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Housing Matters: capacity building and housing & homelessness sector news.
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From the Executive Director
The start of any year is exciting, but 2016 is looking especially positive for the affordable housing and housing assistance industry. At the beginning of each year, I reflect on what matters to me and my vision for the months ahead. This year I envisage a future that encompasses a flourishing community housing sector with expanded affordable housing portfolios, satisfied tenants, increased supply of accessible housing, and reduced rates of homelessness across Queensland.
 
We know the issues. In 2012 the National Housing Supply Council estimated a shortfall of approximately 228,000 dwellings, with this shortfall projected to increase to 369,000 in 2016-17 if the housing market remained the same. For low income renters the situation is worse, with a shortfall of 539,000 affordable rental properties available for low income renters. House and rents are simply too high and demand is outstripping supply.
 
So what are the positives? The development of a new Queensland Housing Strategy is progressing, with the consultation phase being planned. This is an enormous task and will require a multi-level approach including multimedia and face to face consultations. Q Shelter will advise as soon as dates, venues, and schedules have been finalised by the office of the Minister for Housing and Public Works.
 
It is encouraging to see that the Commonwealth Government is establishing a Working Group to investigate innovative ways to improve the availability of affordable housing. The Working Group is seeking submissions from interested parties, with submissions focusing on the areas highlighted by the attached issues paper.

Social Housing Investment
The Queensland Council of Social Service (QCOSS) and Q Shelter, have backed the Federal Government’s plans to spend $250 million for loans to provide energy efficient community housing, for much needed low-cost housing and to help with skyrocketing energy bills.

I welcomed the announcement and as it is good news for the state’s community housing sector and vulnerable Queenslanders.
You can find a joint media release from QCOSS and Q Shelter welcoming this new investment here

Community Day: Lady Bowen Precinct & Beyond
Q Shelter is working Under 1 Roof, BHC, Roma House (Mission Australia), Bric Housing, Churches of Christ Care, and the Department of Social Services on a Spring Hill Precinct event designed to connect local residents with housing advice. Scheduled for 16 March, we are seeking input and contributions from support and housing providers to participate on the day. Food, information, assessments and referrals will all be part of the program. If you or your agency would like to be involved, please call us on (07) 3831 5900.
 
Housing Matters To Her: Q Shelter Celebrates Queensland Women’s Week
In March we will be celebrating Queensland Women’s Week. To celebrate this, Q Shelter is staging Housing Matters To Her - a digital exhibition highlighting the remarkable contribution women have made to the housing and homelessness sector. 
 
The Q Shelter Team
This month we welcomed our new Communications, Marketing and Events Coordinator, Scott McGregor. Scott has recently been appointed to deliver Q Shelter’s communication and marketing activities, which includes our annual Conference to be held later this year.

Leone Crayden
Executive Director
In this edition

In The News


Social Housing Investment

New Funding For Capital Projects

 Griffith University NDIS Symposia Series

House Keys Report 


Fairness Review 
 

NRSCH


New Registered Providers 

Events


Asset Managers Meeting Summary 

Date Claimers
  • Approaches to QTendering Webinar, 29th Febuary 2016 11am
  • Representing Your Organisation at QCAT - Rockhampton 14th March
  • Tenancy Law & Tenancy Sustainment - Brisbane 16th March
  • Lady Bowen Precinct & Beyond Community Event, March 16th 8am-12pm.
  • Mental Health & Housing Webinar series - coming soon!
Look out for our Events Calendar coming soon. It contains a wide range of workshops, events and webinars across Queensland. 

Network News


Shelter Indigenous Housing Capacity Building Project - Exciting Developments
 

Toolbox

Good Governance: 4-part webinar series now available online 

Without A Home: A Fact File that uses geographical areas to reveal how the patterns of homelessness have changed over 15 years.

Social Benefit Bonds - Queensland Pilot
 
In The News
New Funding For Capital Projects. 

The Department of Housing and Public Works has made $14 million available for community housing providers to undertake capital projects to grow community housing. It is expected that a procurement process will commence in February 2016 through the QTenders website.
You can find more about the announcement here.
Social Housing Investment
The Clean Energy Finance Corporation recently announced a major new program to help drive the construction of energy efficient community housing.
The CEFC expects its new $250 million Community Housing Program to contribute to the construction of as many as 1,000 new energy efficient dwellings Australia-wide and allow community housing providers to access finance to retrofit existing buildings to improve energy efficiency for tenants.
You can read more about the program here
Griffith University NDIS Symposia Series

The Griffith University NDIS Symposia Series aims to bring together a wide range of people to ask some challenging questions about the implementation of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), and discuss the issues openly and honestly. This event, the seventh of the Series, is on housing for people with disability. The demand for housing assistance is expected to be high and the goal is clear. For more information click here.
 
As a not-for-profit event, Griffith University appreciates and relies on the support of sponsors including Q Shelter.
House Keys: Operations Aggregate Report

Q Shelter is delighted to share the first aggregate report for House Keys: Operations.
House Keys is the new national benchmarking system from NSW Federation of Housing Associations, which has been specifically developed for community housing providers. House Keys will set industry standards and allow housing providers to compare their performance with their peers across Australia.
This aggregate report provides insight into the high level of overall performance of House Key: Operations benchmarking club members, who represent 37 community housing providers across NSW, Queensland, Tasmania and the ACT. Subscribers now have access to additional detailed comparative data ranging from levels of tenant satisfaction, through to housing management and financial performance metrics.
This online tool is invaluable for House Keys subscribers to develop a deeper understanding of their comparative performance and application of this information to operations.
To read the report click here.

Last month, Q Shelter was pleased through its partnership with the NSW Federation of Housing Associations, to see the release of the first interactive workforce benchmarking platform for the community housing industry, House Keys: Workforce.  This new service provides a series of essential community housing workforce indicators such as staff turnover, qualifications, diversity and efficiency ratios, as well as detailed salary benchmarks by major roles in community housing.  The data has been collected from 29 community housing providers operating in five states –New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, ACT and Tasmania.  
The interactive online platform provides breakdowns by size, jurisdiction, tier or the provider type. The platform easily generates a range of graphs, histograms, traffic lights and reports that can be used for management or Board reporting.  Keep an eye on our website in the coming weeks for the release of the Workforce Aggregate Report.

AHURI framework for quantifying housing expenditure to be added to House Keys for 2016
The Federation is excited to announce that, in partnership with AHURI  and Elton Consulting, an opportunity for CHPs to adopt the AHURI framework for quantifying social housing management expenditure and to compare the results through House Keys: Operations in the 2016 benchmarking round and beyond.

The AHURI framework is a carefully defined approach to making precise comparisons of housing management expenditure. The framework is based on an AHURI Project that ran from 2013-2015 and addressed, amongst other outcomes, the most effective and replicable way to define, measure and dis-aggregate management expenditure per social housing dwelling to allow accurate comparisons between classes of social landlords and between individual providers. The Federation believes that the framework will be a valuable enhancement to the data already collected through House Keys and encourages all CHPs to participate in this additional data collection at no extra cost.
Please contact us if you are interested in participating, would like more information or if you would like to attend the upcoming webinar which explains the methodology to get started. 

House Keys is available online to all CHPs that have subscribed to the service. Queensland House Keys subscribers have recently met as a User Group and have this comparison information and detailed benchmarks available to them to start informing their business decisions.  If your community housing organisation has not yet subscribed to House Keys but wishes to participate in 2016, more information can be found here or please contact Clare Phythian at clare.phythian@qshelter.asn.au or phone (07) 3831 5900.
Fairness Review
 
Recently Q Shelter had the pleasure of meeting with the new Minister for Housing and Public Works, the Hon Mick de Brenni, and during the conversation the Minister asked what was the feedback from the sector on the implementation of the Fairness Review.
 
As part of the Fairness Review, the Department of Housing has recently published information including a ‘Fairness Charter’, and brochures on ‘Fair Absence from your home’, ‘Fair expectations of behaviour’ and ‘Applying for housing assistance’.
 
Q Shelter has requested feedback from some community housing providers on the Fairness Review, and is also collecting interest from providers in being included in further consultations as other policies come up for review, including Tenancy Terms, Providing Information, Tenancy changes, Under-occupancy, Rent and Eligibility.
 
If you are interested in participating in this consultation, please contact Jane West: jane.west@qshelter.asn.au
NRSCH

New Providers Registered


Since our last newsletter, one community housing organisation has gained registration under the NRSCH in January 2016 – FSG Australia. This brings the total number of organisations registered in Qld to 41:
  • 28 x  Tier 3 providers
  • 10 x Tier 2 providers and
  • 3 x Tier 1 providers
(This figure does not include providers who are registered in other states eg NSW but who operate in Qld). 

We look forward to continuing to work with those registering organisations and registered organisations this year.

For more information or support with NRSCH including advice on your preliminary assessment, please contact the Q Shelter team on (07) 3831 5900.
Events
Asset Managers Network Meeting Summary 

In early February, Q Shelter hosted a forum of senior asset management staff from larger community housing providers to share good practice and discuss issues of common concern. The day was well attended, with almost all Tier 1 and 2 providers attending, as well as a number of the larger Tier 3 organisations.
The group discussed:
  • fire safety and compliance issues – with a presentation from Tim Lambert (Brisbane Housing Company)
  • implementing asset management software – with presentations from SPM Assets and Kris Robinson from Regional Housing Limited
  • Department owned properties and the ‘S4 standard’ – with a presentation from Les Bartley, Capital and Assets, Department of Housing
We also heard from a new indigenous property management company - Armstrong Property Group.
The group identified a number of issues particularly in relation to Department owned properties which would benefit from further discussion with the Department, for example further information relating to the S4 property condition standard, as well as issues around fire safety compliance. Q Shelter will seek to facilitate this discussion, and will keep the sector informed of any outcomes.
We would like to thank all the presenters and participants for their contributions on the day; there was robust but at the same time constructive discussion of some key issues for the sector. We believe that this forum, and others like it, can help to grow strength and leadership within the sector and to foster a constructive partnership with the Department of Housing.

To all those who were able to attend last week, thank you for making it such worthwhile event. The quality of information and debate was high, and I believe our Departmental colleagues felt very positive about continuing the dialogue and addressing issues of common concern.

If anyone would like more information,the following presentations are available: You can also contact Jane West jane.west@qshelter.asn.au

Date Claimers:
 
1. Q Tenders: Tendering Tips Webinar - Online, Monday 29th Febuary 2016 11am
Are you looking to understand how the Queensland Government evaluates and awards tenders and gain tips on maximising your chances of success? This one hour free webinar will give housing and homelessness providers tips and also an opportunity to ask questions of the presenter.


2. Representing Your Organisation at QCAT - Rockhampton, 14th March 2016
Do you need to represent your social housing organisation at QCAT. This one day professional development workshop will explore issues related to collecting and presenting evidence at the Tribunal and then implementing the outcomes.


3. Tenancy Law & Tenancy Sustainment - Brisbane, 16th March
Q Shelter is offering an exciting opportunity to come together to learn about tenancy law and share best practice with experts and colleagues on sustaining tenancies in community housing. The morning session will be on tenancy law and delivered by the Residential Tenancies Authority. Our afternoon session on tenancy sustainment will be delivered by Fiona Caniglia for Q Shelter.


4. Lady Bowen Precinct & Beyond Community Event, March 16th 8am-12pm.
Q Shelter is working Under 1 Roof, BHC, Roma House (Mission Australia), Bric Housing, Churches of Christ Care, and the Department of Social Services on a Spring Hill Precinct event designed to connect local residents with housing advice. Scheduled for 16 March, we are seeking input and contributions from support and housing providers to participate on the day. Food, information, assessments and referrals will all be part of the program. If you or your agency would like to be involved, please call us on (07) 3831 5900.

5. Mental Health & Housing Webinar Series - Coming Soon. 
The series will be run in partnership with Mental Illness Fellowship Queensland. Each month will focus on a  different topic and the first webinar kicks off 21st March 2016.

Look our for our Events Calendar coming soon. It contains a wide range of workshops, events & webinars across Queensland.

Network News
Q Shelter Indigenous Housing Capacity Building Project

Q Shelter is honoured to be working in collaboration with  Indigenous Communities across Queensland. In the last month alone we have collaborated with Remote Indigenous Councils and Indigenous Community Housing organisations from Brisbane through to far North Queensland. 

Q Shelter Project Manager, Rachael Vidler, was impressed with the strength of the Indigenous Housing organisations and Councils and will be highlighting their work over the coming months.

"These experiences and the work undertaken by these organisations makes me proud to be able to do the work I do, so they can continue to play a vital role in housing  as they continue to the add to the fabric of their communities and  people."


Torres Strait Islander Council Tenancy Officers recently had the opportunity to work collaboratively.
Tool Box

Good Governance - 4 Part Webinar Series 

Q Shelter ran a successful series of webinars late last year to support the use of Q Shelter’s Manual.

Up to 16 people joined each session and posed their questions to our Guest Facilitator Jon Eastgate of 99 Consulting who are on the Q Shelter Panel of Consultants.

The webinars are designed to refresh existing Board/ Committee members on their skills and responsibilities and induct new members to their responsibilities. The series is also of value to senior managers and corporate staff dealing with governance. Check out our online governance resources and webinars here.

Without A Home
Check out this useful Fact File created by the ABC and watch how patterns of homeslessness have changed over the last 15 years. 
 

Queensland Treasury made this presentation on the Queensland pilot of Social Benefit Bonds to the Industry Development and Engagement External Reference Group in November 2015.

Be sure to follow us on social media to keep up to date with the latest resources and events. 
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