Inside Housing - October 11/2019

Please read the latest edition of our fortnightly newsletter, Inside Housing.

Inside this edition...

• The NAB looks to spend $2 billion on Affordable and Social Housing Initiatives.
• Infrastructure Australia is calling for submissions into the 2021 Australian Infrastructure Plan.
• And Shelter WA's Housing and Homelessness Workshops hit regional WA.

Plus heaps more including, upcoming tenant forums to inform the State Housing Strategy 2020-2030 and during Mental Health Week we look at what the housing and mental health interface looks like.

Click here to read our newsletter.

Shelter WA is an independent peak body, based in Perth Western Australia, that advocates for social and affordable housing and ending homelessness.




100 Families WA - Bulletin No 2

The 100 Families WA Bulletin is published by the 100 Families WA collaboration comprised of Anglicare WA, Centrecare, Jacaranda Community Centre, MercyCare, Ruah Community Services, UnitingCare West, Wanslea, WACOSS, The University of Western Australia (Centre for Social Impact, Social Policy Practice and Research Consortium, and the School of Population and Global Health).

The 100 Families WA - Bulletin No 2 study has shown that families living on Newstart and related income support payments are living well below the poverty line, with income being grossly inadequate to provide for a family’s basic needs. These 100 Families WA findings were released today at an event for Anti-Poverty Week 2019, supporting the campaign to #RaiseTheRate.

Participants at the launch.

UnitingCare West Chief Executive Officer Amanda Hunt said the findings were unsurprising.

“Sadly, the entrenched poverty and disadvantage of many people in our community is a tragedy that community service providers see every day.

“People can get stuck in a cycle of financial hardship, with compounding effects on a person’s mental health, physical health and their interactions with their community. It can be debilitating, but it’s preventable with adequate income and the right supports,” Ms Hunt said. Newstart payments in Australia have remained stagnant in real terms over the past 20 years, falling well below average wages and the poverty line.

The 100 Families WA study highlights the lived experience of poverty, which is defined as the inability to afford what most Australians would think are necessities for a good quality of life.

Professor Paul Flatau, Director of the Centre for Social Impact at the University of Western Australia said the significant financial hardship experienced by families on Newstart causes high levels of stress and anxiety as well as other impacts which affect a person’s ability to find or maintain employment.

UnitingCare West Chief Executive Officer Amanda Hunt with Bev Jowle, Executive Officer at Financial Counsellors Association of Western Australia.

For the 164 families who receive Newstart of similar allowances in the 100 Families WA study, 82% had at least one chronic health condition and 76% had at least one mental health condition.

“These findings tell us that families are contending with chronic health conditions which they may not be able to afford to treat, at the same time as trying to find a job or study. Given the activity requirements of income support payments and their intent to assist people into work or study, there’s a clear need for more health support and suitable study or work options,” said Professor Flatau.

Tiba Moeini, single mother of two and 100 Families WA Community Advisory Group member, shares the experience of 85% of families in the study who do not have access to $500 in savings for emergencies.

She lives from fortnight to fortnight and regularly goes without for the sake of her children.

“It’s very hard, after nine days I have to search for coins and see if there is money left over from school lunches. I sometimes have to go without dinner so my children can eat,” Ms Moeini said.

It’s the situation of families like Ms Moeini’s which Amanda Hunt says supports the campaign to #RaiseTheRate.

Tiba Moeini

“We’re a wealthy society with an unhealthy attitude towards supporting people to break the cycle of poverty. It’s time to get behind the campaign to #RaiseTheRate and support the next generation to live their best life,” said Ms Hunt.

Click here to read the report. Anti-Poverty Week runs 13-19 October 2019.

Bev Jowle, Executive Officer at Financial Counsellors Association of Western Australia.



$2 billion pledge

$2 billion pledge

One of our country’s biggest banks, the NAB has pledged $2 billion to support affordable and social housing initiatives over the next three years.

The bank will distribute the pledge by providing loans and developing new financing avenues for not-for-profit organisations that build affordable and specialist housing including crisis accommodation, community housing, disability housing, build-to-rent properties and sustainable developments.


Through a media release David Gall, the bank’s Chief Customer Officer for Corporate and Institutional Banking, said: “Currently, there is a lack of long-term funding options for specialist housing providers which is contributing to a shortage of appropriate accommodation and shelter.”

“This is a significant social issue – and we’re determined to help by funding more affordable and specialist homes and improving the capacity and financial maturity of the sector so that it can attract more investment.”

The investment will lend at scale to crisis accommodation providers, starting with loans of up to $5 million to help purchase properties to accommodate people experiencing domestic and family violence and other vulnerable circumstances.

The bank will provide lending and banking services to not-for-profit community housing providers, including the creation of new funding models that will give more capital to build more homes.

It will also increase funding for developers of sustainable housing projects, develop policies for lending to disability housing providers and develop viable funding options for build-to-rent projects in Australia.

Read the full NAB media release here.




Metropolitan Housing & Homelessness Workshop

More than 60 participants provided input into WA's 10-Year Housing Strategy and Shelter WA's Pre-Budget Submission at the Metropolitan Affordable Housing and Homelessness Workshop on Tuesday 8 October.

The first session was held in partnership and on behalf of the Department of Communities. The Department is leading the development of a new WA Housing Strategy 2020-2030.

The strategy will set the direction for the State Government’s response to housing over the next 10 years, particularly, how to improve access to suitable and affordable homes and will be launched by the Minister for Housing, the Hon Peter Tinley AM MLA in the first half of 2020.

The strategic framework of the Strategy involves the interaction of the State’s 10-Year Strategy on Homelessness to the side and links in with the development of a new Affordable Housing Implementation Plan, the Regional and Remote Housing Plan and the Social Housing Framework which includes both Public and Community Housing.

After running through the context of the session, Shelter WA’s Program Facilitator Lisa Kazalac invited Natalia Gemmell, the Manager of Housing Policy at the Department of Communities to provide an overview from the formal engagement process conducted to date that the Department has set up.

The issues raised from across the development of other strategies in the Department of Communities has highlighted the important role of housing and its links with homelessness, family and domestic violence, youth at risk for example.

Some of the more specific feedback to date on the State Housing Strategy has found that the previous strategy dealt well with improving affordable home ownership options for West Australians through Keystart. Going forward there needs to be more focus on affordable rental options.

After the presentation and scene setting was finished, participants were encouraged to discuss what the success of the WA Housing Strategy would look like in their eyes. This was done by flushing out the reforms and initiatives that are needed to create a successful strategy.

The second part of the session focused on the development of Shelter WA’s Pre-Budget Submission. With the 2020-21 State Budget being the budget the McGowan Government takes to the 2021 state election, our pre-budget submission is a critical element to Shelter WA’s ongoing advocacy and the election campaign we will develop.

Participants were encouraged to identity the what short-term system reforms needed for an effective housing system and the medium-term reforms as well.

Shelter WA is currently running several regional based workshops for both the State Housing Strategy and Pre-budget submission. To register click here.



Kalgoorlie Housing & Homelessness Workshop

Across two workshops in Kalgoorlie on Wednesday 8 October, over 30 community members from local government, state agencies, community sector service providers, community housing providers, interested individuals and Aboriginal leaders came together to discuss housing and homelessness issues in the local area.

The first part of the workshop was on the development of the State Housing Strategy, and it was clear from discussions that the key issues that need to be addressed for the Goldfields region are: management of housing maintenance on remote communities, engaging and harnessing the knowledge and expertise of the local community in designing responses to address the housing need and working together to get the appropriate funding and resources to end homelessness particularly experienced by Aboriginal peoples.

It was important to hear what Shelter WA needs to put forward to the State Government in our next pre-budget submission and in particular what all political parties need to do to address systemic housing issues for the Goldfields region.

Shelter WA is currently running several regional based workshops for both the State Housing Strategy and Pre-budget submission. To register click here.

Mental Health Week

Mental Health Week

Mental Health Week is a national week celebrated each year, around World Mental Health Day on 10 October. This year’s theme focuses on how we live, learn, work and play - realising it's a combination of factors which impact our mental wellbeing.

The correlation between mental health and homelessness is well documented. In the report Homelessness in Western Australia: A review of the research and statistical evidence (Kaleveld, L. Seivwright, A. Box, E. Callis, Z. Flatau, P, 2018) the authors noted, “The link between mental health problems and homelessness is well established. The prevalence of trauma in the homeless population in itself indicates that rates of mental illness would also be high.”

[L-R] Taryn Harvey, Chief Executive Officer of WAAMH with the Hon. Roger Cook MLA, Minister for Mental Health. The State Government provided the Western Australian Association for Mental Health with a $263,000 Lotterywest grant.

Taryn Harvey, Chief Executive Officer of the Western Australian Association for Mental Health (WAAMH) recognises the relationship between mental health and homelessness works both ways.

“When people are experiencing poor mental health and they’re not getting the right support and have trouble sustaining their housing … they become at greater risk of losing their home and therefore becoming homeless,” she said.

“But also, even if mental health isn’t a reason why someone becomes homeless the shear stress and challenges of being homeless and trying to live day to day … inevitably for many people causes mental health issues even if they were not already present.”

The current priorities for WAAMH involve them discussing these issues with both the Commonwealth and State Governments. Federally, the inadequacy of Newstart is the focus.

“For people to be able to afford housing they have to have incomes that can allow them to access the properties that they want to live in … and in places that are good for their mental health and in communities where they feel a connection,” said Taryn. “Newstart is a payment that many people who struggle with mental health challenges are relying on.”

Locally WAAMH believes the State Government would benefit from a more active approach to creating employment opportunities. With employment improving the social determinants of mental health including the making of healthy relationships, provision of disposable income and access to stable housing, it’s a primary focus of WAAMH’s work. In fact, a dedicated unit called Individual Placement and Support (IPS Works) was established in 2011 to assist people with mental health conditions into the workforce. It is an approach that is person-centred, and strengths-based, combining both mental health and employment support services.

[L-R] Kai Schweizer, Project Support Officer - Youth Affairs Council of Western Australia with the Hon. Roger Cook MLA, Minister for Mental Health.

As more and more models demonstrate how critical it is to bring housing expertise into mental health recovery, Shelter WA is pleased to be working closely with WAAMH to map out what the housing and mental health interface looks like right from the point where someone is leaving as an impatient into supported housing to looking at what might be required to make the transition into independent housing.

“We’ve seen some examples of rental support programs … that have been successful in building relationships and supporting landlords so that they feel more confident about supporting people as tenants but also being supported themselves,” explained Taryn.

“If they have a tenant with mental health issues and they see things that worry them, or perhaps that person is becoming unwell, they can help connect that person back to support instead of penalising or evicting them.”

Moving forward Ms Harvey says she’d like to see more rental support programs and more employment models like IPS WORKS being explored in WA.

Mental Health Week runs from 6 – 12 October. See all WA events here.

Pre-Budget Submission Survey

Shelter WA is looking for your input to develop our Pre-Budget Submission. The 2020-21 State Budget will be an election budget for the McGowan Government. This pre-budget submission is a critical element to Shelter WA’s ongoing advocacy, but more importantly the election campaign that will be developed. Be part of the change and help us improve the housing system for all West Australians.


The survey takes five minutes to complete and will close on Friday 25 October 2019. It can be accessed here.



Beyond Bank - Reward Banking

Thanks to you, Beyond Bank have donated funds to Shelter WA through the Community Reward Banking Program.

By saving your money in a Community Reward Account and linking it to us at Shelter WA we receive an annual donation from Beyond Bank, at no cost to you.

We have partnered with the Beyond Bank branch at 3 Loftus Street, West Leederville.

Beyond Bank is 100% customer owned, using profits to benefit customers and communities. As a sustainable business, they aim to help their customers, their staff and their communities achieve social, economic and environmental sustainability now and into the future. This commitment was demonstrated by becoming the first bank in Australia to become B Corporation Certified.

Make a real difference with your savings and open a Community Reward Account with Beyond Bank Australia. The more you save, the more Beyond Bank will donate to us at no cost to you. Visit any branch or learn more about the Community Reward Account by clicking here.

WHD - Government House

The Honourable Kim Beazley AC, Governor of Western Australia hosted a reception for the City of Perth on the occasion of World Homeless Day at Government House on Tuesday 8 of October.

Representatives from the City of Perth and the WA Alliance to End Homelessness accompany John Carey MLA (glasses) and The Honourable Kim Beazley AC, Governor of Western Australia (seated, far right)

The reception was held in support of several homeless initiatives and the City of Perth’s Interim Homelessness Plan which includes 30 actions across four priority areas.

[L-R] Murray Jorgensen Chief Executive Officer at City of Perth and Amanda Hunt Chief Executive Officer of UnitingCare West.

Commissioner Gaye McMath highlighted key initiatives within the plan which will work towards ending, not just managing homelessness, in Perth.

HOME group participants with The Honourable Kim Beazley AC, Governor of Western Australia (third from left)

Amanda Hunt, CEO of UnitingCare West and member of the WA Alliance to End Homelessness Facilitating Group, spoke about the critical role of a home in people’s lives, the Alliance’s work and that we can end homelessness through the provision of appropriate housing and support services focused effort and collaboration.

[L-R] Chris Smith, Chief Executive Officer at Foundation Housing and Joe Calleja, Chief Executive Officer of St Bartholemews House (St Barts.)

Invitees were represented from several groups including the State Government, Department of Communities, local government authorities, the property sector, peak bodies, not-for-profit organisations and people with lived experience of homelessness.

[L-R] Debra Zanella Chief Executive Officer at Ruah Community Services and Jacqui Herring, Department of Communities.

Representatives from the Western Australian Alliance to End Homelessness (WAAEH) and Shelter WA attended the reception. The City of Perth’s Interim Plan provides an opportunity to align strategic direction, further supporting the WA Alliance to End Homelessness’ 10-year strategy to end homelessness in Western Australia by 2029.

Sandra Brewer (far right) Western Australian Executive Director of the Property Council of Australia with Property Council representatives.





Containers for Change



Containers for Change WA provides an opportunity for community groups to raise much needed funds. This workshop is for the community sector and especially targeted for homelessness, disability and employment service providers. The information session is on Thursday October 17 from 9:00am - 11:30am at 191 St Georges Terrace.


What is it?

Western Australia is the fifth state or territory to adopt a container deposit scheme, following the lead of South Australia, Northern Territory, New South Wales, Australian Capital Territory and most recently, Queensland. A 10-cent refund will be given for each eligible container provided to a refund point, encouraging recycling.

How can my group/organisation benefit?

One of the objectives is to  provide employment opportunities for people with a lived experience of homelessness, a disability or have faced long term unemployment – whilst supporting community organisations through donations. Individuals can choose to donate to a charity, community group or not-for-profit organisation such as yours.

OK - But how does it work?

Physically collect containers - Collect containers at your location, or at special events. You then return these containers to your local Refund Point for 10-cent refunds per eligible container. These refunds are deposited into your organisation’s bank account electronically, via a Scheme ID.

Virtual donations - Donate to your organisation from anywhere in the state simply by using your scheme ID. People can nominate your Scheme ID when returning containers, and your organisation will receive their donation as an electronic bank transfer.

Become a ‘Refund Point’ – If your charity or organisation is willing and able, you can apply to become a commercial operator of one of the 220 container Refund Points.

Interesting - I want to learn more

The information session is on Thursday October 17 from 9:00am - 11:30am at 191 St Georges Terrace. You do need to register.


Ministerial Meeting

Housing meeting with the Minister for Indigenous Australians.

Shelter WA was pleased to meet with Minister Ken Wyatt, Minister for Indigenous Australians, with the Telethon Kids Institute Ngulluk Koolunga Ngulluk Koort Project team and Elders, and representatives from Noongar Mia Mia, the Goldfields Indigenous Housing Organisation and the Murchison Regional Aboriginal Corporation to discuss a range of housing issues.

A core focus of the meeting was on the important role that Aboriginal Community Housing Organisations play in providing homes for families and children, providing the foundation for good health, education and employment opportunities. Western Australia’s Aboriginal Community Housing organisations provide homes for thousands of Aboriginal people across metropolitan and regional Western Australia, based in a respect and understanding of cultural obligations and ensuring that families are supported to sustain their homes and have housing that meets their needs as their circumstances change.

Community Housing is a critical part of the housing system. Shelter WA looks forward to working with the Aboriginal Community Housing sector to advocate for more safe, secure and culturally appropriate housing supply and to capitalise on new opportunities.



Australian Infrastructure Audit

To help shape the future and the 2021 Australian Infrastructure Plan, Infrastructure Australia are inviting government, stakeholders and the community to provide feedback and submissions on the Australian Infrastructure Audit 2019.

You have until the 31 of October 2019 to get your submission in.

This Audit covers transport, energy, water, telecommunications and – for the first time – social infrastructure. Infrastructure Australia has begun a process of engaging our sector, including National Shelter, CHIA, Homelessness Australia, ASCOSS and key providers to help it plan for the future.

The submissions portal has been structured so that you can provide your feedback and ideas for policy reform or project investment in three simple steps. Click here to begin your submission.



Indigenous Housing and Health

Shelter WA, in partnership with National Shelter and the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Housing Authority, have appointed PwC's Indigenous Consulting Pty Limited to review housing policy and programs over the last twenty-five years and their intersection with health policy, and to recommend housing policy solutions that will deliver better health outcomes for Indigenous people. 

The Project and Project Deliverables

  • A review and analysis on the health and housing continuum in reference to:
  • Indigenous housing costs;
  • Availability, affordability and suitability across Australia;
  • Access a range of Commonwealth, State and territory and other housing initiatives; and
  • Information on policy changes required to reform the current housing asset base/housing estate.


The Indigenous Housing and Health report is led by:

KERRY ARABENA, Chair of the Victorian Aboriginal Housing and Homelessness Strategy Steering Committee.

A descendant of the Meriam people of the Torres Strait, Kerry Arabena's work has brought her to the forefront of Indigenous affairs in Australia. A former social worker with a Doctorate in Human Ecology, Kerry is the Chair of Indigenous Health and Director of Onemda VicHealth Koori Health Unit at the University of Melbourne.

Prior to taking up this position in January 2013, she was Director of Indigenous Health Research at Monash University. With an extensive background in public health, administration, community development and research, Kerry is also Chair of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Equality Council and a Director of Indigenous Community Volunteers. Kerry provides supervisory support in Social Work, Community Sector, Remote Area, Public Health and Policy, Sexual Health, EcoHealth, and Environmental Health.

Kerry was the inaugural Chair of the National Congress of Australia's First Peoples, an Australian of the Year Finalist in 2010 and recipient of the prestigious JG Crawford Prize for Academic Excellence at the Australian National University in 2011.

SHANE HAMILTON, former CEO NSW Aboriginal Housing Office.

Shane is a Wakka Wakka man whose family has links to the South Burnett region of Queensland. He is inspired by his grandparents who saw that a stable home and a good education were key to achieving in life.

His career has taken him right across Australia working in the Government, private and not-for-profit sectors in senior management roles. Shane was an integral member of the working party that established the successful model for Derby Regional Prison, playing a key consultative role across WA and drawing on his experience as a prisons operations manager. Shane delivered the national building stimulus program in WA, developing additional public housing across the state following his roles of Executive Director of the Aboriginal Housing and General Manager Service Delivery.

In his dual role as WA and SA State Manager of Community Housing Limited, a global community housing provider, Shane responded to the challenge of developing and delivering housing options in partnership with the private sector and Government, particularly for programs with integrated wrap-around services. Under Shane’s leadership his organisation managed the award-winning East Kimberley Transitional Housing Program.

Shane is currently State Director, NSW and ACT, PwC's Indigenous Consulting.

For a comprehensive look at this review of 25 years of health and housing policy click here.




ResearchPress (Communities)

The August-September edition of ResearchPress put together by the Department of Communities includes a strong focus on welfare and disadvantage in Australia, housing precariousness for older Australians and young people, and disability and discrimination services.

The ResearchPress Newsletter is brought to you by the Market Analytics, Research and Evaluation Team at the Department of Communities. The newsletter is a selection of publications and articles that have been released in the past month. All articles have been selected for their relevance to communities.

ResearchPress - Newsletter - August - September 2019 - External.pdf

Climate Justice Workshop

A workshop for community sector workers to discuss social justice, climate change, and opportunities for collective action.


You and other non-profit community service workers are invited to participate in a workshop regarding climate change, social justice and the WA community sector. This research will help support WA community organisations to work together to advocate for climate justice in WA. The workshop will involve a panel and small group discussions to explore:

• The social justice impacts of climate change in Western Australia.

• Current actions that organisations are taking to respond to climate change.

• Opportunities for community organisations to advocate for climate justice in WA.

Afternoon tea will be provided.

This workshop is part of an ECU research study on climate justice and the WA community sector. For more information about this study, please read this. Please complete the 10-minute online survey before you attend the workshop. For more information about this research, please see the attached Project Information Sheet.

For more information, please contact

Bunbury Workshop | Monday 4 November 2019 1:00pm to 4:00pm

Edith Cowan University South West Campus, 585 Robertson Drive, EAST BUNBURY.

Register via Eventbrite here.

Perth Workshop 1 | Thursday 7 November 2019 9:00am to 12:00pm

Western Australian Council of Social Service (WACOSS) Level 2, 3 Loftus Street WEST LEEDERVILLE.

Register via Eventbrite here.