Strong Family Strong Communities - What We Have Delivered
The following provides a snapshot of key achievements from the previous quarter and lets you know what you can expect from us in this quarter.
Actions in red indicate where we have more work to do.
What we have delivered
(Click on link below or graphic for full document)
How we are delivering
A snapshot of our achievements in Strong Family, Strong Communities Phase One
A snapshot of Strong Family Strong Communities Deliverables
Good News Stories
Regional Information Sessions
In June 2023, the AHO commenced the first round of six monthly regional AHO Information Sessions. AHO hosted an information session in each of its regions. The Western Region session was held in Dubbo (6 June); Northern Region was held in Coffs Harbour (14 June) and Sydney South-East Region was held in central Sydney (16 June).
AHO Contracts and Compliance Team
The AHO Contracts and Compliance team, alongside our regional teams, plays a critical role in delivering and achieving SFSC outcomes. As the name suggests, the team focuses on ensuring compliance with contractual arrangements are met. This supports a range of outcomes, including:
- Enabling sector growth through the transfer and allocation of AHO properties through contractual arrangements. This aspect of our work is informed by demand and the client need.
- Providing guidance to the sector on the use and required outcomes of AHO properties.
- Ensuring that the property portfolio is maintained in good condition for our Aboriginal tenants, as they cover areas including repairs and maintenance, policies and frameworks, and service delivery management.
- Ensuring that client outcomes are supported, including employment related accommodation, as well as safe, transitional and affordable housing programs.
- Supporting the AHO in implementing our policies and frameworks.
- Enabling us to gather data and evidence on property management and tenancies. It also allows us to monitor trends and outcomes to inform better decision making.
Where necessary, we develop improvement plans in partnership with providers. These allow us to monitor the performance of tenancies and properties and identify opportunities to build sector capacity.
AHO Program Management Office
The Aboriginal Housing Office Program Management Office (PMO) strives to create structures and processes that make it possible to execute programs and projects to a quality standard within the department. The function of the PMO is depicted in the illustration below.
Reducing ACHP Insurance Costs (Reporting Case Study)
All AHO owned properties must be insured, the cost of which can be significant for Aboriginal Community Housing Providers (ACHP). As a result of our work with ACHPs, we discovered that many providers were paying for the full cost of insurance for all properties. At the same time, AHO was insuring AHO properties valued more than $250,000 with iCare through the Treasury Managed Fund Working. This was resulting in a double up in insurance costs with no additional benefit to either providers or the AHO.
AHO ran workshops with ACHPs and provided information on the website. ACHPs were encouraged to work with their insurance brokers to ensure that they were insuring any AHO properties valued less than $250,000 with AHO insurance covering claims above $250,000 (noting that ACHP insurance would still be required to cover the initial $250,000). This resulted in significant savings across the sector.
Market Stewardship (reporting explanation)
The AHO is working with the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI) to undertake a market shaping research study of the Aboriginal Community Housing sector. The study will focus on key areas to inform future planning and policy relating to the Aboriginal Community Housing sector in NSW. Areas include:
• the current state of the Aboriginal Housing sector in NSW
• the appropriateness of regulation and performance benchmarks
• opportunities for investment and innovation to support Aboriginal Housing outcomes; and
• elements of best practice.
This work will help the AHO to provide greater certainty for existing providers as it assesses the current state and identifies gaps in the capacity or capability of the sector. This study also aims to identify opportunities the AHO in explore to improve the long-term viability and sustainability of ACHPs and their business models.
This work will help the AHO to provide greater certainty for existing providers as it assesses the current state, identifies gaps in the capacity of the sector and provides opportunities for the AHO to improve the viability and sustainability of ACHPs.
Partnering with Stolen Generations Organisations for improved housing outcomes
The AHO recently agreed to host a housing roundtable as part of its commitments with the Stolen Generations Advisory Committee. The Stolen Generations Advisory Committee was established to support the implementation of the NSW Government Response to ‘Unfinished Business’, Unfinished Business, a NSW Standing Committee report on an inquiry into Stolen Generations reparations. The Stolen Generations Advisory Committee reports to the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and the Premier on issues impacting on Stolen Generations survivors.
Through the Advisory Committee survivor representatives from the four NSW Stolen Generations Organisations – Kinchela Boys’ Home Aboriginal Corporation, Coota Girls Aboriginal Corporation, Children of the Bomaderry Aboriginal Children’s Home Incorporated and the NSW/ACT Stolen Generations Council – work with government officials from the Departments responsible for delivering services or supports for Stolen Generations survivors.
On 27 and 28 October 2022, the AHO hosted the housing roundtable with the Stolen Generation Organisations and survivors, Land and Housing Corporation and the Department of Communities and Justice. The focus of the roundtable was for NSW Government agencies to hear the voice of Stolen Generations survivors with a view to:
1. Develop a comprehensive Housing Action Plan for the next 12-24 months; and
2. Develop a Housing Policy Framework which reflects the particular needs of Stolen Generations survivors.
Key actions coming out of the roundtable included:
- supporting greater accessibility when applying for social housing by ensuring the policies and procedures are streamlined and meet the needs of survivors and their descendants
- looking for opportunities to provide additional support to apply for community housing
- looking at the potential for housing (including transitional housing) dedicated to meeting the needs of Stolen Generation survivors and their descendants
- considering opportunities to support Stolen Generations Organisations to fully participate in co-design processes.
This was the first time, since 2018, that the NSW Government held an event with Stolen Generations Organisations and survivors focusing on housing outcomes. The AHO has committed to continue working with Stolen Generations Organisations and hosting further roundtable events to ensure progress and accountability. Responding to the challenges will be an AHO priority as part of our 2023 work program.
Home Ownership: Partnership with Head Start Homes
The AHO knows that there are opportunities to support more Aboriginal people into home ownership through partnering with other organisations with similar goals.
Head Start Homes is a not-for-profit Community Service Organisation committed to achieving its vision of 'A safe and stable home for everyone with fair and practical pathways into home ownership. It supports Aboriginal people, single mums, and other families living in community housing buy their own homes without a bank deposit via our Head Start Guarantee and Empowerment Services.
While AHO has an established relationship with Head Start Homes, AHO recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with them focussed on strengthened collaboration, honest and transparent communication, underpinned by a recognition of the value and dignity of all people.