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HousingPEOPLE August 2015

AHI HousingPEOPLE Newsletter
August 2015
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Issue: August 2015

Welcome to the August edition of the HousingPeople newsletter. This month 'Partnering for Better Outcomes' is the AHI team's motto. Firstly, the AHI President signed an MOU between the Institute and the National Association of Housing & Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO) during his trip to the USA. Secondly, Homelessness Persons Week Practitioners Forum was held in collaboration with Homelessness NSW. Last but not the least, the discussion about partnerships will be continued during the joint AHI / CHA member networking event in New Zealand at the end of the month.
The two last Australian Award receptions were held in Melbourne and Perth and now we're waiting only to announce the New Zealand winners, we will then announce the entire list of finalists for entry into the Australasian Awards.

The winners of the Professional Excellence in Housing Awards in Victoria, Tasmania and Western Australia have been announced. The next reception will be held in New Zealand on the 22nd of October in Wellington, before all finalists move to the Australsian Awards.  Read more
AHI Professional Accreditation and Recognition program provides the mechanism for identifying highly skilled and ethical housing professionals.  CHP will become the industry benchmark for competency and professionalism in housing. 2015 applications for CHP levels 1, 2 & 3 are now open on an ongoing basis. Read more about the program and be among the first recognised social housing professionals

We are delighted to welcome our new Corporate Associate -  The Housing Trust. Corporate membership is open to any non-government housing or human service business or organisation, with a commitment to supporting the career development of their employees. Read more

Growing International Partnerships

Last month AHI President Donald Proctor travelled to the USA to attend the NAHRO Conference and sign an MOU with the National Association of Housing & Redevelopment Officials. Read more

Older women - paying the price for lack of affordable housing

Meeting the Housing Affordability Challenge for Older Women forum was held on 4 August as part of Homelessness Prevention Week and organised in partnership with the Australasian Housing Institute, the Mercy Foundation, Shelter NSW and the Women’s Housing Company. The Forum was opened by Minister Hazzard and attended by a range of SHS, CHP, FACS and Tenancy Service workers. Read more


We hope you're enjoying the latest edition of HousingWORKS. The journal is full of  bright and inspiring tenant stories and we would like to thank all the contributors. The AHI will again collaborate with Parity to develop “The Role of Community Housing in Responding to Homelessness” edition of Parity and HousingWorksRead more

Upcoming AHI Seminars:

Tenant Participation and Engagement Professional Practice Seminar

Tuesday, 25 Aug 2015, Sydney
Read more

Mixed Tenure Housing Professional Practice Seminar

Tuesday, 22 Sep 2015, Sydney
Read more

Indigenous Housing Professional Practice Seminar

Friday, 9 Oct 2015, Brisbane
Call for speakers

Upcoming Networking Events:

Partnering for Better Outcomes: FREE AHI / CHA Member Networking Event

On the back of the Local Authority housing working group meeting, there will be an opportunity for CHA and AHI members to gather together to talk about partnerships in the community housing sector in New Zealand.
Thursday, 20 Aug 2015, Sydney
Follow us on Twitter and our closed LinkedIn discussion group to keep up to date with daily media from the social housing industry. You can also send your stories to the AHI office to share them with your colleagues all around Australia and New Zealand. 

2015 AHI Housing Awards Update

AHI’s Victorian and Tasmanian Awards were presented on Thursday, 23 July 2015, at the exceptionally swank Hotel Windsor in the Melbourne CBD. Despite Melbourne’s coldest winter in years, over 40 AHI members and guests turned out for the event – nervous tenants, proud CEOs, excited housing staff, and a welcome array of other guests.
The Windsor is fabled as an “upperclass” venue, but the many housing tenants in attendance refused to be overawed by its reputation, and came dressed in their finest. There were delicious savouries, cold beers, fine wines, passionate presenters, great nominations and deserving winners!
The winners in Victoria and Tasmania are:
  • Outstanding Achievement Award: Karen Barnett (Port Phillip Housing Association)
  • Inspirational Team Member: Deborah Paskevicius  (Housing Choices Australia)
  • Leading Tenant Engagement Practice Award: Art Exhibition Project (Port Phillip Housing Association). Highly Commended: Common Ground Tasmania, ‘Common Wall’ Mural Project 
  • Leading Housing Development Project Award: Ashwood Chadstone Gateway Project (Port Phillip Housing Association)
  • Leading Innovation Award: Preston High Street Project (Housing Choices Australia)
  • Tenant Led Initiative Award: Power Gateway Social Committee (Port Phillip Housing Association)
Let’s hope all our winners go on to further recognition at the Australasian Awards to be held in Perth in October this year!
Special thanks to MGS Architects for their valued sponsorship of the Vic/Tas Awards reception. Joshua gave a very engaging presentation on some of MGS’s recent architectural achievements. Thanks also go to Kelly Badewitz and her team at AHI for organising such a great night, to Donald Proctor (AHI President) for his introduction and role as MC, and to the guest presenters for each of the awards – Jeanette Large, Michael Lennon, Patricia Vaz and Joshua Wheeler.
The high standard of this year’s nominations has thrown down the gauntlet to all Victorian and Tasmanian housing professionals to start thinking of the individuals, teams and projects deserving of recognition for the next awards. I look forward to seeing you all at the next event!
Chris Chaplin, AHI Director & Vic Committee chairperson
Photographs from the reception are available here.

The Western Australia Housing Awards were presented on Thursday, 13 August 2015 in Leederville, Perth.  Thirty AHI members and guests attended the event, special guests included the Deputy Lord Mayor from the City of Perth, Robert Butler and A/Director General Paul Whyte from the Department of Housing WA.
The reception was a great opportunity for members and guests to catch up with one another and to also meet with some new people in the industry at the same time.
The winners in Western Australia are:
  • Excellence in Social Housing Award: City of Perth, Access Housing and Access Housing Realty | Penny Lane Apartment Project 
  • Outstanding Achievement Award: Su Groome | Access Housing 
  • Inspirational Team Member Award: Michelle Shaw | Access Housing
  • Leading Tenant Engagement Practice Award: Shelter WA | WA Housing Hub 
  • Leading Housing Development Project Award: Foundation Housing | Foyer Project 
  • Leading Innovation Award: Shelter WA | WA Housing Hub 
We would like to thank our reception sponsor the Department of Housing WA, your continued support is appreciated.
Photographs from the reception are available here.
The next Awards reception will be held in Wellington on the 22nd of October (register for the award receptions online). Finalists from each jurisdiction will automatically be entered in the Australasian Awards.The Australasian Award Winners will then be announced during the National Housing Conference 2015 in Perth on the 28th October 2015 at 7:30 pm. 

Silver Sponsors:

We would like to thank Lake Maintenance Pty. Ltd. and Compass Housing Sevices for their generous support of the Awards Program as Silver Sponsors. A variety of sponsorship packages are still available for the program. Sponsorship of the AHI Professional Excellence in Housing Awards provides organisations with a unique opportunity to reach a wide audience of housing leaders and professionals throughout Australia and New Zealand, enhance longterm relationships with potential customers and associate brands with the industry success and achievements. DOWNLOAD SPONSORSHIP BROCHURE

Growing International Partnerships

On Friday 31 July the AHI signed a Memorandum of Understanding with NAHRO – The National Association of Housing & Redevelopment Officials – of the USA. The MOU was signed by the NAHRO President Preston Prince, and myself at the Board of Governors meeting, during the NAHRO summer conference in Austin Texas.
This MOU is an undertaking by both organisations to build a mutually beneficial collaboration, by sharing information, opening our events, publications and professional development opportunities to each other’s membership.

To begin with, this provides an opportunity for 2 AHI members per year to obtain complimentary registration to attend the fantastic NAHRO conferences. Coming up – Los Angeles, Washington, New Orleans. This not only provides free entry, but also a guarantee of a warm welcome as an AHI ambassador.
Also we aim to arrange professional exchanges.  Having just met many representatives from various housing USA housing organisations, I have learnt two things. First, they are remarkably like us. Second, they are very welcoming, eager to learn from the Australian social housing sector, and generous with sharing their experiences.

NAHRO’s International Committee runs a program of overseas study tours.  They would love to come to Australia and have Australians join their tours to UK Europe and South Africa.  They are working hard on contributing to the UN Habitat III agenda, which culminates with the International meeting in Tito Ecuador in 2016
And what did I learn from the conference?  I learnt that the USA has similar National  and State debates about allocation of funds, regulation and stock transfers.  Their public housing system is not growing rapidly enough to meet increasing need. They have a very well developed affordable housing sector funded by “tax credits” – sort of a well targeted form of negative gearing.
I also learnt much about how they run their organisation and promote leadership in the sector. How they share their challenges, good practice and celebrate success.  Much to bring home to the AHI and our fellow organisatons in Australia.  
Donald Proctor, AHI President

Upcoming AHI Seminars

Tenant Participation and Engagement Professional Practice Seminar

Tuesday, 25 August 2015, Sydney

The third Tenant Participation and Engagement Professional Practice Seminar will be held again in Sydney on Tuesday, 25 August 2015. The topic for this event will be Achieving quality improvement within social housing service through tenant participation and engagementThe Sydney event on 25 August has attracted a great speaker line-up, including:

The seminar will also include a participatory roundtable discussion "Beyond Participation".


Read more and register on-line
Seminar Silver Sponsors:

The AHI offers attractive event sponsorship packages for all budgets. Sponsorship of AHI events enables your business to highlight your support of the housing sector, effectively network with your target audience and enable the AHI to deliver first-rate events. Download Sponsorship brochure

Mixed Tenure Housing Professional Practice Seminar

Tuesday, 22 September 2015, Sydney

We are delighted to present our new professional practice seminar, which aims to explore modern models of mixed tenure housing and discover and share approaches to manage place and tenancies within mixed tenure developments. 

The Mixed Tenure Seminar series aims to discuss:

  • Research: mixed tenure versus mono-tenure outcomes
  • Mixed tenure housing models
  • Mixed tenure - why would you do it?
  • Place making in mixed tenure developments
  • Case studies of new mixed tenure developments
  • Social mix and community outcomes
  • Shared home ownership
  • Other topics that investigate innovation in mixed housing tenure development and approaches to manage places in mixed tenure developments

Confirmed speakers/sessions for the Sydney seminar:

  • Dr Tony Gilmour | CEO | Housing Action Network
  • David Cant | CEO | BHC
  • Niall Hensey | COO | Haven; Home, Safe
  • Wendy Malycha | CEO | St John’s Youth Services
  • Francis Brazil & Rowa Omari | Place Coordinators | SGCH
  • Factors impacting the proportion of mixed tenure developments & The challenges of developing and managing mixed tenure housing | Roundtable Discussion

Download seminar draft programRead more and register now with a 25% Early Bird Discount. The discount is available only until Monday, 31st August.

Indigenous Housing Professional Practice Seminar

Friday, 9 October 2015, Brisbane

The second Indigenous Professional Practice Seminar will be held in Brisbane on the 9th of October. This seminar aims to provide an opportunity for mainstream public and community housing professionals to join with experts working in the indigenous social housing field to improve understanding of the respective sectors and identify opportunities for service planning and delivery across all sectors for the benefit of the indigenous community. The Hon Leeanne Enoch, Queensland Minister for Housing and Public Works, has generously accepted our invitation to open the event. 
CALL FOR SPEAKERS. The AHI now welcomes expressions of interest from industry professionals to contribute to the upcoming Indigenous Housing seminar on 9th October 2015 in Brisbane. 
Read more
Seminar Silver Sponsors:

Upcoming Networking Events

Partnering for Better Outcomes: FREE AHI / CHA Member Networking Event

Thursday, 20 August 2015, Christchurch

On the back of the Local Authority housing working group meeting, there will be an opportunity for CHA and AHI members to gather together to talk about partnerships in the community housing sector in New Zealand.

The focus of this free member networking event will be on partnering for better outcomes. Guest speakers:
  • Rohan Bush, Principle Advisor, Housing Project Office, Auckland City Council, will talk about some of the partnerships happening in Auckland
  • Scott Figenshow, Director,Community Housing Aotearoa,will talk about developments in the community housing sector
The event will also be a great opportunity to discuss how different regions are developing an understanding of housing demand.

Join us to hear from acknowledged housing professionals, meet colleagues, share your insights and build new partnerships. The event is free and refreshments will be provided with thanks to The Property Group. Register now.

Past Events

Older women - paying the price for lack of affordable housing: AHI Homeless Persons Week Practitioner Forum

To coincide with National Homelessness Prevention Week, the AHI and Homelessness NSW hosted a forum entitled, Meeting the Affordability Challenge for Older Women. The forum was organised in partnership with the Mercy Foundation, Shelter NSW and the Women’s Housing Company.
The aim of the forum was to bring together service providers from peak bodies, industry associations, social housing providers and the specialist homelessness sector to examine the affordability challenges facing older women needing access to housing, as well as highlighting practical and innovative solutions to address the issue. 
The forum was launched by the Minister for Social Housing, the Hon. Brad Hazzard MP, who also took questions from the floor. Kay Dolman, an affordable housing tenant, provided a moving first hand insight into how women can suddenly find themselves in a precarious housing situation as a result of relationship breakdown, illness and a work history impacted by caring responsibilities. Kay’s story was inspirational, demonstrating the power of long term, secure and affordable housing as a precursor for women’s employment, health and well being. Dr Hal Pawson from City Futures, University of NSW, provided an overview of housing affordability in NSW to set the scene for further discussion.
In the second half of the session a panel of practitioners examined opportunities and challenges associated with locating and developing affordable housing for older people.  This included the intersections with the aged care sector, an understanding of what types of services are required to better meet the needs of older women , and the relationship movement between social housing and affordable housing products.
Dr Jane Mears from the Older Women’s Network provided an overview of, It Could be You: Report on homeless older women. Dr Mears reiterated the structural issues that collectively impact on older women and can lead to poverty in later age – a major driver of women’s homelessness and housing insecurity. Mark King from the Pottery Gardens Retirement Village in Lane Cove, explained the financing of their model and highlighted the importance of initial government subsidy through either a land or grant to assist ongoing financial viability. Finally, Deborah Georgiou from the Women’s Housing Company, highlighted the challenges that older women face in accessing homelessness and housing services that meet their specific housing needs, including early intervention and tailored homelessness products, affordable housing products that recognise the changing income levels of older women leaving employment and the fact that there are no clear pathways to social housing or other affordable housing options for this group.
The final part of the session focussed on ways to influence policy change and fund new housing models that may be explored through the NSW Affordable Housing Fund and policy changes canvassed as part of the NSW Government’s reforms of social housing.
Key themes that emerged from the group sessions included:
  • Building an evidence base that tells us the scale and nature of the problem facing older women through data collection and research
  • Developing a long term strategy  and framework to plan for the increased demand for affordable housing options by older women, including:
    • Ensuring that private rental is affordable and secure
    • Identifying ways to improve access to assets, including super, for women during divorce to support housing choice
    • Ways to improve the transition between affordable and social housing and the aged care systems
  • Trialling new housing models particularly via the Affordable Housing Fund, that enhance communities such as cluster housing for older women and shared housing
  • Maintaining a focus on older women as a client cohort in funding housing and homeless services and programs
The ideas canvassed at the forum will be summarised and follow up work will continue, led by the Mercy Foundation. A summary of the event can be found on the Homelessness NSW website:
Rebecca Pinkstone, AHI NSW Branch Chair

Forum Partners:



Call for Contributions – October 2015 edition of Parity/HousingWorks

Community housing is a critical component of the social housing system in Australia and New Zealand. The ongoing decline in the level of government investment in and support for public housing has left it residualised to the point where it mainly accommodates the most disadvantaged and marginalised households. As a result, community housing is becoming one of the main sources of affordable and secure housing for low income earners and those at risk of or experiencing homelessness. Indeed, increasing reliance on a growing community housing sector to serve this purpose has been a key government policy.
However, the role of community housing in providing housing for those at risk of or experiencing homelessness remains in many respects ambiguous and unclear, and is, for many of those involved in the provision of social housing, a contested space.
Moreover, it is increasingly argued that a precondition for making a real difference to homelessness is the provision of enough secure and genuinely affordable housing. The key housing policy question here is: where is that housing going to come from? If not from a collapsing public housing system limited by the constraints of the dominant public policy and fiscal frameworks, and if not from a speculative retail investor dominated private rental market, then might the community housing sector be the bridge between these two sectors?
This edition of Parity and HousingWorks is therefore devoted to the examination of the key issues and questions concerning of the role of community housing in responding to homelessness. The central aim of the edition is to give all stakeholders the opportunity to participate in this examination, and to set out their views and vision for the place and role of community housing in responding to homelessness in Australia and New Zealand.

Guidance: Please, read our detailed Contribution Guide
Deadline: All contributions need to be submitted by COB Friday October 2nd 2015.   
Submissions: All contributions should be submitted as Word attachments to an email addressed to



CHP Conference 2015

17-18 September 2015, Melbourne Town Hall
The Victorian Homelessness Conference is one of Australia’s premier, dedicated homelessness and housing conferences. Held bi-annually, the event represents an opportunity for hundreds of practitioners, researchers and consumers to come together to share ideas, showcase their successes and hear from a range of outstanding speakers. Most importantly, this is a conference that has been shaped by you, the sector. After many months of information gathering and consultation about what topics you’d most like to see on the program we’ve carefully curated a selection of speakers, workshops and presentation topics that ticks all the boxes; engaging, informative, topical and inspiring.

THE 2015 CHA IMPACT CONFERENCE: Making Community Housing Happen

21-23 October 2015, Wellington, New Zealand
With an exciting programme and inspirational speakers planned, CHA-IMPACT 2015 will provide you with the opportunity to engage with the community housing sector creating the environment to develop housing solutions and partnerships that transform how our communities respond to housing need in Aotearoa. This conference will be key to setting the housing agenda to carry New Zealand forward and achieving our goal of providing homes for 50,000 people by 2020. Read more

National Housing Conference 2015

28 - 30 October 2015, Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre

As the largest cross-sectoral housing meeting in Australasia, the biennial National Housing Conference is a must attend event for housing industry specialists. Convened by the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI) and the Western Australia Department of Housing, the National Housing Conference 2015 offers a vital opportunity to share, debate, celebrate and promote ideas in affordable housing research, policy and practice. Join hundreds of housing industry professionals and key decision-makers in Perth this October and ensure you are part of the national conversation. Visit to see the full program and speaker line-up.


NAHRO National Conference

15-17 October; Los Angeles, CA
The National Conference is the USA industry’s premier event and offers the most comprehensive representation of products and services that manage the nation’s affordable housing stock. Additionally, the conference provides an educational opportunity for housing and community development practitioners and policymakers to network and learn how public, private, and nonprofit groups are overcoming challenges to create affordable housing and build stronger communities.
Australasian Housing Institute  
PO Box 6100 MAWSON ACT 2607
P +61 2 64947566    F +61 2 64947588
Copyright 2015 Australasian Housing Institute. All rights reserved.
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