From the Acting Director
Welcome to the October edition of the Housing Registrar Quarterly.
David Schreuder - Director of the Office of the Housing Registrar and Registrar of Housing Agencies - finished up in his role in September 2022. We thank David for his valuable and significant contributions to Victoria’s community housing sector and the Housing Registrar. Mr Bernard Gastin has been appointed as the acting Registrar of Housing Agencies while recruitment for the Director of the Office of the Housing Registrar is underway.
A reminder to all registered agencies that the board certified 'Performance against performance standards' report is due 31 October and the last set of regulatory reporting is due within 14 days of a registered agency’s Annual General Meeting (AGM). We encourage registered agencies to submit reports early if they are ready before the due date.
We are working closely with the Aboriginal housing sector to support a social housing system that provides better outcomes for Aboriginal Victorians in a culturally safe way. A new Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander housing provider, Aboriginal Community Housing (VIC) Ltd (ACHVL), was registered in August 2022. The registration of ACHVL will help to progress the goals of the Victorian Aboriginal Housing and Homelessness Framework and to support Victorian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander through provision of secure, affordable, long-term rental housing. We also attended the Aboriginal Housing and Homelessness Summit in August, and gained valuable insights from leaders in the Aboriginal community.
The Victorian Ombudsman Investigation into complaint handling in the Victorian social housing sector report was released in August 2022. The Ombudsman’s findings will be considered in relation to future system reform opportunities and the four recommendations which apply to the Housing Registrar have been incorporated into our workplan. The Ombudsman’s report also highlighted opportunities for improvement in complaints management in the sector, including accessibility, best practice policies, and appeals processes. The Housing Registrar will be producing best practice guidance on complaints management in collaboration with key stakeholders later in the year.
The 2021-22 Regulatory Update Report has been released. Overall, we performed satisfactorily with some identified areas for improvement. We aim to improve the timeliness of communicating compliance outcomes to registered agencies and reporting this information publicly. We will also further streamline our internal processes for annual compliance assessments, and seek to improve our data capture and reporting systems.
This edition of the Quarterly features updates on:
- new registrations under the Housing Act 1983
- CHIA Vic’s Human Rights Assessments and Evictions resources
- staff changes in the Housing Registrar.
We look forward to continuing to work with you throughout the rest of 2022.
New registrations in Victoria
In this quarter, the Housing Registrar approved the registration of two new organisations under the Housing Act 1983, Aboriginal Community Housing (VIC) Ltd and Veteran Housing Australia Pty Ltd.
Veteran Housing Australia Pty Ltd (VHA)
On 28 July 2022, Veteran Housing Australia Pty Ltd (VHA) was approved for registration as a community housing provider. The agency manages 100 existing properties currently owned by its parent company, ex-service charity Carry On (Victoria). VHA is Victoria’s first registered community housing provider specifically for veterans and their families. Veterans in Australia are three times more likely than the general population to be homeless, with recently transitioned veterans having a homeless rate of 5.3% compared with the national average of 1.9%.
VHA’s registration as a community housing provider in Victoria will help ensure that veterans and their families have access to specialised housing support. The organisation will provide secure, affordable, long-term rental housing for veterans and their families who are experiencing homelessness and financial hardship. It will also provide temporary emergency housing for veterans and their families who are at risk of experiencing homelessness.
Aboriginal Community Housing (VIC) Ltd (ACHVL)
On 2 August 2022, Aboriginal Community Housing (VIC) Ltd (ACHVL) was approved for registration as a community housing provider. ACHVL is a subsidiary of Aboriginal Community Housing Ltd (ACHL), a Tier 2 Community Housing Provider under the National Regulatory System for Community Housing (NRSCH). Both ACHVL and ACHL are part of the Community Housing Limited group.
ACHVL is the second Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander housing provider to become a registered community housing provider in Victoria. The registration of ACHVL will help to progress the goals of the Victorian Aboriginal Housing and Homelessness Framework, and to support Victorian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples through provision of secure, affordable, long-term rental housing.
Regulatory Update Report
We have recently published our 2021-22 Regulatory Update Report.
The Regulatory Update Report provides information on the activities and performance of the Housing Registrar for the 2021-22 financial year. This includes updates on regulation, progress against the Corporate Plan 2020-22, and self-assessment of our performance supported by sector survey results. Improvement opportunities identified in the report have been incorporated into our Corporate Plan 2022-24.
Reminder: Annual reporting
The table below summarises upcoming due dates for regulatory reporting. We encourage registered agencies to submit reports early if they are ready before the due date.
|31 October 2022
|14 days after AGM
CHIA Vic resources: Human Rights Assessments and Evictions
The Community Housing Industry Association Victoria (CHIA Vic) has prepared the following resources for community housing organisations:
- Human Rights Assessment and Eviction Approval Form to guide and document decision making when applying to VCAT for a Possession Order or purchasing a Warrant of Possession.
- Template Policies (Ending Tenancies; Rent Arrears; and Anti-Social, Destructive or Dangerous Behaviour) to support consistent, fair, transparent and documented approaches when seeking to sustain tenancies that are at risk and when pursuing eviction as a last resort.
- Renter Support Services Information Sheet to support renters to access independent advice, advocacy and support.
The resources aim to assist community housing organisations to ensure that:
- eviction is treated as a last resort and processes are compliant with the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006
- justifications for eviction are documented and approved at a senior level.
Please use these resources as needed and contact Jason Perdriau at CHIA Vic if you have any questions.
Resourcing changes in the Housing Registrar
Welcome to new Housing Registrar staff
The Housing Registrar welcomed new Senior Regulatory Analyst John Woolman and Financial Analyst Krystal County during this quarter.
John Woolman – Senior Regulation Analyst (Strategy and Performance Team)
John has more than ten years’ experience working in regulation policy across the Department of Justice, Environment Protection Authority, and Small Business Victoria. He specialises in risk-based regulation and industry engagement, and is looking forward to partnering with Victoria’s community housing providers to deliver positive outcomes for registered agencies and tenants. In his spare time, John enjoys surfing, playing the drums, and chasing after his two-year-old son.
Krystal County – Financial Analyst
Krystal is a Certified Practising Accountant (CPA) with experience in management accounting, financial analysis and risk assessment for various industries. For the last eight years, Krystal worked in the residential housing sector and is passionate about the housing industry. She is excited to be supporting the growth of Victoria’s community housing sector. Krystal looks forward to contributing to process improvement and better regulation, ensuring safe, secure, and sustainable community housing for all vulnerable Victorians.
Farewell to David Schreuder
In this quarter, we farewelled David Schreuder, Director of the Office of the Housing Registrar and Registrar of Housing Agencies. We are sad to see him go.
David joined the Housing Registrar in early 2018 and under his leadership, the Housing Registrar team has undergone significant transformation. The team has focused on improving the effectiveness and transparency of the regulatory framework and forming stronger and more purposeful relationships with partners and stakeholders. David has also led the Housing Registrar’s investment in systems that have improved the user experience and reduced regulatory burden. This work has helped position the sector to deliver growth and continuous improvement including in response to the $5.3 billion Big Housing Build.
We wish David all the best in his new role in the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions as Executive Director, Commercial Contracts for the Office of the Commonwealth Games!