Mission

Our mission is to provide affordable, secure, financially and environmentally sustainable housing for people on low incomes, primarily in the South and East of Melbourne who are committed to cooperative democracy and engagement.

Services

The services provided by SouthEast define its reality as a housing co-op. SouthEast commits to ensuring its long term capacity to continuous improvement of all services.

Members

Members own and control their co-op and this is the essential characteristic of SouthEast. The board represents the members best through its obligation to be representative, accountable and transparent.

Co-operation

SouthEast is committed to the values of cooperation, voluntary membership, democratic control, autonomy & independence, co-op education and cooperation between co-ops.

Community Housing Federation Victoria – Conference 2013. GregN

Conference Theme: “New Building Blocks”

Opening the door to more affordable Housing – August 2013.

Greg Nolan

Introduction: The hostess/MC for the day, Catherine Deveny, welcomed the participants with a short video telling the story of some homeless people who had benefited from the provision of Community housing in St.Kilda area. She then told her own family story, growing up in a Reservoir Housing Commission home, after her parents’ small business had gone ‘broke’, and they were forced to sell the family home. Then, again, to more recent times, when her own marriage break-up and subsequent family problems, saw Social Housing once more come to her aid at a time when ‘sleeping in the car with 3 kids’, looked like her only option.

Welcome to Country: Aunty Carolyn Briggs ( Boon Wurrung Foundation)

The Boon Wurrung Foundation is a group that helps people of disadvantage, and tries to get funding to assist these people in a variety of ways. Carolyn is a tenant of Port Philip Housing Association (PPHA), and was once a tenant of Gippsland Housing. The Boon Wurrung clan is traditionally and historically from a large region which goes from Werribee River down to Mordialloc.

When Europeans arrived some 170 years ago, they were welcomed, but then almost immediately broke the Aboriginal laws, such as killing animals not just for eating, and killing fish in breeding season. These 2 examples were crimes against the Laws of ‘Bunjil’, who protects these creatures. Bunjil is a creator who ..” travels as an eagle, or sometimes as a crow in certain landscapes, and he ‘ welcomes strangers’.”

John McInerny - Chair, Community Housing Federation Victoria ( CHFV ).

“ Building a Better Housing System “ : John is also the Managing Director of Common Equity Housing Ltd. (CEHL), a large Community Housing provider, which is a company owned by 120 voluntary housing co-operatives in Victoria, and owns more than 2000 properties, housing between 5-6000 people.

John said that the sector’s primary purpose was to ..’ build a better housing system.’ The essence of Community Housing is not just shelter or a roof over your head, but that secure and affordable housing provides the basis of a good society with good prospects. The alternative, i.e if Community Housing is not provided, and the sector is not encouraged to grow, all the negative and undesirable elements of society then tend to flourish.

He pointed out that successive governments had failed to keep up with the increasing housing needs in our State, and that for affordable housing to be achieved, C.H organisations and their tenants needed to be part of the process in finding solutions to the twin housing crises of rental affordability, and homelessness.

Wendy Lovell, MLC - Minister for Housing, Victoria.

“ Challenges and Directions for Social Housing.”

Wendy’s address was firstly to outline some of the Govt’s initiatives in Social Housing, secondly to look at the challenges and possible directions for the Community Housing sector going forward. The Minister agreed with the Chair of CHFV, that the optimum figure for private home ownership in Victoria is about 70% of all housing, but she did not agree that the other 30% could or should be all Social Housing. She has said that the Govt’s priority is ‘high needs’ people such as the homeless youth that are now being accommodated in the Youth Foyers projects, which are 40 Bedroom hostels in 4 locations of Glen Waverley, Broadmeadows, Ballarat and Shepparton, and that these projects were good examples of the proper use of Govt funds.

Another reference was to 5 ‘Work and Learning ‘ centres in Public housing estates at Carlton, North Geelong, Moe, Ballarat and Shepparton, where Tenants can upgrade skills for better employment opportunities. She stated that the Govt “ ..had no plans to reduce Social Housing on these sites.”    

The Minister outlined the challenges for Govt. in the area of Social Housing :-    1. Being able to grow Social Housing in a time of high and ever increasing demand for low cost accommodation, and thus being able to provide enough Social Housing to cover the needs of the disadvantaged.

2. The ‘mismatch’ of Public Housing stock to demand, in that the majority of P.H stock is 3 Bedroom, and that most applicants on waiting lists are for 2 or 1 Bedroom units (properties).

3. There has been a history in the past of ‘operating in silo’s’, i.e with the govt’s focus shifting from one sector to another. The present Govt. is, in the medium term, looking at asset transfers from Public Housing to Community Housing, and intends to work with the sector, with the aim of ..” achieving better, fairer and sustainable outcomes.”

4. In working towards these ends, there is a need to ensure that Govt. (and the sector) are getting a ‘good return’ on the investment of funds, and good social outcomes for their efforts.

The Minister re-iterated that it was not her plan to knock down long standing P.H. towers in Richmond, Fitzroy and Prahran, but that the Govt’s desire is for private ownership to be ”integrated” with P.H. stock in these areas. She said that this would not represent privatisation, but the challenge would be to achieve a more diverse ‘demographic mix’ of residents, without any net loss of Public Housing stock.

David Crosbie - CEO, Community Council of Australia (CCA).

“Not-for-Profits in Partnership” - The basics for building a stronger future.

David Crosbie is the CEO of the C.C.A., which is an independent member based peak umbrella group, advocating for the Not-For-Profit sector, often referred to as ‘the third sector’ after (1) Government (2) Non Govt NGOs incl. local govt.

He has spent more than 20 years as CEO of several significant organisations in the drug and alcohol, and mental health sectors, including the Mental Health Council Australia, Alcohol and Drug Council Australia, Odyssey House Victoria.

David said that, on the positive side, the NFP sector has grown more than 5% over the last 7 years, and employs 1 million people in Australia, generates total revenue of approx $100 Billion, and is therefore a significant part of our nation’s productivity. On the negative side, the sector is 30% Govt. funded, but Govt. revenues are falling, while public demand for services is increasing.

The key issues, with regard to the future of NFP’s, are :-

(1) The way governments and the public invest in the sector, by increasingly looking to leverage investment in social issues, e.g.(i) Social Investment Bonds (as in N.S.W), (ii) Social Development Enterprise Investment Funds (SDEIF’s)etc. Since the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) of 2008 started to affect peoples’ super and long-term savings, public donations and philanthropy are down by 10%, according to Australian Tax Office (ATO) figures.

(2) The sector has to remain committed to ‘core values’, i.e. dignity, courage, respect, ‘meaning’ and responsibility. The sector should not accept imposed change that is detrimental, e.g. a Bedroom Tax, or forced tenant relocations, which could unfairly penalise an ageing group of settled community housing tenants. He pointed to some unjust examples in the U.K., where the bedroom ‘rules’ were applied in the extreme, at the detriment of already struggling families. For parents who are not working, and already with 3-4 children, this made no rational sense at all.

(3) A better and creative national approach is needed, for the use of Australian workers’ and Industry Superannuation funds. The $billions of capital that exists and is invested on behalf of our nation’s employees, could and should have a small but dedicated proportion of that capital, invested into the NFP sector, and particularly into Social and Community Housing.

Most clear thinking people would agree that by investing in progressive solutions in the present, would surely be a wiser use of capital, than allowing housing crises to continue into the future. Such a change of thinking would need to be backed up with some required legislative changes to the Super Fund laws ( Rules and Regulations).

PANEL TOPIC 1. “ Stock Transfers “  

‘Pathways to more sustainable Social Housing.’

Prof. Kath Hulse - Professor of Housing Studies, Swinburne University.

“Public Housing Stock Transfers – Past, present & prospective (AHURI research)

Public Housing Transfers can be: 1.Management outsourcing 2. Asset Transfer (or Title Tranfer). The main interest of Govt. in Victoria is Tenant transfers, i.e. transferring the management of existing tenancies to Community Housing providers. This is called an ‘Asset Conversion’ strategy.

The economic drivers of the Govt’s Social Housing Rental policies seem to be moving in the direction of maximising revenues (rental income) and leveraging private finance for the supply of new housing. This is given a higher importance than concepts of operational efficiency and/or tenant services.

The low level of tenant involvement, i.e.minimal consultation re stock transfers in recent years in other States, along with a lack of incentives for ‘switching’, has been the result of dialogue confined by short timescales, and competitive ‘successor landlord’ implementations.

Tenant choice is a big issue, among others, such as landlord selection, a shrinking number of departmental Housing staff to help oversee transfers, and importantly, proper evaluation of outcomes, which should be essential, but as yet not addressed by State Govts.

These issues should not be brushed aside, particularly as the numbers of stock transfers planned post 2013, is increasing e.g. in Qld there are plans to transfer up to 90% of P.H. stock, i.e. 45,000 units, to CHP’s by 2020. Similarly, but on a smaller scale, in South Australia (5000), and in Tasmania (3500).

Ross Hamilton, Ernst & Young. 

‘Social Housing : Piecing the Jigsaw Together’.

Ross is a partner of Ernst & Young, economic consultants, and also a member of the Real Estate Advisory Services Group.

He said that the aim of Federal and State govts is to grow the Community Housing sector to 35% of total Social Housing stock in the next 5-6 years, in two ways :- (1) Asset Management Transfers i.e. taking on existing tenants, (2) Freehold (Title) Transfers, with ‘full obligations’ passed on to a Community Housing provider.

He sees the sector as having the capacity to achieve this, but puts 2 provisos:

(i) Smaller CHP’s e.g. Co-ops with less than 30 properties, need to ‘move up’ the scale in a management and financial sense, to be ready to take on the management of transferred Public Housing (P.H.) tenants.                                  

(ii) Larger more ‘commercially oriented’ CHP’s e.g.CEHL, Port Philip, Haven etc. would be more readily able to take on ‘bulk transfers’, whereas the smaller CHPs e.g. Housing Co-ops, would be better suited to ‘progressive absorption’ i.e. measured growth in successive stages over 5-6 years.

Ross also expressed possible ‘solutions’ to future Community Housing growth in terms such as ..” supply led solutions vs. capital return”, and that ..” gearing provides a platform for growth.” He also said that it would be prudent for CHPs to ..” build relationships with multiple finance sources.”

While all of these are normal concepts of practice in a commercial property world, we all need to be mindful, as does Govt., that our target constituency is low-income and affordable rental housing. Many in the sector have expressed a view that negative gearing, for example, is a flawed policy, which only adds to a ‘lack of affordability’, because it puts upward pressure on house prices, by encouraging more access to the housing market by ‘second property’ investors. The challenge is to try to balance these seemingly opposed economic policy viewpoints, in order to meet the ever increasing social need for affordable rental housing.  

Nick Sabel - CEO, Wentworth Housing, NSW.

“ A Community Housing perspective on tenanted transfers.”

Nick has extensive experience in the housing and community service sectors, and is currently a Director on the Board of the NSW Federation of Housing Associations. His background qualification is in Social work, Policy studies and Governance, and he is committed to developing organisational capability and using collaborative partnerships to deliver key community outcomes.

Wentworth have, since 2009, taken over management transfers (not Title) of approximately 1000 properties in outer Western Sydney and Hawkesbury region. In the calendar year 2010, staff grew from 26 to 51, and property numbers from 900 to 1700, with the Operating Budget increasing from $11million to $21million.

This increase in properties was not by consultation or tender, Wentworth were chosen by the NSW Govt. Under National Rental Affordability Scheme (NRAS), $10,000 per property was given to them to bring maintenance ‘up to standard’ over 3 years.

There were some difficulties, of course ; tenants had fears for their security of tenure, doubts about the benefits of being a Community Housing tenant, and a lack of information re. Commonwealth Rental Assistance. There were also some cultural and training issues with new staff.

Nick said that more than 50% of the additional properties are 50-60 years old, so it was not ‘cherry picking’, and he felt that Wentworth could have done more due diligence in assessing the ongoing maintenance costs for these properties into the future.  

Also, a significant % of these properties are “under utilised”, and it is a complex mix, with some ‘mismatch’ of tenants to numbers of Bedrooms, thus bringing into play the prospect of a “ Bedroom Tax ” for older people who really cannot afford extra rent costs!!

Mark Feenane   - Manager, Victorian Public Tenants Association ( VPTA ).

“ Stock Transfers : Public Housing Tenants’ Outlook.”

Mark has had a diverse career with Dept. Social Security, in local govt., and an extensive background in business management and consultancy. He is committed to improving Public Housing for the benefit of all Victorians.

In 2010, Mark was with an Australian trade delegation to India representing Australian ‘ sustainable green building technologies.’ The Indian Govt. wanted to move the ‘slum dwellers’ near airports, etc. to high rise apartments, so they (Govt) could capitalise on the $$ value of that land, but they could not break the spirit or the sense of community that existed, even in a ‘slum’.  

The important role of the VPTA is reflected in the fact that 127,000 people live in P.H. in Victoria, and without Public Housing, the ‘picture’ in Victoria would not be the same, i.e. without the 75 year history of providing public housing and homeless solutions to the disadvantaged!

From the Tenant’s outlook, the 4 main benefits of Public Housing, are :-          
1. Reasonable Standard Accomodation.
2. Safety and Security
3. Affordable Rent i.e. no more than 25% of Income.
4. Validation of their status as a resident accepted in their local community.

The transition from P.H to C.H. needs to (i) have a clear process, (ii) genuine tenant engagement, (iii) a proper hardship, review and appeal process, because if a Tenancy ‘fails’, they don’t want to go to the bottom of a 27,000+ waiting list.

An Important Question: Can CHPs survive as Tenant managers operating off Tenant rental income ? To answer this, we need to consider 4 relevant points:
1. We need healthy Public Housing system.
2. We have to reduce Waiting lists.
3. Both components of Social Housing i.e. Public Housing and Community Housing, and a mix of tenants, can and must co-exist successfully.
4. The “ Value Proposition” for tenants and publicly-owned stock must be “clearly evident.”

PANEL TOPIC 2. “ Building Communities “

‘ Working with other Sectors to boost Community Housing & support tenants.’

Di Winkler - C.E.O.,   Summer Foundation.      

Di Winkler is an occupational therapist who has worked with people with acquired brain injury for more than twenty years. In 2006, she founded the not-for-profit Summer Foundation which focuses on the issue of young people in nursing homes, and supporting them to tell their story, and to develop demonstration projects that provide alternative housing and support for them.

An example of this is the project in Abbotsford in partnership with T.A.C and C.E.H.L. This is a mix of private and Social housing, developed by CEHL, which will also include 6 apartments for disabled tenants. These new apartments will have ‘assistive technology’ to aid in the control of appliances, Ipads and mobile phones, etc.

With the passing into law in 2013 of the new National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), it is hoped that the historical bureaucratic ways of Govt. administering ‘Top Down’ to the disabled via service providers, can slowly be turned around in stages to 2020, to a system whereby clients (disabled people) are more in control of their own lives, needs and support systems, and where Govts and service providers are doing just that, aiming to, and delivering a good level and range of quality services.

Adam Mills -Senior Strategic Planner, City of Melbourne.

 “ Future Living: The future of housing in the City of Melbourne.”   

Adam has 10 years experience in large scale planning and housing projects in both the public and private sector. He has led many high profile planning and urban design projects in the U.K., including an Area Action Plan to provide 10,000 new homes in North London. A strong partnership approach between public, private and not-for-profit sectors helped to deliver a renewal of post-war housing estates, new affordable housing & community infra-structure.

According to Adam, since 2001, the City of Melbourne population has risen to more than 140,000, and it is estimated that by 2020, it will be close to 180,000. This extra 40,000 will be housed mostly in apartment living, which has been the trend over the last 25 years, and particularly since 1991 when the Postcode 3000 planning Strategy was introduced.

In 2011, more than 50% of renters in the City of Melbourne, were paying 30% or more of their income in rent, and only 6% of all housing in the City of Melb. is available as affordable Community Housing. The aims/possible options of the City of Melbourne Planning strategy, in partnership with C.H. groups, are:-

1. Support more Social housing, i.e. to require a minimum % of Social housing in all new housing developments.

2. Promote ‘Key Worker’ housing, which links new housing strategies to employment patterns and data, as is done in Perth, for example.

3. To promote good housing design options, e.g. (i) minimum apartment sizes, (ii) Require minimum standards re.natural light, air-conditioning & ventilation.

Adam is a member of the Urban Design Group (UK), and recently produced a discussion paper about the future of housing in City of Melbourne. This paper is called “ Future Living.”   

Paul Zanatta     -   Manager, Social Policy and Research, VincentCare Victoria.

“ Housing for Older People.”

Paul has worked for 30 years in health, community programs and residential aged care settings, as a registered nurse and manager. Two of his proud achievements at VincentCare, include (i) Homeconnect homelessness early intervention pilot, and (ii) the Trauma and Homelessness Initiative, of which VincentCare is one of four agency partners.

Paul outlined some of the recent Policy Shifts/Debates in Aged Care in Aust :

1. Less emphasis on Residential (Centre based) Care, and more on Home and Community Care, i.e trying to keep Aged people in their homes and community for longer.

2. Consumer Directed Care/Restorative Well-being. This comes with a focus on ‘user tailored’ care, preventative and interventionist measures to slow deterioration in quality of life and so on.

3. Shift in focus re. Costs/Who pays, etc. Perennial debate about ‘user pays’, Govt. onus and responsibilities, and the failure of ‘Market forces’ to come up with any real solutions re. proper or adequate provision of Aged Care services and/or facilities.    

4. A need for change in the approach to Accomodation and Capital. There have been several notable examples over recent years, of some Residential Aged Care facilities (Centres) that have been mismanaged financially, either by misfortune or intent, thus resulting in many Aged clients and their families losing their life savings in lost accommodation ‘bonds.’

This is an area that continually needs monitoring, and where current laws and regulations could be improved and tightened further.

PANEL TOPIC 3. “ Teaming with Tenants “

‘ The Benefits of engaging tenants in community and economic programs.’

 Dr.Tony Gilmour :                  

‘ Social Enterprise in Action ‘  

Tony is President of the Australian Housing Trust, and founder of the Housing Action Network, a leading national social housing consultancy, and is a social and affordable housing specialist. He has taken a particular interest promoting greater tenant involvement in Australia, and understanding tenant issues. He wrote his PhD. thesis on building the capacity of the Community Housing sector in Australia, Britain and the U.S.

1. Tenant Participation ‘ framing the discussion.’

On the question of participation, or tenant engagement, the NSW Dept. of Housing’s track record re. consultation about transfers etc., clearly shows that Public Housing tenants are merely seen as ‘customers’ not ‘participants.’ True tenant empowerment, however, is not only having a ‘voice’, but also having a ‘choice’ re. your tenancy, i.e. location, conditions, rights and responsibilities. The significant difference between Govt vs. C.H. provider as ‘landlord’, is that tenants are considered as ‘members’ (owners of the C.H. organisation), rather than just ‘clients’ (names on a Govt. list).

2. International and National Perspectives.

In England, the Netherlands, Belgium and Denmark, the concept and practice of Tenant directors on boards, is encouraged, as it is also in Australia, with the Rental Housing Co-ops and some other C.H. groups being built on a tradition of Tenant-Member involvement and decision making. In Australia, approximately 40% of Housing Associations have Tenant directors. The main approach for the other 50-60% of Associations, is to have a ‘Tenant Council’, with tenants being involved in service issues, e.g.maintenance etc.

In Australia, the trends in Social and Community Housing, are underpinned by (i) Legislative requirements, i.e.Housing Act 1983 (Vic), Residential Tenancies Act 1991 (Vic), and the Co-operatives Act 1996 (Vic), (ii) Stimulation of the Cooperative sector, especially in Victoria, (iii) State Govt. funding for Tenant capacity building.  

3. Future directions for Community Housing Providers.

For boards of Community Housing providers, the culture is slowly shifting back to a greater emphasis on customer service and tenant involvement. To build a better ‘community’, you need to talk to your tenants, not ask a consultant! As boards are having to deal with the realities of succession planning, i.e we are all getting older and not here forever, it becomes necessary to reach out and to attract new members to re-generate tenant directors on a board.

To promote a greater level of participation, you need as a minimum, to have a menu of (i) Regular newsletters (ii) Tenant surveys (iii) Casual Member days, for information about the ‘community’, or just social occasions for member interaction (iv) Social Media, in particular easy access to all levels of info on your organisation’s web-site.

As to the future, we need to watch and monitor the National Regulatory System (NRS) carefully, with a view to find levers to push the Tenant agenda. Also, we should be looking at the prospect of National Regulation, with a view towards promoting legislative changes that may allow a new and creative approach as to how we utilise our nation’s Superannuation funds.

The former politicians, judges and captains of industry that form the ranks of those trustees of the financial investment world, may at first be reticent to embrace new ideas, but as mentioned earlier today, most Australians would agree that investing a small % of the $billions of existing Super reserves into Social and Community Housing projects, would be a beneficial and profitable long-term use of that capital.
 
Pablo Gimenez  

‘ A Blueprint for Tenant Participation ‘

Pablo is Community Economic Participation Manager for Yarra Community Housing, and his role is to facilitate tenant participation and decision making within Yarra C.H., and also in outside community and economic activities.

He initially worked in and for community legal centres, and is involved in developing a number of social enterprises based in Public housing estates across Victoria.

Tenants can get involved in 3 ways :-

(1) With their organisation e.g. Yarra Community Housing.

(2)   Within their local community, i.e. where they live.

(3)   Economic Participation, i.e. Employment training and/or Volunteering. (Opp Shops, Local schools or Charities).  

Some of the results of Pablo’s Action Plan are :-

(1)   Setting up an SMS database for approximately 1500 Tenants, as an alternative to a mail-out.

(2)   Reinstating some tenant house meetings.

(3)   Setting up tenant Working groups and Reference groups.

(4)   Establishing a Training and Employment Pathways program, in conjunction with Centrelink. 

John Enticott - C.E.O., St.Kilda Community Housing.

‘ The Practicalities of Engaging Tenants in Social Enterprises.’

John has been in the C.H. sector for 35 years, and is involved with singles housing (Rooming Houses) in urban communities and community land trusts. His natural constituency used to be 55 yr plus older men, but in recent times, with a downturn in manufacturing and an increase in unemployment and homelessness, he is seeing more men between 35-50 yrs of age seeking shelter. At least 70% of his clients (tenants) are on a DSP, i.e Disability Support Pension. John feels strongly that developing Social Enterprises, are a good way to re-engage residents in the community.

Two examples of social enterprise ‘partnerships’ are (1) Dental programs, and (2) Meal programs, set up in conjunction with Local Govt. (Port Philip Council) or other charitable organisations (e.g. Sacred Heart Mission), and these have always employed St.Kilda Community Housing residents.

Since 2011, under the Housing Provider Framework (HPF) (Option2), it was no longer necessary to be dependent on COMAC, the State Govt. social housing maintenance system, to organise maintenance works. Under Option 2, St.Kilda Community Housing was able to engage mostly outside contractors for skilled work, but could employ locals and ‘residents’(tenants) for semi-skilled and unskilled maintenance work.

Under this system, by fixing up uninhabitable dwellings and rooms in a quicker ‘turn-over’ time, occupancy availability was increased by an average of 2 weeks per ’job.’ (** This has resulted in an extra $50,000 per annum of rental Income)

Such win/win social re-engagement projects are good results for both St.Kilda Community Housing and their tenants. The challenge is to keep getting work, and to keep people employed for longer.    

Maria Ryan - Member, United Housing Co-operative.

‘ From the Inside out – A Tenant’s View.’  

Maria is a long-standing Tenant Member of the United Housing Co-operative (formerly Footscray Rental Housing Coop). Since 1996, when she joined as a single mum with 4 kids, she had to participate in the running of the Coop with 43 other members, assisted by their office worker, Heather, who is still there.

Maria, like most Coop tenants, found that having affordable rental housing was vital in being able to pay for the kids’ School camps and fees, sports and trips, gymnastics, schoolbooks and so on. She still struggled, but it was achievable.

When Footscray RHC merged with Essendon Coop a few years ago, to become United Housing Coop, Maria served on the Board as the Tenancy director, and was working with tenant members, assisting them to sustain their tenancies.

Through her volunteer work at United Housing Coop, she gained valuable experience doing Member workshops, Information sessions, Interviews, etc. and this resulted in her getting a job 2 years ago with Community Housing Limited, at their office in Queen’s Road, Melbourne. Just recently, she was promoted to Manager, Rooming Houses Program, at Community Housing.

She said that she will always be grateful for the fact that living in a ‘community’ house, gave her the opportunity to participate, as a way of ‘paying back’ to the Coop for providing a secure home for her family.

She summed up her whole Coop experience in this way :-

“ It’s a two way street out there, I got as much out of it as the Coop did.”  

CLOSING   SUMMARY : John McInerny.  

‘ Let’s fix the Roof.’

John re-iterated that Stock Transfers are on the agenda, but he stressed that it is important to keep the focus on the benefits to tenants and those who are housing disadvantaged, not just on the economic bottom line.

He said that mutually beneficial partnerships, such as social enterprise projects and co-funded housing projects, and some administrative resource sharing agreements, were all important and worthy examples of the path and direction that the community housing sector needs to follow and develop, as we look ahead to the future.

Finally, he reminded us that the proper solution to real housing shortages, can only ever be by investing, in multiple and creative ways, in the purchase and building of more community housing, which is properly targeted and managed by proven, experienced Community Housing providers.

It will never be an adequate response to the problems of rental affordability, and reducing very long waiting lists for social housing, by focussing on short term fixes like bedroom taxes or forced relocations of large groups of public housing tenants.

As he eloquently said, in his closing statement :-

“If the roof is leaking, you have to fix the roof, not move buckets around.”   

 

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SouthEast Housing Co-operative Ltd
Plaza Business Centre, the Hub, Level 3,
26 to 36 McCrae St. Dandenong 3175

Telephone: 03 9706 8005

Fax: 03 9706 8558

PO Box 7141 Dandenong Victoria 3175

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