February 2015


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Monday 16th February 2015


Housing and Homelessness News

Last Chance to Register for Cert IV Training Units
This is your very last chance to enroll in the upcoming Cert. IV in Social Housing training units – ‘Work within a relevant legal and ethical framework’ and ‘Manage tenancy rent, charges and rental arrears’. Go to the ‘Events and Training’ section of the eNews for more details and registration.
Joint Letter to Social Services Minister for Funding Certainty
Sixty housing and homelessness and support organisations have signed a joint letter urging Social Services Minister Scott Morrison to give the sector some funding certainty, with $115 million in federal funding due to run out by the middle of the year. The organisations are asking for a four year commitment to the  National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness to enable them to continue to deliver housing and support to vulnerable people. Shelter Tas, along with a number of other Tasmanian services have co-signed the letter. To read the letter and a related ABC news article, go to our ‘Research and Articles’ section – Social services groups call on Government to provide certainty around funding for homelessness programs.
Reform of Federation Issues Paper 5 Released 
The Australian Government has recently released Issues Paper 5 as part of their Reform of the Federation. This Issues Paper examines the role of COAG (the Council of Australian Governments), and financial arrangements between the Commonwealth, and State and Territory governments. The Australian Government plans to publish a Green Paper setting out options for reform in the second half of 2015, ahead of the publication of the White Paper in 2016. The Green Paper will allow the public to make written submissions on the proposals put forward.
To download Issues Paper 5 or previous Issues Papers, or for more information on the Reform of Federation please visit the Reform of the Federation White Paper website.
Australasian Housing Institute Awards – Reminder
There is less than one month left to nominate your colleagues for the AHI Professional Excellence in Housing Awards (nominations are open until February 28 2015). The awards are a great way to acknowledge the hard work and efforts achieved by your organisation and colleagues. The 2015 AHI Awards feature eight categories:
Individual Awards: Inspirational Team Member, Outstanding Achievement.
Team Awards: Excellence in Social Housing, Leading Innovation, Leading Housing Development Project, Leading Asset Management, Leading Tenants Engagement Practice.
Tenant Award: Tenant Led Initiative.
Category winners will be announced at a reception to be held in Melbourne on July 23. Finalists will then be entered in the Australasian Awards. Click here for more details.

Factoid of the Week I Rent Assistance

The Australian Federal Government provides Rent Assistance to 1.27 million recipients at a cost of $3.6 billion a year.

Hulse K, Reynolds M and Yates J. 2014. ‘Changes in the supply of affordable housing in the private rental sector for lower income households, 2006-11’. Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute.

Media Releases

Peaks essential to consultation processes
Joint statement from National Shelter, Community Housing Federation of Australia and Homelessness Australia. Tuesday February 10 2015. Click here.

Research and Articles

Scott Ludlam blasts cuts to homeless organisations as ‘vindictive’ and ‘a kick in the teeth’
The Canberra Times, Wednesday February 11 2015. Click here.
‘Taken out of the game’: Housing groups can’t continue beyond June due to funding cuts
The Sydney Morning Herald, Wednesday February 11 2015. Click here.
Housing Affordability Inquiry – Senate Economics References Committee (video)
Homelessness Australia, CHFA and National Shelter spoke to the Senate Economics References Committee about funding cuts, Wednesday February 11 2015. Click here.
Residential property price indexes: eight capital cities Dec 2014
Australian Policy Online, Wednesday 10 February 2015. Click here.
Social services groups call on Government to provide certainty around funding for homelessness programs
ABC News, Monday 9 February 2015. Click here.

Events and Training

Cert. IV in Social Housing Training Units
The Centre for Training in Social Housing (CTSH) is offering seven units of accredited training for study. The units are available to Shelter Tas members from the affordable housing and homelessness sector at a subsidised rate of 80%, supported by Skills Tasmania (the employer contribution is just 20% of the total cost). Units can be taken individually, or as part of the Certificate IV in Social Housing and a full list of the available units and study details are available on our website. Most units are offered via e-learning, which makes them accessible to anyone, State-wide. Experienced trainers will provide ongoing support for e-learning units. There are only 12 places available in each unit, so enroll now to make sure you don’t miss out on this excellent opportunity. The next units of study are ‘Work within a relevant legal and ethical framework’, scheduled for 19 February 2015 at the Shelter Tas office in Hobart and ‘Manage tenancy rent, charges and rental arrears’ via e-Learning starting 16 February 2015 for 4 weeks. Please complete the enrollment form (go to our website) and return it to trainingenquiries@communityhousing.org.au.  If you have any questions, please contact Kevin Saide, CTSH Training Manager on (02) 9281 1744 ext 215 or the Shelter Tas office on (03) 6224 5488.
AHRC Conference Reminder
The Australasian Housing Researchers Conference will be held this week in Hobart (18-20 February 2015). You can still register to be part of this event, which includes a joint presentation from Shelter Tas’ Cynthia Townley and Deb Lewis from COTA Tas – ‘Towards age friendly solutions for landlords and renters’. For more information and registration, go to the AHRC website.


From Frustrated to Fantastic! Consumer Engagement Forum and Workshop
The ATDC (Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs Council) is holding a panel discussion and workshop to learn more about Consumer Engagement in the AOD sector. The workshops are free of charge and will be held in March in Hobart, Launceston and Burnie.  Please contact Amanda Street on 6363 2074 or email amandas@atdc.org.au for more information.

Other News

Ageing in Whose Place?
COTA TAS, the peak body for older Tasmanians, are interested in finding out about people’s experiences with the private rental market as they get older.  COTA are currently looking for people aged over 60 who are willing to be interviewed about renting their home or unit. The interview can be in your home, at a café or anywhere you feel comfortable. The process takes about 45 mins and all information is anonymous and confidential. Please call Nat or Deb on 6231 3265 if you would like to be part of this project or email admin@cotatas.org.au.
Partners in Recovery Tasmania Website Goes Live
Partners in Recovery Tasmania (PIR) have launched their new look website.  PIR supports people with severe and persistent mental illness and complex needs, their family and friends. Go to the PIR website to find out more.
Commonwealth Bank Community Grants 2015
The CommBank Community Fund will be awarding $2 million in grants of up to $10,000 each to youth-focused organisations nationwide.  If your organisation has Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) status, you may be able to apply.  Applications close 27 February 2015.  For more information click here.