Haven; Home, Safe is focused on delivering More Homes and More Supports to vulnerable Victorians through developing More Partnerships and More Capacity.Read the full report ➤
This year we break with tradition and present a combined CEO and Deputy CEO report.
Two heads are better than one, not because either is infallible, but because they are unlikely to go wrong in the same direction.
2020 has had its fair share of world-shifting events. Closer to home we’ve experienced some upheavals of our own while continuing to put people first, especially our clients.
The year has ended on a very high note as we prepare to do our part to deliver the Big Housing Build program in 2021 and beyond.
The global coronavirus pandemic has created an unprecedented crisis in our lifetimes.
Since March, we have seen demand for our services grow and expect this may be just the beginning as federal government supplements and support payments are wound back in the coming months.
Our homeless access points in Bendigo, Mildura and Preston continued to support vulnerable people in Victoria. Between March and October:
In line with Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) guidelines, we implemented a series of robust COVID-19 specific policies and procedures to protect our staff and our clients.
This included a range of protocols for health and hand hygiene including handwashing and hands free sanitiser stations, increased cleaning regimes across all of our offices and multi-level sites and restricted workplace access.
We implemented a range of social distancing protocols, introduced tele-consults and a virtual concierge to manage our clients.
Our Business Continuity Plan was enacted mid-March and has continued to guide our response to COVID-19.
1. Flexible leave options and a COVID-19 Leave Guide for staff
2. Flexible work practices and options available for staff
3. Support for the 40 parents homeschooling
4. WFH package for staff - forms, policies, WFH tips and guides
5. Paid allowances and gift vouchers to reward staff
6. COVID-19 hub on our internal intranet to provide information, resources and support
7. Communications initiatives – regular webinars and staff updates from CEO and Executive
8. Business Continuing Planning Response set up with regular meetings and updates for staff
9. Return to the Office e-learning module to reinforce OH&S processes and protocols
10. Additional COVID-19 training module added to the mandatory OH&S online learning program
11. Remote professional development opportunities expanded
12. Access to our Employee Assistance Program
13. Mental health resources - webinars and workshops on managing workplace mental health
14. Innovative ways to connect and support via daily chats and toolbox meetings.
15. Employee pulse check surveys and feedback surveys to gain insights into staff wellbeing
16. Wellness Wednesdays Program - webinar series on various wellbeing topics
The purpose of our ‘Life in lockdown’ and 'Life emerging from lockdown' webinar series was to share insights from housing professionals across the world about their lockdown work practices, tips and information about running homelessness and housing services during a global pandemic.
Total views across Zoom, Facebook, and YouTube
Our hearts were warmed when we heard about this wonderful story of a flourishing friendship between two of our Tram Road residents which developed over lockdown. Below is an excerpt from our tenant, Al Turner’s, fortnightly personal newsletter ‘The Wonder of Words,’ Issue 4, August 2020 which he writes for his fellow neighbours.
“Over and over I had heard the words: ‘We’re all in this together’ without realising the power in that message. Until one day I got into a taxi and the driver recognized my address. It turned out we had been living in the same apartment building for two years and hadn’t met.
We soon got to know each other and began to help one another to ease our way through the lockdown. In return for a couple of small favours, the driver made himself available whenever I needed a taxi, sometimes ‘forgetting’ to turn on the meter.
Now, a couple of months on... we have become friends. Proving that togetherness covers a very broad spectrum. And ‘all’ means everybody.”
A year of events, achievements and milestones for the year that was 2020.
A year ago we became the first Victorian community housing provider to sign a multi-million dollar loan with the National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation (NHFIC).
The Australian Government’s affordable housing finance body provided us with a $65 million low-interest loan to refinance debt and construct new social and affordable housing. The interest savings alone are in the order of $10 million over 10 years.
Then on Sunday 15 November, 2021, everything changed with the State Government announcing an unprecedented $5.3B commitment to building 12,000 new social housing homes over the next four years. A quarter of the proposed homes will be in regional Victoria.
This was a game-changer for the state and will give thousands of people the security and stability of a home.
Last year we supported 3,553 people experiencing or at risk of homelessness in Victoria through 12 holistic and tailored support programs.
Our support programs are designed to deliver positive outcomes for our clients such as improved life skills, increased safety and security, and enhanced individual capacity.
When many other agencies closed their doors at the peak of the coronavirus pandemic, ours remained open.
We pivoted quickly, installing a virtual concierge across our homeless access points in Bendigo, Preston, and Mildura in March to deliver a contactless service for our clients via video and phone.
Our priority was, and will always be, to connect people with housing options and integrated supports so that they can find and keep a place to call home.
The help and support I received was incredible. Everybody was friendly and supportive to both me and my kids.
- Haven; Home, Safe client
"Keep doing exactly what you’re doing.
11 out of 10 Haven; Home, Safe!"
- Haven; Home, Safe client
We continue to invest in our organisation’s capacity to grow, helping more people find and keep a home.
In the past year, increasing our capacity has focused on developing our people, systems, finances and our physical and digital infrastructures. We have worked tirelessly to set up innovations to position our organisation for success in an environment of a refreshed government housing policy.
In the second half of the financial year, our attention focused on managing and navigating our way through the COVID-19 pandemic. This significant disruptor tested our people, communications and procurement. We successfully pivoted our operations from an entirely office-based environment to an almost entirely working-from-home one, in just two weeks. Employing the latest in digital innovations, we helped our staff engage with clients and tenants, providing the same level of service, while keeping us all safe.
These digital innovations have added to our organisation’s robustness while allowing for nimbleness and agility and will remain, creating an environment that sets us up excellently for the future growth we know is coming.
We have also continued to see the ongoing value of being ISO accredited this year, as we passed our annual assessment successfully. ISO: 55001:2014 Asset Management recognises our world-class governance and best practice in the management of our portfolio of housing assets.
We continue to partner with a wide range of organisations to ensure the supply of affordable housing and essential homelessness services. We work collaboratively and seamlessly with our partners, whose purpose and values align with our own, and who help contribute to our overall growth and success.
These partners include Local, State and Federal Government, private developers, community groups, and support agencies.
One of the most rewarding partnerships has been our compact with other Victorian Housing Associations, the Housing Registrar, and the Department of Health and Human Services which led to the formation of an Industry Working Group (IWG) two years ago, of which our CEO was the inaugural chair.
This group will continue to work closely with the Director of Housing and the newly named Homes Victoria for the duration of the Big Housing Build program.
As the initiator and founding organisation of PowerHousing Australia, it is personally gratifying to see PHA grow its influence and advocacy at a national government level over the past 12 years. It was PHA that pushed for a bond aggregator model in the early days and more recently with Nick Proud at the helm, PHA became a key lobbyist for the formation of what is now the National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation (NHFIC).
Ken Marchingo AM
Joseph Mapiva Salamasina
A Savvy Van-Des
We achieved a Total Comprehensive Income of $11.2 million for 2019/20.
This was a great result during what was a challenging year on many fronts.
Our underlying EBITDA was $3 million which generated an ICR of more than 2.
In terms of our balance sheet, total assets grew by nearly $30 million and now stand at more than $355 million and we have received an unqualified audit opinion on our Financial Statements.
Our current and forecast solvency position is strong with a Current Ratio of 2 and cash on hand of more than $12 million.
But it is not all about the numbers, the following achievements helped shape our results this year and will do for years to come:
Whilst the pandemic has devastated large sectors of the economy, we have been able to maintain operating revenues and continue to deliver and provide housing and support services to our tenants and those that are homeless. Rental revenue growth is however flat and is expected to remain so until the crisis is over.
Over the next 12 months, we will prepare for growth and separate strategies are underway to:
Chief Financial Officer