News relevant to NSW.

Katoomba approves $16.7m affordable housing development

St Vincent de Paul Housing has received approval to build 26 affordable housing units in Katoomba. The $16.7m project is expected to begin later this year or early 2019, with completion in 2020.

A spokeswoman for St Vincent de Paul, Felicity Moody, said there would be eight one-bedroom units and 18 two-bedroom units over eight levels (two levels will be basement parking).

‘All units are to be used for social housing tenants aged 55 and over,’ Ms Moody says.

The development will be built just south of the heart of Katoomba on a site currently being used as an unofficial car park.
Ms Moody said St Vincent de Paul Housing ‘intends to use the development to deliver services under NSW Government’s Social and Affordable Housing Fund (SAHF)’.

The move follows repeated public comments by St Vincent de Paul’s former National Council CEO Dr John Falzon on the increasing rate of homelessness.

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare data by Homelessness Australia from 2017 has shown a significant increase in the numbers of young people and older women experiencing homelessness. Women and children escaping family violence is still the biggest driver of homelessness in the country.

Dr Falzon says, ‘It is painfully clear the rate of homelessness in Australia is rising with a nine per cent increase in the number of people seeking help from homelessness agencies over the 2015-16 financial year compared to the previous year.’

‘There are 200,000 people on the waiting list for social housing and at the same time Australia has a shortfall of housing supply, estimated at over 500,000 rental dwellings, which are both affordable and available to the lowest income households.’

No Place Like Home exhibition to raise awareness of housing need

Link Housing’s community art exhibition, ‘No Place Like Home’ is on again. Following the successful launch last month, the exhibition is now travelling to other venues across Northern Sydney from October 12 to November 1.

Come along to one of the opening nights or visit during the gallery opening hours. See the dates and details below.

Link Housing is proud to welcome you to this leading community art exhibition aimed at raising awareness about the need for affordable, safe and secure housing.

Exhibiting artists and artworks reflect the theme: ‘No Place Like Home’. Mediums range from original music, sculptures to paintings and traditional canvas art.

See Facebook for details.

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…

Mission Australia logo

Job: Partnerships Manager NSW

Working amongst a passionate and high performing team, you will be responsible for seeking Philanthropic donations from Major Givers, Trusts, Foundations and Corporate Partners for our programs and services including a capital fundraising program we are commencing this year. We strongly prefer a candidate with major donor and philanthropic experience, with a strong business development background.

In this role you will be required to:

  • Achieve individual income target by focusing on high-value private funding opportunities; designated and undesignated.
  • Develop and maintain a 12 month rolling sales plan.
  • Market scoping, research and prospecting activities (internal –  mass supporter base and external).
  • Maintain all account base information regarding supporters and prospects, including account details, account (pipeline-) value, opportunities, confidence ratings, account and activity planning, communications and results reporting.
  • Achieve the overall Fundraising and Marketing team revenue target by leveraging opportunities in the mass fundraising / community fundraising space and actively collaborating on lead- and partner engagement opportunities.

To be successful in this rewarding role you will be:

  • Results and solutions driven with a great focus on client service and satisfaction.
  • 5-8 years’ experience in a sales role, preferably in a fundraising, sponsoring or community services environment.
  • Experienced in building strong and robust relationships.
  • Excellent with verbal and written communication and with a good command of Microsoft Office.
  • A team player with strong work ethic, a positive attitude, a high degree of professionalism, discretion and confidentiality.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, outstanding presentation and negotiation skills.

As part of our Employment screening process you will be required to undertake a National Criminal History Check if you haven’t completed one in the last 12 months.

Culture & Benefits  

A career with Mission Australia will offer you rewarding experiences to make a difference to the lives of Australians in need. We have an innovative and supportive culture guided by our values of compassion, integrity, respect, perseverance and celebration.

To ensure our employees feel valued, empowered and celebrated we provide a range of employee benefits including:

  • NFP salary packaging benefits reducing taxable income (details via Advantage)
  • Discounted childcare rates with participating centers
  • Generous discounts with hotels, travel insurance and major retailers
  • Free, confidential counseling services via our EAP
  • Discounted health care with Medibank Private

Click here for details and to apply.

Elderly to be at home in pub

Anglicare plans to expand its redevelopment of the Steelworks Hotel in Port Kembla to provide additional affordable rental housing.

The welfare agency already has permission to turn the heritage-listed pub into a 22-bed residence for older people at risk of homelessness but is seeking to add an additional seven self-contained rooms in a separate building, following the acquisition of adjacent land.

The project is part of the organisation’s efforts to cater for the increasing number of people at risk of becoming homeless as they age.

Anglicare’s development manager Dean Cotter says, ‘We are committed to enriching and strengthening local communities through the provision of integrated accommodation, care and support services that are sensitive to cultural, financial and social needs of the people who will live in our homes.

‘The new proposal will allow Anglicare to assist 30 people primarily aged over 60 who are struggling to live on low incomes.

‘The project will be providing support services to rental tenants that foster independence and enable them to feel a part of their local community…and build meaningful relationships with others living with and around them.

The design for the pub will deliver 22 bed-sitter style rooms with private bathrooms and kitchenettes over two levels, with a lift included.

Construction of the first set of dwellings is expected to be completed in mid 2019.

No place like Homes North

Community housing provider Homes North has opened its second affordable housing complex in Armidale to assist those experiencing housing stress.

The 2016 Census reported 14 per cent of Armidale households were experiencing housing stress (paying more than 30 per cent of their income in rent to keep a roof over their heads). The new Homes North five villa complex not only provides much needed affordable rental housing, it also provides access to housing for people with mobility challenges as the development meets the highest ‘liveable design standards’.

The complex has two and three-bedroom homes to offer a range of options for single people, couples and families looking for affordable rentals.

Homes North’s CEO Maree McKenzie says, ‘we are proud to make this new complex available in Armidale to those who need it in our community. The quality of design and build allows our households to live in dignity without breaking the bank. The build reduces power costs, and we ensure residents don’t pay more than 30 per cent of their income in rent. All in all, residents can live a better quality of life because of the reduced financial stress – knowing they can afford other basic living costs such as clothing, medical care and education.’

Homes North Asset Manager and construction partners, Hibbards Homes, ensured a quality build, Ms McKenzie says.

‘One resident says that her family is delighted to be in the new complex saying, “We love it here and it is so warm, we have hardly needed to use our heater this winter.”’

Shocking rent/income gap revealed

A new report has revealed the shocking gap between the incomes of typical renting households and the incomes required to avoid housing stress in Australia’s three most populated states.

Compass Housing’s Affordable Housing Income Gap Report, takes a new approach to the measurement of housing affordability for renters. The Report establishes the amount of additional income required to avoid housing stress on various types of rental properties in more than 300 suburbs, towns and local government areas across New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland. This amount is referred to as the Affordable Housing Income Gap (AHIG).

Compass spokesperson Martin Kennedy said in many cases the median incomes of renting households were tens of thousands of dollars per year below the level required to secure a basic two-bedroom apartment without experiencing housing stress. The situation for renters seeking a 3-bedroom house is worse, with median incomes up to $100,000 per year short of the level required to avoid housing stress in certain areas.

Annual income to afford a 3br house Amount above annual median income (AHIG) Annual income to afford a 2br unit Annual amount above median income (AHIG)
Inner Sydney $172,467 $78,139 $121,333 $27,005
Inner Melbourne $130,000 $50,336 $93,600 $13,936
Inner Brisbane $94,987 $17,299 $83,200 $5,512


Housing stress is experienced by households with incomes up to 120% of the median that are paying more than 30% of their income on housing costs.

Mr Kennedy said the Report proved housing stress isn’t just a problem for low-income households. He said working families with average incomes are struggling to afford suitable rental properties close to where they work.

“To avoid housing stress in Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane, a typical renting household often has to choose between living a considerable distance from the city or living in a one-bedroom apartment,” Mr Kennedy said.

“Neither of those things are practical for lots of families so they are effectively forced to accept living in housing stress. This can have a real impact on living standards because people in housing stress are less able to pay for other essentials like food, utilities, insurance, healthcare, childcare, and debt repayments.”

Mr Kennedy said that even in regional towns, where prices are nominally cheaper, comparatively lower household incomes mean renters in many areas still face significant affordability income gaps. The impact is particularly severe in “commuter belt” cities close to the capitals.

“The steady decline of housing affordability for renters is part of a broader housing crisis driven by a combination of low interest rates, preferential tax treatment for investors, rapid population growth, artificial rationing of land supply, high transfer duties, and a prolonged failure to invest in social and affordable housing.”

The Report recommends the creation of a national housing plan with initiatives crossing all levels of government. They include:

  • the construction of 500,000 social and affordable housing dwellings in the next 10 years,
  • reviewing the tax and transfer system to strike a fairer balance between the level of support provided to investors, first home buyers and renters
  • reforming state tenancy laws to provide greater security of tenure for renters and decrease demand for social housing.

Link’s successful move

Link Housing is making the move into bigger office space in light of its success in securing public housing transfers.

Link Housing CEO Andrew McAnulty has led the organisation through a period of significant growth.

Last year the organisation won tenders to manage 235 specialist disability accommodation tenancies and almost 1900 social housing tenancies, which had previously been managed by the NSW Government.

‘It is a very exciting period of growth for us. By the end of the year, we would have more
than doubled our number of staff, properties under management and clients, largely due to
the Social Housing Management Transfers (SHMT) program,’ Mr McAnulty says.

‘There was no doubt we needed more space.’

Link has recently opened a new office in West Ryde and will unveil new larger office facilities in Chatswood on September 17.

The new offices will give the not-for-profit organisation the space to continue to provide
quality, client-focused and comprehensive services to their growing community of housing
applicants and residents within Northern Sydney and beyond.

The West Ryde office is located minutes from West Ryde train station and in the same building as the NSW Government’s Families and Community Services (FACS) Northern district office, allowing Link Housing to work closely with FACS in the lead up to the SHMT ‘go live’ in December this year.

‘This is a positive change for our clients. With offices that are easier to get to and with more
space and facilities, we will be able to meet and help more people. Our expansion and new
offices is really just about taking steps to fulfil our mission and vision of enhancing lives
through community housing,’ Mr McAnulty says.

Job: OOHC caseworker NSW

Settlement Services International is seeking  Multicultural Permanency Support Program Out of Home Care (OOHC) Caseworker, to be based in Newcastle.

Your efforts will see better outcomes for children and young people in OOHC.


  • Undertake child and family case work including assessments, planning, placement support, monitoring and reviews
  • Develop, implement and review children and young people’s case plans as per OOHC policies and procedures
  • Match children and young people with foster carers as per the multicultural foster care model
  • Liaise with Family and Community Services, other government partners, non-government organisations and other stakeholders in relation to referrals and reportable activity as per OOHC policies and procedures

Click here for details and to apply.

Job: Transformative role NSW

Team Leader, Housing Services – Common Ground

Mission Australia Housing is an innovative, collaborative and values driven Tier One housing organisation with a fantastic growth strategy and an exciting future.

As part of the Mission Australia group, they currently manage over 2,000 properties, providing social and affordable rental housing to low and moderate-income households and a safe place to call home for over 3,500 tenants across Australia.

Their recent successes include the ground breaking Joint Venture to transform Macquarie Park’s Ivanhoe public housing estate into a vibrant, integrated neighbourhood and their successful Social Housing Management Transfer to take over 1000 social housing properties in the Coffs Harbour and Bellingen area.

Reporting to the Regional leader, Housing Services you will be responsible for the successful delivery of tenancy and property management services by the housing operations team for the Common Ground facility in Camperdown, Sydney.

The successful candidate will work on site leading and supervising your team from the front, providing the highest quality, most effective and caring services to their tenants in accordance with the organisational values.

The ideal candidate will have extensive experience working in a similar role within the community housing or public housing sector.

You will be a results driven and passionate person, who has worked in high pressure environments with key relationship and partnership experience.

In addition, you will be outcome focused, resilient and have with excellent communication skills, both written and verbal, along with the capability to engage with a variety of stakeholders to deliver and achieve the strategic goals of the organisation in line with their values, mission and purpose.

In return you will be rewarded with a competitive base salary and full salary packaging benefits that are currently available to the Not for Profit sector.

To be considered for this exciting and rewarding opportunity you must meet the above criteria along with passing various compliance checks including a National Police Clearance and have Australian Citizenship or Permanent Residency Status.

Email your application or call Mark Williams on 08 8238 3468 for details.

Closing date for applications is Monday, July 30.