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HousingPEOPLE March 2014

AHI HousingPEOPLE Newsletter
March 2014
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Australasian Housing Institute

The AHI Event Portal provides you with information about our workshops, seminars and events designed to promote and develop a skilled and professional sector.
Upcoming AHI Events:
Networking Breakfast with the Hon Bill Marmion
Thursday, 17 Jul 2014 7:30 AM – 9:30 AM
Perth - WA


Business Continuity and Disaster Planning for Housing Providers
28 Jul 2014 9:00 AM – 29 Jul 2014 2:00 PM



Professional Development Guide

Please, download the AHI's Professional Development Guide which contains a wide range of professional development opportunities, from traditional one-day workshops to more complex networking seminars and master classes.  

Issue: March 2014

Dear Member,
Welcome to the March edition of HousingPeople. Last month provided many opportunities to meet with our members in Melbourne, Perth and Wellington. We hope you enjoyed the networking and look forward to seeing you at our future events.

AHI Professional Practice Seminars 

Tenant Participation and Engagement Professional Practice Seminar

4 March 2014, Melbourne
On the 4th March a group of diverse housing professionals gathered in Melbourne to draw insight from presentations and join discussion about approaches for tenant participation, engagement and empowerment. 
The one-day professional practice seminar bought together a respected group of speakers including industry specialists, leaders and researchers in the tenant participation field who each presented view for involving tenants as customers and stakeholders so to enhance tenant morale and communities.
Feedback from attendees included:
  • It was great to hear a perspective from tenant union
  • Good range of topics discussed looking at all spectrums of community engagement 
  • Very well presented - I liked the breadth of academic and practical topics/speakers 
  • Interesting to get perspective on other states  
The AHI would like to extend gratitude to contributing seminar speakers:
  • Hal Pawson | Professor of Housing Research and Policy | City Futures Research Centre  | UNSW
  • Randall Pearce | THINK: Insight & Advice
  • Pablo Alfredo Gimenez | Community Economic Participation Manager | Yarra Community Housing
  • Liban Yusuf | Port Phillip Housing Association Ltd
  • Mark O’Brien | Chief Executive Officer | Tenant’s Union of Victoria
  • Dr Dallas Rogers | Research Fellow | School of Social Sciences and Psychology | University of Western Sydney
  • Jill McCabe | Director | Community and Economic Participation | Department of Human Services
Thanks also to Silver Sponsor Lake Maintenance and Session Sponsor North East Housing Service.  Without the generous support of sponsors events such as these are not possible.

Business Continuity and Disaster Planning for Housing Providers

28 - 29 July 2014, Christchurch
Business continuity and disaster planning aims to ensure that an organisation’s critical business functions can continue to be executed in the event of a major disruption or disaster. The organisation is more resilient, survives the event and is able to minimise the impacts on its business operations and clients. With the seminar in Christchurch a focus will be on learning from housing providers and industry professionals who have been responsible to enact business continuity and disaster plans and are actively involved in disaster recovery. The site tour on Day two provides the chance to view Christchurch reconstruction efforts.


Expression of interest is now invited from community housing providers, government officials and professional service providers (consultants, developers, property maintenance groups, financiers) who have been involved disaster planning and/or recovery in a social and community housing context.
Potential sessions include:

  • Business Continuity and Disaster Planning Consultant – exploring vital aspects of business continuity and disaster plans for housing providers
  • Rebuild challenges – speaker to present overview of impact of Christchurch earthquakes on housing stock and state of rebuild efforts, including rebuild hurdles
  • Christchurch housing providers – sharing experience and lessons learned
  • Tenant perspective – a tenant group sharing experience of disaster from their point of view
  • Other types of major disruptions and disaster pertinent for housing
  • Australian and/or International perspectives – case studies and approaches to disruptions and disaster within housing sector from abroad

If you wish to express your interest as a potential speaker, please email your expression of interest to

AHI Professional Practice Networks

Networking Breakfast with the Hon Bill Marmion

17 July 2014
It is our great pleasure to announce that the Hon Bill Marmion Minister for Housing WA has generously accepted our invitation to speak at the AHI networking breakfast in Perth. The Minister has agreed to speak about his vision for social housing in Western Australia. Join us to meet the industry leader, catch up with your friends and colleagues, share your insights and of course enjoy a delicious breakfast.
An Early Bird 50% discount is available to all AHI members in Western Australia. Enjoy a fabulous breakfast for only $30! This Early Bird offer is available only until Wednesday, 30th April 2014.

NZ Social Housing Reform – Progress and Perspectives. AHI Networking Event

6 March 2014, Wellington, NZ
The New Zealand AHI Branch hosted a stimulating, topical and enjoyable networking event in Wellington on 6 March. The event titled ‘Progress and Perspectives’ gave around 40 guests from around New Zealand the opportunity to ask questions of those at the coal face of the Government’s social reform programme, as well as hear about Australia and the UK’s reform experience, and share views in an open floor discussion.
Scott Figenshow, Director Community Housing Aotearoa spoke on the challenges and opportunities for growing third sector provision, while Bryan Wilson from the Ministry of Social Development (MSD), provided an update on the transition of the housing need assessment function from HNZC to MSD, coming into effect next month.
Branch Committee member Robert McBeth, provided a summary on how similar change has been introduced in Australia and the UK, followed by Allan Pollard, CEO of Trust House based in the Wairarapa spoke on their experience of a successful stock transfer in 1999.  
 “This was a really useful perspective and it helped demystify some of the unknowns for us here, it was good timing.” said a guest. “We tried to make the setting really informal to ensure the conversation could flow both ways, which worked really well. We’re also very grateful for the generous sponsorship support we received from The Property Group, Community Housing Aotearoa, HNZC and Wellington City Council”, said Vicki McLaren, AHI Branch Committee member.  
Thank you to our sponsors!

Presentation of the innovative Western Australian Foyer Oxford Project. AHI Networking event in Perth, WA

13 March 2014, Perth
The AHI Western Australian Branch had their first networking event of 2014 on Thursday 13th March at the newly opened Foyer Oxford, Leederville, Western Australia.
Kathleen Gregory, AHI WA Branch Director and CEO of Foundation Housing, took the opportunity to host the event and to allow colleagues and experts in the sector to view the Foyer in all its glory.
Kathleen first spoke about building momentum here in WA with the branch. Kathleen also spoke about the breakfast networking event planned with Minister Bill Marmion in July which will be a great opportunity for housing professionals here in WA to hear from the Minister and meet with industry experts.
Guests were then invited for a tour of the building which was extremely well received, getting an insight into the difference the Foyer Oxford would make to the lives of young homeless people in WA.
The tour finished in the courtyard which was lit up by the impressive and vibrant artwork. Overall, it was a great networking event thoroughly enjoyed by all.  

HousingWORKS: AHI collaborates with Community Housing Aotearoa to focus on housing issues in New Zealand

The topic for the March edition of HousingWORKS magazine will be"Social Housing in New Zealand” and we are delighted to collaborate with Community Housing Aotearoa to explore in detail the New Zealand social housing Industry. Advertising spaces are still available for your business! HousingWORKS is the most efficient media to deliver your message right to your target audience. Our readers include a broad audience of housing professionals: policy and decision makers in government leaders in the growing community housing sphere, finance and property professionals  in the private, public and community sectors; housing service delivery practitioners – executives through to front line staff; Indigenous housing and community organisations; supported housing services; tenancy advice; working with the homeless; academics; tenants of social housing organisations. Our rates start just from just $380 and the March edition will be distributed not only to AHI Members and subscribers, but additional copies will be issued for CHA contacts! So don't miss this opportunity to reach the additional audience. Download our advertising brochure.

AHI Submission to the NSW Legislative Council inquiry

Thank you everyone who participated in the AHI discussion on the submissions to the NSW Legislative Council and the Senate Economics References Committee. The AHI NSW Branch has finalised and submitted the papers from the Institute. Branch Members kept the document concise, howver made sure that it is in line with the AHI's mission of supporting and promoting social housing professionals. A copy of the document is available to download.

Housing Jobs

Chief  Executive, Ecclesia Housing Ltd

With the head office in Parramatta and over 450 homes under management Ecclesia are a relatively small community housing provider but one that punches well above its’ weight at helping the disadvantaged. With a fresh board and an outstanding executive team they are stronger and more focused than they have ever been. As a result, they are developing clear plans for the future but they need your help to achieve them. Read more

Industry Events


  • The CHFA Housing, Disability and the NDIS forum (27 March, 2014, Canberra) will be the first national event that brings together people from the wide range of organisations and sectors that will be responsible for delivering and managing this housing, as well as providing support to the people living in it. During the morning sessions of the forum participants will learn about current policy, best practice, and future opportunities for housing people with disabilities. The afternoon sessions will be interactive and designed to allow participants to contribute directly to shaping this significant area of policy development. The outcomes of the afternoon sessions will form the basis of a conference communique that will be delivered to the Minister. 
  • Private sector finance: increasing the options for affordable rental housing. AHURI's Research Seminar. 15 April, 2014, Melbourne. Attracting large-scale institutional investment to grow Australia’s supply of affordable rental housing has been a long-term goal for Australia’s affordable housing industry. However, the cost and availability of private finance remains a major obstacle. The key is to balance the most efficient form of risk allocation with the required public good outcomes, whilst attracting the lowest-cost funds and ensure these reach long-term landlords. This AHURI event will bring together leading researchers with senior policy-makers and industry representatives to discuss how this issue can be addressed in partnership with the private and community housing sectors.


  • The Chartered Institute of Housing 2014 Conference and Exhibition, 24-26 June 2014, Manchester Central. At Housing 2014, you'll get the opportunity to hear from more than 100 expert speakers from both inside and outside the industry. There will be more than 5,000 delegates and visitors from all corners of housing, who come together to learn from each other, network, and help shape the future of their industry.

We look forward to meeting you at our events,
the AHI Team

Australasian Housing Institute  
PO Box 6100 MAWSON ACT 2607
P +61 2 64947566    F +61 2 64947588
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