The SouthEast Housing Co-operative Ltd has been invited to appear as a witness before the Senate Economic References Committeer Inquiry into Cooperative, mutual and member-owned firms. This will be on the 30 October 2015. The invitation follows a submission made by SouthEast to the Senate Committee. This is the first time SouthEast has been invited to appear as a witness before a Senate Committee. Other witnesses will include Australian Unity, BCCM, Industry Super Australia and Friendly Societies of Australia.
The Survey of Income and Housing (SIH) collects data from households across Australia to measure levels of housing occupancy and costs and how these change over time.
Housing costs for owners with a mortgage remained steady in real terms between 2011–12 and 2013–14, at an average of $453 a week in 2013–14.
Renters saw housing costs rise 4% between 2011–12 and 2013–14. This was led by a rise in housing costs for households renting from private landlords to $376 a week in 2013–14. Those renting from state and territory government housing authorities paid $148 on average a week, which is similar to that paid in 2011–12 in real terms.
On average households spent 14% of their gross weekly income on housing costs in 2013–14. This has not changed since 2011–12. The proportion of gross weekly income that home owners with a mortgage spent on housing costs fell from 18% in 2011–12 to 16% in 2013–14, while renters continued to spend 20% of their gross weekly income on housing costs.
Home ownership levels remained steady from 2011–12 to 2013–14, with 67% of households owning their home, either with or without a mortgage. Of all households, 31% owned their home without a mortgage, while 36% of households had a mortgage secured against their dwelling.
The proportion of all households renting remained stable at 31%. Around one quarter (26%) of all households rented privately, with 4% of households renting from state and territory government housing authorities.
On average, the mean number of persons per household was 2.59 in 2013–14, rising from 2.57 in 2011–12.
The Canadian National Occupancy Standard is a widely used measure of housing utilisation. According to this Standard, around 3% of Australian households required at least one additional bedroom to meet the requirements of the household.. In contrast around three quarters (78%) of all households had one or more bedrooms more than the household required.
Renters were less likely than home owners to occupy dwellings which had more bedrooms than required to accommodate the occupants according to the Standard, with around 60% of renters having surplus bedrooms. Around 85% of home owners had more bedrooms than required by the Standard.
This publication presents the main findings on housing occupancy and costs from the 2013–14 SIH. More detailed data is available in the data cubes, available from the ‘Downloads’ tab of this publication, and details about the survey are available in the Survey of Income and Housing, User Guide, Australia, 2013–14 (cat. no. 6553.0).
Edgar Parnell has argued: "Two fundamental problems are evident in many organisations, the first being that too often the essential purpose of the organization becomes lost within the vagaries of day-to-day operations and the second being that all organizations are prone to hi-jack by those individuals who contrive to ensure that the organization serves their objectives as individuals, rather than actively perusing the essential objectives of the organization. (All to often organisations are inhabited by 'corporate drones' - individuals that have no commitment to the purpose of the organization but are adept at using their position to maximise their own benefits, and where possible will hijack control of the organization.)
Throughout the world many co-ops & mutuals have been subject to demutualisation, the ultimate form of hijacking, within the UK building societies and agricultural co-operatives have been the main targets. In many parts of Europe consumer co-operatives have been lost to various forms of demutualisation, which occurred as a direct result of the loss of member-control. In most cases the organizations in question were at the first stage of the process effectively taken over by their professional managers.
In recent times UK retail co-operatives have avoided the fate of demutualisation, although an attempt to take over the CWS (now the Co-operative Group) in 1997 was foiled in what became known as ‘the Lanica affair’. Nevertheless, irrespective of more recent changes in the Industrial & Provident Societies Acts, demutualisation remains a constant threat whenever real control slips away from the membership. In practice, the effective control over many UK consumer co-operatives is now, to all intents and purposes, in the hands of professional managers."
For more from Edgar Parnell:
The Customer Owned Banking Association brand replaces Abacus - Australian Mutuals as the industry advocate for Australia’s customer owned banking sector. It is owned by its 87 member institutions: 70 credit unions, 4 building societies, 12 mutual banks and 1 other; and represents 13 friendly societies though the Friendly Societies of Australia and a number of affiliate members. Customer owned banking aims to challenge the dominance of the major banks across the country.
The new industry name will deliver a clear choice for Australian consumers looking for better value and customer service for their banking.
The customer owned banking sector has combined assets of over $85billion, offering Australians a competitive alternative to banks and access to a range of savings, investment, loan and insurance products. Unlike banks, profits are not paid to external shareholders, but put back into better products and services for customers and their local communities.
Critical to Customer Owned Banking is the recognition that their managers need to understand and practice co-operative values and principles and that the management of a co-operative requires different experiences and skills than those required in the private profit banks. It is the same with all co-operatives – including housing co-operatives.
For more about Customer Owned Banking:
The board of the SouthEast Housing Co-operative Ltd has hired a private recruiting firm to advise on a replacement for the former General Manager Ian McLaren. The job is being advertised as a entry level Chief Executive Officer in the Non-Profit-Sector (NFP) i.e. not in the co-operative sector which is different from NFPs. Applications close on 26 October 2015. For more information - Brooker Consulting at www.brookerconsulting.com.au. Current Acting Managers Joy Hqines and David Griffiths have been informed by Chairperson Andrea Lee that Brooker Consulting will be determining their application if they decide to apply.
The selection criteria includes: Demonstrated commitment to international principles of co-operation.
The Co-operative Values and Principles
A co-operative is an autonomous association of persons united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social, and cultural needs and aspirations through a jointly-owned and democratically-controlled enterprise.
Co-operatives are based on the values of self-help, self-responsibility, democracy, equality, equity and solidarity. In the tradition of their founders, co-operative members believe in the ethical values of honesty, openness, social responsibility and caring for others.