News relating to Victoria.

Homeless shelter pops up in Melbourne

Even red tape can come with a silver lining, as proven by a delayed development site that has been used to create a homeless pop up shelter in the interim.

When red tape held up its development plans, CaSPA Care rented a former nursing home in South Melbourne to the YWCA for a nominal fee. The YWCA has turned the site into a pop up shelter by harnessing the goodwill of some key businesses.

Building company Metricon cleaned and refurbished the building then added an industrial kitchen and laundry; interior decorating company Guest Group furnished the pop up and social enterprise Two Good provided food.

The shelter can house 38 women – and is already receiving 40 applications a week.

Read more

Job: Board Director

Uniting in Victoria and Tasmania have a vacancy for their skills-based Board of Directors

As well as a demonstrated commitment to the community services mission of the Uniting Church in Australia, we are particularly looking for expertise in the areas of:

  • Community services delivery such as disability, mental health or family services
  • Marketing, media and fundraising
  • Finance and ICT
  • Risk and compliance
  • Theology and ethics

Click here for details and to apply.

Living cities forum hears tenants’ views

A high-level gathering of planners, designers and architects from around the world has been given insight into the possible development of Melbourne from the perspective of a community organisation and its tenants.

Melbourne-based Housing Choices residents and property team members created a video on their views on Melbourne’s future for the 2018 Living Cities Forum. The forum tackles a number of big questions around architecture and issues facing Melbourne and global cities.

Housing Choices’ video provided a unique opportunity for community housing organisations and tenants to reach the people who ultimately plan, design and build the cities and suburbs we live in.

View the video.

Job: Affordable Housing Chair

Moreland City Council, in Melbourne’s inner northern suburbs, is seeking an inaugural Chair for its new entity Moreland Affordable Housing Ltd (MAH).

MAH’s core purpose is ‘to provide relief to persons who are homeless or whose life circumstances render them vulnerable to loss of affordable and secure housing, by providing either directly or through partnership with other organisations, a range of affordable accommodation options in the City of Moreland.

Click here for more information and to apply.

Launching a new CEO

Launch Housing, one of Victoria’s largest providers of housing and homeless support services, has announced that current Managing Director of Victoria Legal Aid, Bevan Warner, will commence as its new Chief Executive Officer on 29 August 2018.

Launch Housing Chair Neil Chatfield says, ‘We are delighted to announce Bevan’s appointment. His wealth of experience working with government and communities to advance human rights in meaningful and practical ways, makes him the ideal leader to continue the transformation and long-term development of Launch Housing.

‘He is an experienced Chief Executive and skilled advocate, who has modernised and improved services for the 90,000 plus clients assisted by the legal assistance sector each year.

‘Homelessness is not a condition that can’t be fixed. It is a problem that can be solved with the right policies and priority attention from government and the wider community. An individual life of dignity and the ability to sustain productive employment, requires all people to have access to safe, secure and affordable housing.’

Mr Warner says, ‘People’s experience of neglect, financial insecurity, trauma and ill health can propel them, often unfairly, into the justice system and sometimes into homelessness. We can do better as a community. I am thrilled to be joining Launch Housing, to continue its transformation and long-term development, and to provide much needed services to people in acute need.

‘Launch Housing is an organisation I have long admired, and I look forward to meeting staff, clients, to learning more, and applying my energies and skills to help achieve its mission of ending homelessness.’

article courtesy of Launch Housing

WHL awarded Housing Association status

In an exciting development, the Victorian Housing Registrar has approved Women’s Housing Limited’s (WHL) application to become a Housing Association.

WHL’s CEO, Judy Line says the status change from Housing Provider to Housing Association, which has been 18 months in the making, is significant: ‘Becoming a Housing Association presents a wonderful opportunity for WHL and our clients – present and future.

‘As a Housing Association, WHL will have the capacity and resources to be able to provide more specialist housing for women and children.

‘For women in need, it’s about providing housing security and also a pathway out of disadvantage.’

Community Housing Industry Association Victoria Chair Haleh Homaei congratulated WHL on the news.

‘It’s a huge achievement for WHL and it’s great to have a specialist women’s housing provider within the pool of Housing Associations.’

The Registrar of Housing Agencies, Bernard Gastin, approved Women’s Housing Limited’s application for a change in category to a Housing Association under the Housing Act 1983, based on its demonstrated capacity to grow at scale through a strong track record of consistent housing growth in the past and a future growth strategy that will continue this trend.

Whilst Registered Housing Providers vary in size, they primarily manage rental housing portfolios for other parties, such as the Director of Housing (DoH). Whilst some own properties, their growth is small scale compared with housing associations.

‘WHL specialises in the provision of affordable housing for women and children and has grown its asset base of $0.3 million in 2008 (with no owned property) to $54 million by 30 June 2019. Tenancy numbers have grown from 108 to 400. This scale is consistent with Tier 1 housing provider status under the National Regulatory System for Community Housing,’ Mr Gastin says.

‘WHL has also established a pipeline of projects, including a new development in Bayswater and partnership with major developers such as Lendlease. These projects will continue to increase the supply of affordable housing by approximately 60 units by 2025-26. The growth is achieved through WHL’s own capital investment as well as leveraging generous developer land contributions and without relying solely on government funding.’

The broader Housing Registrar team also congratulated WHL on achieving this important milestone.

‘We will continue to work closely with WHL to ensure the regulatory requirements of a Housing Association are met.’

WHL joins the other nine Registered Housing Associations in Victoria: Aboriginal Housing Victoria Limited, Common Equity Housing Limited, Community Housing (Vic) Limited, Housing Choices Australia Limited, HousingFirst Limited, Haven; Home, Safe Limited, Beyond Housing Limited, Unison Housing Limited and Wintringham Housing Limited. There are 30 Registered Housing Providers in Victoria.


Job: Administration Officer

This position is located in the Anglicare Victoria St Luke’s Region within the Administration Team. The Administration team provides professional, efficient and effective administrative support to program staff, Managers and Service Users.

To Be Successful in this Position You Will Need:

  • Proven experience within Administration roles with an advanced skill level using Microsoft Office packages.
  • Experience within the Community Services Sector is advantageous, as is the use of complex client databases.

Please Note: It is mandatory for the successful applicant to hold a current Working with Children Check and be prepared to undergo a National Criminal History Check prior to commencement.

Click here for details and to apply.

Property fund gives more Housing Choices

Housing Choices Australia will build 24 new homes for low income and vulnerable people in Dandenong and Newport after being awarded $4.9 million from the Victorian Property Fund (VPF).

The VPF distributes grants to support a range of property-related programs, including housing assistance for vulnerable Victorians. Housing Choices is using the grant to rebuild and expand vital housing options at two owned properties; one in Hemmings Street, Dandenong and the other in Oxford Street, Newport.

The Hemmings Street, Dandenong property will be transformed into a five-story, architect-designed apartment building, increasing the accommodation from 7 run-down flats, to 19 apartments, located close to shops, schools and public transport.

The Oxford Street, Newport property will see the construction of five new architect-designed townhouses in a leafy residential street in family-friendly Newport.

Construction will start late 2018 and be ready for tenants in mid-2019.

The Victorian Property Fund is administered by Consumer Affairs Victoria, with funds from license fees paid by estate agents and conveyancers and interest paid on their trust accounts and income from other investments.

Consumer Affairs Minister Marlene Kairouz toured the Dandenong site with Housing Choices Board Member Fabienne Michaux to announce the $4.9 million grant.

‘Affordable housing projects give vulnerable Victorians the security they need to thrive. We’re investing in more of these dwellings, so that people going through hard times can rebuild their lives,’ Minister Kairouz said.

Housing Choices Managing Director Michael Lennon commended Minister Kairouz and the Victorian Property Fund for their commitment to supporting housing initiatives for Victorians in need and for their confidence in Housing Choices as the developer and manager of high-quality, affordable housing.

‘We have already worked closely with all the people who resided at our two properties, who have been actively and professionally supported by our experienced and compassionate Housing Services Team to find the right accommodation while this building program takes place. All Dandenong tenants will be afforded the opportunity to return to the newly built dwellings once they’re finished if they wish,’ Mr Lennon said.

Shared equity program allows residents to unpack for good

A unique pilot program, Unpack for Good™ that helps people living in community housing purchase their own home has launched in regional Victoria.

Pioneered by Community Sector Banking and Haven; Home Safe in Victoria, and Housing Plus in regional NSW, Unpack for Good aims to address demand for more affordable housing in regional areas.

Under the pilot, residents will be able to co-own their home with their housing provider – sharing ownership lowers the cost of purchasing the home for residents, meaning they can buy a home that would otherwise be unaffordable.

The remainder of the property’s cost is made up by a regular Community Sector Banking home loan.

It’s the first time this type of agreement has been launched with community housing providers and a banking service in Australia. Not only does it assist residents into home ownership; it also frees up housing stock for community housing providers, allowing them to assist more people.

“We’re delighted to be piloting Unpack for Good, which aims to create much needed opportunities for those on the margins to realise the great dream of home ownership,” said David Fisher, CEO of Housing Plus.

“Our experience tells us the only cure for the housing crisis is more affordable housing stock – this innovative pilot has been designed to deliver just that in regional Australia,” said Ken Marchingo, CEO of Haven; Home, Safe.

“We know that safe, secure and affordable housing is the cornerstone of people building productive and healthy lives. This program is being bravely pioneered by some of Australia’s leading housing providers without government involvement – providing a hand up rather than a hand out,” said Andrew Cairns, CEO of Community Sector Banking.

“This pilot is not only a great example of innovation to tackle the housing crisis– it shows how financial services and housing providers can work together to create more affordable housing, strengthen regional economies, and improve intergenerational outcomes for years to come.”

Census data released earlier this year shows an increase in homelessness to 116,427 people, including 43,552 (39%) under 25 – an increase of 13.7% since 2011.

With ACOSS attributing some of this increase to a lack of affordable housing, programs such as Unpack for Good will play an important role in alleviating the problem.

Download a brochure on the project.

-article courtesy of Haven; Home, Safe

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.