‘COVID-19: Rental housing and homelessness policy impacts’, the new report published by the UNSW-ACOSS Poverty and Inequality Partnership, demonstrates how much can be achieved with a ‘can do’ attitude. To protect from the pandemic during 2020, over 12,000 people sleeping rough were helped with emergency assistance. This has been followed by a significant step up in state-funded social housing construction, with 7,500 plus new homes planned over each of the next four years – well over double the 2-3,000 per annum that had become the disappointing norm over the past decade.
The Community Housing Industry Association (CHIA) congratulates Victoria, Queensland, Western Australia and Tasmania on their pandemic response and its members welcome the opportunity to play a prominent role in delivering the high quality, energy-efficient homes so badly needed by lower income Australians.
Download the full media release here
The National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation (NHFIC) has released its Social Bond Report for 2020–21. NHFIC’s Social Bond Report provides insights into bond issuances, including borrower profiles and use of proceeds.
- Issuing 3 bonds – including NHFIC’s first sustainability bond and longest-tenor bond, and first floating rate note – raising a total of $805 million.
- Supporting more than 4,900 dwellings, with around two-thirds (65 per cent) of the CHP loans funded by the three bonds underpinning new housing supply.
- Provided 9 community housing providers with an estimated $161 million in fee and interest savings, through longer tenor and lower-interest loans.
- Continued to attract private investment into social and affordable housing in Australia, by growing NHFIC’s investor base domestically and offshore, with 7 new offshore investors.
- Meeting the housing needs of a range of cohorts including vulnerable women, indigenous households, and people with disabilities.
Full media release here
Social Bond Report here
A coalition of affordable housing advocacy peak bodies has rejected the comments made by Jason Falinski MP, chair of the Standing Committee on Tax and Revenue’s Inquiry into housing affordability and supply in Australia, labelling them as uninformed and prejudiced. CHIA, Homelessness Australia, and National Shelter, object in the strongest terms to Mr Falinski’s misrepresentation of the sector and disregard for the important contribution that affordable housing makes to the wellbeing of Australians in housing need.
Mr Falinski’s statements at UDIA’s National TV event on 9 September denigrating social and affordable housing come in the same week that the Women’s Safety Summit issued a statement recognising that ‘Affordable, accessible long-term housing…… is fundamental to the safety and recovery of victim-survivors and must be a priority.’
Full release here
At the AIST (Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees) ASI 2021 conference last week one of many discussions that took place was on a newly developed investment model in affordable housing that aims to overcome some of the traditional barriers to pension fund investing in this asset class and deliver solid returns for members.
Carrie Hamilton, Consultant, Housing Action Network, Wendy Hayhurst, CEO @ CHIA and Associate Professor Christian (Andi) Nygaard, Deputy Director, Centre for Urban Transitions, Swinburne University of Technology as an expert panel provided their insights into this topic. The recording can be heard here.
CHIA is pleased to be one of the 240+ signatories to the Statement on Housing for Women’s Safety, organised through Everybody’s Home. These organisations are concerned “about the continuing toll of violence against women, and lack of Government action to provide safe homes, so women and children can escape violence and rebuild their lives. Failing to include housing for women’s safety on the Agenda at the National Summit on Women’s Safety highlights the lack of focus on this critical issue. You simply can’t talk about women’s safety without talking about safe and affordable homes.”
For the full statement please click here
The Community Housing Industry Association (CHIA) applauds the 2021 Australian Infrastructure Plan’s break through call for all levels of government to invest in social and affordable rental housing. The Plan recognises that ‘well-maintained and designed social housing provides many community benefits, supporting individual and societal wellbeing and productivity, and reducing costs in health and justice services’ and recommends the design and implementation of programs to increase supply’.
“Infrastructure Australia is to be commended for the focus on social infrastructure in this plan. Too often Australian governments have viewed social and affordable rental housing investment solely as an impost and overlooked its positive impacts, not just for the individual who gets a home but for other service budgets.” said Wendy Hayhurst, CHIA’s CEO. “Only last week, for example the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI) published research showing that helping ex-prisoners through social housing typically cuts re-offending and saves the tax payer thousands of dollars.”
Full media release here
Two of Australia’s leading Tier 1 community housing providers, Link Housing and Wentworth Community Housing, have announced they are joining forces. The two organisations have signed a merger agreement with the intention to formally become Link Wentworth Housing Ltd (Link Wentworth), on 31 March 2021.
Government endorsement was recently received and member approvals finalised at Link Housing’s Annual General Meeting on November 26, 2020, giving the merger the green light. The Board has appointed former Housing NSW CEO, Mike Allen, as Chair-elect, with Link Housing CEO, Andrew McAnulty announced as CEO-elect.
The merger of these two major Tier 1 community housing providers means Link Wentworth will be one of the largest community housing providers in New South Wales, able to leverage its scale to enable greater provision of social and affordable housing to those most in need.
For the full media release click here
Territory-proud, registered Community Housing Provider and ‘for purpose’ charity, Venture Housing Company Limited (Venture), is pleased to announce the successful completion and acquisition of five (5) new houses, for rental to key workers on low to moderate incomes, at 90 Peko Road, Tennant Creek, under a turnkey contract delivery by local builder, Far Northern Contractors Pty Ltd T/A T&J Contractors. NT Indigenous enterprise, Dice Australia, was also involved in the project, providing solar power to these dwellings, thus rendering them even more affordable for their tenants.
Full media release here
More than 300 organisations have signed an open letter calling for a social housing construction boom, similar to that of the post-war era
The Everybody’s Home campaign is pushing for Australia to build 30,000 new homes in the next four years, not only to deliver families much needed secure housing but to also in a bid to create some 18,000 jobs.
The broad coalition of signatories includes prominent national bodies, such as ACOSS, the Community Housing Industry Association (CHIA), Anglicare Australia, YWCA Australia, ACTU, Country Women’s Association, Mission Australia, St Vincent de Paul Society, the Salvation Army, National Shelter and Homelessness Australia. Several city councils from across the country have also signed on, including Lismore City Council, City of Greater Dandenong, Cardinia Shire Council and Strathfield Council.
“Australia can kill two birds with one stone if it directs some of the massive stimulus spending at the coming budget to social housing,” said Kate Colvin, national spokesperson of the Everybody’s Home campaign.
Full media release here
Open letter (PDF) here
Australia could start beating the recession immediately by investing in social housing construction, with more than 12,500 new affordable homes ready to be built across the country if a Federal stimulus package included in the October 6 budget, new data released today reveals.
The survey by the Community Housing Industry Association (CHIA) shows not for profit housing providers have shovel ready projects that would deliver 12,500 new homes and almost 7000 jobs within the next five years.
More 6,000 new homes could begin construction within the next 6 months if they are supported by Federal Government investment.
Full media release here
Over 50 social, property, business, environment, local councils and research groups have banded together to call on Federal and State Governments to stimulate the economy with an energy efficient and solar, low-income housing installation boom.
Doing so would create tens of thousands of shovel ready jobs, cut energy bills for people on low incomes who will spend back into the economy, and reduce carbon emissions.
The call comes after the Federal Government’s Housing stimulus proposal failed to include measures for people most in need, instead focusing on high income earners undertaking expensive renovation without any related social or environmental benefits.
For the full media release, click here
For the The National Low Income Energy Productivity Program (NLEPP) proposal, click here
CHIA participated with the following organisations to write to the Prime Minister and NSW Premier in support of a number of essential initiatives aimed at boosting social and affordable housing in the post Covid-19 recovery phase.
These organisations include: Australian Institute of Architects, the Centre for Social Impact, the Community Housing Industry Association, the Community Housing Industry Association NSW, the Constellation Project, Homelessness NSW, National Shelter, the Planning Institute of Australia, Shelter NSW, the UNSW City Futures Research Centre and the Women’s Community Shelters.
The full letter can be viewed here.
The Community Housing Industry Association (CHIA) today congratulated the Coalition on being re-elected to govern Australia for the next three years.
“After a hard-fought campaign in which housing featured prominently, CHIA looks forward to working closely with the new Government to address Australia’s far-reaching housing affordability crisis. This critically affects not only aspiring first home owners, but also many low-waged working and vulnerable households doing it tough in often expensive and unsuitable private rental housing,” CHIA Chair Michael Lennon said today.
Mr Lennon acknowledged the work initiated by the last Coalition government’s Affordable Housing Working Group under then-Treasurer Morrison, and which led directly to the creation of the National Housing Finance Investment Corporation (NHFIC). He said ‘the NHFIC has already had an impact by enabling community housing organisations to refinance existing loans, with considerable resulting savings through lower interest charges.’ He also welcomed the Coalition’s election campaign announcement to use NHFIC to administer a government guarantee to support first home buyers.
Wendy Hayhurst, CHIA’s CEO added that the Coalition’s $25M pledge to research housing supply and demand via NHFIC was very much in tune with CHIA’s own proposals as published in the organisation’s 2018 National Housing Plan. She said ‘independently-produced analysis of the housing system augurs well for housing policy achieving more prominence in government decision making that, as essential social and economic infrastructure, it deserves.
UNSW research for the community housing industry and other partners – Strengthening Economic Cases for Housing: the Productivity Gains from Better Housing Outcomes – clearly demonstrates the gains to individuals, communities and the country in constructing well-located affordable housing. Ms Hayhurst said “the research demonstrates that the productivity ‘return’ from investing in affordable housing for those many households in rental stress can easily exceed the cost to government.”
CHIA also welcomes the creation of a dedicated Housing Minister, the Hon. Michael Sukkar, and an assistant minister for Community Housing and Homelessness, Luke Howarth MP. This week we have also seen the appointment of Jason Clare MP, Labor’s Shadow Housing and Homelessness spokesperson.
Contact: Wendy Hayhurst 0421 046 832