CHIA congratulates new Chair of NHFIC

CHIA has welcomed the appointment of the National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation (NHFIC)’s inaugural chair.

The Treasurer, Scott Morrison, announced the three-year appointment of Brendan Crotty to the Chair’s role. A director of Brickworks Limited, General Property Trust and Dennis Family Holdings Pty Ltd, Mr Crotty will formally take up the role after Parliament passes the NHFIC’s enabling legislation.

CHIA Executive Director Peta Winzar says the appointment is an important step, with the community housing industry keen to see the NHFIC begin providing an affordable housing bond aggregator that will enable it to access cheaper and longer-term finance.

The NHFIC will also administer the $1 billion National Housing Infrastructure Facility which will invest in critical infrastructure with the aim of unlocking new housing supply.

Ms Winzar says she looks forward to further announcements on other NHFIC Board positions.

SA job: Allocations Officer

Junction Australia is looking for an Allocations Officer to provide a highly responsive and professional service to those seeking housing.

Providing sound advice on housing options, associated support services and facilitating allocation of housing through appropriate assessment, you will accurately manage the administration of the Community Housing Customer Register, utilising excellent attention to detail in data entry, administrative duties and client follow up to ensure efficient shortlisting of applicants for housing vacancies.

For details on this full-time role, located at Marion, see CHCSA’s website.

NSW Cost of Living Budget leaves out housing costs for renters

Additional funding to support Aboriginal housing and people who are homeless is good news
but the NSW Budget does not include new investment in more social and affordable housing for
NSW renters in housing stress, the state’s peak not-for-profit housing body said today.

The Budget announced today includes an additional $61 million over four years for homelessness
programs, and $33.1 million over four years to support Aboriginal housing.

However, CHIA NSW CEO, Wendy Hayhurst, said the NSW Government had missed the
opportunity to reinvest the $18.25 billion it has reaped in stamp duty windfalls since 2011 in
providing the 12,500 social and affordable homes NSW will need each year to keep up with population growth.

‘Homelessness support services aren’t effective if people don’t also have secure permanent
homes to go to,’ Ms Hayhurst said.

‘And extra funding for childcare, education and health will only go so far if children don’t have a
safe, secure home to go to at the end of the day, or people leaving hospital can’t recover safely
at home.

‘This Budget had a chance to future-proof our housing system by encouraging investment in the
social and affordable housing we’ll need in the future as Sydney’s population continues to grow.’

Ms Hayhurst recognised the NSW Government could not solve the problem on its own – after
the Federal Government’s Budget failed to deliver funding to kick start greater investment in
social and affordable housing from bodies such as superannuation funds.

‘State Government housing programs such as the Social and Affordable Housing Fund (SAHF),
Communities Plus, and Future Directions are good programs but will not deliver the scale of
new housing needed,’ she said.

‘We need all levels of government to work together on solutions –and a strategy that includes a
suite of measures, from planning reforms, to access to government land, and direct subsidies to
close the funding gap for community housing providers.’

Key facts

NSW needs 12,500 social and affordable homes a year for people on low and middle incomes.
Homelessness has increased by 48% in Sydney and 37% in NSW over five years (Census).
The number of social housing properties has not kept up with population growth – over the last 20 years there has been a 4% increase in properties against a 30% increase in households in need (AHURI).
60,000 people are on waiting lists for social housing in NSW.
In April, there was not a single property affordable for a young family on a minimum wage to rent within 20km of Sydney’s CBD – and the situation as almost as bad in most regional centres (Anglicare 2018 Rental Affordability Snapshot).
In Sydney average house prices are still roughly 12 times average incomes.

  • content courtesy of CHIA NSW

WPI’s tax time campaign

Women’s Property Initiative has launched a tax time campaign to raise funds for a new development in Melbourne’s south east…

Imagine looking at 100 rental properties and not being able to afford a single one of them. Or searching for work when you don’t have a secure or stable place to live. What if your children couldn’t function at school because of the stress of moving around from friend to friend, relative to relative – or even worse – living out of your car.

These are some of the scenarios that single women and mothers face. Two out of three people seeking help for homelessness are women. We know there are many more who are the hidden homeless, living in highly unstable or grossly inadequate housing. Secure homes will change their future.

Women’s Property Initiative (WPI) currently provides permanent, secure and affordable homes for more than 220 women and children. They tell us every day about the difference these homes have made in their lives.

WPI is excitingly close to breaking ground on six new homes in Melbourne’s south-east that will completely change the future for six more vulnerable women and their children!

We have the land and we have secured funding for most of the construction. Now we need an extra $50,000 to get this development over the line and for it to be completely debt free. We’ve made some great progress towards this target, but it’s not too late to make a tax-deductible donation before 30 June to help us reach it! Please help these families secure the homes they deserve.

Click here to donate.

United’s $6.43m accommodation plans

Registered community housing provider United has lodged plans to build a $6.43 million seniors accommodation and affordable housing project in Nowra, NSW.

United’s planning application is for a 30-unit, four-storey building on two blocks of land located only a block away from Nowra’s CBD.

Most of the units will be set aside for seniors or people with a disability, with six units to be used for affordable housing. Eighteen of the units are to be two-bedroom, with the rest being one-bedroom.

The development application, which has been lodged with Shoalhaven City Council, exceeds the maximum height set within the Local Environment Plan height maps by about 2.5 metres.

CHIA Qld joins the fold

It’s official. Queensland’s community housing peak body has registered its name change from CHPs for Qld to the Community Housing Association Queensland (CHIA Qld) with ASIC.

The name change cements the state peak’s close strategic partnership with the national peak, CHIA.

CHIA Qld CEO Jo Ahern says her organisation’s board and members are fully supportive of the name change, which was approved at the AGM in 2017.

‘We all understood the benefits to both organisations and our members of this clearer and stronger relationship,’ Ms Ahern says.

‘Our members are already benefitting from the improved flow of information and increased opportunities to influence critical government policy at state and national levels.

‘We are now a part of a national network of organisations working towards the interests of community housing organisations in Queensland and throughout Australia. Our focus on the delivery of safe, secure and quality social and affordable housing will inevitably improve standards of living, healthcare and life opportunities for people housed by our members and who are severely disadvantaged and living at, or below, the poverty line.’

The national CHIA Board will meet in Queensland on June 25 before holding a forum to gather input from members on the draft National Plan for Social and Affordable Housing and the industry development plan – Building our Future.

See the events page for details.

Job: Biz Systems Admin for Unison

Unison is looking for a qualified, experienced and dedicated person who sees themselves participating in an innovative environment and developing a best practice service with positive outcomes for staff and the organisation.

Reporting to the Director – Corporate Services, the Business Systems Administrator has end-to-end responsibility for our information needs by supporting the ongoing use and development of our software systems.

Key Accountabilities include:

  • Leadership
  • Business Application Project Coordination
  • Data Integrity and Reporting
  • System Maintenance and Development
  • Staff Support and Training
  • Teamwork and Collaboration

Click here for details.

New State Manager for CHIA WA

CHIA WA has appointed Jennie Vartan to their State Manager role.

CHIA WA’s Regional Director Garry Ellender welcomed Jennie to the position. ‘I’m excited by the appointment of Jennie and am confident members will benefit from her energy, commitment and expertise.’

Jennie began her career in the property industry and successfully transitioned to various  leadership roles within the NFP sector. She brings with her more than 20 years experience at an Executive Management level, with 11 years in NFP businesses in Perth, including senior roles at Amana Living and Foundation Housing.

Jennie possesses a thorough understanding of  the current issues facing the Community Housing sector in WA  and is committed to working with members and the WA Regional Committee to develop and expand members services.

Some of her key focus areas will be sector development and training; communication and stakeholder engagement; policy development and advocacy; revenue diversification –  exploring initiatives to secure funding from the State Government to provide sector development and capacity building services for our members.

Jennie will officially commence her duties on Monday, June 11.

St Vincent de Paul to deliver SAHF homes

St Vincent de Paul will deliver 78 social and affordable housing units at Merrylands in Western Sydney as part of the NSW Government’s $1.1bn Social and Affordable Housing Fund.

Social Housing Minister Pru Goward was reported as saying the SAHF model, which links housing with vital supports, showed what could be achieved when government worked with the community-housing sector.

‘Our partners at St Vincent de Paul were selected because of their proven track record of housing and helping people in need. By embracing a collaborative approach, the government and its partners are helping people to break the cycle of disadvantage and move towards greater independence.’

St Vincent de Paul Housing chief executive Brian Murnane, said: ‘St Vincent’s is working with the NSW Government under the SAHF to ensure more social and affordable housing is being offered to people who need it most. We look forward to the continued progress of our housing constructions, providing 500 homes across Sydney and regional NSW.’

The service package tenants receive through the SAHF will include access to accommodation, asset and tenancy-management services and links to supports like training, education opportunities and medical services.

Story courtesy of liverpoolchampion.com.au

Rubber hits the road with accounting changes

Mark Francis, Executive Director of Regulatory Services at Queensland’s Department of Housing and Public Works, outlines the implications for community housing providers (CHPs) of the Australian Accounting Standards Board’s new Standard 1058 Income of Not-for-Profit Entities, and revisions to existing standards, when preparing their forward budgets.

The changes will impact income recognition in the CHP sector in that:
• some types of income will not be immediately recognised in the income statement, particularly where there is a performance obligation or other liability
• donations of assets to CHP entities at a discount to their fair value will need to be recognised at current fair market value.

Examples of the above include the income recognition in relation to peppercorn leases, capital grant funding and volunteer services.

Peppercorn leases
Currently leases with significantly below market terms or values are accounted for by measuring both the lease asset and liability at the present value of the minimum lease payments, which is negligible in a peppercorn lease. This understates the lease asset and fails to recognise the donation component.

The new standard will address this by amending AASB 16 Leases to require CHPs to measure assets under a peppercorn lease at fair value on the balance sheet, with the lease liability measured at the present value of the minimum lease payments. The difference between the current fair market value of the asset and the present value of the minimum lease payments will be recorded as income, as it is effectively a donation to the CHP.

This accounting treatment will impact the CHP’s results both initially, due to the non-cash income component elevating its net surplus, and on an ongoing basis due to depreciation on the asset being recognised in the income statement. Also, asset and liability data and the related ratios (such as Return on Assets, Gearing, Debt serviceability, Interest cover, etc.) will be impacted.

Income recognition of capital grant funding
Under the new standard the revenue is recognised when the performance obligation in an agreement is recognised. As such, at the time a capital agreement is entered into, the income received by the CHP will be accounted for as an asset in its balance sheet, with a corresponding liability (the obligation). As the obligation is fulfilled over time and the percentage reflected in the agreement (donation) applied, the liability will diminish. This reduction will be recognised as income (a donation) in the income statement.

Again, the net surplus of the CHP will be impacted in that the capital grant income is spread over the life of the agreement, as opposed to the total funding being recognised as income at the inception of the agreement. Furthermore, asset and liability data and ratios will be affected.

Recognition of volunteer services
Where a CHP receives volunteer services without charge, or for a consideration significantly less than the fair value of those services, it has the option to recognise the volunteer services. The standard encourages, but does not require, disclosure where a CHP is dependent on volunteers (for example, faith-based providers).

Local governments, and the public sector in general should recognise volunteer services as income where the services would have been purchased if they weren’t donated, and where the fair value of the services can be reliably measured.

Should a CHP choose to recognise the volunteer services, and where they do not result in the acquisition of an asset, the donation of services should be recognised as income based on the fair value of a person undertaking the work/service. An equivalent expense should also be recognised. This effectively offsets the income recognised and, as such, will have no impact on the CHP’s financial position.

Note: this is general information and does not take any organisation’s specific situation into account – organisations should seek their own independent professional advice.