Inside Housing - June 13/2019
Please read the latest edition of our fortnightly newsletter, Inside Housing.
Inside this edition...
• The Impact Investment Forum delved into the factors that impact our pursuit of impact investing along with other innovative financing options for the WA housing sector.
• Destination Broome. Shelter WA and Foundation Housing uncover the issues, barriers and housing needs in the beach resort town.
• Matters of the HART. The Minister for Housing, attends the latest Housing Advisory Roundtable.
Plus heaps more including, our new Policy and Project Officer is a blast from the past, Jack Thornton is back and there has been movement at the Midland, Bayswater and Forrestfield METRONET station precincts.
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.
On Tuesday 11 June Shelter WA, in partnership with Impact Seed, convened the inaugural Housing Impact Investment Forum. It brought together a range of industry leading speakers, panel discussions and informative sessions on a range of topics to bring sectors together in creating more impact investment across Western Australia.
The early birds heard first from one of Shelter’s innovative partners, Alex Houlston from BOOMPower, who delivered an interesting information session on their start-up’s energy solutions for the community housing sector.
Once the coffee’s were flowing, the didgeridoo set a warm and connecting mood in the room with a beautiful welcome to country by Noongar artist, Olman Walley, then Shelter WA Board Member Kathleen Gregory gave welcoming remarks to commence the forum.
We then received information from Impact Seed Co-Founder, Kylie Hansen, and Director of Centre for Social Impact at UWA, Prof. Paul Flatau, who introduced the important topic of impact investment and how it can be utilised in community housing.
Tina Pickett, Noongar Mia Mia
The scene being set, the forum then deep dived into a fascinating panel discussion on the policy landscape and the factors that impact our pursuit of impact investing along with other innovative financing options for the WA housing sector. Thank you to Jennie Vartan (CHIA WA), Kathleen Gregory (Shelter WA and Foundation Housing), Chris West (WA Super), Paul Flatau (CSI UWA), Mark Atkinson (Property Council WA/Atkinson Legal) and Stuart Clarke (WA Housing Authority) for all the fascinating insights.
Following a lunch break and networking, several speakers gave their insights into innovations for community and social housing that has occurred across Australia and what is starting up in WA, metro and regionally focused.
These included Caroline Larcher from the Women's Property Initiative. Via video conference Caroline outlined how the not-for-profit houses women and children facing homelessness by charging tenants rent that is no more than 30% of their household income.
Tracy Longo from Homes for Homes, a sustainable social enterprise by The Big Issue Australia demonstrated how they increased the supply of social and affordable housing via voluntary tax-deductible donations on property transactions.
[L- R] James Best, Future Bayswater and Don Fini, Fini Sustainability
Kirsty Moore's work at Indigenous Business Australia is having a positive impact for Indigenous first home buyers. Their loan product, Fee Finance, assists customers who have the earning capacity to meet housing loan repayments but do not have sufficient savings to pay all the costs associated with purchasing a home. These costs may include government stamp duty; the costs of property valuations and building and pest inspections; conveyancing costs; and mortgage registration fees. A Fee Finance loan is in addition to the customer’s property purchase loan and has different terms, including a shorter loan term (maximum ten years).
Steph Shorter from the North-West Aboriginal Housing Fund spoke about the running of their $200 million initiative that aims to create pathways towards social and economic independence and wellbeing for Aboriginal people in the Pilbara and Kimberley.
Natalia Gemmell from the Assisted Rental Pathways Pilot project outlined how the Housing Authority (Housing) partnered with the Western Australian Council of Social Service (WACOSS) and Shelter WA, to work with community services organisations to co-design a service-focussed package to offer eligible social housing tenants and waitlist applicants supported opportunities in the private rental market. This is done by sourcing the rental properties from up to 200 landlords across a variety of locations. Among other things landlords are guaranteed rent for the term of the tenancy and tenants will be assessed, and deemed eligible to participate in the Pilot on the basis they have a good previous rental history and minimal debt.
And Lisa Halton from Bieundurry Designs, an Aboriginal social enterprise, is working to address the entrenched problem of culturally inappropriate housing leading to a spectrum of poor social and financial outcomes. It delivers housing and town planning design that ensures that Indigenous Australians can live according to their cultural lore and spending on housing is cost-effective.
Shelter WA would again like to deeply thank all the speakers and attendees at the forum for an exciting day of ideas, collaboration and discussion to ignite more impact investment in WA. It was well-agreed that there are significant opportunities for public, private and community sectors to come together to ensure all people in WA have housing that enables them to thrive.
Impact Seed Crew
Community attitudes towards density will come under the microscope at the launch of a Property Council of Australia WA report which outlines strategies and actions needed to gain community support for urban density.
Aiming to debunk the myths that have made ‘density’ a dirty word, the report focuses on empowering the public with housing choices that enable shorter commutes and more vibrant communities.
With Western Australia’s population set to more than double in the next 50 years Shelter WA along with the sector and industry groups have been pushing to change the community narrative around housing affordability, diversity and density.
Boosting well designed and thoughtful density that is aligned with good public transport and services, is critical to delivering the diverse and affordable housing needed by many members in our community.
Shelter WA, brought leaders across the property industry, government, research institutions and the community sector together at a series of industry roundtables earlier this year.
In partnership with Ronnie Duncan, Founder and Non-Executive Director of Meerkats, a company which helps businesses identify their purpose to then align it with their activities, and James Best CEO of Future Plexus, participants were challenged to build on why they need to do something to how, how we can work together to shift the community narrative around housing affordability, diversity and density. Debates about density and intensity are blunt conversations. We need to focus on people and how we can deliver better housing choices for all.
Recent State initiatives such as new strata legislation, the planning reform agenda and METRONET, provide an opportunity for a new debate on creating affordable housing.
“It is great to see the Property Council’s WA Division taking forward the conversation on the diversity and density debate,” said Michelle Mackenzie, CEO of Shelter WA.
“Increasing density is not about building high rise apartments in the suburbs,” she said.
“When well-designed density housing is aligned with the urban fabric it can improve local amenity, benefit local business and communities and leave a positive legacy for future generations.
"As a community we can demand to have better designed, well planned housing choices that makes the most of existing urban infrastructure and is close to transport and employment. We can have higher, focussed density around transport hubs whist retaining the wonderful character of lower density residential areas. The creation of new and affordable housing options for young singles, families and older people is smart. It will contribute to local liveability and vibrancy. It will support local business.
“The WA Government has been proactive in this area by releasing Design WA, a set of guidelines for developers and local government aimed at ensuring apartments are built to a higher standard and with that addressing community concerns around higher density developments and infill throughout Perth.
“We need to shift our thinking about the type of housing that we need across our suburbs. We look forward to this report and how we can continue to work with key partners to reframe the density debate."
Reframing The Density Debate
21 June 2019 | Registration 7:00am | 7:30am - 9:00am
Hyatt Regency Perth.
Members $110.00 | Non-members $165.00
PRICE PER TABLE
Members $1,110.00 | Non-members $1,650.00
Attendees per Table: 10.
Remote Maintenance Forum
In partnership with the Department of Communities, Shelter WA facilitated a forum to discuss maintenance issues on remote communities.
Attendees who came from the Kimberley, Pilbara, Midwest and Goldfields regions included regional service providers, agencies that provide tenancy support and tenant advocates.
The safety, quality and security of housing is fundamental to people’s health, well-being and quality of life. The forum discussed current issues around the management of maintenance and its impact on people, communities, and service providers. The opportunities to utilise maintenance to provide employment pathways, develop business opportunities and deliver better health outcomes for people were discussed.
A planned and preventive maintenance approach will create new jobs, deliver regional prosperity, improve health, well-being and education. It supports the government’s Aboriginal employment and procurement strategies and the Department of Communities focus on people, place and home. Shelter WA looks forward to working with the Department, services and communities to progress the outcomes discussed at the forum.
For further information please contact Shelter WA on (08) 9325 6660.
Economic Lecture Series
Our last lecture event for the Housing Economics for Non-Economists was held on Wednesday 5 June.
Associate Professor Steven Rowley, School of Economics and Finance, Curtin Business School
The series, a collaboration with Curtin Business School and Shelter WA saw four lectures delivered by Associate Professor Rachel Ong and Associate Professor Steven Rowley that covered the following topics:
• Economics of Housing Markets and Housing Policies.
• Tax and housing outcomes.
• Land use planning and housing markets.
• Development Feasibility.
The event series attracted attendees across the not-for-profit, property development and government sectors. It created a great opportunity to attendees to meet and network across sectors and of course, walk away with a greater understanding of some of the core policy issues that interact and influence our housing system.
Keep an eye out for next year’s series.
Housing Advisory Roundtable (HART)
Last Thursday, 6 June Shelter WA and the Department of Communities as co-chairs of the Housing Advisory Roundtable (HART), were thrilled to host the Minister for Housing, the Hon Peter Tinley, AM MLA.
It was great to hear directly from the Minister on some of the key initiatives and his vision for progressing housing first responses to address the housing crisis our state is in.
For many low-income households finding housing options is difficult, as wait lists for social housing are almost at 14,000 households, and it takes nearly 2.5 years to be accommodated. Home ownership still remains out of reach for many West Australians and the need to refocus our attention to providing social housing and affordable rental options to West Australian households is crucial.
The Minister spent some time discussing the following issues:
• The development and renewal of the Affordable Housing Strategy.
• The impending release of the seniors housing strategy – Ageing with Choice.
• Creating genuine housing options for West Australian households across the housing continuum.
• Re-opening the conversation with the newly appointed Federal Minister for Indigenous Australians to move forward on remote housing funding.
• The need for urban renewal and utilising built form to create more affordable home options.
HART brings together organisations and people across the community, private and government sectors to discuss and put forward real solutions to problems in the WA housing system. The Minister reinforced the value of the HART to him as we all work towards finding solutions to the systemic housing issues in our community.
On behalf of the co-chairs of HART, we thank the Minister for his time.
National Shelter has written to Opposition leader Anthony Albanese and his team of Shadow Ministers to congratulate them on their re-election and appointments to the shadow ministry.
Picture Source | AlboMP Facebook.
The portfolios of greatest interest to National Shelter and who we have written to include:
- Hon Anthony Albanese MP
Leader of the Opposition.
- Hon Jason Clare MP
- Shadow Minister for Regional Services, Territories and Local Government.
- Shadow Minister for Housing and Homelessness.
- Hon Bill Shorten MP
- Shadow Minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme.
- Shadow Minister for Government Services.
- Dr Jim Chalmers MP
- Shadow Treasurer.
- Hon Dr Andrew Leigh MP
- Shadow Assistant Minister for Treasury.
- Shadow Assistant Minister for Charities.
- Hon Catherine King MP
- Shadow Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development.
- Hon Linda Burney MP
- Shadow Minister for Families and Social Services.
- Shadow Minister for Indigenous Australians.
- Hon Julie Collins MP
- Shadow Minister for Ageing and Seniors.
- Shadow Minister for Women.
- Andrew Giles MP
- Shadow Minister for Cities and Urban Infrastructure.
- Shadow Minister for Multicultural Affairs.
- Shadow Minister Assisting for Immigration and Citizenship.
The Shadow Minister for Housing and Homelessness, The Hon. Jason Clare MP, was born and raised in Western Sydney where he attended Cabramatta Public School and Canley Vale High School before graduating with a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) and a Bachelor of Laws from the University of New South Wales.
Before entering Parliament he worked as an executive at Transurban, one of Australia's top 100 companies.
In November 2007, Jason was elected as the Federal Member for Blaxland. In June 2009, he was appointed Parliamentary Secretary for Employment. In September 2010, he was appointed Minister for Defence Materiel. In December 2011, he was appointed Minister for Home Affairs and Minister for Justice. Following the 2013 election, Jason was appointed Shadow Minister for Communications. In July 2016, he was appointed Shadow Minister for Trade and Investment as well as Shadow Minister for Resources and Northern Australia.
Jason is the Patron of CLAN (Care Leavers Australia Network), the Bankstown Youth Development Service (BYDS), the Bankstown Sports Club, and the Bankstown RSL.
Picture Source | Jason Clare MP Facebook.
The Australian Digital Health Agency (ADHA) has commissioned National Shelter to help develop its communications strategy.
National Shelter have run provider and service user workshops in both Adelaide and Brisbane.
The project has heard from various service providers and users about issues they have experienced when using the MyHealth system. Their experiences and solutions will be used to prepare a report to the ADHA regarding how the system can improve and tackle the key issues providers are faced with when interacting with their clients in relation to issues with accessing the MyHealth system. The final phase of the project will be to test the report findings with other state shelters, including Shelter WA.
The project will finish in late June.
The Director General of the Western Australian Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage Gail McGowan has been recognised in this year’s Queen’s Birthday honours.
Ms McGowan received The Public Service Medal for outstanding public service to land use planning and industry development in Western Australia.
The Public Service Medal recognises outstanding service by employees of the Australian Government and state, territory and local government employees.
Gail McGowan was appointed Director General of the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage (DPLH) in September 2017.
Ms McGowan was the interim Director General who oversaw the amalgamation of the former departments of Planning, Lands, State Heritage Office and the Aboriginal lands and the heritage functions of the Department of Aboriginal Affairs into DPLH. Ms McGowan has worked in the public sector for many years and was appointed Director General of the Department of Planning in April 2014. Prior this this, she held senior positions at the former Department of State Development and Worksafe.
Her vision for the newly created DPLH is of a truly integrated department that has a strong focus on stakeholders with all functions working together to deliver a seamless outcome for clients.
Broome Community Housing Forum
Shelter WA was pleased to host a community forum, in partnership with Foundation Housing, to discuss affordable housing in Broome.
[L-R] Mariana Logan and Kathleen Gregory, Foundation Housing and Michelle Mackenzie, Shelter WA
The Move To Town program provided the opportunity to hear from the Department of Communities about the North West Aboriginal Housing Fund and their social and affordable housing programs.
Ninielia Mills, the Manager of Community Development at Nyamba Buru Yawuru provided an overview of Yawuru Housing and the range of programs they offer to cater for a variety of housing requirements across the housing continuum and the strong cultural foundation of wellbeing that weaves people, culture and country together and underpins their success.
[L-R] Ninielia Mills, Nyamba Buru Yawuru and Andre Stuyt, Shire of Broome
Michael King, the CEO of Centacare Kimberley outlined their work in housing and tenancy support and Foundation Housing CEO Kathleen Gregory provided an overview of their Broome housing options and partnerships with local agencies to connect tenants to services help them sustain their tenancies.
Attendees, who were from State and local government, business and the community sector workshopped the issues, barriers and housing needs in Broome and the next steps needed to progress action. Shelter WA was pleased to facilitate this discussion and looks forward to working with the Broome community to progress outcomes.
[L-R] Kathleen Gregory, Foundation Housing and Jeanette Bryson, Department of Communities
About Foundation Housing
Foundation Housing is a West Australian community housing organisation that provides affordable housing for people on low and moderate incomes.
Foundation Housing supports over 3,000 people in 126 suburbs and towns across WA. More than just accommodation, they provide a high level of service and support to help tenants sustain their home in partnership with service agencies. They do this because they understand that having a safe and secure home provides a foundation for tenants to look forward with hope. Further information can be found here.
About Nyamba Buru Yawuru (NBY)
The Yawuru people are the traditional owners of the lands and waters in and around Rubibi (the town of Broome) from Bangarangara to the Yalimban (south) to Wirrjinmirr (Willie Creek) to the Guniyan (north), and Banu (east) covering Roebuck Plains and Thangoo pastoral leases, in the Kimberley region of northern Western Australia. Yawuru is committed to a vision of an inclusive and sustainable economy and enabling Yawuru and other Aboriginal people to become active and prosperous participants in the region.
The NBY vision incorporates commercial success with the renaissance of Yawuru cultural values and practices, embodied in the philosophy of ‘mabu liyan’ (good spirit) which is a holistic understanding of positive wellbeing that incorporates personal, social and environmental aspects that contribute to a good life. Website here.
About Centacare Kimberley
Centacare Kimberley provides a range of social support services to the people of the Kimberley in the locations of Broome, Derby, Kununurra, Balgo, Warmun and Wyndham. This includes in partnership with MercyCare providing short stay accommodation to people visiting Derby or Broome. Also providing assistance to individuals, couples and families who are sleeping rough, are homeless, or, are at risk of becoming homeless. Through their Homeless Outreach program they work with people to overcome barriers to accessing and maintaining long term stable accommodation.
Also they work with the WA Housing Authority and Community Housing Limited to provide the West Kimberley Transitional Housing Program in Broome and Derby, providing an opportunity for local Aboriginal people who wish to buy their own homes or to enter the private rental market. They are involved in supporting applicants of the Move To Town Program. Website here.
The State Government announced that the Midland, Bayswater and Forrestfield station precincts will be brought into a redevelopment area known as the METRONET East Redevelopment Area. This is a positive initiative which Shelter WA hopes will maximise development opportunities and provide greater market certainty.
This should lead to the delivery of more affordable and diverse housing in residential and mixed-use developments through policy provisions requiring a range of dwellings types and minimum affordable targets within the redevelopment area.
In terms of implementation, the Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority (MRA) will begin the statutory process to extend the Midland Redevelopment Area to include the immediate areas around the Bayswater and Forrestfield train stations. The Statutory process for Bayswater and Forrestfield will take around 12 months, with Planning Control Areas in place in the interim, administered by the Western Australian Planning Commission, to ensure compatible development complements the infrastructure projects.
- The State Government's media release can be found here.
- Maps of the proposed redevelopment areas can be found on the METRONET website.
In the last edition of Inside Housing we highlighted the Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority’s use of the government’s statutory planning powers (the power to approve developments), through their inclusionary zoning policy.
Inclusionary zoning basically requires a percentage of developments to be affordable housing, as a condition of development approval. MRA uses inclusionary zoning, for example in Central Perth where it requires residential developments to provide 12% of the dwellings as affordable housing. The establishment of the METRONET East Redevelopment Area provides an opportunity for inclusionary zoning across METRONET developments. This story highlighted the MRA’s research of a model of affordable ownership housing, through a new Home Of Your Own (HOYO) product that gives people a stable place to live that they can own at a submarket price. More information on this here.
Shelter WA will continue to work through our membership of the METRONET Private Sector Reference Group to advocate to increase more diverse affordable and social housing, with a key focus of harnessing the strengths of the community housing sector to increase more social and affordable housing supply.
Inside Housing - June 4/2019
Please read the latest edition of our fortnightly newsletter, Inside Housing.
Inside this edition...
• Shelter WA welcomes the announcement of a Federal Housing Minister and an Assistant Minister for Community Housing in Prime Minister Scott Morrison's new ministry.
• What is the First Home Deposit Scheme? We explain how it works and take a look at why economists are questioning its relevance.
• Public Perception Survey: We want your input as we look to uncover general opinions towards social and affordable housing.
Plus heaps more including, the release of the twelfth report in the Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre's focus on WA series and our Member Profile focuses on the work of Janelle Veitch. Janelle has left her role as Senior Strategy Officer with the Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority. Her work over the last six years is considerable and provides an insight into inclusionary zoning and affordable housing innovation.
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.
NDIS Housing Pathways
Joseph Connellan, Senior Manager of Housing at the Melbourne Disability Institute will be visiting Perth to provide an update on an NDIS Housing Pathways project he is completing at the University of Melbourne.
His NDIS Housing Pathways project is focused on SDA plus "the other 94%" (i.e. those not eligible for SDA) and seeks to inform NDIS Local Area Co-ordinators (LACs) as well as housing and support service providers and coordinators about NDIS and housing. It has a particular focus on the development of succinct and robust housing information resources and effective training provision.
FRIDAY 14 June, 2019 | 10.00am - 11.00am. NDS WA Training Room, 12 Lindsay Street, PERTH.
If you would like to attend this event please notify Geoff Holden on firstname.lastname@example.org.
BCEC Housing Affordability Report
Getting our House in Order? Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre Housing Affordability Report 2019.
Shelter WA was pleased to be part of a panel discussion at the launch of the Getting our Housing In order? BCEC Housing Affordability Report 2019.
The Report highlights many households in the community are doing it tough when it comes to housing affordability.
In particular people on low incomes and single parents are contributing the highest share of their income to meeting housing costs. It shows that the private rental market is increasingly unaffordable to many people with Perth ranking as the least affordable city in Australia in terms of the typical housing cost shares paid by renters, and the divergent trends in housing costs between owner-occupiers and renters. Also the Report illustrates the significant relationship between housing costs and financial wellbeing and through case studies shows the impact on families of spending so much of their income on housing costs.
A number of policy recommendations are outlined to ensure that WA has a supply of housing affordable that meets the needs of a diverse range of households and ensuring that affordable housing is available across different tenure types and locations. These include stamp duty relief, increased investment in public housing and in community housing with a replacement National Rental Affordable Scheme using investor tax incentives through community housing providers. Also greater diversity and housing choice within existing infill areas and new greenfield subdivisions with a stretch target of 30 per cent affordable housing on government owned land and affordable housing contributions from any development approval that delivers an uplift in land value.
Tenancy reform is seen as critical to make private rental more secure and attractive as a long term tenure.
Shelter WA would like to congratulate the BCEC on the publication of this report which provides a sound evidence base for policy reform.
Read the report here.
First Home Deposit Scheme
With the federal election over, now is a good time to take a closer look at the Morrison Government’s First Home Deposit Scheme (FHDS).
The FHDS allows first-home buyers access to loan guarantees so they can buy a property with deposits of just 5 per cent of the price.
Support is available to first-home buyers below a certain capped income level which is $125,000 for single people and $200,000 combined income for a couple if they have saved 5 per cent of the value of the home. An income test is conducted on the previous year’s taxable income to determine eligibility. Due diligence processes will apply in approving a loan.
Buyers won’t need to have a full 20 per cent deposit and will save around $10,000 by not having to pay lenders mortgage insurance. The Scheme will commence on 1 January 2020 and is limited to 10,000 first homebuyers. If the borrower refinances or the loan comes to an end the Commonwealth support will terminate.
Equity of $500m will be set aside by the government through the National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation, which will guarantee loans up to a value of 20 per cent of the home.
So, it sounds like a good idea, but will a first-home buyer really be better off and is the right focus for government in responding to affordable housing?
A Domain Research Analysis ran its ruler over the numbers.
It found “a hypothetical first-home buyer scenario shows that while the scheme is a better alternative to securing lenders mortgage insurance, it will cost tens of thousand more than a 20 per cent deposit over the life of the loan.
It suggests “first-home buyers should look long and hard at the scheme before jumping at it, paying particular attention to additional servicing costs as well as factoring in potential capital gains and the cost of renting while saving.”
And The Grattan Institute's Brendan Coates had this to say on the ABC’s 7.30 program.
“The reality is we can only help first home buyers if someone loses, which means prices probably have to fall," Mr Coates said.
"The reality is quite a lot of those people will never get access to this scheme because they may struggle to ever be able to afford a loan based on bank regulations around how much you've got to be able to repay. It means the policy's … going to be fairly irrelevant, it's not going to do a lot to boost home ownership," he said.
Targeted initiatives that assist first homebuyers into the market are welcome. For many years Keystart has been supporting WA first homebuyers into home ownership. Unfortunately, it seems that this Commonwealth initiative will do little to assist people on very low, or low to moderate incomes access an affordable home.
Shelter WA urges the Morrison Government to do more to facilitate investment into new affordable housing supply. A national housing strategy, which aligns all the policy levers across government, developed in partnership with industry, the community sector and the community sector is needed. This will provide a framework to consider government interventions to ensure that they are working towards a common outcome and providing more diverse and affordable housing products for all people in the community.
With thousands of people on the waitlist for social housing, private rentals unaffordable to people on low incomes and homelessness increasing, a more strategic and targeted approach is needed by government to ensure everybody has a place to call home.