Housing Matters: capacity building and housing & homelessness sector news.
Edition 4 - March 2015

From the CEO

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

Since our last newsletter we have welcomed a new Minister for Housing and Public Works in the Honourable Leeanne Enoch, Member for Algester.

We are grateful for the Minister’s attendance at our recent conference in Brisbane and look forward to building a strong working relationship with her in the future to further the goal of a strong and sustainable community housing and homelessness sector.

Speaking of the conference I’d like to personally thank all attendees that came to our recent conference program in Townsville and Brisbane. The feedback has been very positive, particularly on the networking opportunities, and the quality of key note and other presenters. We will be taking on board all of the evaluation results and comments for our future events. 

Whilst there is plenty happening here at Q Shelter there are a few particular events coming up that promise to offer a variety of development experiences.

In particular we are pleased to be offering another learning and networking experience in the form of a CEO’s Dinner with Julian Ashby, Chair of the Regulatory Committee for Housing in the UK. We are also partnering with CHPs for QLD to offer a breakfast event with Julian. Details and booking links are included in the body of the newsletter but be quick as spaces for both are filling fast.

Please also take special note of the upcoming tenancy law and tenancy sustainment workshops in partnership with the RTA. These are a great opportunity for new and existing staff from community housing organisations to get a better understanding of their environment and obligations.

There are a number of other initiatives covered below in more detail as well.

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


   This edition includes...

1 day workshop on tenancy law and  tenancy sustainment
Registrations are now open for a 1 day workshop on tenancy law and tenancy sustainment run by Q Shelter, in partnership with the RTA.
North Brisbane:
Date: Wednesday 25th March
Time: 9.00 am to 4.30 pm
Venue: Arana Leagues Club, Keperra

Date: Wednesday 29th April
Time: 9:00 am to 4:30 pm
Venue: Brothers League Club, Ipswich
Please note: these workshops will also run in  Logan (May – date to be confirmed)
The workshop will consist of two sessions:
Session 1: Tenancy law – presented by Residential Tenancies Authority
 9.00 am – 12.15pm
• Overview of RTA services and Qld tenancy law
• Rights and responsibilities and key topics
• Dispute resolution service and the tribunal
• Q&A session
Presenter: Allen Munck, Senior Community Outreach Officer, Residential Tenancies Authority
Session 2: Tenancy sustainment - facilitated by Q Shelter
1.00 pm – 4.30 pm
An interactive session aimed at exploring ways to manage difficult tenancies and resolve issues while at the same time sustaining the person’s tenancy.  Session will include:
• Introduction of key tenancy sustainment concepts and practices
• A case-study process to develop skills in analysing tenancy situations and developing solutions.
Facilitator: Jon Eastgate, 99 Consulting.
The workshop session is designed for staff who provide tenancy management to tenants in community housing.
• Full day workshop (RTA and Q Shelter sessions): $30 charge for refreshments
• RTA session only: FREE
Places are limited, so please register early to secure your place.  Click this link for further information, and to register for the Arana Hills workshop.

Registrations will close this Friday 20th March.

Click this link for further information, and to register for the Ipswich workshop.

For more information, please contact Jane West or phone 3831 5900. 

Q Shelter resource now available: Governance Manual  

Q Shelter’s Governance Manual for small housing providers is now available from our website here.
This comprehensive resource – provided free to organisations in the community housing and homelessness sectors – gives an overview of
  • governance responsibilities
  • the operation and membership of the Board or Committee
  • setting the strategic direction – including planning, financial oversight and risk management
  • compliance – duties and methods, as well as more detailed information on key regulations and legislative requirements for housing providers
It is aimed primarily at community housing providers, but is relevant and could be useful for any small not-for-profit housing or community services provider. Please contact us at QShelter if you would like to discuss how this resource can be used to assist your organisation.
Watch this newsletter for upcoming webinars – running monthly from May/June this year – covering key aspects of governance, including Board/Committee responsibilities, setting the strategic direction of an organisation, and financial planning and oversight.
Q Shelter can provide tailored support to Boards and Committees such as Board reviews, strategic/business planning, and compliance responsibilities.
For more info on using the manual, or on further assistance QShelter can offer, please contact Jane West and Clare Robins or phone us on 3831 5900. 

Working Together Conference

Q Shelter Working Together Conference Presentations are now available
Videos and presentations are now available on the Q Shelter website at this link, with more to come!  Each edition of Housing Matters will showcase a presentation.  Thanks again to everyone who participated as a speaker or delegate. 

Conference Highlight: Australia’s first not for profit real estate enterprise
During the recent Q Shelter Conference, Heather Holst from HomeGround Services in Victoria showcased Australia’s first not for profit real estate business.  Established by HomeGround Services, the enterprise already manages over 140 properties from the private rental market, increasing access to private market housing for vulnerable people.  There are various rent settings geared to different needs.  Heather highlighted the willingness of the private real estate industry and landlords to partner and work with HomeGround Services on this innovation.  This is a great example of a community housing and homelessness service provider packaging up their core skills, capacities and infrastructure, and reaching out to new markets to achieve better access to housing for people who need it.  Read more hereThanks to Heather for her fantastic contribution to the QShelter Conference in both Townsville and Brisbane.  She generously spent most of a week with us presenting at numerous sessions.
Consulting Service

Since the last newsletter we have been approached by more than forty consultants about being part of our consultants’ panel service to providers. This has translated into 15 full applications which our working group are currently assessing to ensure the best possible offerings to providers.

Of the applications received the skills sets covered have included:
  • Asset management
  • Strategic asset management planning 
  • Property management 
  • Property maintenance
  • Community development
  • Community engagement
  • Community planning
  • Facilitating strategic alliances
  • Managing local area opposition
  • Urban and regional planning
  • Financial modelling
  • Financial systems
  • Facilitation
  • Product development
  • Program planning
  • Project implementation
  • Report writing
  • Research
  • Statistical analysis
  • Change management
  • Training
  • Governance review
  • Organisational review/evaluation
  • Risk management
  • Strategic planning
  • Due diligence for mergers/amalgamations
  • Succession planning
  • Business and Service delivery model development
  • Developing a value proposition
  • Cost benefit analysis
  • Program review
  • Business development
  • Business planning
  • Workforce planning
  • Policies and procedures
  • Bid management
  • Feasibility assessment
  • Contract review
  • Staff review and HR
  • OH&S
  • Tenancy management practices
  • Tenancy sustainment models and practices
  • Tenant engagement and Tenant satisfaction surveys.
As you can see we have had a lot of interest in being part of this new service offering. Next month we will be able to provide more information on the consultants that have been appointed to the panel.

In the meantime if you know of a high quality consultant please refer them to John Lysaught on 07 3831 5900.

Tenant Satisfaction Survey Service

Q Shelter is pleased to announce that it has developed a partnership to offer a high quality, professional and independent tenant satisfaction survey and benchmarking service to Community Housing Providers. Working with the NSW Federation of Housing Associations, Q Shelter is offering a Queensland relevant and NRSCH compliant tenant satisfaction survey service.
The Federation take care of the whole process including:
  • The design of the survey (in collaboration with the organisation) choosing from 104 questions or using the CHPs own
  • the sending of the survey and collecting of responses including the sending of reminders to drive response rates
  • Analysis and production of an organisational report including comparisons with others to help direct what an organisation can do with the findings and learnings
  • Providing a twice yearly tenant satisfaction benchmarking report that compares your results with other CHPs for 16 indicators of tenant satisfaction
Advantages are:
  • support through the whole process including follow-up work
  • independent and objective
  • based on international best practice and meeting regulatory requirements
  • 16 Community Housing Providers have used this service in Australia creating an ability to compare
  • flexibility
  • cost and time effective with tailoring to most budgets
Subject to demand, Q shelter and the Federation can also offer a low cost service simplified tenant survey for smaller providers who may wish to agree a survey with common questions.
If you are interested in finding out more about this service including the cost, please contact Clare Robins on or phone us on 3831 5900.

Sector Survey Results

Thank you to those Community Housing Organisations who took the time to complete our recent sector survey. 17% of those organisations targeted gave us detailed views on their experience of Q Shelter’s services throughout 2014 and indicated what they would like to see offered throughout 2015 to improve their capacity and capability.

The majority of respondents had accessed our service for assistance in applying for NRSCH registration mainly by attending an event, receiving newsletters and accessing the Q Shelter website.

Overall, providers expressed satisfaction with the service received in 2014 and comments indicated that we are doing well with communication and customer service. Areas for improvement and attention include improving navigate on the Q Shelter website along with raising the Q Shelter profile and extending our reach to the housing assistance sector.

79% felt satisfied with how Q Shelter communicates with their organisation and e-bulletins and the website were the popular methods closely followed by workshops and forums.

Your feedback on how and what you would like offered going forward is extremely useful for us to ensure that what we offer is fit for purpose. A variety of methods are preferable including training in regional centres, model documentation, reporting and benchmarking tools, training on-line and peer support. In terms of what support and services are desired, asset management and community development were frequently noted along with a range of services including bid management, benchmarking, mechanisms for consulting with tenants, managing compliance and assistance with planning and growth strategies.

The results will be used to inform and validate our product and service offerings. We also get feedback and input from other sources such as the Q Shelter Advisory and Product Reference Groups, the Department of Housing and the Office of the Registrar, Q Shelter Delegates, interstate partners, as well as ad hoc satisfaction feedback e.g. conference, events.

There is always an opportunity to tell us what you think whether it is to compliment us, express your dissatisfaction or suggest how we can improve. Please contact us anytime or if you missed the opportunity to take part in the recent survey and would like to let us know your thoughts, please get in touch.
Program Logic

Most organisations' structure will include program areas and within those program areas, specific projects which vary in size and scope.  A Program Logic helps to outline a program or substantial project in terms of activities, inputs, outputs, outcomes and impact.  The process of developing a Program Logic can help to focus teams (within and between organisations) on a clear vision for the work that is to be done.  It is a way of clearly articulating activities, resources and the anticipated outcomes at different stages. 

Collaborative, participatory workshops can help teams to develop a Program Logic together which is a way of uniting everyone around a vision and to reach agreements about what activities will lead to the desired outcomes.  A Program Logic helps to establish a relationship between activities, inputs, outputs and outcomes. It helps to link available resources with the activities most likely to achieve an impact and ultimately, the desired vision.  There are many templates for developing a Program Logic and you can find some at the following links:
Community Sustainability Engagement Evaluation Toolbox
Local Government Association of  South Australia

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!
Breakfast Seminar with Julian Ashby

Q Shelter and CHPs for QLD are jointly hosting a complimetary breakfast seminar with international guest speaker Julian Ashby, Chair of the UK Regulatory Committee.  

Julian brings a wealth of skills and knowledge to share with Community Housing Providers, government, and other relevant stakeholders. Julian is Chair of the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) Regulation Committee and a board member of the HCA. He was previously Deputy Chair of the Tenant Services Agency. Julian also chairs the Institute for Voluntary Action Research.

Julian will discuss the UK’s approach to housing regulation and how to build resilience of housing providers in a changing market, with a focus on the learnings that can be gleaned for our current Australian environment.

This is a free event sponsored by Q Shelter, CHPs for QLD and BHC for a maximum 40 people and it will fill fast.

Event details:
Thursday April 2, 2015
Punthill Hotel
40 Astor Terrace
Spring Hill
7:45 am arrival for an 8:00am start
Concluding at 10:00am

Places are limited for this event so unfortunately only one representative per organisation can be offered. 

Register your interest NOW to secure a place via the following this link

For more information please contact Kylie Dodd at CHPs for QLD on 3307 3032.
CEOs Dinner with Julian Ashby

Q Shelter invites CEOs and senior leaders from community housing organisations to attend a dinner with Social Housing Regulator from the UK, Julian Ashby.
This is a great chance to discuss the challenges and opportunities involved in leading community housing organisations into a viable future and learn from Julian's considerable experience.
When:  Wednesday 1 April 2015
Where: The Continental Café
              21 Barker Street New Farm
Time:    6.15pm for 6.30pm
Cost:    $110 pp
RSVP:  Via this link
Strictly only 15 places available

For more information please contact John Lysaught on 07 3831 5900 or
Follow Q Shelter on Facebook & Twitter for the most up-to-date news

Follow us on Facebook & Twitter to keep informed on community sector news and events. 
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.
Women, Leadership and Community Housing
by Pam Bourke - Pam Bourke Consulting

The early 1980s saw the development of housing cooperatives in Queensland and birth of the fledgling community housing sector. Thirty-five years on there are many innovations and initiatives to celebrate. They did not happen by accident but were the result of strategic thinking and partnerships between the community housing sector, government and the private sector. Many of these innovations have been led by women.

However despite the successes there is still much more to do to make housing accessible and affordable for low to middle income earners in Queensland. Women are particularly vulnerable to housing stress. They are more likely to be the victims of family violence, to earn less than men and to have parenting and carer responsibilities.

For the first time Queensland has a female Premier, Deputy Premier and Housing Minister. There is an opportunity to make housing for vulnerable women and children a priority. What will be the innovation agenda of the next 3 years: case coordination and partnerships involving housing and homelessness services; public housing renewal and increasing affordable housing supply; planning reform; extending housing first models; sustaining tenancies; public, private and community partnerships?

The opportunity for change is now and it won’t last forever. With leadership from all sectors this could be an era of innovation and growth in community housing. The leadership of women in the community housing sector is more important than ever to make this a reality. 

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.
Sharon Large
Shelter Housing Action Cairns
Describe your role in one sentence: CEO of Shelter Housing Action Cairns, a crisis supported accommodation service for families who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.

How do you want to see the sector change in the next five years?
I would like to see there is a much closer alignment between housing and homelessness services through government policy and the service system, acknowledging that housing and support go hand in hand in the sustainment of housing for individual and families facing homelessness.

Stronger relationships between the government; non-government and private sector in the co-design of place based housing and homelessness models, that incorporates local knowledge of the community and the unique issues they face, particularly in regions such as FNQ.

A recognition from government funders that there are many small organisations across the state that are providing innovative; cost efficient; flexible service delivery models that are making real differences to individuals and families lives. I would like to see more capacity building strategies be provided to small organisations that are well placed in their communities to continue delivering great outcomes.

Sometimes people think that I…’should give myself a rest from thinking, sleeping, breathing social justice.’

What makes you smile? Undoubtedly my 3 year old daughter, not only smile but also really belly laugh!

What keeps you awake at night? Dreaming of innovative service delivery models that I believe will effectively work towards addressing homelessness issues such as women and children escaping domestic and family violence. I should get more of a life hey!

I do what I do because... I believe that I was born to!
Copyright © 2014 Queensland Shelter Inc

PO Box 214, Spring Hill, Qld, 4004.
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