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New COO for Haven

Haven; Home, Safe COO

Haven; Home, Safe has promoted Trudi Ray to the newly created position of Chief Operations Officer (COO) as part of a restructure of Victoria’s only fully integrated homelessness services and affordable housing providers.

Prior to being appointed COO, Ms Ray was the Executive Director for Operations in the southern region of Victoria for two years after serving as Executive Director Corporate Services from 2010 to 2016.

HHS Chief Executive Officer Ken Marchingo AM said last week the appointment followed the recent departure of Executive Director for Operations (North) Niall Hensey after nine years’ service.

‘This created an opportunity to deliver a different structure that more closely supports the strategy of the Board and the organisational requirements into the future,’ Mr Marchingo said.

‘Trudi has worked closely with me for over 14 years and is an outstanding and valued member of the Executive Management Team.

‘I look forward to working with her and the Executive as we drive the next stage in the organisation’s evolution and growth.’

Ms Ray said she was excited about the opportunity to work with the General Managers and staff to turn HHS’s strategy into operational and financial success.

‘With single IT housing systems and the development of a new CRM, we are in the process of being fully data-driven where the business can be guided by real-time data,’ Ms Ray said.

‘Operations across the organisation are complex and diverse and we have a genuinely talented and committed team who daily work towards preventing homelessness and giving people a place to call home.

‘The Board has set a great strategy and with my fellow executive we will continue to keep our strategy front and centre, ensuring we build towards more homes, more supports, more partnerships and more capacity,’ she said.

Ms Ray said that while there had been significant investment and commitments made in recent times, Victoria’s overall social housing stock was on the decline when measured as a proportion of all housing.

‘Wherever you look, in metropolitan Melbourne or in regional and rural Victoria, there is a chronic shortage of affordable and available rental housing which has significant social and economic costs not just to the individuals and families but also communities,’ she said.

HHS as always will continue to work with the sector and all levels of government to advocate for the housing and support needed.

Ms Ray will maintain offices in Preston and Geelong and conduct regular staff and stakeholder meetings in the Loddon and Mallee offices in Bendigo and Mildura.

The restructure will include the creation of two Executive General Manager positions to oversee day-to-day operations in the south and north of the state reporting to the new COO.

ABOUT TRUDI RAY

Trudi Ray has been responsible for growing and managing Haven; Home, Safe’s support services and housing portfolio across the northern and eastern suburbs of Melbourne in addition to expanding HHS’s footprint in the Barwon South West Region since 2016 in her former role of Executive Director Operations (South).

Over the past two years, HHS has secured more homes and supports for women and families fleeing family violence and those that are homeless working in concert with many support partners also delivering on a 17-unit development in the centre of Geelong.

Trudi’s strong work ethic and diverse management and leadership skills developed over the past 14 years has stood her in good stead as she takes up the Chief Operations Officer role.

Trudi has worked out of both our Geelong and Preston offices and prior to relocating to Geelong in 2015, Trudi was HHS Executive Director Corporate Services responsible for the agency’s Human Resources, IT, Risk Management, OH&S and communications programs

In November 2016 Trudi was elected to the Board of the Community Housing Federation Victoria (now CHIA Vic) and believes in advocating strongly for those most vulnerable in our community, those that are homeless, fleeing family violence or those in housing crisis.

Trudi understands the complexities of vulnerable communities and her passion for social justice and strong community spirit extends beyond the workplace having been the youngest women to be elected a local government councillor in Regional Australia in 2004.

She is a Justice of the Peace, Interim Chair Victorian Branch of Australasian Housing Institute of Australia, a member of the Manningham Council Healthy City Advisory Committee, and has been invited to participate on the Hume Moreland Housing Action Group and Intervening early to prevent homelessness working group with DHHS.

Trudi has received certification two years running into the AHI certified housing professional Level 3, one of only seven housing professionals in Victoria to do so.

Ranked in the top 15 per cent of all La Trobe University graduates in 2013, Trudi is now mentoring other MBA students through the La Trobe Alumni.

-article courtesy of Haven; Home, Safe

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