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Housing Registrar newsletter - September 2021

Welcome to the September edition of EQUIP, the Housing Registrar’s quarterly newsletter.

Read the full newsletter

From the Director – David Schreuder

Dear valued stakeholder,

I present the Housing Registrar’s third quarterly newsletter for 2021.

Thank you to those that recently attended the Housing Registrar’s annual forum earlier this month. Approximately 70 participants attended the forum with strong representation from across the sector.

We discussed sector performance, the ‘year in review’ and heard from guest speakers including Community Housing Industry Association Victoria Vic (CHIA Vic), Homes Victoria, the Social Housing Regulation Review and a panel discussion (comprising Housing Choices Australia Limited, SouthEast Housing Cooperative Ltd and Jan Grey, a tenant from HousingFirst Limited).

We hope you found this event useful for your organisations and we would be grateful if you could please complete the request for feedback that you should have now received.

In this quarter, we published our two annual publications, the 2019-20 Sector Performance Report (PDF, 507 KB)External Link and 2020-21 Regulatory Update Report (PDF, 1.69 MB)External Link . These reports provide detailed sector performance analysis and reporting and update you on regulatory activities, priorities and delivery of the 2020-22 Corporate Plan (PDF, 7.55 MB)External Link .

The Regulation Review released its third and final discussion paper, addressing the role of regulation in supporting providers and tenants in the social housing sector. We encourage registered agencies and their tenants to provide submissions to the Review Panel to inform the future state of social housing regulation in Victoria. Input can be made directly to the Panel on the Engage Victoria websiteExternal Link .

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to present significant challenges for the Victorian community, including registered agencies, staff and tenants. We continue to adjust our regulatory approach during the pandemic to focus on emerging risks and support registered agencies and tenants, working in collaboration with the Department of Health, the Department of Families, Fairness and Housing and CHIA Vic. We issued a COVID-19 Guidance NoteExternal Link on 31 August which includes information on preparedness measures and who to contact in the event of an outbreak to assist registered agencies through the ongoing challenges presented by the pandemic. We are mindful of the impacts of the current operating environment on registered agencies and I encourage you to raise any issues or concerns with your assigned regulatory analysts.

This edition of the Equip Newsletter features updates on:

  • COVID-19 regulatory requirements
  • Reminder: Second tranche of regulatory reporting due within 28 days of a registered agency's Annual General Meeting
  • Sector Performance Report 2019-20 and Regulatory Update Report 2020-21
  • Housing Registrar annual forum
  • CHiMES and FPR enhancements

On behalf of the team, we look forward to continuing to work with you for the remainder of the year and identifying further opportunities to engage with you.

Yours sincerely

David Schreuder

The contents of this newsletter follow a format of reporting against the Housing Registrar’s three priorities of better regulation, strong partnerships and engagement, and organisational excellence.

Better regulation

Regulatory Update – COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to present ongoing risks to the community housing sector in Australia during 2021. Given the emergence of more contagious variants, including Delta, registered agencies remain on high alert for potential outbreaks, and should have robust preparedness measures and risk management strategies in place.

To continue to support registered agencies through this challenging time, and to support the State’s response to COVID-19, the Housing Registrar published an updated COVID-19 Guidance NoteExternal Link , which was issued to all registered housing agency contacts in August 2021.

The Guidance Note was developed in collaboration with the Department of Health, the Department of Fairness, Families and Housing and CHIA Vic, providing high level information to equip registered agencies to plan for, and manage the risks of, an outbreak. This includes:

  • preparedness measures for registered agencies to comply with the Performance Standards
  • who to contact in the event of an outbreak based on Department of Health guidance
  • guidance for preventing and managing the risk of outbreak in high-risk accommodation
  • Victorian Government and CHIA Vic resources
  • reporting requirements to the Housing Registrar.

Regulatory analysts will be contacting registered agencies to discuss preparedness arrangements and answer any questions about the Guidance Note, and to identify any further opportunities for the Housing Registrar to offer support.

Reminder: Annual reporting

Thank you for submitting the first tranche of regulatory reporting for the 2020-21 financial year.

The second tranche of regulatory reporting is due within 28 days of a registered agency’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) and includes:

  • self-assessment of performance against Performance Standards
  • audited financial statements and accounts
  • annual declarations
  • financial performance report showing historical and projected trends.

Registered agencies are encouraged to submit these reports early, if they are ready before the due date, to facilitate completion of compliance assessments by the Housing Registrar.

Please contact assigned regulatory analysts if you are having difficulty meeting any regulatory reporting requirements, including regulatory plan action items.

Improvement opportunities identified from Sector Performance Report feedback

During the publication of the recent Sector Performance Report, we identified areas of improvement on performing reporting. This included on performance metrics, including providing analysis on the cause of change for the tenancies maintained indicator and better ways to present the evictions data. We will also improve financial analysis in the 2020-21 Sector Performance Report by providing a breakdown, by funder, of capital grant income and debt commitments.

We intend to work with the Key Performance Measures (KPM) Working Group to review these and other metrics for future reporting cycles, including refining the Performance Report and other public reporting.

If there are other performance indicators that you would like us to consider for the Sector Performance Report and Performance Report in consultation with the KPM Working Group, please email

Stronger Partnerships and Engagement

Housing Registrar annual reports - Sector Performance Report and Regulatory Update Report

We have recently published the 2019-20 Sector Performance Report (PDF, 507 KBExternal Link ) and 2020-21 Regulatory Update Report (PDF, 1.69 MB)External Link .

The Sector Performance Report contains detailed analysis of sector compliance and performance for the financial year ended 30 June 2020. It provides an analysis of community housing sector performance, including financial and non-financial data.

The Regulatory Update Report provides information on the activities and performance of the Housing Registrar for the 2020-21 financial year. This includes updates on regulation, progress against the 2020-22 Corporate Plan (PDF, 7.55 MB)External Link , and self-assessment of our performance supported by sector survey results.

Housing Registrar 2021 Annual Forum

We recently hosted the Housing Registrar’s annual forum on 2 September 2021.

The forum included updates from the Housing Registrar as well as representatives from Victoria’s Review of Social Housing Regulation Panel, Homes Victoria and CHIA Victoria. There was also a discussion on ‘Tenant voices’ featuring insights from a panel of registered agency representatives, including tenants.

We are grateful to all who were able to attend the forum this year. We hope that we can come together, face-to-face, to host the forum at Treasury Theatre next year.

An evaluation survey has been sent to all attendees. We appreciate your feedback and any suggestions for future forum topics and presenters.

Financial Performance Report enhancements

The Housing Registrar has made some enhancements to the Financial Performance Report (FPR) template for the 2020-21 annual compliance assessments.

The focus of the FPR enhancements for the 2020-21 annual compliance assessments is to improve the robustness of the information we collect for reporting and analysis purposes, making reporting more streamlined and simplifying data, and providing more guidance to registered agencies via a new checklist.

Key enhancements to the FPR include:

  • an additional column on the loans, finance and grants tab with a drop-down selection box that collects the type of grant or loan
  • removal of sales proceeds, capitalised interest and capital expenditure in maintenance and major repairs from the development projects tab to simplify data entry
  • visual design updates in line with the Housing Registrar’s recent branding updates
  • addition of a checklist to assist registered agencies to ensure that all tabs are completed
  • addition of links in each tab that enables users to navigate to the relevant section of the instructions tab.

Please do not hesitate to reach out to your financial regulator if you have any queries.

CHiMES enhancements

We have recently made the following enhancements to CHiMES:

  • Updated the self-assessment of performance against Performance Standards report template to allow registered agencies to report against each indicator relating to each Performance Standard. This change aims to enhance transparency for annual compliance assessments. Past year reports will still display with comments submitted against each Performance Standard.
  • Removed the requirement for un-audited financial statements as an August reporting requirement for housing associations. This will reduce the regulatory burden on registered housing associations.

If you have any questions about these changes, please contact your regulatory analysts. Contact details for your regulators can be found on your registered agency’s home page in CHiMESExternal Link .

Organisational excellence

Welcome to new Housing Registrar staff

Justin Peysack – Regulation Manager (Registrations and Sector Growth)

On 6 September 2021, the Housing Registrar welcomed Justin Peysack to the team.

"Having worked in legal and regulatory roles in government for more than ten years, I look forward to using my experience to contribute to the sustainable growth of the social housing sector. It’s a very exciting time to be part of this diverse and thriving area and I’m keen to work closely with all stakeholders to deliver excellent outcomes for the community. Outside of work, I enjoy reading and I play both the clarinet and the mandolin. I also used to enjoy travelling when that was a thing."

Reviewed 07 January 2022

Housing Registrar

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