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Q Shelter Housing Matters Newsletter
Tuesday, 5 May 2020
Message from the Executive Director
Tenancy sustainment in the spotlight
The last two weeks have seen significant changes to legislation governing the relationship between landlords and tenants. In response to COVID-19 the Queensland Government has created a legal framework supporting tenants directly impacted by COVID-19 to negotiate with their landlords. 
Community Housing Providers are working hard to build these measures into their own practices. The State has produced a comprehensive practice guide that includes vital information and scenarios to support the implementation.
Q Shelter through Emma Greenhalgh is working on additional resources to assist CHPs and tenants. Please contact Emma for more information at emma.greenhalgh@qshelter.asn.au  
The underpinning purpose is for tenancy sustainment at a time when home is more important than ever. COVID-19 responses around the world have been entirely dependent on people being able to isolate at home. The word home has never been more embedded in public discourse. I hear it on a daily basis across all media and in all my connections with people.
Like everyone, I hope that the acute risk of COVID-19 continues to be managed and that we progress towards social and economic recovery. I also hope we can continue to elevate and amplify the role that ‘home’ has played in managing the risks to people and communities, and the role it will play in future recovery.
Stimulus and Recovery
With our national counterparts, we are raising the profile that economic stimulus will play in recovery. We know that investment in social and affordable housing can play a vital role in economic recovery. As a peak body we will work with governments to guide how stimulus through housing supply can achieve lasting benefits to many people.
I am involved in a State working group focusing on housing supply solutions responsive to COVID-19. And I meet on a weekly basis with other state-level peaks to advance initiatives at the Federal level that effectively flow through to the States.
The speed of rapid responses to ensure the safety of homeless people and people in congregate living environments has been unprecedented. We are now working with  State and key services to co-design the move from temporary responses to sustainable solutions. It throws light on evidence-based service delivery models. We look forward to securing opportunities where emergent models are discussed and agreed as part of learning from COVID-19.
Impacts on services
We know that COVID-19 is having unprecedented impacts. We are hearing from community housing providers that there are risks to revenue and long-term financial capacity for growth. We encourage you to contact Q Shelter to discuss your concerns and experiences.
You can join the statewide or regional COVID-19 learning exchange teleconferences  or write to Q Shelter at solutions@qshelter.asn.au. You can also call at any time to speak to a member of the team. We participate in weekly meetings with the State Government to raise these issues and work towards effective solutions.
Stay safe and congratulations on your continued efforts which are reflected in Queensland’s amazing reduction in cases and prevention in community transmission. Please contact Q Shelter at any time for assistance. We look forward to working with you to innovate as the year progresses.
Fiona Caniglia
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Housing and Homelessness services vital part of post COVID-19 stimulus measures
There are calls across the country for all levels of government to work together to drive stimulus measures post-COVID-19.
Major projects are seen as the key to addressing housing and homelessness issues while stimulating the economy.
Q Shelter's pre-budget submission and local government priority statements include housing supply measures that will support stimulus post COVID-19. You can read the Queensland State Budget Submission 20-21 by clicking here. For the Housing Solutions for Local Communities priority statement to local government click here
Queensland's Local Government Association of Queensland has drawn up a Battleplan for Queensland Local Communities. The LGAQ’s message to the Queensland Government has President Mark Jamieson listing local government initiatives for coronavirus recovery. Read their plan here
Nationally, the Australian Council of Social Service says public housing for 30,000 people is needed to boost Australia's post-crisis economy. The Guardian reports that ACOSS is calling for ongoing support to be provided to low and modest-income households while avoiding any return to the “brutality” of $40 a day in unemployment payments. Read the article here. 
New South Wales Government could buy up spare housing in a $500 million stimulus plan. The Sydney Morning Herald reports the NSW government is considering a $500 million property spending spree, snapping up unsold apartments and fast-tracking construction as part of its coronavirus economic recovery plan. Read the article here.
Victoria's A Big Build to End Homelessness in Victoria strategy should be a top priority for the new Building Victoria’s Recovery Taskforce says the Victorian Council of Social Service. Read the VCOSS plan here.  The Age reports the construction industry has joined with charities and welfare groups to push for a post-COVID-19 social housing boom to stimulate the economy, create more jobs and head off a potential increase in homelessness. Read the article here
South Australia's focus of stimulus plans has to be construction that puts social housing first says Geoff Hanmer, Adjunct Professor of Architecture at the University of Adelaide. Writing for The Conversation, he says the construction sector is the obvious focus of a stimulus plan and the construction of social housing should be the priority. Read the article here.
Q Shelter have been invited to provide input into the content of webinars for the RTA and Tenancy Skills Institute on the COVID-19 residential tenancies regulations.
This includes information that be useful to assist tenants and residents of community and affordable housing to understand the changes that have occurred with residential tenancies, including the eviction moratorium on rental arrears related to COVID-19. It could also include information for tenants on what happens if tenants have not been impacted by COVID-19, what to do if they having difficulties paying rent, information in maintenance and inspections, and evictions. 
We have an opportunity to provide specific sector input on shaping the content. The information will be able to be edited into smaller ‘bite size’ videos that can provided on social media by organisations. 
Please contact Q Shelter if you have particular topics that you would like included, and if there is any content that could be created that would assist your tenants and residents. 
You can contact Emma Greenhalgh directly on (07) 3831 5900 or via email Emma.Greenhalgh@qshelter.asn.au 
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Anglicare’s Rental Affordability Snapshot shows again there’s a chronic shortage of affordable rental properties
Out of more than 70,000 rental properties available, just 1.5% are affordable for people on the lowest incomes.
It’s again more evidence that we need a new way of looking at housing in Australia so that everybody has a home.
If the COVID-19 pandemic has shown us anything, it’s just how broken our housing system is.
• Thousands of rough sleepers with nowhere to shelter from the virus
• Renters facing eviction overnight 
• Australians paying so much in rent they can’t afford to stay afloat if their work situation changes
• Homeowners who’ve lost their homes, leaving many in debt to the banks.
The crisis has also created an opportunity to get the message out that we can’t go back to business as usual.
Not only do we need housing included in any stimulus package, we need to keep up the pressure for long-term action around fair renting, rental assistance and action on homelessness.
Government will act on housing is if there is enough of a constituency to make them realise they can’t afford to ignore the issue.
Let’s get the Everybody’s Home umbrella working!
Take action and sign the petition  
Charities can exclude government revenue from the JobKeeper turnover test
Changes to JobKeeper eligibility for not-for-profits will help ensure crucial services can continue to be provided to those most at risk.
The Australian Council of Social Service says this will allow employing charities receiving revenue from government to use either their total turnover, or their turnover excluding government revenue, for the purposes of assessing eligibility for the JobKeeper Payment
Read the ACOSS statement here 
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Grant opportunities
The Ian Potter Foundation
The Ian Potter Foundation has information out for their 2020 grants that open 1 July. It is a different process this year because of COVID-19
The foundation funds projects on community wellbeing including to improve circumstances for vulnerable members of the community. This program area supports organisations that seek to establish pathways for vulnerable individuals.
Grants can be for programs such as creating employment pathways for people with disabilities or otherwise vulnerable individuals, assisting individuals and families at risk of or experiencing homelessness and all that goes with it.
The foundation supports larger projects over $100,000 
Click here for more information 
James Frizelle Foundation
James Frizelle Foundation grants open 1 August and close 30 September
James Frizelle funds grants to organisations that provide support to people who are disadvantaged, experiencing domestic and family violence, experiencing homelessness, housing and accommodation stress. 
Apply for up to $25,000 grassroots grants or for greater than $25,000. 
Geographically focused on Gold Coast and northern NSW
Click here for more information 
 Q Shelter & Sector Events
Tell us your COVID-19 housing and homelessness experiences
Q Shelter is inviting social and community housing tenants, as well as people with lived experience of being homeless or housing insecurity, to share their stories and insights around COVID-19.
In particular, Q Shelter wants to hear your experiences in responding to the challenges of new rules and requirements as a result of COVID-19.
These discussions will be hosted via teleconference as a learning exchange. Participants can join via phone, or through Zoom on their computer, tablet and smartphone.
Every Tuesday from 3.00pm - 3.30pm.
CLICK HERE FOR EVENT DETAILS AND TO REGISTER
Q Shelter is committed to the confidentiality of this discussion and concerns raised. Issues and solutions raised will be presented to government and other decision-making stakeholders where appropriate.
If you would like to discuss this learning exchange in more details, please call Q Shelter on 07 3831 5900 and ask to speak with Maggie Shambrook.
Providers and Services - please feel free to pass this invitation to your local networks or any tenants and clients you feel would be interested.
Asset Managers Network
Q Shelter invites you to register your interest for the revised Asset Managers Network Meeting.
This network provides an opportunity for asset managers to share information and best practice, as well as inform government policy and regulatory changes.
It also provides the opportunity for organisations to share expertise and knowledge relating to COVID-19.
10.30am - 11.30am
Thursday 28 May 2020
Register here for the next meeting - it will be held by teleconference with details emailed to participants once they have registered.
 
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COVID-19 Learning Exchange Teleconferences
Q Shelter is continuing with weekly COVID-19 Learning Exchange Teleconferences and regional care coordination groups.
The COVID-19 Learning Exchange Teleconference is held at 4.00pm every Tuesday and you can register for this teleconference here . 
You can also click here to find registration information for regional COVID-19 Learning Exchanges  taking place in Cairns, Townsville, Mackay, Redlands, Moreton Bay, Sunshine Coast, Brisbane, Logan and the Gold Coast
Building Trust and Leading Remote Teams
As working from home has quickly become our new reality, business leaders have realised that managing remote teams requires a different set of skills for success.
The Australasian Housing Institute is launching the Building Trust and Leading Remote Teams Virtual Workshop. It provides opportunity to learn how to:
• Build trust and confidence in virtual teams
• Hold effective meetings and group sessions
• Communicate effectively
• Keep in touch
• Maximise resources, performance and deal with poor performers
Register for 19 May, 1pm - 4pm 
PRICE:  Click here for AHI’s membership structure and join online 
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Communication in a Crisis Webinar
How to keep cool under immense pressure
Join the Australasian Housing Institute on Wednesday 6 May to hear about the importance of communications in the current and post COVID-19 world. 
Experienced panellists share their tips on how to maintain effective and open communication under immense and intense pressure, what the landscape is going to be like and what are the communication skills likely to thrive.
Panellists included
• Sonia Lindsay, consultant, coach, expert negotiator and HR practitioner
• Yamini Naidu, storytelling expert and professional public speaker
• Mark Henderson, Chief Executive Office, Australasian Housing Institute
Wednesday, 6 May 2020
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM AEST
FREE for AHI Members
$20 for non-members
REGISTER
Updates from The Deck
Missed earlier Learning Exchange sessions?
Notes and resources from the COVID-19 Learning Exchange sessions from the last six weeks are all available on The Deck
17 March COVID-19 Learning Exchange Notes 
24 March COVID-19 Learning Exchange Notes 
24 March Draft Service Delivery Model 
30 March Briefing to the Sector 
30 March COVID-19 Learning Exchange Notes 
7 April Care coordination contacts and RDS 
7 April COVID-19 Learning Exchange Notes 
7 April Joint Letter Service Integration 
7 April Draft COVID-19 Guideline for CCF 14 April COVID-19 Learning Exchange Notes 
21 April COVID-19 Learning Exchange Notes 
In the News
Hotel Corona: how the pandemic could fix homelessness
By Hagar Cohen, ABC Radio
People experiencing homelessness are being moved from the street and shelters into hotels. The radical plan is meant to protect them from the pandemic and it's temporary. But there are questions about what happens once the virus crisis is over.
Read the article 
Rental affordability could be hit if welfare payments return to pre-COVID level
By Luke Henriques-Gomes, The Guardian
Halving welfare benefits after the coronavirus pandemic would reduce the number of affordable rentals across Australia for single jobseekers from more than 1,000 to nine, a new report has found. 
Anglicare’s annual Rental Affordability Snapshot found that 1,040 of the 69,960 homes surveyed would be affordable for a single jobseeker after the government boosted welfare payments by $550 a fortnight. But if the temporary coronavirus supplement is scrapped in six months, only nine of those homes would be considered affordable according to a 30% of income benchmark.
Read the article 
Insurance won't cover landlord who cut rent for tenants left jobless in coronavirus pandemic
By Lexy Hamilton-Smith, ABC
Michael Burrell is losing more than $1,000 a month in rent after agreeing to give his struggling tenants a break during the COVID-19 pandemic. 
The tenants, a couple who were paying $450 a week for a unit in Teneriffe's The Cannery, both lost their jobs in hospitality in the same week. Aware of the Federal Government's moratorium on evictions for those under "financial distress because of coronavirus", they asked for their rent to be reduced to $125 a week.
Read the article 
Rents falling as dole rises to give low-income households relief
by Jennifer Duke, The Age
Doubling the dole has kept a portion of the rental market affordable for unemployed people for the first time in 11 years, while leading economists expect rent prices in Sydney and Melbourne will drop significantly. 
The federal government in March temporarily boosted the JobSeeker allowance by $550 a fortnight to help households through the coronavirus pandemic. The effectively doubling of the benefit is now coinciding with major disruption to the usually tight rental market giving low-income households their first major relief in over a decade.
Read the article 
Lease Extensions open up funding for housing providers
by Michael Bleby, Australian Financial Review
The NSW government is giving community housing providers more opportunity to raise funds against the expected revenue streams of the homes they manage by lengthening lease terms on public housing stock.
Read the article 
Q Shelter Bulletin - Web Version 
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Q Shelter Bulletin - Web Version 
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