It is with great pride that we congratulate 3 members of Churches Housing Inc. who have successfully been awarded contracts for the first phase of the Social and Affordable Housing Fund (SAHF) – a key initiative of Future Directions for Social Housing in NSW.


Combined, they will provide just over 1300 affordable units of housing for vulnerable people across the State. You can read the press release here.


  • BaptistCare NSW & ACT – delivering 375 homes for older people in housing stress and at risk of homelessness and 125 homes for single parent families with a focus on women impacted by domestic violence;
  • St Vincent de Paul Housing – delivering 500 homes to general and older aged tenants;
  • Uniting – 300 homes for people aged over 55 without children at home.


A Minute with Magnus…

A Minute with Magnus…

Happy new financial year! How are you and your organisation feeling about the future, particularly in regard to housing? I admit to feeling a little muddled and mixed up about the future. There are some great initiatives commenced by our State Government in pursuing their “Future Directions” program for social housing; Communities Plus is set to deliver new and rebuilt social housing (much needed as the average age of social housing approaches 50 years) along with considerable private market housing (which will pay for the rest) and a sprinkling of affordable housing. The Social and Affordable Housing Fund (SAHF) is in the final stages prior to announcing the winning bidders for delivery of 3,000 new mostly social housing units. Despite this great news I cannot help but wonder if the overall problem will still just get much worse, as these programs will deliver only 9,500 new units of social and affordable housing over the next ten years. A very modest increase that will do little do reduce the waiting lists and the housing stress experienced in our communities. However, it is a bold start and we applaud the government for having successfully turned the public housing ship from an ever increasing decline in stock to now at least a small increase. One interesting development for the sector is the emergence of contracts that will be measuring not just housing provision but social outcomes. We will discuss this a lot more in the future.

What else needs to be done? There are many things that could and even should be done and no one thing will solve all the issues. It would be wonderful for the federal government to become involved in proactive policies too (click here to read our latest Federal submission). A missing plank of housing has rapidly become housing for key workers, particularly those who earn a moderate wage and are being priced out of being able to live anywhere near the key places of employment. This is bad not just for them and their families, who live in housing stress, but also begins to strangle businesses and institutions as they struggle to retain workers within their communities. One key task that we have become involved in asking our State Government to implement is that of Value Sharing, otherwise known as Inclusionary Zoning; a mandated minimum percentage of affordable housing that MUST be included in every large development. Churches Housing has engaged with other like-minded church groups, community organisations and trade unions in campaigning for Value Sharing. What we are asking for is that the incredible value uplifts, often in the millions of dollars, that are seen through zoning uplifts on new and proposed developments, are shared not just between developer, business and government but also shared with the community by including a minimum percentage of affordable housing in these developments. This will see affordable housing built all across Sydney, rather than just further and further out west. This policy has seen other world cities struggling with the same issue of housing affordability mandate that up to 30% of new developments must be set aside for affordable housing. Our own city of Adelaide has had a 15% inclusionary zoning policy in place for a decade. I recommend a recent article by former Premier Nick Greiner published in the Sydney Morning Herald which discusses this ask. If you would like to become involved we encourage you to speak out, especially to your local MPs. If you would like some resources in order to support such a meeting then please do not hesitate to ask me.


Magnus Linder
Executive Officer

NSW shared homeownership scheme

NSW shared homeownership scheme

– a much needed pathway to housing affordability

A shared homeownership housing model developed developed by a coalition of NSW community housing associations and peak bodies could deliver a much needed pathway to housing affordability for people on-low-to-moderate incomes.

In a first for NSW, the scheme will enable homeowners to purchase between 25 to 80 percent of the value of the dwelling, with a not for profit community housing association as a nonresidential purchase partner.
NSW Federation of Housing Associations CEO, Wendy Hayhurst, said Western Australia, South Australia and the ACT had introduced similar successful initiatives. “Despite housing affordability in this state being the worst in the country, NSW does not provide any government-backed home purchase schemes. Rather than wait for government action, community housing providers have decided to test a model of shared homeownership targeted at their existing tenants.”
Regional Development Australia Sydney Executive Officer Bob Germaine said “shared homeownership is targeted at households earning between $70,000 to $100,000 a year who can’t get social housing and are priced out of the market”. The initiative would see a household jointly purchase a new dwelling with a community housing provider; taking out a standard mortgage and entering into a formal co-ownership
agreement. Ms Hayhurst said the initiative should be a no brainer. “This initiative does not require government help, other than that they correct an anomaly with the First Home Owner Grant,” she said. “It is self funding, does not divert resources away from social housing and is designed to prevent people taking on debt they can’t afford. Even better the community housing provider retains its share of the dwelling and generates a return on its investment to spend on more affordable housing.”
Mr Germaine said that modelling undertaken by the Group indicated there was strong demand for the product. “There are tens of thousands of households already paying rent comparable to the mortgage repayment required for shared homeownership. Realistically the major
constraint is likely to be the number of new dwellings that the providers can offer, not the demand,” he said.

You can access the submission, “Doors to ownership: a business case and guidelines for a shared home ownership scheme with NSW community housing associations” here

Affordable & diverse housing fund

city of sydney



Affordable & diverse housing fund

The affordable and diverse housing fund aims to promote the development of affordable and diverse housing by community housing providers, not-for-profit and for-profit organisations in the City of Sydney’s local area.

The program aims to achieve:
-additional development of affordable and diverse rental housing
-greater range of affordable and diverse housing providers in the local area
-use of private finance to increase funding of affordable rental housing
-wider range of private financiers to fund affordable rental housing
-increased capacity for housing providers to develop medium and high density affordable rental housing
-increased stock of affordable and diverse housing managed by not-for-profit organisations
-reduced housing stress among residents with low to moderate income.

The fund is part of our commitment to overcome financial barriers to promote affordable and diverse housing development.
The City is aiming to provide 15% of total dwelling stock for affordable and diverse housing in the local area.

Funding is available up to $8.5 million and can be used for:
-acquiring land
-design and construction
-associated development costs.

Priority will be given to projects whose funding includes debt finance and preference will be given to applicants registered as tier 1, 2 or 3 under the national regulatory code for community housing providers.

The affordable and diverse housing fund is open all year for applications until funds are exhausted. All projects must be intended for completion within 3 years of funding approval.

For more information about this program or how to apply, please contact:
Grants team
02 9265 9333

Fee-Free Training

Fee-Free Training 

The NSW Government’s Smart and Skilled Fee-Free Scholarships mean that students can get training to get the skills they need to get the job they want and their course fees will be covered.

From 1 July 2016, fee-free scholarships have been extended to people experiencing or have experienced domestic and family violence and their dependants.

Smart and Skilled Fee-Free Scholarships are available for:
*young people who are eligible for a concession fee, with priority given to social housing residents and clients or young people in crisis/supported accommodation
*young people who are or have been in out-of-home care
*people who are experiencing or have experienced domestic and family violence and their dependants.

For more information, please visit the Smart and Skilled website.

Reports Released

Reports Released

Upcoming Events

Upcoming Events

Homelessness Week 2016 – August 1-7
There are many opportunities to participate in Homelessness Week events

Building Bridges 2016
To grow community understanding and dialogue towards justice for Indigenous Australians – August 3, 10, 17, 24.
Parramatta Town Hall, Jubilee Room – 7:30 pm
No charge – Donation appreciated
An initiative of Reconciliation for Western Sydney
For further information, contact Lyn 9639 8394

AHURI One-Day Conference – The future of housing assistance
Wednesday 19 October 2016 – Adelaide Oval

National Housing Conference 2017
29 Nov – 1 Dec 2017
International Convention Centre, Sydney
The biennial National Housing Conference is the single largest cross-sectoral event in Australasia for the social and affordable housing sectors. AHURI will convene the tenth National Housing Conference 2017 in Sydney, in partnership with the NSW Department of Family and Community Services on 29 Nov – 1 Dec 2017 at the International Convention Centre. Registrations will open late 2016.



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Any organisations registered with the ACNC are eligible for the Power of Us licenced donation program (which offers the first 10 licences free). Click here to go to the webpage, or here to contact Andrew Hill – account executive for further details.

CHINTARO – Social Housing Software



Social Housing management software

Churches Housing discovered that some of our members were struggling in relation to their software systems and reporting, often having to duplicate entries and using out-dated or cobbled together systems that were not fit-for purpose. We decided to investigate some solutions, including an option to develop our own software.
We quickly discovered that the wheel had already been invented and as such, Churches Housing have partnered with Chintaro Social Housing management software. This partnership offers our members who are looking to automate their business activities, potential savings due to economies and group buying power. $100 from every license sold through our network will be donated to Churches Housing to bring you bigger and better services. Chintaro BDM Jen Rutherford will be happy to set you up with a demonstration or 30 day trial of the software.

Chintaro is:
– Quick and easy to set-up
– 150 customers around Aust/NZ
– Affordable
– Purpose-built for Social Housing not Real Estate

Chintaro Automates maintenance, financial management, reporting, case notes and tenant communication,

Contact details:
Jen Rutherford Chintaro Business Development Manager MDB
| ph: +613 9005 6447 | m: +613 438 682 597
| e: |
Chintaro makes the lives of Social Housing Managers easier

Strong interest in $1.1B social and affordable housing

Excitingly for CHI, our members make up four of the nine shortlisted parties.
BaptistCare NSW & ACT, The Salvation Army (NSW) Property Trust, The Trustees of the St Vincent De Paul Society and The Uniting Church in Australia Property Trust (NSW) for Uniting. Services Agreements for Phase 1 are intended to be awarded by September 2016.
We congratulate all of our members who tendered successfully.

Press Release – May 2, 2016
The NSW Government has announced that nine parties have been shortlisted to develop proposals to tap into the Social and Affordable Housing Fund (SAHF), which will deliver an additional 3,000 social and affordable homes in its first phase and slash waiting lists for vulnerable families.
Treasurer Gladys Berejiklian said the shortlisted parties consist of partnerships between non-government organisations, landholders and the private sector.
“The SAHF represents an innovative opportunity to boost social and affordable housing stock, while at the same time helping to improve the lives of the most vulnerable across our State,” Ms Berejiklian said. “That is why it is so promising to see such a strong response to the Expression of Interest process.”
The SAHF generated a strong market response, with 24 expressions of interest received delivering proposals across the State.
Minister for Social Housing Brad Hazzard said all shortlisted parties have been notified. After the preferred proponents are announced later this year, it is expected that a number of the parties will be awarded contracts under the SAHF program.
“We are rolling out the biggest social housing reforms in 40 years, with more social housing, better social housing and better outcomes for social housing tenants.
“The private and community sectors are vital in those reforms and the shortlisting of proposals moves us one step closer to delivering thousands of much needed social and affordable housing homes,” Mr Hazzard said.
Vulnerable households will be able to move into the properties over the next two to three years.
The SAHF will be set-up with approximately $1.1 billion in seed capital from the Government. The Government’s investment arm, TCorp, will invest the money to provide a stable income stream for up to 25 years to boost social and affordable housing.