Homelessness map heats up electorates

The Council to Homeless Persons (CHP) in Victoria has released an interactive Homelessness Heat Map which gives a true picture of homelessness across the state.

The interactive map is based on data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics and has been analysed by Victorian state electorates.

It was developed to coincide with the launch of CHP’s Victorian Homelessness Election Platform, a ‘blueprint’ for ending homelessness in Victoria.

You can click on the map to see a break-down of how many people are experiencing homelessness of different forms in every electorate in Victoria.

$50m in grants for creative NFPs

The Macquarie Group has pledge to donate a total of$50 million, over five years, to drive social change.

The funds are to be distributed globally among five NFPs for projects that show lasting community benefit and have a ‘defined approach to measuring social impact’.

Macquarie Group CEO, Nicholas Moore says, ‘Our people have devoted thousands of hours to work with non-profit organisations around the world and contributed over $330 million to drive social change at the local community level.

‘We are delighted to mark our 50th anniversary by extending this tradition with a further $50 million commitment to initiate or build on bold ideas which address areas of social need.’

Applicants must be a registered NFP  with aminimum annual revenue of $4 million, a board of directors, and audited financial statements.

Macquarie Group Foundation chair Shemara Wikramanayake says, ‘We encourage non-profits to be imaginative in their thinking about the enduring outcomes they can achieve with this funding.’

Applications are now open and close in mid-November, with winners announced in May 2019.

PhD Scholarship in Social Housing

The Unison Housing Research LaB (UHRL) is a unique education and research collaboration between RMIT University and Unison Housing, Victoria’s largest social housing provider. The LaB is situated in the Social and Global Studies Centre (SGSC) in the School of Global, Urban and Social Studies (GUSS). The LaB was established in 2017 and is funded for five years to undertake an innovative research program informed by the experiences of service users and providers.

We are seeking highly motivated and qualified applicants for a PhD scholarship to commence in February, 2019. The successful applicant will have, at minimum, an Honours level qualification in social science or related discipline (e.g. sociology, psychology, anthropology, criminology, law, gender, politics, health) and will have experience in quantitative research methods. Utilising their skills with administrative and survey data, the successful candidate will examine why people leave social housing and what happens to them subsequently. The candidate will investigate three questions:

  1. What are the reasons households leave social housing?
  2. What sort of housing do people subsequently move into and, relatedly, what proportion end up experiencing homelessness after they exit.
  3. What are the patterns of service use following exits from social housing.

In answering these questions this PhD project will provide important insights into the personal, social and economic costs of leaving social housing. It will also provide useful information for Unison with respect to maximising positive exits and minimising negative exits which are costly to everyone.

A stipend of $30,900 per annum pro rata (full time study) for three years.

Expressions of interest must be submitted via email by Friday October 26th, 2018.

Expressions of interest should contain the following information:

  • A one-page summary justifying the applicant’s suitability for the role
  • An academic CV
  • Transcript of qualifying degree
  • A copy of any publications, thesis or other scholarly writing

For further information contact:

Dr Juliet Watson,  03 9925 3477

Prof Guy Johnson,   03 9925 9893

New key worker housing in Tennant Creek

Venture Housing Company Limited (Venture) has lodged a development application for the construction of five new houses for key workers on low to moderate incomes in Tennant Creek.

NT Indigenous enterprise, Dice Australia, is also partnering with Venture in the provision of solar power to these dwellings, thus rendering them even more affordable for their eventual tenants.

Some eighteen months ago, well before the recent sad events, Venture identified and determined the clear need for affordable housing in Tennant Creek, and undertook considerable research of and engagement within the town, particularly noting the constraints on employers, and, ultimately, the local economy, in the successful recruitment and retention of low to moderate income employees caused by the lack of safe, well-built and affordable housing.  This engagement has culminated in today’s announcement of Venture’s initial Tennant Creek affordable housing development project at 90 Peko Road.

This small, unit titled intentional community of five single dwellings will be comprised of two three-bedroom with two bathroom homes and three one-bedroom and bathroom homes, in a safe and appropriately landscaped environment.

NHFIC now live!

Potential borrowers from the Affordable Housing Bond Aggregator (AHBA) can now complete the Expression of Interest forms online to start the process.

To help the National Housing Finance Investment Corporation (NHFIC) assess eligibility for AHBA loans, the EOI form asks for some basic information about your community housing organisation, and some details of the amount you may be interested in borrowing; how you plan to use the funds (eg refinance, construction), what security you are offering, and so on.

Note: the EOI form is NOT a formal application for a loan. Only if the EOI is assessed as suitable to proceed will you be asked to submit a loan application.

After the form has been submitted and assessed, the NHFIC will assign a relationship manager to shepherd each community housing organisation through the process. Pacific Capital Partners have been appointed to assist CHOs with the loan origination process, and the NHFIC also has its own in-house originator.

Head over to the NHFIC website to have a look at the EOI form, the Bond Aggregator Guidelines and the FAQs.

If you want more information, pick up the phone to Pacific Capital (02) 8222 8500 or email or call the NHFIC on 1800 549 767.

Energy bill targets affordable rentals

Independent Senator Tim Storer has presented a bill to Parliament that seeks to provide landlords with a $2000 tax credit when they put energy efficient upgrades into rentals that are offered at $300 a week or less.

Senator Storer says, ‘It is estimated that improved energy efficiency in homes could cut energy consumption by up to 50 per cent in many households and cut energy bills by at least another $150 a year.

‘My proposals would fix an anomaly in the tax code where landlords are able to claim the cost of repairs, for example for old inefficient air-conditioning units that do not meet today’s minimum standards.

‘However they are not able to claim for energy efficiency upgrades that would make a big difference to so many who are finding energy bills unaffordable.

‘The proposals would improve the lives of many Australians on low incomes, alleviate anxiety, improve their health, leave more money in their pockets and start to improve the affordability, reliability and sustainability of our energy system.’

CHIA will present a submission on the Inquiry into the bill, the Treasury Laws Amendment (improving the Energy Efficiency of Rental Properties) Bill 2018.

The submission will be posted on our website in due course.


Yass we need more housing

Argyle Housing, a not-for-profit organisation providing affordable and social housing in NSW, has seen a worrying rise in requests for housing services in Yass.

In an article published in the Yass Tribune, CEO Wendy Middleton said, ‘Of the properties that we manage in Yass, all 95 are allocated to social housing and in many cases are not enough compared to the list of people waiting for or needing social housing.’

Adding to the cause for concern locally, Ms Middleton said usually the organisation works with support agencies to assist in providing social housing, but recently in Yass, the office is dealing with enquiries from people off the street.

There are many causes of homelessness. They can include domestic violence, unemployment, mental health, drugs and alcohol and lack of affordable housing. Ms Middleton said it’s this last cause that’s contributing to the issue in Yass.

‘We are experiencing people coming in for housing packs and asking to be placed onto the NSW Housing Register as the Yass rental market has priced a lot of people out of affordability,’ she said.

‘The rising cost of housing is not specific to just one demographic, it affects all people including single, low-income earners, the young and the elderly.

‘Our staff have also experienced a number of people coming in asking for a referral to support agencies as they are quite often left trying to keep a roof over their heads but are struggling to buy groceries and pay bills.’

Argyle Housing is always looking for homeowners and real estate agents willing to provide housing at less than market rate to give to those in need.

Read more…

Changing of the guard

CHIA has written to Australia’s new Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, and Federal Housing Minister, Sarah Henderson, to congratulate them on their new roles.

We have also requested meetings with both to discuss the development of a comprehensive, long-term national housing strategy to address the challenge of housing affordability.

Read more about Sarah Henderson.

ABCB forums to examine accessibility standards 

The Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB) has commenced a new project to examine whether a minimum accessibility standard for housing should be included in the National Construction Code. Accessible housing is any housing that includes features to enable use by people either with a disability or transitioning through their life stages.

The ABCB will be holding morning consultation forums in each capital city, that will focus on its Accessible Housing Options Paper, which will be released in advance of the consultation forums.

All forums will be free to attend, although booking is essential.

Forum dates are to be confirmed, but at this stage are expected to be:

Canberra – Monday 15 October
Sydney -Tuesday 16 October
Perth – Friday 19 October
Adelaide – Thursday 25 October
Darwin – Friday 26 October
Brisbane – Tuesday 30 October
Melbourne – Wednesday 31 October
Hobart- Thursday 1 November

You can ensure you don’t miss out by registering your interest

Frontline workers needed for short survey

Swinburne University is calling on Frontline workers who support people with a history of homelessness to participate in a research study that aims to learn more about their knowledge of brain injury.

Frontline workers includes supportive housing workers, case managers, counsellors who work with homeless clients, workers in the specialist  homelessness  services and others.

Study participants will be asked to complete a survey that is expected to take 15 to 20 minutes.

Click here for details.