Strategic policy leadership and champion a reform agenda

We facilitate sector group meetings to enable those with specific interests or specialities to share information, expertise and concerns and CHIA Vic ensures our sector’s views are clearly represented through submission to relevant inquiries and commissions; during the year we developed six submissions from our Victorian Government budget submission through to concerns regarded open flued heaters.

CHIA Vic worked diligently throughout the year to champion our members best interests, including regular liaison with government as the COVID-19 pandemic hit. We have been proactive in communicating regularly with our membership on projects such as our ‘shovel-ready’ survey, which sought to quantify the projects that the government could fund via a stimulus package for immediate impact.

Housing Peaks

CHIA Vic is a founding member of the Housing Peaks alliance, which is committed to working with the Victorian Government to deliver practical and sustainable solutions to both the problems of lack of social housing supply and inadequate support services.

As an alliance member, CHIA Vic contributed to the development of the updated Make Social Housing Work report — a new blueprint for Victoria to increase its proportion of social housing to the national average and create a strong and sustainable social housing sector.

CHIA Vic provided a submission to the Victorian State Government in the lead up to the 2020 State Budget, calling on the Andrews’ Government to take bold action to grow social and affordable housing, including a commitment to increase the levels of social housing to the national average of 4.5 per cent of housing stock within 10 years – equivalent to 60,000 new community and public housing units (with at least 3,000 being designated housing for Aboriginal tenants).

CHIA National

CHIA Vic works closely with the sector’s national peak body, CHIA, to provide input and combine knowledge and resources. We continued to support the Everybody’s Home campaign, which calls on the Federal Government to commit to fixing the housing system.

Every Body's Home

National Community Housing Standards (NCHS)

Work on a project to revitalise the National Community Housing Standards (NCHS) continued during the year with three CHOs across Australia developing and piloting the first standard, for affordable housing.

The overall aim of the project is to enable organisations to be evaluated by a professional, independent and experience assessor who could share best practices and make recommendations for improvement.


Taking a tenant-focused service approach

The UK’s Housing Quality Network (HQN) Deputy Chief Executive, Lydia Dlaboha, ran a masterclass for CHIA Vic members on ways they can improve their engagement with tenants and take a tenant-focussed approach to service delivery.

Lydia covered the range of ways in which organisations can connect with their end users in a meaningful way to deliver positive outcomes.

Lydia has worked on a variety of performance improvement projects and currently oversees the HQN’s work in training and accrediting social housing providers across the UK. Lydia is working with CHIA, CHIA NSW and CHIA Vic on a project to revise the National Community Housing Standards and establish an accreditation system for Australian community housing providers.

Lydia Dlaboha

Lydia Dlaboha

Social housing lessons from Canada

Canadian housing expert Steve Pomeroy gave a masterclass on Canada’s creative approaches to growing their social housing stock and how they could be adapted to help expand the community housing sector in Victoria.

The Principal of Focus Consulting Inc and Senior Research Fellow at Carleton University’s Centre for Urban Research Education (CURE) in Ottawa, Steve took a look at targeted interventions by the Canadian Government, and successful community housing led-projects requiring minimal government funding. The masterclass also identified a range of funding and financing products that have been helpful in getting social housing developments off the ground in Canada.

Steve Pomeroy

Steve Pomeroy

Sector groups

CHIA Vic fosters networking and collaboration between community housing organisations that face similar opportunities and challenges by hosting regular sector group meetings. In April 2020, we added a COVID-19 Sector Group to bring together managers working on the multiple pressing issues raised by the pandemic.
COVID-19 Sector Group

This new group was established in April to discuss all things COVID. The group has identified current and emerging risks and issues, mitigation strategies and sector needs. The group has also provided regular feedback to support the development of sector resources. In the six meetings up to the end of June, topics included: hardship policies; management of rooming houses; conducting essential maintenance in a pandemic; and supports for tenants.

Transitional Housing Managers Sector Group

The first half of the year was dedicated to the THM Review, which DHHS is conducting in consultation with the sector and homelessness and support services to determine the future of the THM program. Several Sector Group members were part of the Reference Group. A new approach to maintenance was also introduced by DHHS as part of the review. The last few months of the year concentrated on the impact of COVID-19 on the program. This sector group met 10 times. Other topics for discussion included coming changes to Residential Tenancies Act, DHHS leasing program, rent setting, fire safety inspections and methamphetamine contamination.

In total, eight guest speakers from DHHS addressed the group about maintenance practices, maintenance changes, the THM Review and the DHHS leasing program.

Transitional Housing Tenancy Coordinators

The THM Tenancy coordinators’ sector group met four times during the year with the 2019 meetings concentrating on the proposed changes to maintenance, especially vacated maintenance by DHHS. In 2020, meetings focused on the impact of COVID-19 on the program and members were able to compare their experiences and practices during the crisis.

Another key topic was coming changes to the Residential Tenancies Act.
Guest speakers from DHHS Property Services addressed the group about changes to maintenance procedures.

Co-operative Housing Sector Group

The Co-op sector group provides a forum and conduit for information sharing, exploration and discussion of issues of interest to the Co-operative Housing Sector. The group met ten times during the year, with key areas of focus including: opportunities for growth; the operation of the Victorian Housing Register and how it is working for the co-operative sector; the renewal of the General Lease; changes to the RTA both due to the Amendments Act and COVID provisions; and ways to respond to COVID both in terms of business operations as well as providing support for tenants

Rooming House Sector Group

Rooming house managers faced some of the greatest challenges during the pandemic due to the difficulties COVID-19 creates in high-density accommodation with shared facilities. Infection control has been a key focus of the group. Other priorities tackled during the group’s six meetings in the financial year included: allocating using the Victorian Housing Register; amendments to the Residential Tenancies Act; general Lease renegotiations and the VHR Post-implementation review.

The group also heard from six guest speakers, mainly from the Department of Health and Human Services.

Housing Associations Sector Group

The CEOs of the Housing Associations met regularly to address issues of common interest. They primarily focused their attention on growth – developing a proposal to put to Government; analysing the Social Housing Growth Fund and considering the design of a future Stimulus Package.


CHIA Vic works with key stakeholders in the broader housing and homelessness sectors to foster closer ties and promote understanding of the community housing sector’s business model and capacity, as well as advocating on the sector’s behalf. During the year, the groups CHIA Vic actively participates in were:

  • The Industry Working Group
  • The Affordable Housing Working Group
  • Victorian Housing Register Leadership and Working Group
  • The Affordable Housing Industry Advisory Group
  • Transitional Housing Management Review Reference Group
  • Community Services Industry Planning Group
  • Human Services and Health Partnership Implementation Committee (HSHPIC)
  • VCOSS Peaks and Statewide Network
  • Mental Health Vic Policy Network
  • VCAT User’s Group
  • Residential Tenancies Stakeholder Reference Group
  • CHIA Vic also joined the COVID related sector and Government groups to represent the sector
  • Consultation sessions run by DJCS and DHHS to discuss draft changes to emergency RTA changes and supporting regulation

Thanks to our Supporters

As a not-for-profit peak body, CHIA Vic relies on our strong membership base and the financial support of our major sponsors to be able to provide the vital services, support, training, advocacy and project work required by our sector. We would like to thank the following organisations for their assistance in 2019/20.

Our 2019/20 Sponsors