Welcome to our 2019 Annual Report

The Community Housing Industry Association Victoria (CHIA Vic) is the peak body that represents the not-for-profit community housing sector in Victoria.

CHIA Vic works to support the growth of community housing as the most effective and efficient means of ensuring more disadvantaged Victorians can enjoy the dignity of safe, secure and appropriate housing.

Report from the Chair and CEO

Chair Roberta Buchanan

CEO Lesley Dredge

A peak body has many tasks on its to-do list: from influencing government policy an its implementation to providing tailored training, masterclasses, member support, crafting submissions, creating resources and delivering quality projects.

Read more

CHIA Vic’s Strategic Plan

Our vision: ‘A thriving Victoria where everyone has the safety, security and dignity of a home – the foundation for opportunity.’

Our mission: ‘To lead and enable a diverse and dynamic community housing sector that is integral to the housing system.’

In 2019, CHIA Vic launched our new strategic plan, setting the organisation’s vision, mission and key priorities for the next three years.

The plan, Building the Foundation for Opportunity, was developed using the Theory of Change principles, which involve setting a goal, then working backwards to achieve it. In our case, the goal is to achieve our mission: ‘A thriving Victoria where everyone has the safety, security and dignity of a home – the foundation of opportunity.’

Download Strategic Plan

The plan identified four key priorities, which we report against in this 2018/19 annual report:

Our membership

*As at 30 June, 2019

CHIA Vic represents more than

Breakdown of our
full membership

Housing Associations Housing Providers Independent non-regulated
housing providers
10 30 14

We also have 27 Associate Members and
23 Aboriginal Housing Co-operatives affiliated through
Aboriginal Housing Victoria.

Strategic Policy leadership and champion reform agenda

Augment CHIA Vic’s policy development capability through members, partnerships and networks

CHIA Vic engages with our membership and stakeholders on an ongoing basis, via regular member forums, meetings and networking events. We also hold masterclasses on emerging issues and innovations and seek input from the sector when advocating on their behalf, for example on energy efficiency projects, the NDIS, the National Regulatory System for Community Housing review. Our sector group meetings enable those with a niche interest to meet and discuss topics and issues of interest.

Read more

Be a true partner of government in solving the housing supply challenge

CHIA Vic is recognised as the voice of the community housing industry in Victoria and provides input to government via regular consultations, submissions, input into pilot programs and through organising member consultations with government representatives.

Read more

Harness & strengthen capacity

Participate in the development of the Aboriginal Housing and Homelessness Framework and respond to the needs of members who house Aboriginal people in Victoria.

Aboriginal disadvantage in terms of housing in Victoria is stark, with 18.4 per cent of Aboriginal Victorians receiving homeless services as compared to 1.8 per cent of all Victorians and only 43 per cent of Aboriginal Victorians being homeowners compared to 68 per cent of the general population. CHIA Vic is committed to assisting to close the gap by supporting Aboriginal housing cooperatives with their identified training and support needs and through project work.

Read more

Review and adopt current training and development offering to meet the needs and priorities of a growing sector

Assisting the community housing sector to grow its capacity and reach via training is one of CHIA Vic’s key deliverables. In addition to our extensive tailored training programs, which are continually reviewed and updated, we also developed a Workforce Capability Framework during the year.

Workforce Capability Framework

CHIA Vic has developed a Workforce Capability Framework and Assessment Tool to assist the community housing sector develop the labour pool required to ensure current and future needs are met. The framework, funded by the Department of Health and Human Services, has the potential to inform and target future workforce development initiatives, including training, by identifying existing common, shared and unique capabilities and any unmet capabilities across the sector’s workforce.

A companion Assessment Tool has been developed to make it easy for organisations to use the framework.

Following on from the framework, we have started a project to look at the training and development needs of the sector and how CHIA Vic can enhance our training and professional development offerings.

Download the Framework & Assessment Tool


CHIA Vic runs an extensive suite of industry-specific professional development and training that is developed in consultation with members and other stakeholders. Evaluation of individual courses is ongoing as is how effectively the program prepares our members to tackle the critical issues and changes affecting the community housing sector.

During 2018/19, we ran 74 training courses, attended by 990 people.

New courses included

“Thought provoking training, enjoyable and useful.”

“Great to get the context of current changes and initiatives. Thank you.”

“The trainer was extremely engaging, and the training was very valuable.”

NDIS Training

With funding from the Department of Health and Human Service, CHIA Vic developed a subsidised program of face-to-face training on the National Insurance Disability Scheme (NDIS) for the community housing sector, in recognition of the impact of the scheme on a large social housing cohort. Courses were created with the aim of assisting Housing Workers to understand the access and planning process for the NDIS, as well as eligibility and the types of supports that tenants may be able to secure under the scheme.

An eLearning option is currently being developed to increase accessibility of NDIS training to community housing workers, particularly those in rural and remote areas.

In addition, CHIA Vic created an online hub with NDIS information and resources for those working in community housing. The webpages cover how the scheme works, how to support tenants to access the NDIS, how to talk to tenants about the NDIS and information on Specialist Disability Accommodation and Supported Independent Living.

Read more about NDIS

Engage with and support the sector to identify and implement leading practice and understand industry reforms and developments

To keep our finger on the industry’s pulse and ensure we are delivering on behalf of the sector, CHIA Vic regularly engages with our membership on the latest industry reforms, innovations and developments. This proactive approach means the sector is well prepared to take advantage of new developments. In 2018/19, this included assisting members to develop all required policies, to understand their options around the availability of low-cost loans, and providing an opportunity for them to give feedback on the review of the National Regulatory System for Community Housing.

Read more

Understand and respond to the needs of members in regional and rural Victoria

As a statewide peak, CHIA Vic offers members in regional and rural Victoria equitable access to key services by providing an on-call VCAT/RTA telephone helpline and an Employee Assistance Program that provides free face-to-face or phone counselling throughout the state. In 2018/19, CHIA Vic also began a project to deliver NDIS training online to make it easier for members and stakeholders in the regions to take part.

Read more

Support members to explore opportunities for shared procurement and service opportunities

Assisting our membership to conserve valuable time and money, CHIA Vic explores opportunities to share resources and services. In 2018/19, this included developing a suite of energy efficiency projects to enable members to implement energy saving measures that would reduce the costs for tenants and improve building quality. training online to make it easier for members and stakeholders in the regions to take part.

Read more

Build awareness & trust

In addition to regular meetings, trainings and forums, CHIA Vic communicates with members using a variety of platforms and outlets including via the website, social media, magazines, monthly eBulletins and email updates as required.


We produced three editions of our 18-page, full-colour magazines detailing industry news, views and innovations.

magazines photo
magazines photo
magazines photo

Email Newsletter

We distributed 17 email newsletters through the year Media releases were distributed to about 1200 subscribers (click here to subscribe to our eBulletin). The eBulletins keep members on top of the latest sector news, events, resources, policy changes and career opportunities. The regular eBulletin is distributed in the first week of the month, with additional editions as required to keep members updated of breaking news.

Media Releases

We also distributed six media releases on topics ranging from our election platform for the Victorian State Election through to lessons from Canada on tackling homelessness.


Our website received strong visitation during the year with new pages created with information targeted to our members and stakeholders. These included pages on the new Affordable Housing Agreements (AHAs), made possible by the Victorian Government’s changes to the Planning and Environment Act 1987. The AHA’s webpages include information outlining the benefits of AHAs to developers and local governments along with contacts for Community Housing Organisations who are keen to partner on development projects.

View AHA Page

Other new pages detailed information on the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) at chiavic.com.au/ndis, including tools and templates, key terminology, training and resources; plus, a section on our energy initiatives, including examples of energy efficiency upgrades undertaken by members, funding sources available to community housing organisations and sector-led projects and resources, such as the BOOM! Platform and financing options for energy efficient upgrades.

Enabling strong and respectful relationships that leverage the full potential of the community housing sector

A lack of understanding of the community housing industry and what it can offer can be a barrier to enabling strong and respectful relationships with key stakeholders and the public. CHIA Vic has been working on initiatives to promote the benefits of community housing, and a greater understanding of the sector and how the broader housing industry can engage with it.

Read more

Enhance CHIA Vic’s organisational strength

Develop and implement a revenue growth and diversification strategy

CHIA Vic began taking online payments and bookings for training and events in January 2019 on our website. By providing the ability to pay online via credit card, or to register and receive an invoice for a direct bank transfer, we have streamlined the process of registration and payment for members and set the stage for enhanced communication and marketing and reduced administration time and related costs.

Skilled, supported, resourced and engaged workforce with the right people in the right job at the right time

CHIA Vic’s team undertook professional development during the year to enhance their skills.

All team members attended a half-day Project management course which provided the team with an overview of the entire project management process, as well as the tools required to successfully manage a project to enhance its ability to successfully plan, organise, control, document, and review projects with the minimum risk.

Bevan Warner
Steven Morrissey
Shane Austin

Board Members 2018/19

There was some movement on the CHIA Vic Board during the financial year with three new faces bringing their skills and experience to the benefit of the organisation: Bevan Warner (Launch Housing); Shane Austin (Salvation Army) and Steven Morrissey (SouthEast Housing Cooperative).

They joined Board Members Chair Roberta Buchanan; Deputy Chair Jeanette Large; Secretary Trudi Ray; Treasurer Michael Deschepper; and, Ordinary Board Members Haleh Homaei; Chris Glennen, Terry Burke; and, Stephen Nash. Retiring during the year were Judy Line (Women’s Housing), Heather Holst (formerly Launch Housing, current Commissioner for Residential Tenancies), Sarah Toohey (formerly Unison Housing, current Advisor to the Housing Minister), and Shari McPhail (formerly Community Housing Limited, now with DHHS).

We would like to thank the retiring Board members for their contribution to shaping the future of the community housing sector in Victoria.

Learn more


The CHIA Vic Board is pleased to report that the organisation has achieved another year of financial growth with 2018/19 revenue of $1,344,934, some $335,725 (33%) higher than the prior year. The growth in revenue is the result of CHIA Vic securing funding on behalf of the sector for projects that will assist member organisations and the tenants they support.

View Treasurer's Report

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 2018/19:

Our 2018/19 Sponsors