2015 CHIA established by 18 Foundation Members

70,463 properties are now owned or managed by our members

86% of mainstream community housing is provided by our members

Our origins

The clear need for a single independent voice for the community housing industry  on national issues led to the establishment of the Community Housing Industry Association in 2015.

CHIA’s founders wanted to create a member-funded organisation that could leverage the expertise and resources of the network of state and territory peak bodies to support the sector and improve the quality of housing and other services provided to community housing tenants throughout Australia.

Our ethos

Our vision is to foster a world-class community housing industry in Australia.

Our purpose is to lead, represent and advocate for the Australian community housing industry at a national level.

Our board

CHIA’s board is headed by Chair Michael Lennon and peopled by committed executives of housing organisations from throughout Australia with extensive experience in affordable housing.

Michael Lennon

Michael Lennon

Chair

Michael is Managing Director of Housing Choices Australia and has consulted with governments at the highest levels, including being an advisor to the World Health Organisation.

John Nicolades

John Nicolades

Vice Chair

John is CEO of Bridge Housing and has held senior positions in the NSW Government and the community services sector.

Geoff Barber

Geoff Barber

Board Member, SA Region

Geoff leads the housing and development activities of inhousing and is a Director of the Community Housing Council in SA.

Jed Donoghue

Jed Donoghue

Board Member, Tasmania Region Director

Jed is employed by The Salvation Army as the state’s housing and homelessness manager in Tasmania.

Andrew Elvin

Andrew Elvin

Board Member, QLD Region Director

Andrew is the CEO and Managing Director Purpose Real Estate of the Coast2Bay Housing Group, where he has held his position since 2015.

Stephen Nash

Stephen Nash

Board Member, Victorian Region Director

Stephen is the Managing Director of Common Equity Housing Ltd (CEHL) and board member of CHIAVic. CEHL works in partnership with 110 co-ops to deliver the Co-operative Housing Program to over 5,000 people in 2,200 properties across Victoria.

Jillian Cable

Jillian Cable

Board Member, NT Region Director

Jillian is the CEO and Company Secretary of Venture Housing Company and took out the 2014 Telstra Business Women’s Award in the Community and Government and Innovation categories.

Andrew Hannan

Andrew Hannan

Board Member, ACT Region Director

Andrew is the CEO of Community Housing Canberra (CHC) and brings a diversity of senior management experience gained at Booz & Company, Babcock & Brown, Alinta Energy, Santos and, most recently, at The University of Queensland.

Stephen Bevington

Stephen Bevington

Board Member

Stephen is the Managing Director of Community Housing Ltd. A registered builder, Stephen is also one of Australia’s leading experts on housing affordability.

Leonie King

Leonie King

Board Member, NSW Region Director

Leonie is the CEO of City West Housing and brings extensive senior management experience across the housing, community care and disability sectors in both the Government and non Government sectors.

Steve Walker

Steve Walker

Board Member, WA Region Director

Stephen is Managing Director of Stellar Living Ltd, having made the move into the not-for-profit sector in 2006 after beginning his career in tax and business consulting.

Our staff

CHIA’s day-to-day operations are headed by our highly-experienced CEO Wendy Hayhurst, backed by a two-person communications and administration team.

Wendy Hayhurst

Chief Executive

Wendy spent was appointed in March 2019 as CEO at the Community Housing Industry Association (CHIA) the peak body representing not for profit community housing organisations across Australia.

Previously she led CHIA NSW – the state peak - for four years. Wendy has spent almost her entire career in social and affordable housing – working her way from the front line to a non-executive directorship and senior managerial roles in a wide range of housing provider organisations, regulatory bodies, specialist consultancies and performance benchmarking organisations.

She has in-depth knowledge and experience of the NSW, national and international community housing sector through her work with the NSW Regulator, in shaping and administering the National Regulatory System and her work in the United Kingdom. Wendy has an Executive Masters in Public Administration taught through the Australian and New Zealand School of Government. She also has a Postgraduate Diploma in Housing awarded by the Chartered Institute of Housing in the UK.

Jennie Vartan

CHIA WA State Manager

Jennie has some 30 years experience in senior executive and non-executive roles in the social/affordable housing, aged care, and property sectors in the UK and Western Australia. She has a degree in Anthropology, is a member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, and a graduate of the AICD’s Company Director course.

Joanna Forman

Business Manager

Joanna began in the role of Business Manager in September 2019. An experienced communications, fundraising and administration all rounder she is a full time addition to the CHIA National team.

Our corporate documents