News and information from the
Victorian Community Housing Sector peak body
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August 2017
 
 
 

A message from your state peak

Since Homes for Victorians was released earlier this year, everyone interested in affordable housing has been eagerly awaiting more detail about the various new and creative initiatives in the package. Government departments, supported by consulting firms, have been working feverishly to design the various elements to a stage where they are comfortable to come to the sector. This next six months will see a rapid increase in engagement and we will be consulted on many design features, including:

·         How the loan guarantee initiatives can be structured to enhance the effectiveness of the social housing growth fund.

·         What principles should guide the management transfer program in terms of the selection of stock and the outcomes required.

·         How will the implementation of the Victorian Housing Register (VHR) and the associated Allocations Framework impact on the community housing sector’s ability to participate in these new programs, along with those emerging in the affordable housing area.

Housing associations that are keen to play a role in creating new and vibrant communities will be kept busy with the next procurement phase of the Public Housing Redevelopment Program as it calls for proposals from developers and consortia.

Front line staff of community housing organisations will not be shielded from reform and change. The implementation of the VHR will have a huge impact on day-to-day activities with changes in policy and practice requiring specific training and increased transparency.

Community housing organisations will also need to work more closely with support organisations to ensure successful tenancies as they will be required to house a higher proportion of people with complex needs.

These are exciting times that will require us to work together, share our knowledge and ideas and be open minded about what is possible. CHFV will be working hard to assist you with information, tools, intelligence and practical support.


Lesley Dredge
CEO

 
 
 

Book now



Don’t miss your opportunity to hear about major issues impacting our sector, directly from those in the hot seat.


Book your seats now to hear from Assistant Minister to the Treasurer, the Hon Michael Sukkar, about the Federal Government’s housing initiatives such as the bond aggregator, and Productivity Commissioner Stephen King, who is presiding over the current investigation into ways to improve the delivery of Human Services – including affordable housing.
 
 

Industry Transition Plan


CHFV has received funding from DHHS to produce an industry development or transition plan for the community housing sector as part of a broader initiative to develop a community services industry plan. This is in recognition of the plethora of reforms facing our industry. 

The Victorian community housing industry is on the cusp of a period of significant change and reform as affordable and social housing increasingly becomes the focus of policymakers at a national and state level. 

Homes for Victorians places the Victorian community housing industry at the centre of government’s agenda to grow social and affordable housing.

At a national level, the Bond Aggregator is to become a reality and negotiations have commenced on the new NAHA, the National Housing & Homelessness Agreement, which could see community housing playing an enhanced role.  

We will be kicking off the project in the next month and are eager to have all our members involved in consultations looking at how we want the sector to develop and what we need to do to attain this vision. Watch this space for more information.

Keeping high-rise buildings safe


There has been much recent publicity about the dangers of inflammable external cladding materials and of balcony glass shattering spontaneously.

Following the recent London fire, the Victorian Government announced the formation of the Victorian Cladding Taskforce, which will investigate the extent of non-compliant cladding on Victorian buildings. The taskforce will oversee the continuing audit to identify where cladding has been used inappropriately, and ensure buildings are rectified quickly. It will also make recommendations to the government on how to improve compliance and enforcement of building regulations to better protect the health and safety of building occupants.

Key agencies Worksafe Victoria, the Metropolitan Fire Brigade, the Victorian Building Authority, the Municipal Association of Victoria, Emergency Management Victoria, and the Director of Housing are all represented on the taskforce.

There have also been a number of recent Australian examples of balcony glass shattering spontaneously. CHFV has written to the Victorian Building Authority requesting information about this but we have not received any response to date.

DHHS has requested that all CHOs with buildings that are less than 20 years of age, or have been reclad in the last 20 years, complete a survey which CHFV has distributed. If you have this class of buildings and have not received the survey please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

 

Public housing maintenance under the spotlight


A law lecturer has raised concerns about the lack of maintenance of public housing in an article in The Conversation. 

In light of the Grenfell Tower disaster, UNSW Law School Associate Lecturer Gemma McKinnon says the lack of repairs and maintenance of public housing is well known and tolerated 

“Watching the surviving Grenfell residents finally get to express, in national and international media, their frustration at how poorly their housing had been managed, one is struck by the thought: what would residents of public housing in NSW and other Australian states say if the cameras were finally turned on them?”, Ms McKinnon says.

Read the full article here.

 
 

SA exceeds inclusionary zoning targets

 

South Australia was the first state in Australia to implement 15 per cent inclusionary zoning for new developments. This desktop review has found that this target has been exceeded, with 110 developments contributing 5,490 new homes – 17.2 per cent of eligible dwellings. Victoria is about to launch a pilot inclusionary housing program in the coming months. You can read the SA report here.

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#HW2017

Homelessness Week 2017


Homelessness week runs from 7 - 13 August 2017 and Homelessness Australia is fronting a push to get the issue in front of the public and media with a range of resources available for download. Visit the websitefor details.

 

Salvos aim to crack open trust

The Salvation Army is seeking permission from the Supreme Court to transfer property from a historic Property Trust structure to new fund, which would enable it to develop more social housing properties.

Click here to read the full article on the move in the Australian Financial Review.
 

 

New DHHS strategic plan


The Department of Health and Human Services has released its new strategic plan with target  outcomes that include reducing the proportion of the population experiencing homelessness – especially victims of family violence and young people; and reducing the average wait time for people on the priority housing list.

Click herefor details.

 

Minister makes promise to public housing residents

 

NT seeks input to expand community housing

The Northern Territory Government is calling for information to assist the development of the  Community Housing Strategy to guide further development of the CH sector and an initial transfer of up to 750 dwellings in urban areas.  

Click here for details.

Training updates

Free course on community housing

In the context of the implementation of the Victorian Housing Register (VHR), CHFV is holding free courses explaining community housing for those working in public housing or in homelessness services.

The new VHR creates a streamlined system that enables people to make a single application for both public and community housing. However, while people are familiar with public housing and what it offers, not everyone is as familiar with community housing and applicants may be uncertain whether to also register their interest in this option.

This half-day course is available for people who support clients to navigate the housing system and want to provide advice to clients about community housing. 

Click here for more information.
 

Keen to improve your skills, confidence and leadership ability?

 
CHFV has developed a new package of training opportunities in response to frustration from sector HR staff about the lack of professional development opportunities for experienced workers.

Eligibility for the six-month program is restricted to workers with at least two years’ tenancy experience or those who have completed the CHFV Induction Program. 

The training includes interactive scenarios to increase workers’ confidence and competency in real-life situations. Each unit is covered in a half-day session at CHFV’s Melbourne-CBD training facility.

Click here for details.

 

CHFV training program


CHFV’s training schedule for July to December 2017 is now available to view online with more than 25 short courses available.

Click here for details on our courses or contact our Training Coordinator Holly to request a tailored in-house training course.

Registration details will be distributed by email approximately one month prior to the course, seminar or events and bookings will be accepted from that time.

 

In the news

Government media release: Security Upgrade On Cards For Flemington Estate
Financial Review: Funding gap: 1.3-million households need help for affordable housing, Ahuri says
ABC Radio: CHIA CEO and Housing Choices Australia CEO Michael Lennon tells ABC Radio Australia faces a national disaster unless there is a huge increase in affordable housing. 
Pro Bono News Ask Izzy expands to provide support for people experiencing family violence. 
The Guardian Punishing people for poverty won't make the complexities go away
The Conversation Taxing empty homes a step towards affordable housing but much more can be done
Herald Sun Melbourne and Carlton have the greatest proportion of renters
Sourceable 1.5 million Aussies will need rent assistance by 2011
 
 

In case you missed it


CHFV submissions to various consultations:

National Housing Policy
Joint community housing peaks submission response to the Productivity Commission draft ‘Introducing Competition and Informed User Choice into Human Services: Identifying Sectors for Reform Study Report’ – July 2017 Click here

State Housing Policy 

  • Statewide Housing Register: CHFV Principles Paper - Click here...
  • Access to Community Housing in Victoria - Click here...
  • CHFV 2016-2017 State Budget Submission: Delivering on the promise of a strong and sustainable housing sector - Click here...
  • Community housing and public accountability in Victoria: Community Housing is not Privatisation - Click here...
  • Better asset management - Click here...
  • Improving Transitional Housing - Click here...
  • Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities, Submission by the Community Housing Federation of Victoria - Click here...
  • Royal Commission into Family Violence; Joint Peaks Submission van be accessed here, the CHFV Submission can be downloaded here... 
  • Community Housing in Victoria, Who do we house? - Challenging the Myths - Click here... 
  • Value Proposition, Making the Case for Public Housing Transfers to Community Housing Organisations - Click here...
  • Reforming Victoria's Privacy Legislation - Click here...
  • Family Violence Information Sharing - Click here...

Residential Tenancy Act Review

Planning 
  • Submission to Infrastructure Victoria's "All things considered" - Click here...
  • Laying the Foundations Victoria’s 30-year infrastructure strategy  - Click here... 
  • Community Housing Sector ‘Inclusionary Zoning’ Position and Capacity Statement - Click here...
  • Better Apartments, CHFV's brief submission on the discussion paper - Click here...

Commonwealth & NDIS 
  • Joint Submission on the Smart Cities Plan - Click here...
  • Response to the Affordable Housing Working Group Issues Paper - Click here...
  • Submission to the Joint Standing Committee on the NDIS - Click here...
  • Submission on the NDIS Specialist Disability Accommodation Pricing and Payments Framework - Click here...
 
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