“Open Expression of Interest” – Release

Open Expression of Interest (FACS.15.34) was released to the market via the NSW Government’s eTendering website on 24 July 2015, seeking expressions of interest from organisations or consortia interested in establishing a new and independent-from-Government structure for The Collective NSW. https://www.communitybuilders.nsw.gov.au/building-community/the-collective-nsw

Expressions of Interest close 2pm, Tuesday 18 August 2015.

Questions about the EOI should be directed to TheCollectiveNSWtender@facs.nsw.gov.au.


About The Collective NSW

  • Protecting the most vulnerable
  • Break the cycle of disadvantage

Instead of government, the community leads the way to help solve problems for some of the community’s most vulnerable

What is It About?
The Collective NSW is a model which aims to protect the most vulnerable in our society and break the cycle of disadvantage through cross sector and community collaboration.

It reduces government’s prescriptive role clearing the path for the local community to lead the way, supported by the corporate sector, government and the community. See our story.

Who Is Involved?
Communities and individuals, big and small business, all levels of government. Non-Government Organisations and academics.

The Collective is about everyone joining forces to create social impact.

Working together is much more effective than working alone. The Collective brings everyone together to support projects and ideas. It is about pooling time, talent and resources to bring about positive change. It is about floating new ideas and encouraging new ways of thinking to tackle age old problems associated with disadvantage.

Communities are closest to the issues affecting them, so they are usually best placed to offer a solution. Under the Collective NSW model government lets the community direct the path allowing for a joint response from the community, government and business, big and small.

Our Online Community
The Collective is on social media where like-minded people wanting to disrupt inequality can gather, connect and work together to create outcomes to improve life for our most disadvantaged.

NSW Housing Affordability Crisis

Housing and homelessness peaks in NSW today issued a joint statement outlining their position on the housing affordability crisis in NSW.
There is an increasing public discourse on the housing system and in particular the availability of accessible and affordable housing. Clearly the system is failing many individuals and families. We have considerable experience and expertise in understanding the housing markets and call on all levels of government to work to ensure a fairer housing system.
A lack of affordable housing has both economic and social consequences. Without safe and secure housing women and children can’t leave violent situations, recidivism increases, homelessness will not be solved and essential service workers will increasingly be unable to live in the communities they serve.
We reject claims that increasing supply will solve the affordability crisis. In recent years NSW has seen strong increases in supply, but affordability has only worsened. Increasing supply will only make a difference if it is specifically targeted to the lower end of both the home ownership and rental markets.
Changes in employment that have resulted in greater levels of casualization, contracting and insecurity have had a serious impact on first home owners capacity to sign up to long term mortgages with confidence. Workers under the age of 30 are more likely to be casual than ever before. If the trend continues into the prime working age years it will come at the cost of income security. Almost a quarter of all employees in Australia (23.9 per cent, or 2.2 million people) in 2012 reported as casual employees. The proportion is even higher after adding more than a million contractors and the hundreds of thousands employed through agencies. In addition wages growth is almost flat.
In much of NSW attempts to assist people on low incomes into the private rental market is an almost impossible task. This is clearly evidenced in the Anglicare Rental Affordability Snapshot. Additionally at the 2011 Census over 86,000 households in NSW were in rental housing stress, paying  more than 30% of their income in rent. This is unsustainable.
Tax reform is necessary. We would urge all parties to re-examine the findings of the Henry Tax Review. There is clear evidence that negative gearing and the capital gains tax discounts drive speculation, increasing house prices. There is scant evidence that making adjustments to negative gearing will cause rents to increase.
While the New South Wales government has made a start in establishing an incentive fund for social and affordable housing, more needs to be done. There is an enormous gap between government sponsored housing and the private rental market. We would support direct investment by the state government to increase affordable housing supply. Private investors need encouragement to provide affordable housing.
The New South Wales laws need to change to allow increased security of tenure for tenants as well as fairer laws on rent increases. We believe that the Boarding House Act, while a step in the right direction has failed to ensure an adequate standard of accommodation for many people who are marginally housed.
We would support moves by local councils to increase the supply of affordable housing and urge them to work with communities to encourage new development, by highlighting the significant social benefits of secure and affordable housing.

For further information:
Churches Housing: Magnus Linder – 0417 487 052
DVNSW: Moo Baulch – 0400 936 192
Homelessness NSW: Katherine McKernan – 0425 288 446
NCOSS: Laura Maclean – 0412 867 658
Shelter NSW: Mary Perkins – 0419 919 091
Tenants Union of NSW: Ned Cutcher – 0405 433 996
YFoundations: Michael Coffey – 0425 228 758


Network Breakfast

OldGovHouseParraDear members and friends,

We would love to invite you to our next Churches Networking Breakfast, to be held at Lachlan’s Restaurant, Old Government House in Parramatta Park. Apart from catching up with your own network, we have invited our own Parramatta MPs, Federal (Julie Owens) and State (Geoff Lee). They represent two different sides of politics, but both sides are making progress in affordable housing policy. So come along and do some quality networking with your colleagues along with a nice buffet breakfast.

Date: Friday 19th June, 8:00am – 9:30am

Cost: Members $30, Non-Members $35

Location: Lachlan’s Restaurant, Old Government House, Parramatta

Register: Online Registration and Payment

Magnus Linder

Case Study – Lighthouse Youth Homelessness Project

LighthouseYIIt has been with some excitement and anticipation that we at Churches Housing put forward this research report into the Yallah Youth Housing Program. It presents as a unique and overwhelmingly effective initiative to provide transitional housing and community for youth who are homeless or in danger of becoming homeless. In many ways you would think that the Lighthouse initiative at Yallah is wrong; its location is nowhere near many essential services, transport or areas of high employment. Yet this transitional housing program appears to be a lot more than just transitional; it appears to be genuinely transformative. With 67% of participants ending up in secure accommodation and 49% in full-time employment or training upon completion, this program has something special.

The first we heard about the Lighthouse initiative was a few years ago when working with Anglicare. Anglicare Illawarra commenced partnering with Lighthouse to deliver personal training to a group of young women who were in danger of becoming homeless, part of the Yallah program. This personal training program, delivered twice weekly, saw this group transformed. Many were dealing with much anger, frustration and past abuse, while some did not even have a pair of shoes to train in. Over a period of months the personal training saw this group compete in the local Illawarra Aquathon, of which Anglicare is the main charity beneficiary. Complete with new shoes and tri-suits, (thanks to some corporate sponsorship) this group of ladies not only competed, but felt so empowered afterwards that they commenced to recruit some of their friends to participate with them in another event. However, personal training was not the primary goal. The personal trainer shared that she knew she was there primarily as a life coach, looking to build long-term relationship in order to foster self-esteem. Relationship was the key!

The NSW Government’s own “Going Home Staying Home Reform Plan” seeks to reduce repeat homelessness, increase the proportion of clients who can establish and keep long-term accommodation and reduce the need for temporary accommodation. The Lighthouse initiative does all of this, but how? The key that comes through loud and clear through the client interviews is relationships; specifically caring relationships that build community, along with links into a broader caring community outside of the program itself. Some programs may evaluate success based on the number of beds made available, the number of interventions made or the number and types of services delivered. However, the defining measurement must be the outcomes that occur at the end of the program itself. Has genuine transformation begun, have the participants learned to become independent, have they secured long-term accommodation and are they either gainfully employed or in training to be so? Delivering services is simply not enough; services must be delivered in the context of a caring community and relationships that foster a sense of self-worth.

We hope that our state government benefits from the insights given in this report and can support and encourage programs that deliver more than just services. We hope that other church and community groups will be inspired by the findings in this report and can be encouraged to implement new and innovative programs to target youth in their own communities. Finally, we also hope that this report will be of great benefit to Lighthouse itself in evaluating, planning and making any necessary changes to ensure this program continues to be successful into the future.

Download the full report

Federal Budget – Housing & Not-for-profit Organisations

The New Federal Budget contains many changes which will affect the housing industry, not-for-profit organisations and the welfare sector.

Most troubling for the Affordable Housing sector is the axing of the NRAS scheme with no thought or alternative to those who spent time, energy and finances applying for the now redundant Round 5.

Here are some helpful links which discuss these issues:

The affordable housing industry: maximising opportunities

The development of the affordable housing industry in Australia is at a critical point. It is under pressure to increase the supply of affordable housing and to respond to the diversity of tenant and household needs within the wider housing market. Shifts in government policy and regulatory frameworks aim to promote the growth of the industry, reduce the regulatory burden on providers, increase opportunities across jurisdictions, and support future housing product development.

To-date the industry has responded effectively to opportunities to upscale and diversify. There have been significant organisational changes as the business models of affordable housing providers have become more diverse and complex.

How can this industry be further developed in Australia? What is the reform agenda to support this development and what is the capacity of the industry to respond?

This event convened by the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI) will be informed by the significant body of evidence AHURI has developed on this matter including the Final Report Understanding leadership, strategy and organisational dynamics in the not-for-profit housing sector and the soon to be released Final Report Understanding decision making in the not-for-profit housing sector: longitudinal and comparative components.

The event will bring together what is known about this issue from the research perspective with what it means to senior policy-makers and the affordable housing industry.

Hear from international guest, Professor David Mullins from the University of Birmingham in the UK, as well as local experts:

The event will conclude with an audience discussion and Q&A with panel members to address key issues:

  • Industry settings and industry players—what does an affordable housing industry look like?
  • The role of policy and regulation—how is the industry supported to grow and diversify?
  • Organisation capacity—what is the capacity of affordable housing providers?

Event Details:

  • Cost


  • When

    Tuesday, 13 May, 2014
    8:45 AM – 12:30 PM

  • Where

    SMC Conference and Function Centre
    Ionic room
    66 Goulburn Street

More Details…


Submissions are LIVE!


Federal Housing Submission has also gone live!


A re-worked edition of the State submission was also sent to the Senate Economic References Committee addressing the criteria of its “Inquiry into Affordable Housing 2014” on the 25th of March 2014.  Click here to read this submission.


Churches Housing has worked with ANGLICARE Sydney, supported by BaptistCare and Anglican Retirement Villages to make a comprehensive submission to the current NSW Legislative Council Inquiry into Social, public and affordable housing. The submission includes background research, case studies and recommendations. Click here to read the submission. A special thanks goes out to the research team at ANGLICARE Sydney for their most valuable contribution.

Housing, Disability and the NDIS

chfa_logo_high_res_no_bg_textHousing, Disability and the NDIS

27 March 2014, Canberra
(less than 50 places left)

9.30am to 4.30pm

Thursday 27 March, 2014
Manuka Oval Function Centre

This one day forum will examine the emerging role of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) in supporting participants to gain appropriate housing with support. Its Chairman, Bruce Bonyhady, has agreed to be the keynote speaker for the forum. Other speakers will include NDIA housing specialists and key experts from government, disability, and housing sectors.
Please find attached the draft agenda for the day.
To receive further information or to register please visit:

Please note: this is a not-for-profit event and we have endeavored to keep the cost of registration as low as possible. The registration fee comprises the costs of catering, speaker support, event management, the registration system, staff support, event facilitation, venue and AV hire and catering. We have not received any form of sponsorship for the forum.

New Housing Companies

Two new housing companies are being established to provide a specialised focus on housing solutions for young people, and women and children experiencing domestic and family violence.

The companies will be not-for-profit, registered community housing providers, and in early 2014 the companies will seek registration under the National Regulatory System for Community Housing. It is expected that the housing companies will be in operation and registered by June 2014.

Funding from the Transitional National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness 2013/14 Development Fund has been committed to the purchase of up to 25 properties for each housing company to provide a new form of long term transitional housing. The properties being acquired for the housing company for young people will be in Western Sydney and the Mid-North Coast. The properties for the housing company for women and children will be located in South Western Sydney, Western Sydney, Newcastle/Lake Macquarie and the Mid-North Coast.

The establishment of the housing companies is a partnership between Housing NSW with the peak agencies, YFoundations and DV NSW. The model for each housing company is being developed in consultation with services that provide accommodation and support to young people, and women and children experiencing domestic and family violence.

Click Here for their information sheets.

Affordable Housing – Essential for everyone!


Dear Colleague,
As part of our FAIRbruary campaign, NCOSS is seeking the sector’s support for the affordable housing proposals in our 2014-15 Pre Budget Submission.
We seek your assistance in spreading the word about our campaign by including the following text in your forthcoming newsletters or member bulletins.

Alison Peters

Suggested text follows:

There is ample evidence that low income households in NSW are finding it increasingly difficult to secure rental housing that is affordable, secure and appropriate to their needs. This in turn limits their ability to obtain and retain paid employment, access education and training, and build a better life for themselves and their dependents.This is a problem that has developed over an extended period of time but the time has come for positive action.

As part of its FAIRbruary campaign, NCOSS is seeking support from the sector for the affordable housing proposals set out in our Pre-Budget Submission.

These proposals include:

  • a formal four year plan with numerical targets to increase the supply of social and affordable housing;
  • encouraging investment in innovative housing responses by community housing providers; and
  • recognising social housing as an integral part of the NSW Government’s infrastructure agenda.

NCOSS is calling on local services to raise these proposals with local state MPs; other organisations to email the Premier and relevant Ministers; and for as many organisations as possible to make a submission to the Legislative Council’s Select Committee on Social, Public and Affordable Housing.
Background material for all these actions appears on the NCOSS FAIRbruary website: