSW_Federation_of_Housing_Associations_20090501.pdf
For further information on the Henry Tax Review …. http://taxreview.treasury.gov.au/Content/Content.aspx?doc=html/home.htm

Federation gives evidence to Inquiry into homelessness and low-cost rental accommodation
To see submission. (6 April 09)
The Federation’s response to questions on notice can be seen here (http://www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/
Prod/parlment/committee.nsf/0/47231E9379BBC350CA2575E8001210A1 )

along with evidence from members and experts (http://www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/prod/PARLMENT/
committee.nsf/0/78360C7CC2AE7EFCCA25751400150094
) (July 2009)

$6.388 billion in funding for social housing announced! (2 Feb 09)
Federal government today announced $6.388 billion to be spent on social housing as part of and economic stimulus package
The $6.388 billion will be spent over the next 4 years to fund the construction of 20,000 new public and community housing dwellings to be completed by 2010.
$260 million of this will be apportioned in 2008-09; $4,072 million in 2009-10; $1744 million in 2010-11; and $312 million in 2011-12. Go to the Treasury website for more information.

Tax Office threat to charitable status averted for now (Nov 2008)
After intensive lobbying by the Federation and CHFA, a temporary change to the Tax Act will protect the charitable tax status of community housing providers who take part in the NRAS.  The announcement by the Treasurer protects existing charities for the first  phase of NRAS (link to media statement).  This means that a proper long term solution will still have to be sought through the Henry Review of the overall Tax Act.  Both CHFA and the Federation will continue to lobby to get a long term solution.

Partnerships
More and more housing associations are forming partnerships with the private sector and other agencies.  To assist with NRAS proposals the Federal Government has appointed Partnership facilitators.  The Community Housing Federation of Australia (CHFA) has been appointed as a national facilitator and the NSW Federation will be CHFA’s agent in NSW.  MacroPlan has also been appointed as the NSW partnership facilitator. See the partnerships page and resources.

Checks on tenant well-being
Housing NSW Tenant Connect is a free service where you receive a phone call each day to confirm you are safe and well. The service will be provided in partnership between Red Cross and Housing NSW (including the Office of Community Housing) across NSW. Tenants aged 80 or over and Aboriginal tenants aged 55 or over who live in public, community and Aboriginal housing will be eligible to apply for this service. More info

You can help create a fair go for all Australians... A new initiative Australia Fair provides all Australians with tools to read, discuss and act on fairness – particularly Fair Housing.  http://www.australiafair.org.au/public/Default.aspx

NSW Social Housing Common Access System presentation (24 Nov 2009)
Housing NSW, in partnership with the community housing sector, is developing a detailed strategy for creating a social housing common access system in NSW. A presentation on the common access system was given at 20 November 2009 Housing Associations Meeting by Mark Nutting, CAS Project Manager, Housing NSW. Download presentation

Special HAM
Watch video of special Housing Associations Meeting held 24th February 2009. (26 Feb 09)

25 Years of Housing Associations
Watch video of '25 Years of Housing Associations in NSW' - (from 25 yr party November 2007). (26 Feb 09)

Statutory consultation on Regulatory Code
The consultation on the Housing Regulation 2008 have been completed. The amendments to the Code are now being considered. More info (5 Dec 2008) For the Federation submission see -submission.

National Rental Affordability Scheme Bill passes the Senate
The NRAS Bill passed the Senate on Monday 24th November after an Inquiry by the Senate Community Affairs Committee.  The Federation prepared a submission and presented evidence to the Inquiry (link to our submission) The Senate Inquiry’s report on the Bill has recommended that it be passed (link to report).  However, it was touch and go while a solution to the risk that community housing providers who participated could loose their charitable tax status was being negotiated.
The announcement of successful NRAS applicants is expected in the week beginning 1st December. 
The NRAS incentive is be made up of $6,000 per property per year for ten years from the Commonwealth (as a tax credit or a grant for not-for-profits) and $2,000 a year (in cash or kind) from States. The second Call for Applications for incentives in the Establishment Phase, Round 2, is due to be issued soon. http://www.facs.gov.au/internet/facsinternet.nsf/housing/nras.htm
To apply in NSW: http://www.housing.nsw.gov.au/Centre+For+Affordable+Housing/NRAS/
NRAS is a key part of a package of changes introduced by the Federal Government to tackle housing affordability and homelessnesshttp://www.facsia.gov.au/internet/facsinternet.nsf/housing/haf.htm http://www.alp.org.au/media/0508/mshouia130.php

‘Growth providers’ now finalised
Following the second round tenders, the associations awarded ‘growth provider’ status have been finalised.  They are Affordable Community Housing, Blue CHP (a consortium of five associations: Argyle, Hume, South Coast, Wentworth and Womens), Compass, Community Housing Ltd, North Coast. St George, and South West Inner Sydney Housing (SWISH).
The growth providers will receive weighting in tenders for AIHF tenders, some will convert a number of existing leases into 35-year leases to provide an income stream that supports investment in further housing.  In addition, they will manage a high proportion of new supply in the metropolitan area and start work towards managing and developing their own properties.

Latest round of Affordable Housing Innovation Funds (AHIF) awarded
The latest round of funding under the Affordable Housing Innovations Fund has been announced with government investment being made into four projects:  Blue CHP (40), South Coast Community Housing Ltd (8), St George Community Housing Co. (50) and Compass (4) have been successful in receiving funding to acquire a total of 102 homes in the Sydney, South Coast and Newcastle area. Unlike previous Debt Equity tenders, a proportion of the properties will not need to be set aside for public housing eligible applicants. Instead, all those housed can be drawn from a mix of very low to moderate income households (earning 50% or less of median household income - 120% of median income). The next round will provide at least $16.5 million of government investment.  However, it is expected that these projects will also be designed to utilise the new National Rental Affordability Scheme incentives.

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