September Housing Matters
In this edition of Housing Matters:
  1. Matters of the month
  2. Skills in Action wrap-up
  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
Infrastructure Australia recognise social and affordable housing
Infrastructure Australia released their 2021 Australian Infrastructure Plan on 3 September.  Importantly, housing is included as social infrastructure with strong themes about sustainability and place-based planning. There are identified actions and outcome areas related to community housing including designing programs to increase the supply and improve the quality of social and affordable rental housing. There is a specific action relating to Closing the Gap and reducing overcrowded living circumstances involving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. Importantly, there is an action highlighting the need for innovation to reduce maintenance costs and backlog. 
As Wendy Hayhurst from CHIA National highlights, “It is the first time social and affordable rental housing has appeared in the national plan”. Q Shelter has long proposed that social housing is essential infrastructure. Inputs to this process from the community housing industry in partnership with Swinburne University showed housing achieved measurable savings in other public expenditure. There is more work to do now to ensure social and affordable housing are included in the priority infrastructure list. Read on.
Skills in Action
Last week, we wrapped up our Skills in Action web-series which featured 11 events over 10 days. Thank you to the generous, expert speakers who gave their time and energy to the web-series sessions - we are thrilled with the insights you shared.
Over 200 people attended the web-series, which was a Q Shelter first-of-its-kind, and we cannot wait to keep hearing stories of how participants are putting their new skills into action over the coming days and months.
A huge thank you also goes out to Hannah Clifford, the architect of this project, for her tireless work bringing it together. And to our participants—your thoughtful engagement and considered questions meant the sessions were even more meaningful than we could have planned.
[above] Takeaways from "The impact of regional women in leadership roles" and "Reboot your brand: How organizational values can become your branding superpowers". Click here to read  actionable takeaways from all the sessions.
"This was amazing! Thank you, I am keen to apply to this to my role as a youth worker!"
"Really appreciate the honesty and integrity of this process. Thanks from WA."
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
Session 5 - Helping services be better
Thursday, 9 September 2021
Session 6 - Understanding participation and engagement
Thursday, 23 September 2021
Session 7 - An induction to the housing and homelessness sector
Thursday, 7 October 2021
Building community support for housing and homelessness responses training
Community housing providers and homelessness services exist in the context of local communities. Communities are vital to people’s wellbeing and sense of connection and belonging. However, housing providers and homelessness services can face opposition from local residents, planners, politicians and the media.
Opposition can lead to delays and amendments of projects, and in some cases may even force the abandonment of projects. In the most high-profile cases, the opposition threatens to undermine political and public support for affordable housing provision and homelessness responses. 
This training session is designed to assist community housing providers, homelessness services and interested community members to build community support.
17 September 2021, online. Learn more or register here.
Other upcoming events
Feeling the Pulse on Partnering for Growth
24 September 2021, 2.30-3.15pm, online, learn more or register here
Q Shelter Learning Exchange
5 October 2021, 3.30 to 5pm, online, learn more or register here
Housing Older Women Coordination Group Plenary
6 October 2021, 2pm-4pm, online, learn more or register here
Gold Coast
Following the cancellation of the 2021 Gold Coast Homeless Connect, the Gold Coast Homelessness Network (GCHN) has established a COVID-19 Vaccinations Working Group to support people experiencing homelessness to access this important component of health prevention.
The GCHN has partnered with Ashben Medical Centre and Serving Our People to establish a bespoke vaccinations clinic open to referrals from all services across the Gold Coast including Domestic and Family Violence refuges, Specialist Homelessness Servcies, community organisations, and accommodation providers.
The GCHN is coordinating the process to ensure that people are able to access their second dose of Pfizer within the recommended timeframes. A second clinic on Wednesday 15 September is being scheduled to respond to the demand from people seeking to access the opportunity.
This month, Mackay Care Coordination is keen to share some of the fantastic programs one of their member organisations, Lives Lived Well, is offering.
Day Rehab: Rehab usually means packing your bags for a short or long stay somewhere, but NOT anymore. Our 3-week Group Day Program allows you to experience a similar level of treatment and support, without having to live-in or stay overnight. [Mackay, Toowoomba, Brisbane]
Life Back: Free daily groups for people concerned about their drug or alcohol use or co-occurring mental health concerns. [Mackay].
In a region that reports substance abuse concerns at a rate 6% higher than the national average, it is fantastic to see the support Lives Lived Well is able to offer vulnerable people living in Mackay.
On 26 July 2021, Mackay Care Coordination were thrilled to see headspace open a new centre in Sarina. headspace Sarina provides free, confidential health services for young people aged 12-25. The headspace Sarina building and the services being delivered have been developed in consultation with the Sarina community, including a Youth Reference Group made up of young people from Sarina and a Steering Committee made up of local individuals and organisations passionate about supporting the community’s young people. Read more about how headspace is working to ensure young people have the best support, information, and services for their health and wellbeing here.
Mackay Care Coordination is also excited to see the launch of Social Seniors of Mackay, a new facebook community hub connecting Mackay residents ages 55 and above.
As part of the snap lockdown a few weeks ago, the Deptartment of Communities, Housing and the Digital Economy activated their Emergency Housing Assistance Response.
Our Regional Care Coordinator, Fiona Oates, has been encouraged that a number of people who have experienced long-term homelessness have now been housed and/or linked into supports.
Read more about post-lockdown life in Cairns from the ABC here.
We also congratulate Access Community Housing (who manage approximately 600 properties across the Far North Queensland region) on their upcoming 30th anniversary in October. Thank you for your important work, providing secure, affordable housing for members of our community!
The Redlands Homeless Care Coordination Group (RHCCG) is excited to finally be meeting in person again. They had a fantastic meeting last week: the Bayside Housing Service Centre were generous hosts and provided morning tea as well as a fantastic environment to gather in. The group was also joined by Stephen Hawkins, Service Integration facilitator, who was thrilled to meet service providers in the Redlands region.
The group meetings will continue fortnightly at the Bayside Housing Centre (or online for a blended approach). We are looking forward to working with our place-based partners in continuing to enhance care coordination processes, along with reviewing the focus and framework of the Bayside Housing and Homelessness Network. Expressions of interest will soon be made available for those services seeking to contribute to the continued development of these important regional mechanisms.
RHCCG also welcomes Footprints as a new member of their team and thanks Gambling Help Services and Star Community Services who recently attended as guest speakers.
State-wide backbone support
Housing & Homelessness Action Plan 2021-2025. As part of the four year action plan, Q Shelter is working with the Deptartment of Communities, Housing and the Digital Economy to discuss the initiative’s next steps. Once determined, each region will be consulted and invited to participate in the continued strategic growth of the initiative.
Place-based Governance. Initial scoping work has commenced across a number of regions, including two well-attended forums in Mackay. In collaboration with each region's Care Coordination Facilitator, work will soon focus on engaging with regional partners to discuss and design place-based governance frameworks that will support local care coordination processes, whilst also providing clear escalation and reporting pathways.
Meet a member: Andrew Elvin, Coast2Bay Housing Group
Coast2Bay Housing Group is an independent, not-for-profit company committed to providing affordable, safe and appropriate homes to individuals and families throughout the Sunshine Coast, Noosa, Moreton Bay, Redcliffe, and Gympie regions.
Their hard work and dedication to the region has recently resulted in them becoming a Tier 1 Community Housing Provider
What does being a Tier 1 provider mean to you
This re-classification recognises our growth and success in attracting over $20m for our construction program over the next year. We also have further plans for investment of up to $100m over the five-year horizon.
What keeps you fronting up to work each day?   
The work we do—providing homes that transform the lives of our tenants.
Is there a current project you are especially excited about?
We are about to start constructing 34 dwellings at Beerwah. Another 35 dwellings are also through the approval process, meaning we will deliver 69 new homes in the next 12 months.
By 2031, what is one thing you would love to see happening in the homelessness and affordable housing sector? 
We envisage growth opportunities which create viable and innovative options for longer-term growth and development. We want to see people, systems and technology equipped to support both core business and growth strategy.
Members are invited to send their news and updates to
Sector news & updates
SUBMISSION DEADLINE: Inquiry into housing affordability and supply in Australia
The House of Representatives Standing Committee on Tax and Revenue has announced the Terms of Reference into its inquiry into the contribution of tax and regulation on housing affordability and supply.
The Committee invites interested persons and organisations to make a submission by Monday 13 September 2021. Learn more.
Q Shelter will be making a submission. If you would like to contribute, please contact Emma Greenhalgh at
RESEARCH PROJECT: A qualitative study of homelessness service provider perspectives on hope
CQU reasercher Leonie Hallam is seeking responses from homelessness services providers to explore and document frontline responses. The anonymous survey takes approximately 15 minutes to complete and can be accessed here.
It is expected that this project will grow an understanding of how hope may play a role in creating positive emotion and service provider wellbeing by reducing burnout and staff turnover.
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.
AWARD APPLICATIONS: Zonta Club of Brisbane
Applications are now open for the biennial Zonta Club of Brisbane Advancement of Women Award. The award recognises a person who is progressing the status of women and could use the awarded funds to leverage the effect of their work. Apply here.
RENTAL INQUIRY: Housing Legislation Amendment Bill 2021
The Queensland Parliament’s Community Support and Services Committee has tabled it’s report on the inquiry into the Housing Legislation Amendment Bill 2021 and the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation (Tenants' Rights) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2021.   
The Committee's primary recommendation is that the Housing Legislation Amendment Bill 2021 be passed.  You can read the proposed amendment here.
ONLINE FORUM: At Risk 2021, " Older women facing homelessness in Australia: from awareness to action."
An estimated 405,000 women aged 45 and over are at risk of homelessness in Australia. It’s time for action and national leadership. Awareness has been raised but policy responses are silent in addressing older women’s homelessness. If we approach this issue from a gender perspective, what needs to change for older women today and in the future?
17 September, 10.30am-1.00pm, online. Register here.
IN-PERSON FORUM: Platform 1225 - Queensland Youth Housing Coalition
In 2021, the focus of Platform 1225 will be“Truth, advocacy and systemic reform whilst acknowledging power imbalances and factors of social inequality”.
Within this context we recognise that we are 232 years post the Colonisation of Australia, a foremost issue to address when talking about social inequality, truth and systemic reform.
23 November, 10.30am-1.00pm, Brisbane, Register here.
2021 CENSUS: Not too late to complete!
Census night was Tuesday 10 August, but there’s still time to complete. 
Every response matters. 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.
We encourage you to go online and complete your Census today. You can also request a paper form by calling 1800 512 441.
ABC NEWS: Why a tent city in regional WA is Priscilla's best housing option
"A long-awaited program that was intended to be a 'game-changer' in tackling homelessness in regional Western Australia is being hampered by an acute shortage of social housing". Read more.
PRO BONO NEWS: Out-of-home care system failing young people
"With the release of the Office of the Children’s Guardian report on the leaving care monitoring program 2020-21, Sue Shilbury shares her opinions on foster care and the improvements that can minimise homelessness and break the cycle of intergenerational disadvantage". Read more.
Shelter network
NATIONAL SHELTER: Housing affordability issues illuminated during Homelessness Week
National Shelter has been shining a light on Australians living in the dark shadows of the nation’s housing affordability crisis during last month's National Homelessness week.
“Homelessness is becoming far more about a lack of affordable housing than other causes,” National Shelter Executive Officer Adrian Pisarski says. Read more.
SHELTER SA: 2022 State Election Platform
Below is an excerpt from Shelter SA's newsletter. Read the full bulletin here:
"Shelter SA's Election Platform is ready for consultation! We are sending our asks to all the parties and independents, seeking their commitment to improving housing affordability and addressing homelessness prior to the South Australian election in 2022.
We were pleased to speak with Steph Richards from InDaily who was interested in improvements to the affordable homes program and published their article today."
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