About CHIA

The community housing sector needs the dedicated representation at the national level that CHIA will provide.
We need a strong voice to advocate. The choice is simple.

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  • One voice for the industry as a one stop shop for providers and a single source for policy, advocacy, representation, training and resourcing;
  • More effective national representation to government, other national peaks and the private sector, with the national peak being no longer at “arms length” from providers and being more relevant to multi-jurisdictional providers;
  • Better quality and quantity of services to members, by combining the resources and expertise of existing peak bodies across a national market and creating a strong base for an expanded service offer;
  • Branch offices in every State and Territory dealing with state issues and representing providers interests at both state and national level;
  • Better connected sector through improved access to peer networking for providers, our people and our customers;
  • More resilient and independent organisation through diversified income sources and reduced reliance on funding from government; and
  • Better participation, services and housing for community housing tenants.

View the CHIA Constitution HERE

CHIA Audited Financials 30 June 2015 HERE

CHIA Audited Financials 30 June 2016 HERE

View the CHIA Detailed Proposal HERE

View the CHIA Members List HERE

CHIA Position Paper on ‘Reform of the Federation Discussion Paper’ HERE

CHIA Submission to ‘Affordable Housing Working Group: Issues Paper’ HERE

Community Housing Submission to ‘Smart Cities PlanHERE

‘Further submission to Productivity Commission: Comments on preliminary findings report from community housing industry associations’ HERE

 CHIA WA Election Policy ‘Systemic reform for better outcomes: Housing policy recommendations for the incoming WA State Government’ HERE

‘Financial Reporting’ – From Company Director (aicd.companydirectors.com.au), September 2016. Reprinted with Permission. HERE

Want to find out more about CHIA? Take a look at our 2015 Company Profile

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CHIA will provide an increased range, quality and value of services tailored to different community housing provider needs and the different delivery context in each State and Territory

Industry & Workforce Development

to establish the skills and settings required to position the community housing sector to take on new growth and development opportunities and appropriately manage the associated risks and responsibilities.

Tools & Resources

to support cost-effective business practice (e.g. training; business development services; compliance and regulation services) – tailored to location and the scale and type of community housing activities.

Networking & Collaboration

between community housing providers that face similar opportunities and challenges – based on both provider location and the scale and type of community housing activities.

Policy development, consultation & advocacy

services to influence and shape social and affordable housing policy and programs – nationally, in each State and Territory and in non-government sectors.

Promotion & Marketing

services to ensure a strong national profile and reputation for the community housing industry.


CHIA Structure, Branches and People
When and how will the new body be established?

The changes to the CHFA constitution to create the national industry body, known as the Community Housing Industry Association (CHIA), were passed by CHFA members in March by an overwhelming majority.

Importantly, no new entity is created – rather CHIA is the same legal entity as CHFA, only with a new corporate form and constitution.

There are some administrative and legal matters that must be finalised before CHIA comes into fruition and they should be completed by 30 June 2015.

Who are the elected CHIA directors? Who are the nominated CHIA policy network representatives?

Barry Doyle barry.doyle@communityhousing.com.au

Carmel Rosier Carmel.rosier@chcsa.org.au

David Havercroft ca@ntshelter.org.au

Tammy White eo@ntshelter.org.au

Jennie  Vartan jennie@foundationhousing.org.au

Lesley Dredge Lesley.Dredge@chfv.org.au

Maja Frolich majaf@communityhousing.org.au

John McInerney jmc08545@bigpond.net.au

Patti Chugg pc@sheltertas.org.au

Steve Bevington steve.bevington@chl.org.au

Steve Staikos steve.staikos@chfv.org.au

Wendy Hayhurst wendyh@communityhousing.org.au

Eddy Bourke eddy@chcaffordablehousing.com.au

Branch Committees (representing each state & territory where CHIA has members) have been appointed by the Board on an interim basis until the AGM. These can (but need not be) the same as the boards of state & territory housing peaks.

How can CHOs join CHIA?

One of the biggest differences between CHFA and CHIA is that CHOs can join the national body, become Board members and therefore have a direct impact on its work. We hope to send all CHOs an invitation to join CHIA in June. The national activities of CHIA, including the appointment of any staff, will be funded from members’ fees so it is important to have these funds flowing in early.

Each State and Territory housing peak which is a member of CHFA has been consulting with its members over the proposal to convert CHFA into the national industry body. The Working Group has also held consultations in each State and Territory. Once CHIA is fully operational the state peaks will no longer be CHFA members but most will become the state branch of CHIA. You need to talk to your state peak about how this change is being managed in your jurisdiction.

The Board is seeking commitments from established CHOs to become founding members of CHIA and is keen to talk to any CHOs ready to assist with the establishment of an effective national industry body.

Remember, just half of your membership dues will remain with the national office to fund these important activities and the other half will be retained by the state or territory to fund their branch activities. Of course any direct state Government funding or contract funds will also remain in that jurisdiction.

What is the CHIA fee structure?

For community housing organisations with greater than 25 properties the proposed fee structure is a base fee $500 ex GST plus a portfolio fee of $5 ex GST per property.

For smaller community housing organisations with 25 properties or less a base rate of $220 ex GST plus a portfolio fee of $5 ex GST per property.

Fees are capped at the total fee set by having 4,000 properties under management using the above fee structure.

The CHIA Board will be responsible for setting membership fees, to ensure that these remain reasonable and affordable as well as supporting the viability of the organisation.

Will my Branch still offer the same opportunities for advocacy, policy networking and services to members that it does now?

We expect only minor changes to the existing operations of those State peaks that currently have funding and staff – they will simply transition to being the State Branch. There is no reason for the State Branch to alter its range of activities, or change staff or location.

CHIA will provide a national presence, giving Branches greater access to direct action on national issues and help with coordinating Branch activities where that adds value. In time, a national office will be able to support States and Territories that have no or limited existing activity.

How will state peaks become part of CHIA?

State & Territory housing peaks are currently consulting their members about whether they should legally become part of CHIA. If they decide to combine its operations with CHIA they will develop transition plans to be implemented over 2015-2016 to streamline the logistical and legal arrangements.

At the moment much of the activity in the housing area happens at State level – will my State Branch have the autonomy to manage State affairs?

Each State Branch will have a high degree of independence and will be able to respond to members’ needs directly. Members in each State will elect a Branch Committee. In jurisdictions where there are Branch staff, the Committee will provide guidance and support to Branch staff in dealing with State issues. While the Branch will have the ability to develop policy and activities around State issues they will also have the benefit of the knowledge and experience of other States, coordinated by the national office.

Will my Branch be able to respond directly to my needs or will everything have to go via the national office?

Branches will have a high degree of independence and will be able to respond to members’ needs directly. Obviously the level of resourcing will vary between Branches, depending on whether they receive any funding beyond membership fees e.g. State Government funding, fee for service activities.

Will my Branch be able to negotiate directly with our State Government?

Branch managers will have the delegated authority to deal with state issues, including negotiating with State Governments and other state stakeholders.

What powers will my Branch Committee have?

Branch Committees will be elected directly by members in each jurisdiction, to provide guidance and support to Branch staff and the CHIA Board in addressing State issues. In jurisdictions where there may be no staff in the immediate term, the Branch Committee will provide feedback to the CHIA CEO and CHIA Board regarding state issues.

My organisation is happy with the service we receive from our State peak – why should we take the risk on changing to the national industry body?

The structure of CHIA has been developed to minimise the impact on State peaks, and to maximise the extent to which they will be able to continue to offer the services members expect. In addition, it is anticipated that new services and resources will be able to be developed to meet members needs more quickly and/or cost effectively. There will be a genuine national market. In some circumstances, the national body may be better positioned to advocate to a State Government – this would only occur at the request of the State Branch.

What if my jurisdiction doesn’t have a funded community housing peak body at the moment – will we be able to have a CHIA Branch?

CHIA will have a Branch in every jurisdiction where there are members operating as community housing organisations. This means that CHIA will be able to represent the industry in all States and Territories. In the immediate term, some CHIA Branches will be funded only by membership fees, as there may not be State Government or other funding dedicated to that jurisdiction. It is anticipated that over time the fully functioning CHIA will have strong Branches in every jurisdiction.

Who will have access to State branches and what will be the rights of members to determine the officers of these Branches?

When community housing organisations join CHIA they also join the Branch or Branches in which they operate. Branch staff will be staff of CHIA. Each Branch will have a high degree of independence and will be able to respond to members’ needs directly. Members in each State will elect a Branch Committee, which will provide guidance and support to Branch staff in dealing with State issues.

Funding Arrangements & Service Offer
Some jurisdictions do not have funding from their State Government for their peak. Does that mean that money raised in my State through funding, membership and the sale of services such as training will be diverted to other jurisdictions?

The current proposal is for half of the membership fees to go to the national office, with decisions made at the national level about how these funds will be spent. The other half of the membership fees (split on a per-property basis for multi-jurisdictional providers) will remain in the State to be spent on State priorities, along with any State Government funding, and income earned from Branch activities.

If we go ahead with CHIA will we put our Government funding at risk?

During the consultations we have been talking with funding bodies and generally they are comfortable with the change as long as their funding is quarantined to their jurisdiction. The structure of CHIA will allow for sufficient autonomy at Branch level to ensure that state-based funding can be expended on projects and priorities within that state. Most jurisdictions are used to this model – National Disability Services went through a similar process a number of years ago and their funding was retained. As existing peaks become CHIA Branches, transition agreements will be developed between the peak and CHIA to streamline the logistical and legal arrangements.

How will the national office be funded?

The CHIA national office will be funded by a 50% share of membership fees paid by all NIB members. We anticipate this will fund the new position of the CHIA CEO. The anticipated Commonwealth Government funding was terminated effective 30 June 2015 necessitating the closure of the Canberra office. Efforts are underway to secure Commonwealth Government funds to assist with the transition to CHIA. There will likely be retained earning following the closure of the Canberra office that will pass on to CHIA.

How do I know that CHIA will have enough funding to operate effectively?

The withdrawal of Commonwealth funding does present a challenge for funding the national office and federal level policy activities. The CHFA Board and the National Working Group are working to ensure that there will be some continuity of services once the CHFA office in Canberra closes. We believe that 2015/16 will be a year of transition but we are confident that we will be offering the following:

  • A CEO with basic administrative support whose initial focus will be on establishing the new organisation
  • The continuation of the National Policy Forum to provide opportunities for state peaks to feed into policy development and submissions
  • Ongoing representation on national committees and projects through the state peaks, CHO members and CHIA board members
  • Some initial and important national policy work on indigenous community housing

This level of service will be possible with the support of staff and resources from some of the jurisdictions. However community housing organisations (CHO) across the country also have an important role to play.

Commonwealth Government Involvement
Given that the Commonwealth Government is about to review its involvement in housing and may have a much reduced role, is there any point to moving to a national industry body now?

It is unlikely that the Commonwealth Government would pass all responsibility for social housing to the states and territories.   For example, housing will be a crucial element in national initiatives such as the National Disability Insurance Scheme and any new national programs to address family violence.

If there were wholesale withdrawal from social housing and homelessness by the Commonwealth, it would remain critical for the community housing industry to have a strong national voice and strong capacity for coordinated national advocacy, during what would be a major transformation of funding and policy settings. In addition, even if the Commonwealth Government reduced its engagement in social housing, there are still many areas of Commonwealth activity that impact on our members such as taxation policy – GST, negative gearing and the regulation of charities – as well as rent assistance and income support payments. Generally, over the years, the Commonwealth has increased its areas of involvement rather than reduced them.

The political persuasion of governments will continue to change at a time of increased electoral volatility. However, policymakers at all levels of government will need to continue to pay attention to our housing market, which is characterised by increasing affordability problems, a desperate shortage of social housing and a public housing system in need of reform. The community housing industry will continue to need a strong voice and a strong national profile to advance its interests and those in need of housing assistance.

Governance and Membership Arrangements
With the draft constitution is it possible for a multi-jurisdictional community housing organisation to have several representatives elected to the CHIA Board?

Following consultations with stakeholders, the proposed constitution for CHIA was amended to prevent two people being CHIA Directors if both were nominated by the same CHIA member. In any event, it will be up to the member organisations in each jurisdiction to elect representatives to the CHIA Board. Members will know where candidates come from, both for their own jurisdiction and for other jurisdictions, when they place their vote. Finally, it should be borne in mind that directors do not “represent” the interests of the provider with which they are associated – rather their duty under Corporations law is to act in the best interests of CHIA as a whole.

Will all the members of existing community housing peak bodies be eligible to join CHIA?

All organisations which are recognised as providing community housing will be eligible to join CHIA under the new constitution.

What rights will members have to elect the CHIA Board?

The CHIA Board will have full responsibility for the governance of what is intended to be a significant national organisation operating in every state and territory, and with a multi-million dollar turnover. It is also expected that the Board members will be significant “spokespersons” for the industry at a broad range of forums including delegations with federal politicians and senior bureaucrats, industry conferences and in the main stream media. It is of vital importance that Board members of CHIA are representative of the whole industry and have the confidence of the membership. This will be governed by the constitution of CHIA and the democratic election process.

Regional Directors will be elected by members operating in each state and territory. The person elected as Regional Director will also take the role of Chair of the State Committee. Any employee or Director of a member organisation can stand for election provided they have the support of their organisation. Associate members – either individuals or employees of associate members – are also eligible to stand for election. Associate members are not entitled to vote in the elections for Board positions.

As well as the Regional Directors there will be another four Directors, elected by a vote of all CHIA members across the country: every member organisation receives one vote to elect these four positions.

Directors will serve two year terms, with half the positions up for election each year. The timing of elections will be coordinated across the country, with members able to cast votes either in person at the AGM or through concurrent postal voting.

How will Branch Committees be elected?

Branch Committees will be elected following the same process as the method for electing the CHIA Board. There will be a vote at every AGM of CHIA for vacant positions, with Committee members being elected for two year terms. The timing of elections will be coordinated across the country, with members able to cast votes either in person at the AGM or through concurrent postal voting.

What if my organisation starts operating in a new jurisdiction – will we be able to join that Branch too?

Members will join CHIA once, and will be recognised as members of the Branch or Branches in which they operate as community housing providers. This can be updated as members’ activities change.

National Activities
How will CHIA help my organisation share information and ideas with similar organisations interstate?

Through peer networks CHIA will enable providers to make contact with providers beyond their state. CHFA is pursuing options to fund this coordination role in the absence of continued Commonwealth Government funding.

Will this model truly deliver one national peak speaking with one voice?

This is our aim. As well as consulting with members across the country we are also talking to PowerHousing and Shelters where appropriate about the role they might play in CHIA.

Will CHIA replace the Shelter network?

CHIA is not intended to replace the Shelter network (National Shelter, Shelter Tas, NSW Shelter etc). Community housing organisations which are members of state Shelters will be eligible to join CHIA. This does not prevent them from also joining their state Shelter if they wish, however it is anticipated that they would receive advocacy, resourcing and other services specific to community housing from CHIA.

In Tasmania and Northern Territory the Shelters have been members of CHFA and they have been representing the interests of CHOs in these jurisdictions. Under the new arrangements with CHIA CHOs will be able to form their own branch committees of CHIA. Given that the Shelters have provided a valuable service to CHOs the Branch committee may decide to buy support from them and operate within their structures. Members will discuss how they want to structure their branch activities.

What are the advantages of CHIA above existing federated arrangements?

CHIA allows community housing organisations to be directly involved in their national peak body for the first time. Unlike the existing arrangements, CHIA will bring all community housing advocacy, policy and resourcing together, so that the industry can raise its profile and advance its interests more effectively. In addition, it is anticipated that new services and resources will be able to be developed to meet members’ needs more quickly and/or cost effectively: there will be a genuine national market, and CHIA will be a large organisation with greater capability to respond to emerging needs.

Industry Diversity
How will the specific interests and activities of large or multi-jurisdictional providers be advanced?

As well as Branches and Branch Committees, CHIA will have structures to reflect the needs and interests of the range of members. This will include a structure for large providers, to enable large providers to network across Branches, to identify specific issues and resourcing needs, and to provide specific feedback to the CHIA CEO and CHIA Board.

How will the specific interests and activities of small or specialist providers be advanced?

As well as Branches and Branch Committees, CHIA will have structures to reflect the needs and interests of the range of members. This will include structures for small providers, which seek to provide a high quality service in a local area, as well as structure for specialist providers, with a focus on particular target groups or business activities. These structures will be established in consultation with members, to meet members’ needs. They will enable small and specialist providers to network across Branches, to identify specific issues and resourcing needs, and where relevant to provide specific feedback to the CHIA CEO and CHIA Board.



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