Older renters living on the edge

This report, produced in collaboration with Council on the Ageing WA and a Reference Group of key WA agencies and individuals, highlights the rapidly growing problems facing many older people in WA.

The research found that there are many older renters struggling to the extent that they are doing without the daily essentials of life such as food, heating, medications and aged care services to ensure they keep a roof over their head. 

[L-R] Luke Garswood CEO of Connect Victoria Park and 

They are a hidden group that are putting up with enormous hardship while constantly under the stress of being, as an older person interviewed stated, "one rent increase from disaster". Older women who have experienced gender disadvantage due to discrimination and lower levels of savings are particularly impacted. Importantly the report identifies solutions to address the critical housing and service responses needed to help older people in WA who are struggling in poverty, hardship and at constant risk of homelessness. Shelter WA looks forward to working with the reference group to progress the report’s recommendations. A copy of the report can be found here.

Older renters living on the edge in WA

This report, produced in collaboration with Council on the Ageing WA and a Reference Group of key WA agencies and individuals, highlights the rapidly growing problems facing many older people in WA.

The research found that there are many older renters struggling to the extent that they are doing without the daily essentials of life such as food, heating, medications and aged care services to ensure they keep a roof over their head. 

[L-R] Luke Garswood CEO of Connect Victoria Park and 

They are a hidden group that are putting up with enormous hardship while constantly under the stress of being, as an older person interviewed stated, "one rent increase from disaster". Older women who have experienced gender disadvantage due to discrimination and lower levels of savings are particularly impacted. Importantly the report identifies solutions to address the critical housing and service responses needed to help older people in WA who are struggling in poverty, hardship and at constant risk of homelessness. Shelter WA looks forward to working with the reference group to progress the report’s recommendations. A copy of the report can be found here.

 

WA Peaks Communique

Peaks unite to support fairness in procurement to protect security of employment for community service workers

 

Homelessness services in WA are expecting their eight contract rollover in 10 years by the end of March 2019.  It is expected that those rollovers will not include any additional funding to reflect the cost to community managed homelessness services of the Equal Renumeration Order (ERO) or indexation to reflect the growing cost of delivering services.  It is also anticipated that there will be little scope for organisations to renegotiate their contracts to reduce the expected deliverables in order to account for the increase in costs.

Services directly impacted by this include women’s refuges and dedicated youth homelessness services.

With funding agreements for several State government funded programs across a range of community service programs up for negotiation in coming months multiple peaks have united to support CEWA and WACOSS’s advocacy to secure fairness in procurement to reflect the obligations of community managed services to pay their workers in accordance with the Equal Remuneration Order.

On Monday 11th March, CEWA, Linkwest, Shelter WA, WAAMH, WACOSS, WANADA, Women’s Council for DFV Services and YACWA came together to discuss the urgent situation facing homelessness services and its implications for other service sectors. 

At that meeting peaks discussed the need for collective action by the homelessness sector and other service sectors to force government to act on this issue. 

As peak bodies, we recognise the impact that the ERO and indexation is having on employment security for the workforce, the majority of whom are women.  We also recognise the flow on effects to sustainability and continuity of services as well as the ability of organisations to employ workers with the necessary skills to support our community.  We recognise the ultimate impact this has on the quality of services people receive and the outcomes they experience.

We believe this situation is in direct conflict with the spirit of the ERO and of the spirit of the Delivering Community Services in Partnership Policy

CEOs and Board chairs from organisations from across the community services sector are urged to let their respective peak know the impacts, including loss of service, as a result of the ERO and the unwillingness of the State government to provide sustainable funding.

At this stage, it is critical that service provider organisations commit to contact their relevant Minister and local Members of Parliament in the areas where they provide services, to alert them to the impending loss of services in their community, and to urge them to advocate to the Treasurer the urgency of action on this issue.

To support providers in this effort CEWA and WACOSS have prepared template letters and budgets for you your use – click the link.

  

 

Aged Homelessness Action Plan

The Minister for Senior Australians and Aged Care, the Hon Ken Wyatt AM, MP has commissioned a Homelessness Action Plan be developed to ensure older people experiencing, or at risk of, homelessness do not have any barriers to receiving a high-quality aged care service. 

The Homelessness Action Plan is a part of the Federal Government’s Aged Care Diversity Framework which was published late last year. The Framework was produced by a sub-group of the Aged Care Sector Committee following community consultation. 

Three separate action plans were identified originally which targeted the barriers and challenges faced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, those with culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex seniors.

 

The Homelessness Action Plan was added after feedback was received from the sector to consider the needs for older homeless Australians. The Framework was designed to allow for further action plans to be considered as the need arises.

 

The Diversity Sub-group of the Aged Care Sector Committee is responsible for development of the Homelessness Action Plan. Housing for the Aged Action Group (HAAG) is working with a Reference Group and the Diversity sub-group to develop the Homelessness Action Plan.

HAGG is seeking feedback via two surveys. One for professionals, providers and services who work with older people, even those that are not specialised in providing services to people experiencing, or at risk of, homelessness. And one for people who have experienced homelessness or insecure housing and have tried to get into aged care.

 

Chief Executive Officer of Shelter WA, Ms Michelle Mackenzie encourages older people who have experienced or who are risk of homelessness to participate in the survey, along with service providers, so that the survey is informed by a Western Australian perspective.

“This Action Plan and the overall Framework is an important step forward for the future for aged care services in terms of inclusivity,” Ms Mackenzie said.

The survey closes on Friday, 8 February.”

Homelessness Action Plan Provider SurveyHomelessness Action Plan - Survey for Older People 

 

 

 

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Homelessness Week: Landlords Making a Difference

On a rainy Thursday night in Homelessness Week, over 50 people turned out to hear about things landlords can do to prevent and respond to homelessness.

Aunty Millie Penny, an Elder Co-Researcher with the Telethon Kids Institute’s Ngulluk Koolunga Ngulluk Koort (Our Children Our Heart) welcomed attendees to Nyoongar country. She spoke movingly and encouragingly of the impact a compassionate landlord had had on her family when she was a child.

Trish Blake of the Department for Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety provided the group with important information regarding changes to tenancy legislation that will make it easier for victims of domestic violence to leave or stay in their rented homes, depending on which is safer for them. Ms Blake noted that in addition to improving outcomes around family and domestic violence, these changes are also likely to result in less abandonment of properties and reduced repair costs for landlords.

Stephanie Hing, representing the RSPCA, talked about the benefits to landlords of making their properties pet friendly. Of interest to the group was her suggestion that landlords who were concerned could request a pet resume, prepared by a vet or other professional with knowledge of the animal. It was noted that where landlords had had a good experience with a particular pet, providing a written pet reference was likely to be very helpful to their tenants.

Diana MacTiernan of the Equal Opportunity Commission talked about the economic and significance of housing, and the protection housing has under the Equal Opportunity Act 1984. The Act allows for certain kinds of positive discrimination. Landlords may be interested in seeking out tenants from a particular group known to be discriminated against in the rental market. Ms MacTiernan encouraged them to contact the Equal Opportunity Commission to talk through ways of doing this that are consistent with the legislative requirements.

Kate Davis of Tenancy WA noted that one of the barriers to longer-term leases in WA is the current framing of the Residential Tenancies Act 1987, which can lead to tenants facing prohibitively high break-lease costs. Ms Davis made some suggestions for how landlords might negotiate longer term leases by voluntarily including a provision for termination by notice. She noted that in some cases, tenants may be reluctant to ‘impose’ on landlords by asking for necessary maintenance. She suggested that landlords proactively ask their tenants about maintenance needs. This will have the subsidiary benefit of ensuring that minor issues are fixed before they become major ones.

The final speaker of the night was Sadie Davidson or the Real Estate Industry of WA, who talked about the benefits of professional property management to landlords and tenants. The ongoing training required of property managers should mean that landlords and tenants both have access to an informed person who has the latest knowledge regarding ongoing changes to the Act. Good property managers can provide a balanced approach to dispute resolution.

Landlords are a critical – but sometimes invisible – part of our housing system. Shelter WA is excited by the potential for engaging with this important group, as we work towards a housing system that works for all of us.

Industry Roundtable with a National Shelter CEO Visit

Shelter WA in partnership with the Master Builders Association convened an Industry Roundtable to discuss strategies to facilitate more affordable housing. 

Representatives from the housing industry, real estate sector, development and building industries and government joined with community housing providers, research institutions and community service organisations to discuss current barriers and blue-sky opportunities that can be collectively progressed.  

Attendees have given a commitment to meet again to progress key initiatives and to champion these to government. Shelter WA would like to thank Mr Ian Carter AM for chairing the roundtable and his ongoing support of this initiative.

Shelter WA also had the pleasure of hosting National Shelter CEO, Adrian Pisarski - who contributed to the roundtables from the Federal perspective.

Roundtable I

Roundtable II

Reclaiming the Great Australian Dream

Housing affordability will play a critical role in Australia’s prosperity, equality and economic opportunity during the next decade, Property Council national president Mark Steinert said. Speaking at a dinner to celebrate 20 years since the Property Council was established, Mr Steinert said the industry could be proud of its achievements during the past two decades. Australian cities, however, had not kept pace with the economic demands on them. “We have taxed our growth too much, held back the creation of the housing and investment the country needs, and not built the infrastructure for our growing cities,” Mr Steinert said. “Families, cleaners and cooks and pensioners can’t afford to buy or own a home and live in our cities.” The 12th annual Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey, published earlier this year, found Australia has some of the most “severely unaffordable” housing markets in the world, with the median house price now 5.6 times the median annual salary. Mr Steinert further said the affordability crisis was “remarkable”, given Australia currently had the lowest interest rates in its history. “We must never forget that the Australian dream of owning your own home is the foundation of the Australian story. It’s why we have one of the biggest middle classes in the world. “Property has allowed millions of Australians to build security and wealth and to be become self-reliant. It takes pressure off government and gives us all peace of mind.” Mr Steinert wants us to see ourselves as part of the solution. “Because if any group should believe in housing affordability and in building better communities and more productive cities, it is our industry.” He also said that an investment in property was an investment in Australia. “You can’t pick it up and take the building or the land and send it elsewhere – we are the ultimate investment in Australia.”

Read More http://www.propertycouncil.com.au/Web/Content/News/National/2016/Reclaiming_the_Great_Australian_Dream.aspx 

  

 

Shelter SA is pleased to announce the launch of CapitalAsset 

Shelter SA is pleased to announce the launch of CapitalAsset  - a bold, ethical and socially responsible innovation in housing.  By creating unique partnerships between not-for-profit landowners and social impact investors, CapitalAsset Developments safely unlock land and under-used buildings, adding value while achieving both social outcomes and market rate returns.

There are two CapitalAsset opportunities: The launch event to hear from Housing Industry Innovation Panel members and network with CapitalAsset supporters. This will be held on 29 September at 4pm. Please RSVP sheltersa@sheltersa.asn.au prior to COB 24 September. Also, there will be a confidential discussion with the Housing Industry Innovation Panel for potential project partners.

For both opportunities please contact Dr. Alice Clark at alice.clark@sheltersa.asn.au or by telephone 0425 0606 49. 

AES 16 - International Evaluation Conference 

ASSISTANCE FOR REGIONAL WESTERN AUSTRALIAN NOT-FOR-PROFITS
Do you work for a regional Western Australian not-for-profit and wish to attend the aes16 International Evaluation Conference?
Lotterywest is supporting up to 25 staff or board members of regional Western Australian not-for-profit organisations to attend the aes16 International Evaluation Conference. The conference will be held in Perth at the Grand Hyatt from 19 to 21 September 2016.

Successful applicants will be provided a subsidy amount of assistance for registrations, travel, and accommodation.

Applications will be assessed on the selection criteria and need, with priority given to applicants from agencies located in remote and rural areas, and smaller organisations.
Selection criteria - You must be a staff or board member of a regional Western Australian not-for-profit:
  • Who has an interest in using evaluation in your organisation and/or previous experience in evaluation;
  • Whose organisation will benefit from you attending the conference; and
  • Who will share and/or apply the evaluation knowledge and skills gained from the conference with your colleagues.
Applications close 15 July 2016.

All applicants will be notified no later than 1 August 2016.
How to apply
For more informaton on levels of subsidy available, or to make an application form please click here. Complete the application form and return to conference@aes.asn.au, subject line “Application for Lotterywest grant”, no later than 15 July 2016.
Enquiries
If you have any questions, please email conference@aes.asn.au
Conference website

 

Q Shelter annual housing and homelessness conference theme is ‘Empowered People, Connected Communities, Sustainable Housing’.

Q Shelter will deliver the third annual housing and homelessness Conference in Cairns on 14 and 15 July this year. The theme for this two-day event is ‘Empowered People, Connected Communities, Sustainable Housing’.

The Q shelter Conference is known for bringing together the housing and homelessness assistance industry to address common challenges and share best practices from national and international speakers.

Early bird tickets expire soon, so visit www.qsconference.org to secure your place at the Conference this year. The Conference will feature the Hon Mick de Brenni MP (Minister for Housing and Public Works), Dr. Sam Tsemberis (founder of Pathways to Housing in New York City), Lucas Patchett and Nicholas Marchesi of Orange Sky Laundry (2016 Young Australians of the Year) 

Check out the list of speakers presenting at the housing and homelessness conference: www.qsconference.org


  


 

Q Shelter annual housing and homelessness conference theme is ‘Empowered People, Connected Communities, Sustainable Housing’.

Q Shelter will deliver the third annual housing and homelessness Conference in Cairns on 14 and 15 July this year. The theme for this two-day event is ‘Empowered People, Connected Communities, Sustainable Housing’.

The Q shelter Conference is known for bringing together the housing and homelessness assistance industry to address common challenges and share best practices from national and international speakers.

Early bird tickets expire soon, so visit www.qsconference.org to secure your place at the Conference this year. The Conference will feature the Hon Mick de Brenni MP (Minister for Housing and Public Works), Dr. Sam Tsemberis (founder of Pathways to Housing in New York City), Lucas Patchett and Nicholas Marchesi of Orange Sky Laundry (2016 Young Australians of the Year) 

Check out the list of speakers presenting at the housing and homelessness conference: www.qsconference.org


 

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