HCA Annual Report 2016

ANNUAL REPORT 2016

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Building for the future

Building for the future

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ANNUAL REPORT 2015–16

Contents

Chair and Managing Director’s Report

5

The Housing Choices Board Australia & Executive Team Structure, Governance and Risk

6

Board Meeting Attendance

8

State Reports from our General Managers

10

Love Your Laneways

14

Common Grounds

16

Continuing to Provide High Quality Services 18

Giles’ story

20

Tasmanian Times

23

Urban Choices Property Launch

26

Properties Victoria

27

Properties Tasmania

28

Properties South Australia

29

Sacred Heart Mission - a Journey to Social Inclusion

30

The Next 12 Months with Housing Choices 31

2015-16 Awards

32

Financial Report

33

Statement of Profit or Loss and other comprehensive Income for the year ended 30 June 2016

34

Statement of Financial Position as at 30 June 2016

35

Statement of Cash Flows for the year ended 30 June 2016

36

Partners and Stakeholders

37

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Building for the future

Chair and Managing Director's Report

A large proportion of our younger generation is being priced out of home ownership, with far too many people reliant on the private rental market, which can be unreliable, overpriced and, on occasion, unsafe. With the national priority of housing affordability, the Housing Choices team has concentrated on its mission to provide quality affordable housing in collaboration with our partners. We are proud of the work done this year and remain focussed on maintaining our passion and drive to find innovative ways to assist more people out of housing stress and into secure accommodation. The roll out of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is also affording an opportunity to build on our existing commitment to housing people with a disability. This year has also been a foundation year for Housing Choices, with the first full year of Tasmanian operations and the formal transfer of Common Ground Adelaide in March. In addition, a new service was introduced to augment the service portfolio with the acquisition of a private rental business – Urban Choices Property – which commenced in April. There has been early success with considerable growth in the number of investors across Melbourne and in regional Victoria. Further expansion is planned as the service becomes more established. Again our recent resident survey results reflected that on a national basis 87 per cent are happy with the overall service provided to them, which is consistent with national results from the previous year. Amongst the key findings are that 89 per cent of residents are satisfied or very satisfied with their property and 90 per cent with the location of their home. And in addition, 85 per cent told us that when they contacted Housing Choices.

Over the past year affordable housing has made headlines across the country, and is one of the biggest social issues of our time as people cope with the current market forces.

Arthur Papakotsias

Chair

Michael Lennon

Managing Director

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ANNUAL REPORT 2015–16

Top: Docklands residence, Melbourne. Bottom: Drill Hall residence, Melbourne.

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Building for the future

Structure, Governance and Risk

The Housing

Arthur Papakotsias

Michael is an internationally experienced CEO. He was CEO of the Glasgow Housing Association, where he oversaw and led the largest housing-stock transfer in Europe. Prior to then he was the inaugural CEO of Housing New Zealand Corporation, resulting in a period of rapid growth and success. He also led the restructuring of AHURI and has held a number of CEO positions in the public sector. Michael Lennon Peter has an engineering and commerce background. He has 25 years’ experience in IT&T at management level, and has spent the past ten years as a CEO and strategic planner. He founded and is Director of Galante Business Solutions, a management services consultancy to the health and aged-care industry. He is also founder and Director of the Mornington Peninsula property development company Penplan Pty Ltd and of Penplan Construction Pty Ltd. Peter Galante

Julie Mitchell Arthur is Chief Executive Officer of Neami National. He sits as Chair of the Audit and Compliance Committee of Mental Health Australia (MHA), as well as the Chair of Housing Choices Australia. He has completed postgraduate studies in management at RMIT and a range of courses at Harvard Business School, including Strategic Perspectives in Not For Profit Management, Authentic Leadership Development and Leading Change and Organisational Renewal. Julie is a corporate social responsibility (CSR) and communication specialist. With more than 20 years’ experience in the corporate sector, Julie has designed and executed complex community investment programs in locations through Australia and Asia, and managed the external and internal corporate communications needs of a major Australian energy company. More recently, Julie’s experience extends to managing the communication and CSR needs of corporate and not-for-profit clients in her consulting practice. Julie is a Director of ACH, Deputy Chair of Patch Theatre Company, a Member of the Foundation of Botanic Gardens of Adelaide and is the former Chair of Common Ground Adelaide.

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ANNUAL REPORT 2015–16

Choices Board

Owen Donald

Peter retired from ANZ Bank in 2005 after a 41-year career. He has extensive experience in both credit risk management and institutional and commercial banking in Australia and internationally. Senior roles included Assistant General Manager, International Credit Operations, State Manager Credit, Victoria & Tasmania, Chief Credit Executive, Wholesale Credit Operations and Head of Institutional Banking, UK, Europe & Americas (London-based). From 2008 to 2010, Peter returned to ANZ on a part-time basis to assist r’s Licence and is an accredited mediator. Peter Smith Heather is a Chartered Accountant and graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. She has held senior management positions in private enterprise and the not-for-profit sector, as well as a number of governance roles in youth, education and employment initiatives. Heather was instrumental in establishing Housing Choices Tasmania. Heather McCallum

Owen has extensive experience in housing policy, management and governance. His former roles include Chairman of the National Housing Supply Council, Chairman of the Housing Ministers Advisory Committee, Chair of Barwon Health, Director of Housing in Victoria, and CEO of the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute. Owen has advised national and state governments on the development of affordable housing strategies, ways of financing and managing social housing and the reform of property and tenancy management in Indigenous communities. Trevor is a commercial lawyer and business advisor with over 35 years’ experience as a lawyer, business manager and director. He holds a Bachelor of Laws (Honours), a General Builder’s Licence and is an accredited mediator. Trevor advises businesses on how to conduct major transactions and manage their affairs, including advising in relation to business regulation, corporate law, contracts, and mergers and acquisitions, as well as applying this expertise to engineering, mining, construction and development projects. Trevor Baldock

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Building for the future

Board Meeting Attendance

Board Meetings Director Attendance 2015-2016

Date of Board Meeting

Arthur Papakotsias

Peter Smith

Peter Galante

Heather McCallum

Owen Donald

Michael Lennon

Trevor Baldock

Julie Mitchell

Meeting Attendance

08 - Jul - 15

1

1

-

1

-

1

N/A N/A

67%

15 - Jul - 15

1

1

-

1

1

1

1

1

88%

20 - Aug - 15

1

1

1

-

1

1

1

1

88%

16 - Sep - 15

1

1

1

1

-

1

1

1

88%

21 - Oct - 15

-

1

1

1

1

1

1

-

75%

26 - Oct - 15

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

-

88%

18 - Nov - 15

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

100%

18 - Jan - 16

1

1

-

1

-

1

1

1

75%

18 - Feb - 16

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

-

88%

09 - Mar - 16

1

1

-

1

1

1

-

1

75%

06 - Apr - 16

-

1

-

1

1

1

1

1

75%

04 - May - 16

1

-

1

1

1

1

1

1

88%

16 - Jun - 16

-

1

1

-

-

1

1

1

63%

Total Attendance (13 meetings)

10

12

8

11

9

13

11

9

83

Percentage Attendance

77%

92% 62% 85% 69% 100% 92% 75%

81%

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ANNUAL REPORT 2015–16

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Building for the future

Quality Service Delivery

Housing Service Standards

A core principle in Housing Choices’ delivery of services is to make residents central to everything the organisation does and to listen and respond with open and honest communication and a flexible approach. This year, as part of this commitment and in partnership with residents and stakeholders, a set of Housing Service Standards was developed specific to Housing Choices. These standards provide a clear commitment to ensuring residents understand the quality of service they can expect. They provide a benchmark against which Housing Choices’ service can be measured and are based upon Performance Standards of the National and Victorian Regulatory systems. While Housing Choices tailors its services to meet the needs of local neighbourhoods, the Housing Service Standards capture best practice in service delivery and ensure that Housing Choices continues to achieve a high level of service provision consistently.

The Housing Choices Group is committed to providing the best quality services for residents and stakeholders, and to provide innovative new services that can positively impact the broader Australian housing system.

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ANNUAL REPORT 2015–16

Victorian Operations

DHHS will purchase properties for women and children escaping family violence. In partnership with Berry Street, In Touch Multicultural Services for Family Violence and Wintringham Housing, Housing Choices successfully received one-third of the total funding allocation, to which it added 25 per cent of its own funds to deliver 69 properties for the program. A total of 46 properties were successfully upgraded at the La Trobe Close project in North Melbourne to prevent stock loss at the site, and was managed on behalf of the Victorian Government by Housing Choices. Thirteen apartments which had been shut down due to unmet maintenance requirements, have now been refurbished and are back in use by residents. In partnership with Social Ventures Australia, a Social Return on Investment Forecast study was undertaken and results indicate that for every $1.00 invested in this project, a further $3.50 of social and economic value is expected to be created for stakeholders including the Victorian Government. Housing Choices is immensely proud of this project and, in particular, of the care and support provided to residents who were required to move out of their homes for a short period of time whilst the upgrade was completed.

With a decline in affordable housing in Victoria, community housing services have never been under more pressure. Last year, Housing Choices focused on innovative ways to deliver services to meet the growing demand for affordable housing for the most vulnerable Victorians and families on low incomes struggling in the current housing system. Over 90 per cent of residents remained in the same home over the past year, which means there is little access to affordable housing for people requiring services. In 2015-16, in partnership with the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services and key partners, Housing Choices supported 56 people in the transitional housing program by providing a pathway from homelessness to housing. Housing staff received and provided information to over 1,130 residents in the private rental system at risk of losing their homes due to rent arrears, as well as administering over $100,000 of funds to support people with a disability to remain in their private rental homes. Six new housing projects are now underway, which will deliver 145 additional dwellings, and nine projects are at planning stage, which will deliver a further 89 dwellings. To ensure there is adequate housing to meet the needs of residents, a capital upgrade program to housing stock was delivered to ensure that it is fit for purpose now and into the future. Last year over $1.1 million was spent on upgrading homes for residents. New dwellings and new partnerships were formed to support people moving out of crisis care and into accommodation. Such initiatives included; a development in Richmond for young veterans experiencing homelessness in partnership with the Returned Services League and a partnership with Sacred Heart Mission’s program Journey to Social Inclusion (J2SI) Mark II, providing homes and support to people who have experienced chronic homelessness. In response to the Victorian Royal Commission into Family Violence, Housing Choices in partnership with

Roberta Buchanan General Manager Housing Services, Housing Choices Australia

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Building for the future

South Australian Operations 2015-16 saw Common Ground Adelaide officially join the Housing Choices Australia Group, with the merger completed in March 2016. Common Ground Adelaide brings a strong presence and trusted brand in Adelaide CBD and Port Augusta to the group. Established in 2006, Common Ground is a proven specialist community housing provider that specialises in the placement and management of complex tenancies in a densely populated, mixed community setting. The in- house services offered to residents include: •• case-managed support and on-site health care to assist those in most need to progress towards independence •• community development initiatives and individualised programs that focus on the arts, psychosocial skills, independent living skills, and training and education to enhance economic participation. Case management and community development initiatives are funded under a service agreement with the South Australian Government. In late 2015, Common Ground commenced a quality assurance project to renew its Australian Service Excellence Standards accreditation as part of meeting its contractual obligations with the government. Re-accreditation was granted for a period of three years in May 2016. In preparation for the merger, a significant focus in 2015-16 has been on readying the governance, organisational processes, systems and staff for the transition of Common Ground into the group, and the establishment of a new national federated structure. A significant outcome of the merger has been Common Ground’s registration as a Tier 1 housing provider under the National Regulatory System for Community Housing. As part of the Housing Choices Group, Common Ground is now well positioned to take up growth opportunities in South Australia, such as tendering for

public-housing-stock management transfers. The first of these opportunities was taken up in August 2015. 2016 was also the 10th anniversary of Common Ground’s establishment, and celebratory events with staff, residents and stakeholders were held throughout the year. Highlights were the mid-year residents’ art exhibition and visit from Common Ground New York founder Rosanne Haggerty. Other highlights in 2015-16 included: •• hosting the Premier of South Australia and the State Cabinet at Light Square, with lunch catered for by the Common Ground cooking group •• the publishing of “Perfect - An Anthology of Poetry and Prose” a book written by Common Ground residents following a series of writing workshops •• establishing the Common Ground City Playgroup in partnership with Sturt Street Children’s Centre •• the 2015 Master Builders Association of SA - Excellence in Affordable and Public Housing Award for Common Ground’s Mellor Street building •• establishing the Common Ground Resident's Advisory Committee •• two Common Ground residents selected to play in a winning South Australian team at the Street Soccer Nationals event held in Sydney •• participating in the development of a Homelessness Social Impact Bond in partnership with the South Australian Government and the Hutt Street Centre.

Julie Duncan State Manager Common Ground Adelaide

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ANNUAL REPORT 2015–16

Tasmanian Operations The 2015-16 year was a significant one for Housing Choices Tasmania, with enormous progress made in a relatively short timeframe. Housing Choices Tasmania has key partnerships with local stakeholders including; contractors, support organisations, Community Houses, Child and Family Centres and Councils. Each partnership is critical to the success of the long-term vision of supporting residents and communities to thrive. The successful progress we have made to date is due to the commitment and dedication of many people across the organisation and that of its stakeholders. Crucial to this has been the acceptance, support and commitment of the residents and the broader community. Housing Choices Tasmania now manages 1,464 tenancies across the state, with 1,156 of those located in the north west under a 10-year agreement with the Tasmanian Government. Residents of the north west have continued to embrace our localised service, with almost 90 per cent having a direct lease with Housing Choices Tasmania, and residents housed under our other programs have remained incredibly stable in their tenancies. This demonstrates the quality of Housing Choices’ service provision across the state. Highlights of the 2015-16 year included: •• continued compliance under the National Regulatory System for Community Housing, retaining our Tier 1 status •• delivery of $3.8 million in maintenance works •• rollout of a significant upgrade program, which saw the installation of 350 heat pumps to reduce heating costs for residents •• an occupancy rate of 98 per cent •• housing 185 applicants, 40 per cent of whom have high-priority housing needs.

In addition to these very tangible outcomes is the community development and engagement work undertaken, which is important to the long-term renewal and sustainability of communities. We continue to develop positive relationships with support providers in delivering on key commitments. •• delivery of a financial literacy program in partnership with Mission Australia and four Community Houses, utilising grants from both NAB and Housing Choices Tasmania •• progress towards the development of a Master Plan for the Shorewell Park area •• embedding the Resident Advisory Committee meetings into our business •• investment of over $110,000 in Community Development programs/activities. Housing Choices Tasmania looks forward to a continued strong commitment to residents and partners to deliver ongoing improvements for communities across Tasmania. Achievements for the year 2015-16 included:

Kim Bomford State Manager Housing Choices Tasmania

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Building for the future

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ANNUAL REPORT 2015–16

Love Your Laneways

Melbourne City Council’s ‘Love You Laneway’ project aims to improve the amenity and presentation of Melbourne’s laneways in collaboration with residents and businesses.

The project involves improvements to manage traffic in the laneway, minimise bins located in the lane, improve safety through additional lighting, improve the look and feel of the laneway and create a sense of place for residents, businesses and the public. Gallaghers Place, in the heart of the city, was selected as one of four laneways to benefit from the project in 2016. A $5,000 grant was awarded to Housing Choices to carry out a project of significance to residents living in Gallaghers Place. Housing Choices residents and businesses joined together to commission two murals to brighten the laneway and to reflect elements that are important and meaningful to residents. The project also received support from Housing Choices’ support partner, Wintringham Specialist Aged Care Services. The two artists commissioned to undertake the work, Mike Makatron and Conrad Bizjak, are well known for their mural artwork. They completed the task over two weekends, attracting a number of residents and others to watch their creation emerge. They went on to paint an additional mural for a local business, which has added vitality and vibrancy to the laneway. The project was a successful partnership with Melbourne City Council, as described by the Love Your Laneway Project Officer, Nicolette Vaszolyi. “ The City of Melbourne’s Love Your Laneway program improves the presentation and amenity of Melbourne’s laneways in collaboration with residents and businesses. Our experience in Gallaghers Place has clearly demonstrated the benefit of this approach to laneway improvement. Working in partnership with Housing Choices Australia, Wintringham, residents, businesses and building owners enabled us to develop a shared vision for the laneway that has resulted in a spectacular nature- themed mural by artists Mike Makatron and Conrad Bizjak. The mural was commissioned by Housing Choices Australia and funded through the Love Your Laneway small grants program, and has transformed the look and feel of the laneway for the benefit of all laneway users.”

The Gallaghers Place mural.

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Building for the future

Commonly Grounded

Housing Choices and Common Ground Merger

Common Ground Community Garden

The merger between the Housing Choices Group and Common Ground Adelaide has now been finalised. This was a particularly significant milestone for both organisations as it will enable them to have greater impact on the ground locally and at a national level. This arrangement has already had benefits for both organisations, including: • • asset management efficiencies • • resource sharing on new initiatives • • expanded service offerings on new reforms with Government. The objective of the federated national group structure is to provide a way for multiple housing providers in different states to join together under a common banner, while still providing scope for local representation and differentiation. Common Ground Adelaide has benefited from immediate access to corporate support including General Counsel, Finance and HR functions. In addition, Common Ground Adelaide has retained its identity, including its branding and logo, its links to the community, and a strong focus on supported accommodation and homelessness. Housing Choices is proud that, although there is an overarching framework and strategy set for the Housing Choices Group, a localised approach is taken in relation to the application of that strategy. This localised approach allows flexibility in meeting local community needs, and in securing the best contracts available locally. Staff of Housing Choices and Common Ground ensured that residents were not impacted during the merger.

The Common Ground community garden has operated for several years, and in the 2015-16 year had new life breathed into it with the move to The Joinery - an environmental and community hub created and managed by the Conservation Council of South Australia (Conservation SA) and the National Resources Management Board. The garden project has successfully engaged a broad range of community members including children, parents and older people, all of whom share knowledge, skills and friendship. It is a place of creativity, healing and growth, and the food produced is shared amongst the community and is also used in the weekly cooking program. In collaboration with Adelaide City Council and The Joinery, the garden group added to its program by introducing chickens to enhance the overall garden experience. This new addition provided another opportunity for participants to engage and learn new skills around sustainable food production.

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ANNUAL REPORT 2015–16

Thriving Playgroup for CBD families In response to a growing need, Common Ground established a playgroup in Adelaide’s central business district to support the growing number of families living in the area. It is a thriving success. The Light Square City Playgroup opened this year and is located at Common Ground’s Light Square premises in the city. It is facilitated by the Department of Education and Child Development through the Sturt Street Children’s Centre. This new initiative has been enthusiastically embraced by parents and children and provides a comfortable way for families from all over the community to come together to learn and develop. Those attending are from all over Adelaide and include residents from Common Ground. Common Ground’s State Manager, Julie Duncan, commented that “We want to ensure we not only support our residents to go out and connect with the wider community, but also to bring the community into Common Ground. This is important for our organisation, our residents and our city.”

Top: MC Belinda Heggen and Artist Christine McDonald in front of her artwork. Bottom: Micheal Lennon explores his artistic side at the Light Square City Playgroup.

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Building for the future

National Satisfaction Levels (%)

OVERALL RESIDENTS SATISFACTION

OVERALL CUSTOMER SERVICE SATISFACTION

OVERALL MAINTENANCE SATISFACTION

88

86

84

82

80

78

76

74

72

70

68

66

64

62

2010

2011

2012

2014

2015

2016

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ANNUAL REPORT 2015–16

Continuing to Provide High Quality Services

Performance guidelines for the National and Victorian regulatory systems require that community housing organisations undertake a satisfaction survey of residents’ views every two years. Across the Housing Choices Group this survey is undertaken annually, as residents’ feedback is critical to how services are shaped and is carried out by an outside consultant to ensure transparency and independence. This investment is highly regarded by regulators and is in line with ethical principles in human research. Residents were asked for feedback on a range of issues including: overall satisfaction with services, property, location, maintenance, customer service, and how Housing Choices takes the views of residents into account. The survey results indicate that, nationally, 87 per cent of residents are happy with the overall service provided to them. This is consistent with national results from the previous year. In addition, residents had the opportunity to provide comments about the service. These ranged from positive feedback to suggestions for improvement. “It is fantastic that, in this climate of housing being so unaffordable, Housing Choices provides secure housing for so many people. I hope there are plans and funding available to increase the stock so more women and children who have experienced family violence, like me, have the opportunity to live in safe, secure long term housing.” Amongst the key findings were that 89 per cent of residents were satisfied or very satisfied with their property and 90 per cent with the location of their home. “The location is perfect and I love it. It is close to shops, parks, the beach and the bus stop to get to town.” Resident - Victoria

The repairs and maintenance service was rated highly, with 84 per cent of residents being satisfied with the maintenance of their home. In addition, 85 per cent reported that when they contacted Housing Choices they had a positive interaction with customer service. This is a one per cent increase from last year. “The service is excellent and staff are always nice to talk to and always happy to help and support me.”

Resident - South Australia

While these results are very good for Housing Choices, with an overall satisfaction rate of 87 per cent, the Housing Choices Group is committed to continuous improvement over the coming 12 months.

Resident - Tasmania

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Building for the future

Giles’ story

Giles Turnbull doesn’t shy away from a challenge - whether it’s tackling steep Adelaide hills on his bike or problem solving as Common Ground’s property manager.

The keen cyclist, who has a background in private real estate, says while the title of his role is ‘Property Manager’, “it’s more about people”. “The residents I work with definitely inspire me,” he said. “They just inspire me to be a good person and to do the best I can in life.” Giles’ role involves managing the day-to-day property operations of around 150 tenancies. His daily tasks include collecting rent and payments, arrears management, carrying out routine property inspections, arranging maintenance and repairs, negotiating and writing lease agreements, and working closely with support workers to help residents successfully manage their tenancy. As a husband and father of two pre-school boys, Giles gets a great deal of satisfaction from housing parents with children. “It’s really great to be able to offer accommodation to families,” he says. “It makes me feel proud seeing their response and their relief at having been given the opportunity to have housing they can afford.”

Giles Property Manager, Adelaide

Giles Turnbull.

“It makes me feel proud seeing their response and their relief at having been given the opportunity to have housing they can afford.”

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ANNUAL REPORT 2015–16

Property Launches 2015-16

Cherry Court Cherry Court, a five-bedroom shared accommodation development, was opened by Managing Director Michael Lennon in August of last year. The project was funded by the proceeds of sale from Singleton Equity Housing properties and was purpose built by Housing Choices (DHL) for residents with physical and intellectual disabilities under the shared supported accommodation model. The accommodation has a state-of-the-art design, with passive solar cooling and great cross ventilation to ensure its carbon footprint is minimal and it meets the minimum energy star ratings. The property also provides universal access throughout, including its common areas and entry doors. Ormond Road The refurbishment of eight, two-bedroom units has been completed at Housing Choices’ Ormond Road property in East Geelong. This redevelopment highlights how general community housing can be upgraded to provide housing solutions for people with disabilities. The redevelopment consists of eight units in total, four of which are fully accessible. All units are wired for on- call services to provide additional support if required, and there is a communal garden space shared by all residents. Each unit is ideal for a person with a disability living with a family member, or for a person who requires 24-hour support. The units can also provide a housing solution for two people with disabilities wanting to share a home.

Cloverleaf The Cloverleaf shared supported accommodation project is based in Rosebud, Victoria, and was established by the Community Living Association (CLA), a parent-based group drawn from the Rosebud area. The CLA comprises elderly parents of adult children with significant disabilities who are aiming to ensure their children have long-term sustainable accommodation and support into the future. With the assistance of the Mornington Peninsula Shire and the Rosebud Uniting Church, the Cloverleaf project secured the use of land provided by the Uniting Church Property Trust. The group was also successful in securing Victorian and Federal government grants for capital development, a contribution by Bendigo Bank and additional funds from their own fundraising efforts. Housing Choices assisted the CLA in providing concept planning, cost estimating and the preparation of funding applications so the CLA could obtain capital funding. This combination of local community engagement and Housing Choices development experience resulted in a total commitment to the project of $2.49 million, comprising the following:

$ 1 million

Victorian Government (Department of Health and Human Services) $ 1 million Fundraising $ 240,000

Federal Government (Department of Social Services)

Bendigo Bank $ 250,000

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Building for the future

The CLA has contracted Housing Choices to undertake all design and construction management, as well as to deliver the ongoing tenancy and property management functions upon completion of the building. Once this innovative and community-led project is complete, it will provide a level of accommodation and support not previously seen in Victoria to a sector of the community that is often overlooked. It will provide eight adults with security of tenure and high-level care. It is anticipated that the project will be completed in 2018. Albert Street This development in Ballarat is at the centre of a new, more inclusive community for eight young people living with disabilities. The four units in Albert Street, Sebastopol, are a collaboration between McCallum Disability Services, Housing Choices and the Department of Health and Human Services, with funding from the Victorian and Commonwealth governments. The units provide eight young people with an amazing, state-of-the-art home. The units are spacious, contemporary and beautifully furnished. The development comprises four two-bedroom units, with a one-bedroom unit for staff, and it is staffed 24 hours a day with a sleepover model of support. The units are designed so they are spacious, modern, open plan and, most importantly, tailored to residents’ needs. The development is also close to shops, public transport and other services. The units were opened by Victorian Member for Buninyong, Geoff Howard MP.

Top: Cutting of the ribon at the opening of Albert Street in Sebastopol.

Middle & Bottom: Inside and outside shots of the refurbished Ormand Road property in East Geelong.

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ANNUAL REPORT 2015–16

Tasmanian Times

Heat Pumps Rollout A total of 350 heat pumps were installed in properties across the north west of Tasmania as part of a $750,000 funding commitment by Housing Choices Tasmania. Housing Choices Tasmania installed the new heat pumps in homes in the lead-up to winter. The suburbs included Somerset, Shorewell Park, Acton, West Ulverstone, East Devonport and Latrobe. Shelter Tasmania Executive Officer Pattie Chugg supported the program and said the investment showed how a housing provider could add value to its properties and demonstrated the benefit of having a not-for-profit community housing provider managing social housing. “We know heating expenses take up valuable resources for vulnerable Tasmanians who have little room for discretionary spending,” she said. Human Services Minister Jacquie Petrusma MHR also welcomed the $750,000 investment which benefitted not only our residents but also provided work for two local Contractors, MJ Miller Electrical in Shearwater and Brian Targett Electrical in Penguin. Staff of Housing Choices worked side by side with residents of Queens Walk Apartments in Hobart to design and plant a water-wise native garden which was made possible with the help of a grant from TasWater. With over 90 native shrubs and trees planted on the day, residents were extremely happy with what their hard work achieved. A new pathway has been laid to encourage people to wander through the garden and enjoy the native plant environment. Residents have proudly claimed that the garden will bring them many years of enjoyment, a place to gather with others, or to sit, relax and ponder. Native Garden

Mural Art Project The Shorewell Mural Project emerged as a result of the Strengthening Communities Pilot Project conducted in Burnie and facilitated by Mission Australia. A Community Development working group comprising local Shorewell residents and committed community members has met weekly since 2015 to progress the project. Housing Choices' Community Development Officer assisted Mission Australia to form the group, help facilitate the development of the project and provide practical assistance. A park near the local plaza was selected due to its location close to Shorewell Park residents and its need of beautification work to enhance the local area amenity. The project was divided into two stages: stage one was completed in January 2016, and stage two in April 2016. Both stages were timed so that local school children could contribute to the mural during school holidays. A Housing Choices Tasmania Resident Community Fund grant of $10,000 was used to help buy materials. The completed mural is a proud talking point in the Shorewell community and beyond, and the local community takes great pride in showing it to visitors to the area. Housing Choices will continue to provide support for future beautification projects and community activities.

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Building for the future

Resident Community Fund The Housing Choices Tasmania Resident Community Fund grants program provides residents and partner organisations with the opportunity to develop projects and programs in their local community. The program was developed in response to a commitment to the north west of Tasmania, as part of the Better Housing Futures program which commenced in June 2014. The focus is on East Devonport, Latrobe, West Ulverstone, Shorewell Park, Acton and Somerset, which includes over 1,100 social housing homes. To date there have been 10 community grants awarded to resident initiated projects undertaken in partnership with a recognised community organisation, totalling around $80,000. These grants are designed to develop projects that build skills, encourage participation, improve local amenity and most importantly bring people together in their neighbourhood. These projects are a source of great pride, and they reflect the wonderful work residents and organisations undertake in the community. One of the projects already completed is the Food Container Project at East Devonport Community House.

The Resident Community Fund grant enables the purchase and modification of a shipping container to be used as storage and shopfront for the East Devonport Community House (EDCH) Food Market. It will be located in the EDCH carpark, adjacent a new kerbside community garden with fresh vegies, herbs and flowers, which the community can access freely. Fresh fruit, vegies, frozen meals and bread will be available to the East Devonport community for a small donation. In addition, visitors will be offered samples of cooked food, information and advice about healthy eating and cooking together with a range of easy to cook recipes.

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ANNUAL REPORT 2015–16

A Master Plan for Shorewell Park

In June 2014, Housing Choices Tasmania was successful in securing the tenancy and property management of around 1,175 social housing properties in the north west suburbs of Shorewell Park, Acton, East Devonport, Somerset, West Ulverstone and Latrobe under the state government’s Better Housing Futures reforms. As part of this transfer, Housing Choices Tasmania is now a partner in the transformation of these suburbs over a 10 to 20- year period. Key to achieving this is the development of a master plan for the Shorewell Park area, in close consultation with the community and other stakeholders. This is an opportunity to map out a long-term strategy for shaping Shorewell Park and also to identify short-term actions that can be delivered over the next two to three years. This plan will outline some immediate opportunities that don’t require external support, and will also be a useful tool to influence local council and state government in big-picture planning and the prioritisation of work in the area. Following some fantastic input from residents, community members, Council, community organisations and staff a number of key themes emerged. These covered: •• making the streets more attractive •• strengthening the heart of Shorewell Park •• improving access to services and opportunities •• making better use of the public open space •• creating a place that feels safe •• developing the suburb of Shorewell Park. The final plan will be presented to the Tasmanian Government in late 2016.

Top & Middle: Queens Walk gardening team and their new garden.

Bottom: The ANZAC commemorative garden in Latrobe, north west Tasmania.

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Building for the future

Urban Choices Property Launch

Growing impact through new services.

The Housing Choices Group is continuing its expansion into providing diverse options for affordable housing with the launch of a new private property management arm, Urban Choices Property (UCP). Operations commenced in April with a portfolio of 340 properties in Melbourne. The business manages residential dwellings for private owners and all of the dwellings have received an allocation under the Commonwealth National Rental Affordability Scheme (NRAS). The NRAS compliance of all 340 dwellings and the overall property services of over 240 properties is managed by UCP. There are two full time employees, an Officer in Effective Control and a Senior Property Manager who enable the Housing Choices Group to deliver and provide more housing, to more people, in more locations. • • delivering ethical, quality property management services to private real estate investors who offer affordable (reduced market rent) private rental housing to low income households • • operating a commercial property management business. All profits released are applied back to provide social housing services and pursue our charitable objectives. There is a significant growth strategy in place for Victoria which will be implemented during 2017 and beyond. This is achieved by:

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ANNUAL REPORT 2015–16

PROPERTIES VICTORIA

1–10

11–50 51–100 100+

INDIGO

1

WODONGA

SHEPPARTON GREATER

5

6

BENALLA

BENDIGO GREATER

2

GRAMPIANS NORTHERN

1

WANGARATTA

5

4

1 ALPINE

HEPBURN

MURRINDINDI

3

3

BALLARAT

GRAMPIANS SOUTHERN

ARARAT

EAST GIPPSLAND

20

4

6

2

YARRA RANGES

3

CORANGAMITE

GLENELG

1

CARDINIA

1

4

WARNAMBOOL

LATROBE

6

OTWAY COLAC

1

2 SOUTH GIPPSLAND

7

BANYULE

43

78

HUME

WHITTLESEA

DAREBIN

VALLEY MOONEE

37

202

4

NILLUMBIK

13

MANNINGHAM

15

MELTON

MORELAND

BRIMBANK

12

43

47

18

WYNDHAM

MAROONDAH

66

MELBOURNE

YARRA

BOROONDARA

105

MARIBYRNONG

52

387

53

WHITEHORSE

STONNINGTON

PHILLIP PORT

HOBSONS BAY

65

22

61

28

KNOX

EIRA GLEN

MONASH

23

31

27

FRANKSTON

16

43

GEELONG GREATER

BAYSIDE

KINGSTON

17

29

DANDENONG GREATER

PENINSULA MORNINGTON

16

CASEY

78

9

PROPERTIES

TOTAL: 1,728

25%

75%

Managed

Owned

TOTAL: 1,728

TYPES OF HOUSING

53%

47%

Affordable

Supported

TOTAL: 1,728

PROPERTY TYPE

49%

17% 29%

8%

Apartments

Houses

Units

Townhouses

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Building for the future

PROPERTIES TASMANIA

1–10

11–50 51–100 100+

TOWN GEORGE

BURNIE

370

9

DEVONPORT

385

LATROBE

COAST CENTRAL

TAMAR WEST

111

211

4

LAUNCESTON

16

WYNYRAD WARATAH/

BREAK O'DAY

KENTISH

VALLEY MEANDER

4

2

117

9

SPRINGBAY GLAMORGAN

4

CENTRAL HIGHLANDS

20

GLENORCHY

CLARENCE

7

64

HUON VALLEY

6

HOBART

119

KINGBOROUGH

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PROPERTIES

TOTAL: 1,464

97%

3%

Managed

Owned

TOTAL: 1,464

TYPES OF HOUSING

100%

Affordable

TOTAL: 1,464

PROPERTY TYPE

8%

50%

41%

Apartments

Houses

Units

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ANNUAL REPORT 2015–16

PROPERTIES SOUTH AUSTRALIA

1–10

11–50 51–100 100+

CHARLES STURT

1

PORT AUGUSTA 36

ADELAIDE

157

WEST TORRENS

4

PROPERTIES

TOTAL: 194

3%

97%

Managed

Owned

TOTAL: 194

TYPES OF HOUSING

100%

Supported

TOTAL: 198

PROPERTY TYPE

78%

1% 20%

2%

Apartments

Houses Units

Administration

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Building for the future

Sacred Heart Mission - a Journey to Social Inclusion

Housing Choices actively seeks opportunities to partner with support organisations to enhance housing stability and to increase affordable housing and quality services where it can make a difference in people’s lives.

Housing Choices’ partnership with Sacred Heart Mission’s Journey to Social Inclusion (J2SI) Mark II program commenced in December 2015. This follows the success of the J2SI pilot program, which ran from 2009 to 2012. The program focuses on the underlying causes of a person’s homelessness, equipping them with the skills to reconnect to the mainstream community, and to build social networks outside of the homeless subculture. The second phase is being delivered in areas that experience high and chronic homelessness. The aim of this partnership is to deliver tenancy management and intensive support services to enhance housing stability for people who are chronically homeless. This collaboration, in providing rapid-access housing pathways to long-term affordable housing with Sacred Heart Mission’s intensive case-management support, aims to increase security and stability and to improve the wellbeing of those experiencing chronic homelessness through a sustainable tenancy approach. To date five people experiencing chronic homelessness have found stable accommodation with Housing Choices. Anna Paris, Manager of Journey to Social Inclusion, said “It has been very positive to work in partnership with HCA this year to progress our shared aim of sustained housing for J2SI participants, with five people already rapidly housed in properties that have great amenity and good locations. It has been really helpful to work with HCA staff who we have found to be open, collaborative, and proactive in communication with us to assist with early intervention and prevention of any tenancy concerns that may arise.” The provision of access to long-term affordable housing and support delivers a partnership that provides the chronically homeless with housing stability both now and into the future.

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ANNUAL REPORT 2015–16

The Next 12 Months with Housing Choices

viable, sustainable and scalable opportunities to deliver affordable housing in New South Wales. One of Housing Choices’ underpinning principles (a non-negotiable for the organisation) is that it Delivers High Quality Services, and it judges its performance objectively and based on life outcomes for residents. This commitment to quality is never-ending and will include further investment across the business to develop better responses, initiatives and programs for residents and to ensure the foundations of the organisation remain strong and stable. In addition to those initiatives above, Housing Choices will also continue delivering: • • its capital asset recycling program • • affordable housing for people escaping domestic violence through the Rapid Housing program in conjunction with Department of Health and Human Services, Victoria • • new refurbishments and capital upgrades to a number of properties across the portfolio. The next 12 months present the opportunity to continue the evolution of Housing Choices into one of the best affordable housing providers in Australia.

Last year, the title of the Chairperson’s forward was ‘Make no small plans’, and that is equally apt now as it was then. The need for affordable housing has never been greater than it is today. Flexibility in responding to growing housing needs and innovation in funding and design are key to ensure Housing Choices continues to be a leading provider of affordable homes in Australia. As an organisation Housing Choices strives for excellence: in client service, in developments, in working with partners, and as an employer. This ethos has served the organisation well and will continue. The next 12 months offers exciting prospects. There will be new challenges ahead, opportunities that require innovation, new ways of working together and new ways to grow Housing Choices’ impact. Investment in new ideas, business opportunities and models of partnering and initiatives is needed to diversify and expand the organisation’s activities. A priority, based on Housing Choices’ history, mission and values, is providing accommodation for people with disabilities. The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) reforms now present a tangible opportunity to increase the supply of appropriate housing for people with disabilities. Housing Choices is already at the forefront of delivering new models of housing, and the in the coming 12 months will prioritise its work in this area. The goal is to be the pre-eminent housing provider and manager of properties for people with disabilities across Australia. And with a track record of developing appropriate accommodation options and working with partners in this area, there is confidence that this goal can be reached. Housing Choices is explicit about its growth agenda, and this includes growth in states and territories it already operates in, as well as those it doesn’t yet cover. New South Wales is in the midst of unprecedented reforms to deliver a steady supply of affordable housing over the next 10 years. Housing Choices will be actively looking for ways to increase its footprint and to find

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Building for the future

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