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August Housing Matters
In this edition of Housing Matters:
  1. Matters of the month
  2. 2021 Census
  3. Q Shelter Live events
  4. Meet a member
  5. Sector news and updates
  6. Shelter network
 Matters of the month
From Q Shelter's Executive Director, Fiona Caniglia
The Queensland Housing Round Table
Q Shelter, CHIA Qld and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Housing Queensland convened a Queensland Housing Round Table involving private sector peaks, Tier 1 community housing providers and financial institutions to engage about housing solutions in the wake of the Queensland State Budget and Housing and Homelessness Action Plan. The Queensland Department of Communities, Housing and the Digital Economy set the scene and the discussion was facilitated by Studio THI.
The National Inquiry into Homelessness
The Parliamentary Committee leading the National Inquiry into Homelessness has delivered its report. With thirty-five recommendations there is a lot to digest. How homelessness is enumerated and the key directions for future consideration include:
  • increased focus on prevention and early intervention
  • adoption of a ‘Housing First’ approach
  • enhanced provision of social housing
  • development of a national strategy for housing and/or homelessness.
The next Q Shelter Learning Exchange will unpack the report further with the help of national housing and homelessness experts. I hope you can join us in reflecting on the implications for all levels of Government as well as our sector.
2021 Census: Tuesday 10 August
Q Shelter urges stakeholders and members to promote the importance of the 2021 Census with their networks, families, and friends, to support people experiencing homelessness to be counted.
The 2016 Census showed 1 in 200 people in Australia are experiencing homelessness. This includes rough sleepers, couch surfers and people staying in temporary accommodation. Dylan Langley, Youth Homelessness Advocate, shares his experiences and why the Census is so important for people experiencing homelessness in this video.
Census data is used to plan services and support for people experiencing homelessness. This includes emergency shelters, domestic violence programs, transitional housing and programs for young people. 
Your participation in the Census is important so the right services can be provided in your community. You can complete your Census from anywhere that you’re staying on Census night, Tuesday 10 August.  If you're sleeping rough, couch surfing or staying in a refuge or hostel you should enter ‘NONE’ for the suburb part of the question ‘Where does the person usually live?’.
Support is available to help you complete your Census if you don’t have a permanent address. Speak to your homelessness support worker if you have one or visit www.census.abs.gov.au/help/homelessness for more information.
Community and transitional housing providers can find more information about supporting their clients here.
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Peer Leadership training
Q Shelter and Neighbourly are presenting a series of ten training workshops on leadership, participation and change. With the current Covid situation, please check the events page for the latest updates. Learn more.
Where? New Farm Neighbourhood Centre. 967 Brunswick St, New Farm
When? Fortnightly. Thursdays at 1.30pm to 4pm.
How do I register? Online, or by calling or emailing Q Shelter on 3831 5900 or info@qshelter.asn.au
Session 3 - Building a group
Thursday, 12 August 2021 - 1:30pm to 4pm
Session 4 - Keeping a group going
Thursday 26 August 2021 - 1:30pm to 4pm
Skills in Action
Q Shelter’s Skills in Action web-series is series of online events from 16 to 27 August, providing learning and development opportunities for people responding to housing need and homelessness in Queensland including: people with lived experience of homelessness or housing need, tenants of social and affordable housing, members of governing bodies in the human services sector, managers, coordinators and team leaders, front-line practitioners, and volunteers. 
The web-series offers the opportunity to engage in workshops, webinars, and panel discussions with local, interstate, and international speakers from the public and private sectors. You will develop skills and frameworks that enhance innovation, leadership, and good practice. Each session will conclude with actionable takeaways, supporting you to put your new skills into action!
Learn more, and register here.
🏚️ The impact of regional women in leadership roles. 16 August, 10am-11.30am, online
🏚️ Supporting and building tenant participation. 16 August, 4pm-5.30pm, online
🏚️ Reboot your brand: how organisational values and purpose can become your branding superpowers. 18 August, 12pm-1.30pm, online
🏚️ Getting to yes: the art and science of building spport for housing diversity. 19 August, 10am-11.30am, online
🏚️ Private sector professionals making a difference in the charitable sector: postcards from experience. 20 August, 10am-11.30am, online
 
🏚️ The rise of citizen-led responses to homelessness: when there is no room at the inn. 23 August, 3pm-4.30pm, online
🏚️ An introduction to motivational interviewing. 24 August, 10am-12pm, online
🏚️ De-escalation techniques. 24 August, 2pm-3.30pm, online
🏚️ Dignity and participation in food provision. 25 August, 10am-11.30am, online
🏚️ Navigating the journey from front-line to leadership roles. 26 August, 3pm-4.30pm, online
🏚️ Introduction to LGBTIQ+ homelessness and inclusive practice. 27 August, 10am-12pm, online
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Other upcoming events
Housing Older Women Working Group Solutions
10 August 2021, 2.00pm to 3.30pm, online, learn more or register here
Housing Older Women Working Group Strategy
24 August 2021, 2.30pm to 3.30, online, learn more or register here
Asset Managers Network
26 August, 10.30am-12pm, online, learn more or register here
Feeling the Pulse on Partnering for Growth
27 August 2021, 2.30-3.15pm, online, learn more or register here
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With the current Queensland lockdowns across 11 local government areas, the service integration team are more committed than ever to continuing their efforts to reduce homelessness by promoting and modelling an integrated way of working.
Redlands SII
 
Since lockdown began, we are working more closely than ever with the Bayside Housing Centre and together are meeting twice a week with a commited group from the Department, Metro South Mental Health, Council, Southern Moreton Bay Island Services, and other service providers. Our aim is to touch base with our rough-sleeping and couch surfing clients and make sure they all have safe housing options, especially during the lockdown crisis.
Please contact the Bayside Housing Centre on 07 3034 9800 if you or a client need urgent housing assistance (please help keep staff safe with no walk-ins during the lockdown).
Redlands Homeless Care Coordination Group also met online on 3 August with representatives from all over the Redlands region. Our fortnightly meetings (Tuesdays 11am-12.30pm) will continue online until the lockdown is over. Contact Bree Tukavkin on 07 3831 5900 for more details.
In April 2021, the Service Integration Initiative team met over three days to develop their skills and build care coordination and service integration strategies for place-based responses across the state. Watch the Future Forum video here.
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Meet a member: Sally Watson, SHAC
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Shelter Housing Action Cairns (SHAC) is a not-for-profit organisation that has been supporting people experiencing or at risk of homelessness in the Cairns region for over thirty years. Staffed by a hardworking team of 16 employees, SHAC delivers wraparound support services and case management to families and individuals.
Sally's story with SHAC:
We provide temporary accommodation and support to 19 families in need (at any one time). We manage two long-term community housing properties and up to 8 Same House Different Landlord properties. We also provide mobile support to families who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. Since inception, SHAC has helped thousands of families to avoid homelessness or to move from homelessness to a secure home.
In 2004, SHAC identified financial capability as one of the key barriers preventing people from accessing stable housing.  As such, we began playing host to a No Interest Loans Scheme (NILS). To this day, SHAC remains one of the largest NILS providers in Queensland.
Another initiative resulting from this new direction was the My Money Program (MMP), a financial counselling and financial capability program launched in 2014 which is specifically designed for people experiencing homelessness. 
People referred to the MMP have low incomes, complex financial problems, and/or poor financial capability.  The program employs four staff (including financial counsellors) and offers a mobile support service so we can meet people in person, wherever they are. We focus on two goals:
1.       Getting out of the mess - resolving the current situation, supporting the person to clear or control debts so that their income once again matches their expenses.
2.       Staying out of the mess - building financial literacy and capacity for self-advocacy, so that the person has the tools and knowledge to make better financial decisions and avoid the same issues happening again.
What keeps you fronting up to work each day?
The fact that we do not have adequate housing for so many people in our town. And the terrific team I work with. The first gets me to work, the second keeps me there.
Is there a current project you are especially excited about?
I am especially excited about our My Money Program (as you can probably tell from my description above). I am always astonished by the results they achieve. For example, in the April-June 2021 quarter our two Financial Counsellors assisted clients to clear over $39,000 worth of collective debts.
We are all also very excited to be working with QCOSS on their Human Rights, Housing and Homelessness project as a human rights champion organisation. We are seeking to build our knowledge and support best-practice approaches as we implement the Human Rights Act 2019 (Qld) at SHAC.
By 2031, what is one thing you would love to see happening in the homelessness and affordable housing sector?
I would love to see Queensland Local Government Areas (especially ours, the Cairns Regional Council) heavily invested in and committed to good housing outcomes for all who reside in their communities.
Members are invited to send their news and updates to helen.gearing@qshelter.asn.au
Sector news & updates
NEWS: Coast2Bay Housing Group reaches the top tier of Australian housing providers
Coast2Bay Housing Group has been re-assessed by the Queensland registar of the National Regulatory System for Community Housing and elevated to Tier 1 provider status.
Only 39 other organisations have this status nationally and the decision marks a significant step for the locally based community and affordable housing provider that is celebrating its 30th year in 2021.
The new status will mean that more housing will be in place to meet the housing needs of vulnerable Australians across Moreton Bay, Sunshine Coast and Noosa shires as well as low income and key workers households in need of affordable housing. Learn more.
Q Shelter heartily congratulates Coast2Bay on their well-earned success.
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Lynda Delaforce (CFO) and Andrew Elvin (CEO) of Coast2Bay
RESOURCES: Second-hand disability equipment available
The MND and Me Foundation receives donated disability equipment, but only requires a small amount of it to be rehomed with clients. Regularly they have excess items and would like to donate them to anyone in the community with need. Common items include manual wheelchairs, overbed tables, shower chairs, wheelie walkers, electric beds, contour cushions. Email admin@mndandme.com.au for more information.
GRANTS: Scanlon Foundation Community
Grants of between $5,000 and $30,000 are on offer for projects supporting pathways to employment, including those which work with individuals who have lost work because of COVID-19, or suffered business failure. Not-for-profit organisations with DGR status are eligible to apply, including local government bodies. Applications close 17 September 2021. Learn more.
GRANTS/FUNDING: Commonwealth Psychosocial Support Program EOI
In May 2021 the Australian Government announced $171.3 million over two years to continue Commonwealth Psychosocial Supports from 1 July 2021 to 30 June 2023. The program aims to provide person-centred, recovery focused psychosocial support services to respond specifically in the context of housing insecurity and homelessness and associated impacts on mental health of those affected. Register your organisation's interest here. Interested parties are encouraged to attend an online briefing on Tuesday 10 August at 10am AEST. Please RSVP by 6 August to tenders@bsphn.org.au
ONLINE FORUM: Five Initiatives to Deliver Housing in the "NDIS Home and Living Plan"
Joseph Connellan's presentation could not be more timely, two weeks out from the closing date for submissions on the NDIA's Home & Living Consultation Paper. In his presentation, Joseph will outline five initiatives which, while complex, could contribute significantly to the delivery of NDIA's vision of an ordinary life at home for NDIS Participants. 11 August, 12.30-1.30pm AEST. Register here.
GRANTS: Lendlease FutureSteps Grant Program
Lendlease's FutureSteps initiative offers grants up to $100, 000 and is designed to support not for profits that provide solutions to housing stress and homelessness. Applications close 3 September. Learn more.
GUARDIAN NEWS: Investing in new social housing for survivors of domestic violence ‘could boost Australian economy'
Investment in new social housing for survivors of family and domestic violence in Australia would not only give safety and security to some of those needing it the most, it also makes economic sense, new analysis has found. Learn more.
ABC RADIO: Social housing access could save millions for domestic violence victims
Better access to social housing for women could have saved the country hundreds of millions of dollars each year in domestic violence prevention costs.
A report that'll be presented at this month's national Women's Safety Summit's examined the cost of homelessness services and emergency care for domestic violence victims.
It found the construction of 16,000 homes across the country would be a cheaper and more enduring solution. Listen here.
MEDIA RELEASE: Rental crisis hits COVID-essential workforce
COVID-essential workers in the care and services sector are facing a rental affordability crisis, with new figures showing rent on an apartment would cost at least one third of their weekly income in 87 of Australia’s 104 geographic regions.
Everybody’s Home, the national campaign against homelessness, cross-referenced SQM rent data with the basic hourly wage of workers in disability support, aged care, childcare, hospitality and supermarkets. The research is being launched to mark the start of national Homelessness Week. Read more.
RESEARCH: 'Nowhere to Go' Equity Economics report release
Building new social housing to support people fleeing family violence would more than pay for itself in averted costs and economic spin-off benefits, according to a landmark report to be submitted to the national Women’s Safety Summit.
The Equity Economics Report, comissioned by the Everybody's Home campaign, analysed the benefits of providing long term social housing to victims of family violence, finding it is the leading reason women and children seek specialist homelessness services.
Alarmingly, only 3.2 per cent are receiving the long-term housing solutions they need.  Equity Economics estimates that the lack of long term social housing is leading to 7,690 women a year returning to violent partners and 9,120 women a year becoming homeless. Read the report here.
TRAINING: Suicide prevention
Wesley LifeForce Suicide Prevention Workshops are designed to teach people how to identify the signs that someone may be at risk of suicide and appropriate action to take. Effective interventions can make a real difference and save lives. 27 and 28 September, online. Register here.
MEDIA: Make Renting Fair re-launches campaign
On 7 July 2021, the Make Renting Fair in Queensland alliance held a press conference in the Brisbane CBD to re-launch the campaign in response to the new proposed housing and tenancy legislation that is currently before the Parliamentary Committee.
Along with some of the alliance, two Brisbane renters, Elisha and Louise, shared their personal stories of being renters and what it means to them for fair, safe and certain tenancy laws. Read more from the ABC or watch the Channel 9 story here.
NEWS: Finland the only country in Europe where homelessness is in decline
In 2008 the Finnish government introduced a new policy for the homeless: the “Housing First” concept. Since then the number of people affected has fallen sharply. Read more here.
RESEARCH: Closing the Gap Annual Data Compilation Report
The National Agreement on Closing the Gap (the Agreement) is a significant agreement – having been developed in partnership between Australian governments and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peak organisations, and with its focus on new ways of doing things, through its Priority Reforms, as well as on the outcomes experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
The Productivity Commission is pleased to play a role in supporting oversight and accountability of the Agreement, and to provide this first Annual Data Compilation Report to monitor progress under the Agreement. Read more.
Shelter network
NATIONAL SHELTER MEDIA RELEASE: ALP abandons tax reform and first home owners
The ALP has ditched its commitment to reforming Negative Gearing and Capital Gains Tax, along with its opposition to stage 3 tax cuts and, in doing, so has abandoned would-be homeowners and low-income households wanting to buy homes.
“The pursuit of homeownership has been pushed out of reach by successive governments having over-generous capital gains discounts, allowing negatively geared investment losses to be claimed against any income and misguided first homeowner grants and home builder,” according to National Shelter’s Adrian Pisarski.
“These policies have seen homeownership drop overall and plummet among 25-45-year-olds, as politicians lie about building homeownership, while undermining it in reality,” Mr Pisarski said.
“In abandoning these  policies which were welcomed and popular, the ALP has now re-joined the list of enemies of increasing homeownership in favour of benefitting wealthy landlords.”
The evidence from many and various reports shows that negative gearing and CGT discounts, overwhelmingly favour high-income households while contributing to house price inflation by pumping up demand without adding to supply. Read more.
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Recent social media posts. Left: Rose Butler from Encircle Redcliffe shares her story with Q Shelter's media crew. Right: Marita Romano from Tablelands Community Housing wins a whole-series pass to Skills in Action.
For more stories, follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.
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