Housing Matters: capacity building and housing & homelessness sector news.
Edition 2 - January 2015

From the CEO

Hello and welcome to the first Q Shelter Housing Matters newsletter for 2015

In the lead up to Christmas I know that a large number of housing providers were striving to complete their registration documentation for the National Regulatory System for Community Housing (NRSCH). Whilst this has been a challenging task it has also been an opportunity for organisations to reflect on how they operate their businesses and look at ways to improve services to society’s most vulnerable.

The challenge for 2015 will be the shift from “showing that you can” to “proving that you are” in terms of evidence that you are meeting the performance outcomes. Given that some providers will be entering the compliance phase of registration this year it’s important to be on the front foot and start considering how you will capture all the good work your organisation does to support your evidence needs.

In this edition of Housing Matters you'll find information on our upcoming professional development program "Leadership Circle", news from housing providers in the sector, as well as an article about planning and preparation for stock transfers from Horizon Housing CEO Jason Cubit. You'll meet Angie Ison from Compass Housing Services, as well as Rachael Vidler - the newest addition to the team here at Q Shelter.

Registrations are still open for our Working Together Conference in Townsville and Brisbane in February. With a keynote presentation from David Orr from the National Housing Federation (UK) and sessions from an array of industry leaders, the conference will bring together housing and homelessness services and reflect on ways of working together.

The sector survey is still under way and we encourage all providers to participate. The results of the survey will directly influence capacity building plans for the next 12 months and participants also go in the draw to win a free registration to our Working Together Conference.  

For any other support you may need in terms of capacity building for the community housing and homelessness sector please contact our capacity building team on 07 3831 5900.

Kind regards

   This edition includes...

Leadership Circle
Professional Development Program

Q Shelter’s Leadership Circle for 2015 is GO!
Following our “Show and Tell” meeting with interested participants in early December we are pleased to confirm that our first Leadership Circle for 2015 is about to commence with our first session here at Q Shelter on 20th January from 7.30am to 11.30am.

We have a diverse group of participants for this first Circle with both established and emerging leaders part of the group and backgrounds in community housing, homelessness, secondary and tertiary education, and government.

We do still have a small number of slots available in this first Circle. Additionally we are able to replicate this program in a regional setting.

If you are interested in Leadership Circles in your area please contact our Director; John Lysaught; on 07 3831 5900 

Update on NRSCH applications

In Queensland there are now ten community housing providers registered as Tier 3, six providers registered as Tier 2, and one provider as a Tier 1. 

There are many organisations who have submitted their applications, and are now dealing with feedback from their analyst - QShelter has been assisting those who have contacted us. 

Local governments have now also submitted their applications.

Please contact us on 3831 5900, or email: or if you would like any further assistance during the NRSCH registration process, for example reviewing policy or planning documents, or to discuss your feedback or gap analysis from the Registrar

Working Together Conference

Q Shelter Working Together Conference Registrations Closing 30 January.

The conference line-up is designed to bring together housing and homelessness services in opportunities to reflect on ways of working together and improving service delivery.  The conference also includes sessions which are focussed on key areas of capacity such as asset management.  Speakers include:
  • David Orr from the National Housing Federation in the UK
  • Health Holst from HomeGround Services
  • Dr Julian Freidin from Alfred Health 
  • Pam Bourke from Pam Bourke Consulting and a member of Catalyst Housing Company Board
  • Pauline Peel from Pauline Peel Consulting and on the Palm Island Housing Company Board
  • Mark Francis - the  Queensland Registrar
  • Veronica Laverick and Cheryl Barrett from Gladstone Regional Council
  • Ryan O'Hanlon from QGC
  • Laura Barnes from the Health and Human Services Workforce Council
  • Heather Watson from McCullough Robertson Lawyers
  • Various presentations from the Queensland Department of Housing and Public Works.
Get more information
Working Together Conference Fringe Program for Townsville

Q Shelter is offering a fringe program in Townsville for the 18th of February. The program includes opportunities for focussed discussions with Heather Holst from HomeGround Services, a conversation with David Orr or to book facilitated time with Jane West or Fiona Caniglia to work on your consortium or agency plans for the future.  This will be followed by a Leadership Lunch.  The program is free for conference delegates.  You can register here.
Compare how you are performing with others

Q Shelter is contributing to the development of a product which will allow providers to make comparisons with peers across key community housing indicators and workforce data.
Examples of community housing indicators include tenancy management indicators such as vacancy turnaround and rent arrears; repairs and maintenance performance including percentage completed in time along with financial, tenant engagement, governance and development indicators.
Examples of workforce indicators include housing management staff to property ratio, salary cost to property ratio, staff turnover percentage, gender, age and diversity measures as well as salary and board remuneration.
The product being developed is an industry led system to drive continuous improvements. An online platform will allow CHPs to compare their performance by submitting data based primarily on the Office of the Registrar definitions for accuracy and simplicity providing extra benefits from the existing data submission requirements. It is aimed that the product will be launched in June 2015.
We are keen to gain your input and invite housing and HR colleagues and CFOs to contact Clare Robins, Project Manager on +617 3831 5900 or by COB Wednesday 21st January. Involvement may include:

  • consultation on a suite of indicators and relevant peer groups to ensure that the right range of indicators are collected and meaningful comparisons
  • to gauge your views on the cost of the product and likely take-up
  • being part of a project reference group, and/or
  • being a Queensland provider representative in a pilot benchmarking exercise
We look forward to hearing from you.
What you want!

Don't miss out on having your say!

The Sector Survey is underway and we want to know what you want! 

Tell us about your experience of our products and services this last year and also what products and services you would like to see offered to the sector in 2015.

This will involve answering a number of questions by telephone which we expect to last about 20 minutes or directly via a survey monkey link. 

We welcome your views which will directly influence our sector capacity building plans for 2015 and ask that you assist us. We will also be asking the homelessness providers and local Councils for their views.

Some high level feedback will be shared with the sector, the Office of the Registrar and the Department of Housing and Public Works but will be non-identifiable

Don't miss the chance to give us your organisation's feedback and be in with a chance to win a free place at Q Shelter's Working Together Conference.

Please complete the survey following the link or contact Clare on +617 3831 5900 or who will gather your responses. The survey closes on 29th January and we will share the headline results thereafter. 

Get more information
Keep up-to-date with the latest happenings in the housing & homelessness sector.

Please feel free to email us at or call on 3831 5900 to ensure the latest news from your organisation is included!
BHC’s Bowen Court open in time for the holiday season

People aged over 55 have an affordable home to bring in the New Year in inner city Brisbane with the opening of ‘Bowen Court’ in New Farm.

The $12 million New Farm affordable housing refurbishment project provides Brisbane’s seniors struggling to afford rising inner-city rents a home positioned close to shops, public transport and medical services rented at least 20 per cent below the market rate.

The complex at 405 Bowen Terrace New Farm includes 51 apartments: 48 one-bedroom and three two-bedroom apartments.

Not-for-profit affordable housing provider BHC and iconic not-for-profit service provider Blue Care have partnered to undertake this major refurbishment project.

BHC CEO David Cant said the partnership was a prime example of two leading not-for-profit organisations working commercially for the benefit of the community.

“BHC and Blue Care will share ownership of the apartments, while BHC will also ensure there is a level of control over the finished product in both its physical appearance and the management practices implemented,” Mr Cant said.

“BHC worked with leading architects and builders to ensure the refurbished apartments look fantastic, have strong environmental and liveability features, and fit the aesthetics of the local community.

“The property also has several communal areas, features including a barbecue area, common laundry, common room with television and kitchenette, and herb garden.”

The apartments are currently being tenanted to people aged over 55 years who align with the eligibility requirements pertaining to NRAS.


Expressions of interest for funding for innovative housing solutions

Community organisations are invited to apply for a share of $6.6 million to create innovative housing for young people with disability living in, or at risk of entry into, residential aged care or who are long-stay in public health facilities.

The capital funding will commence this financial year, to build or modify housing for adults with disability who are either inappropriately housed in, or at risk of entry into, residential aged care or who are long-stay in public health facilities. The locations of the new or modified dwellings will be based on the level of need across the state.

To submit an application go to Smarty Grants.

Expressions of interest close 13 February 2015. Short-listed providers will be invited to participate in a select tender process.

For more information contact: Centre of Excellence, Ph: 3247 5082. Email


Contact information:

Carol Peterson, Project Officer, 0425738011,

New RTA website: take another look

The RTA website ( has undergone a makeover.
New features include a larger font, icons and an improved search function, and a new section called ‘Community education’ specifically designed to help communities understand renting laws in Queensland.
The ‘Community education’ section is one of three quick links from the homepage which group information on popular topics, making it easier to find; the other links are for ‘Tenants and residents’ and ‘Agents, managers and owners’.
RTA CEO David Eades said the new look site was developed following user feedback and RTA research.
“The RTA website has long been the independent go-to source for everything you need to know about renting rights and responsibilities in Queensland,” Mr Eades said.
“We’ve listened to client feedback and made improvements to things like the search function and page load speed, so people can find the information they need within a few clicks.’’
The RTA will continue to review the website content to ensure it remains easy to understand.
“While it is our role to provide education to people on tenancy legislation, we make a concerted effort to put complex legal language in a clear easy to understand style,’’ Mr Eades said.
“We also know more and more people are accessing the site via their smartphones or tablets so the updated site will allow for better viewing on all personal devices.
A tour video to help people get the most out of site is available from the RTA homepage (


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Staffing news
Rachael Vidler
Project Manager

Rachael Vidler has significant knowledge and expertise in housing and homelessness gained throughout a career spanning over 20 years in the Queensland Public Sector.

Rachael brings a wealth of experience in all aspects of the provision of social housing, including capital construction projects, managing major refurbishment works, contract compliance and organisational governance. She played key roles in the Indigenous Community Housing Organisation (ICHO) Transition Project and the development and implementation of the Queensland Homelessness Information Platform (QHIP) 

Rachael has a personal interest in the rights of people experiencing social disadvantage and embraces the opportunity to support, strengthen and encourage the growth and sustainability of community housing providers across Queensland.

Our Leader in the Sector segment fosters the sharing of concepts and ideas among different organisations providing insight and discussion about important topics in the community sector.

If you would like to feature as a Leader in the Sector contributor please contact us at or 3831 5900.

We are looking for 100-200 words on any topic that is relevant to the housing & homelessness sector in Queensland.
Be careful what you wish for: Planning and Preparation for Stock Transfers

By Horizon Housing CEO Jason Cubit

With the Queensland Government’s Housing 2020 strategy well underway and other jurisdictions having similar ambitions, it certainly seems that the time is right for housing providers to dive into stock and management transfers.
However, providers should carefully examine the opportunities on offer and realistically assess their chances of success before embarking on a process that will cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. Tender processes are simultaneously long and frantic; you will have little time to respond, but the process will absorb organisational resources for at least six months to a year. It might appear obvious, but remember that there are always more losers in the process than winners; even if you are objectively able to deliver the project, so are a number of other providers who will be competing with you.
The best suggestion I can offer is make the decision early as to how you will approach tenders; think hard about your chances of success, and find partners now. That way you can demonstrate a history in your partnership. Get the Board’s support for your strategic direction, and plan for how you will engage with them during a rapidly changing tender process.


Horizon is Queensland's largest non-profit affordable housing provider, with an extensive portfolio across Queensland and Northern New South Wales including affordable housing under the National Rental Affordability Scheme, social housing managed in tandem with the Queensland State Government and various other subsidised ownership initiatives.

Looking for committee or board members? 

Advertise in this newsletter if you are looking for new committee or board members. Our mailing list includes more than 500 organisations and individuals connected to the community housing and homelessness sectors in Queensland. 

Email with:
  • a description of your organisation - what you do, areas you operate in etc
  • the role(s) you are looking for eg. Treasurer, Secretary, general board/committee members
  • Particular skills/experience you are looking for
  • Location/frequency of board/committee meetings, and any other information about the commitment you are seeking from potential new members
There are other ways you can advertise for new committee or board members, including:
  • The Institute of Community Directors Australia - follow this link to post a free advert
  • Pro-Bono Australia - run a 'volunteer match' service containing a section for board/committee members. Follow this link for more information
Let's get to know each other. Our 'Have you met...' section features a professional from the housing & homelessness sector, including Q Shelter staff!

If you would like to introduce yourself to the sector or nominate someone for our Have you met... section, please email us at or call on 3831 5900.

Angie Ison
General Manager Operations QLD
Compass Housing Services
Describe your role in one sentence: 
To lead and inspire a team of dedicated people to bring innovative, sustainable and supportive management to community housing for those in need.
How do you want to see the sector change in the next five years?
Improvement in housing premises, communicating more with tenants, providing additional support for tenant needs, inclusion within the community and closing the gap in inequality.

Sometimes people think that I…
Am a lot younger than I really am.
What makes you smile?
Children, animals and a good joke.
What keeps you awake at night?
How to make the world a better place.
I do what I do because...
I believe in ideas and that anything is achievable, and if I can assist or change someone’s life for the better, then I am winning.
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PO Box 214, Spring Hill, Qld, 4004.
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