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CHL announces new reconciliation action plan

National Reconciliation Week could not be a more fitting time for Community Housing Limited (CHL), a national community housing provider, to announce their Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP).

CHIA congratulates CHL on their fantastic initiative towards working collaboratively with Indigenous Australians and Torres Strait Islanders. CHL has a long history of supporting Indigenous Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, with RAP ensuring a long-term plan to assist with the provision of safe, affordable and long-term housing. The security of housing will also enable the sustainable development of Indigenous Australian communities.

Cover of RAP

 

“CHL’s RAP is a reflection on our long reconciliation journey which started in the very early years of our existence. Over the years we have forged deep relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander partners, organisations and communities on the very strong foundation of mutual trust and respect.

The CHL Reflect RAP will enable the organisation to further strengthen the existing relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, communities and organisations.

It will also support an organisational culture within CHL that acknowledges and fosters awareness and respect for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, their histories and their cultures, through both its work practices and organisational environments,” Steve Bevington, Managing Director of Community Housing Ltd Group said.

Over 14% of CHL’s housing tenants are Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander peoples, and CHL has a 15 year history of assisting and working extensively with local communities.

“Whilst there is a huge parity gap between wider Australia and our First Peoples, CHL celebrates the survival and resilience of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures across the country’s many traditional lands and language groups. We also recognise their right to determine their own future and to live in accordance with their own values and customs.

Recognising the importance of self-determination, CHL has also commenced the process of registering an Aboriginal housing organisation, Aboriginal Community Housing Limited (ACHL) that will provide culturally appropriate housing to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.

ACHL will become the first independent national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander led and managed provider of long-term affordable housing, and property and tenancy management for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities.

CHL will support the development of ACHL in its formative years and provide staff resources, systems, expertise and advice to enable ACHL to grow into an independent national organisation in the long-term,” said Steve.

RAP launch Victoria

Reconciliation Week is a crucial time in Australia’s calendar, and CHL is proudly hosting events in their offices across Australia, and contributing to the reconciliation between Indigenous Australians and Torres Strait Islanders.

To download a copy of CHL’s RAP click here.

CHL’s project management skills put to good use

Community Housing Ltd  (CHL) has converted a historically-significant West Australian convent into safe, affordable and supported residential accommodation that will  be used to assist young women in need.

The State Government’s Department of Communities sought CHL’s expertise in providing project and development management services to deliver the facility, which has been funded by a grant from Lotterywest.

CHL Chair Fionn Skiotis says, ‘We have been delivering quality affordable housing for over two decades and it is always an honour to be recognised for our project management and design capabilities.

The St. Emilie’s Convent facility in the Perth suburb of Kalamunda will be run by The Esther Foundation, an award winning health, development and leadership program. It will provide young women with mid-term accommodation and extensive support services.

Esther Foundation Administrator Rodney Lavater says, ‘The St Emilie’s Project provides a much needed resource for young women; young mothers and teenagers aged 13-33 years who would benefit from the safe, structured and supported accommodation program.

‘Our new purpose-built residential premises will change the lives of many young women facing life-controlling struggles and issues, offering them and encouraging them the opportunity to reach their potential.’

The refurbished accommodation now includes a total of 20 bedrooms including 18 doubles. Seven of those are new self -contained units, with en-suite and kitchenette, while the existing west wing has been renovated and modified to provide 10 bedrooms, including six with en-suites. The main building has been rebuilt and now hosts a kitchen with training facilities, gymnasium, a large communal dining and living area, counselling rooms and an administration area.

 

Help ‘Furnish the Gap’

A remote West Australian Aboriginal community has launched a GoFundMe campaign to raise funds needed to turn new and refurbished social housing into homes by providing the funds to purchase essential household items, from beds to kettles.

Tjuntjuntjara is located in the Great Victoria Desert, about 690km north-east of Kalgoorlie. Access to the community is difficult due to the surrounding terrain, with food supplies flown in on a fortnightly basis.

The 2011 census reported the community’s population as 162, but Tjuntjuntjara has grown over the last few years and now acts as a service centre for surrounding outstations.

In December 2017, the West Australian Government announced a major capital works and essential services package to upgrade existing social housing and to improve essential services in the community. Work on the properties is nearly complete and, in June, the residents will receive access to 10 new multigenerational houses and 12 upgraded existing houses.

Not-for-profit community housing organisation Community Housing Ltd manages the properties on behalf of the Department of Housing.

Whilst the construction works have been funded by the National Partnership in Remote Housing, the community and residents themselves are completely responsible for furnishing their homes. This presents a big challenge for most community members who are on low incomes. The high cost of freight to the community makes purchasing essential household items unaffordable for low income residents.

The Paupiyala Tjarutja Aboriginal Corporation (PTAC), which manages the Tjuntjuntjara community on behalf of the Spinifex traditional owners, has launched a ‘GoFundMe’ appeal on behalf of the community to solicit donations in cash and kind. CHL is supporting the appeal as part of its broader community engagement program.

‘CHL is committed to community development with dedicated staff who focus on facilitating community development projects which have been generated and are led by community,’ says CHL’s Community Development Project Manager, Rachel Lattimore.

‘CHL’s approach is based on identifying the strengths, knowledge, and capability within communities and developing innovative ideas to create sustainable, resilient, communities. CHL has adopted an Aboriginal Community Strategy, and a Community Development Framework to ensure best practice.’

PTAC can accept gifts or donations on behalf of donors that are tax deductible and directly benefit the community. They are looking for the public’s assistance to raise money or donate physical items such as: storage and transport of items to Tjuntjuntjara, fridges, bedframes, dining furniture, kettles and washing machines.

For details, and to support the campaign, see GoFundMe, or PTAC’s website.

CHL and Horizon join forces for housing affordability

Australian not-for-profit housing provider Community Housing Limited (CHL) has announced its integration of Queensland’s largest housing provider, Horizon Housing,  into the CHL Group of  Companies.

The move will provide CHL with a strong advantage in Queensland to deliver more affordable housing  in the State.

Over the next year this integration will drive growth for the two organisations so that more Australians who are facing housing crisis are able to secure long‐term affordable housing.

The integration will boost CHL’s current portfolio to over 11,000 properties by November 2018, making it  the largest community housing provider in the country. The combined group will manage  community and affordable housing properties across the six states with nearly 300 staff delivering  services to support those most disadvantaged.

The new arrangement will consolidate expertise and strengthen the reach and services offered by  both community housing providers. It will allow both the organisations to utilise their  complementary strengths and drive efficiencies, reducing costs and releasing revenue to access  more finance to build more homes and improve the quality of services to customers.

Horizon, Queensland’s largest housing provider with operations in 15 in local government areas  across Queensland and parts of New South Wales, provides both community housing programs and  affordable housing projects and has over 2,400 properties in its portfolio, all of which will now  benefit from the expansion of services and increased resources available via CHL.

‘This new arrangement further strengthens the position of both organisations, providing each with  mutually beneficial outcomes aligned to our shared vision of providing the communities we serve  with affordable housing solutions that are available and accessible by those in need,’ says CHL Group’s  Managing Director, Steve Bevington.

‘Our collaboration is an exciting development for the sector and redefines the landscape, we look  forward to drawing on this strengthened position to deliver future affordable housing solutions as  the housing crisis across the country escalates.’

CHL has long been considered a sector leader, supporting and growing the industry  both locally and internationally, providing end-to-end affordable housing developments and long -term housing and tenancy management operations in Australia.

‘Horizon’s integration within the CHL Group is another step in that direction’, adds Steve.

CEO of Horizon Housing, Jason Cubit, said the organisation was excited to be part of the CHL group of  companies.

‘The integration of Horizon Housing and CHL is an exciting new chapter, as it allows us to pool the  expertise and resources critical to improving the lives of the most vulnerable members of the  community,’ Mr Cubit says.

‘Our initiatives don’t only help families get by in the short‐term, but empower them to break  the  cycle of financial stress, aiding a transition into the private rental or property market.’

The integration of the two entities creates a powerful alliance to fight the problem recently  highlighted by the latest Anglicare Rental Affordability Snapshot, which categorised three out of  67,365 rental properties listed in Australia as ‘affordable’ for a single person on Newstart Allowance.

Horizon Housing and its subsidiaries will maintain business as usual for the foreseeable future,  delivering quality services to Queensland’s most vulnerable, whilst retaining all current governance  structures, branding and staffing.

Article courtesy of CHL