STRATEGIC PLAN PROMOTING AFFORDABLE HOUSING AND WORKING TOWARDS THE ELIMINATION OF HOMELESSNESS IN WESTERN AUSTRALIA

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1 STRATEGIC PLAN PROMOTING AFFORDABLE HOUSING AND WORKING TOWARDS THE ELIMINATION OF HOMELESSNESS IN WESTERN AUSTRALIA

2 Contents Foreword... 1 Shelter WA... 2 Strategic Priorities... 5 Policy Advice... 5 Co-ordination and Collaboration... 6 Stakeholder Engagement and Influence... 7 Governance and Accountability... 8 Sustainability... 9

3 Foreword Shelter WA is Western Australia s social and affordable housing peak body, committed to accessible, affordable, appropriate and secure housing in Western Australia. Shelter WA focuses on supporting positive housing outcomes for people on low to moderate incomes or who are otherwise disadvantaged in the housing market. This includes people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. Shelter WA promotes and advocates housing options along the whole housing continuum, including social housing (public and community housing), affordable housing provided through the private sector, and affordable home ownership. The work of Shelter WA is directed towards influencing government and other stakeholders leading to the elimination of homelessness and housing related poverty. Shelter WA believes housing is a human right, and every person should have appropriate and affordable housing, and security of tenure. The Strategic Plan builds upon the achievements of the past and extends the work of Shelter WA to provide a solid foundation for its future development. Priority areas of the Strategic Plan include research of emerging housing issues, influence on the development of housing services, provision of information and education, advocating at a systemic level on behalf of disadvantaged housing consumers, and working to influence change in the housing market in Western Australia. The Strategic Plan provides a strong vision for Shelter WA to influence change at both the service and policy levels and engage stakeholders, while building upon its previous successes to meet a changing Western Australian housing system. The next three-year period is an opportunity for Shelter WA to transform the housing landscape in Western Australia. Leanne Strommen Chairperson 1 P a g e

4 Shelter WA Shelter WA has operated in Western Australia since 1979 as a peak housing policy and research body for the community and to inform government policy and direction. In operating as the social and affordable housing peak body, the focus of Shelter WA is research, policy development, systemic advocacy, education and broad stakeholder engagement. Vision Accessible, affordable, appropriate and secure housing and the elimination of homelessness in Western Australia. Purpose Shelter WA provides an informed voice on Western Australian housing policy and issues based on sound research and analysis, robust engagement with key housing stakeholders, including community housing and private sector providers, and broad consultation with the community sector. Through research and stakeholder engagement, we identify housing needs and trends, to develop effective housing policy advice to Government and promote diverse affordable housing options within the wider housing system. Values Shelter WA believes in everyone s right to access affordable, appropriate, safe and secure housing, and strongly supports provision of equitable services. As an organisation, Shelter WA: strives to demonstrate integrity and accountability in every aspect of our work seeks to achieve the best outcomes in our consultations with our members and the community aspires to provide a work environment which values the skills and commitment of all staff, Board members and volunteers 2 P a g e

5 Objectives 1 To promote safe, affordable, appropriate and secure housing in Western Australia; 2 To undertake and sponsor research supporting the elimination of homelessness and housing related poverty; 3 To provide leading edge national, state and local government housing policy advice to support reform of the affordable and social housing sector; 4 To engage with tenants and other groups experiencing housing stress and disadvantage and to develop networks to effectively facilitate this process; 5 To support and promote initiatives through engagement with the community housing sector, private industry, local and state governments that increase the capacity of individuals and groups to attain affordable housing of their choice; 6 To provide information and resources to housing workers, tenants, homebuyers and the community on housing and housing related issues, through forums, workshops, research reports and publications. Stakeholders Shelter WA has a broad reach of multi-sector stakeholders ranging from people experiencing homelessness to investors capable of contributing to the expansion of affordable housing stock, with government, developers, builders and financiers. Our stakeholders limited to: Our members Housing tenants People experiencing homelessness vulnerable and disadvantaged groups Community housing providers Community support providers Government agencies Politicians Private developers Building industry Financial lending institutions include, but are not Shelter WA seeks to advocate for the interests of people on low to moderate incomes, vulnerable and disadvantaged housing consumers including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, people experiencing, or at risk of homelessness, women, young people, people from culturally and linguistically diverse communities, people with disabilities and seniors. 3 P a g e

6 Organisational Structure Shelter WA is an incorporated association governed by a Board. The organisation is staffed by an Executive Officer who manages a team of experienced and well-qualified workers, consultants and sessional workers. Key Focus Areas Shelter WA s annual operational plans in relation to our work in research and policy; leadership and coordination; stakeholder enagement and influence; and governance will be focused on the following: Housing options within the affordable housing continuum, including adequate social housing, affordable private rentals, shared equity, housing co-operatives and home ownership Opportunities for collaboration among different stakeholders, including government, community housing and private industry The reduction of Homelessness Emerging issues for vulnerable groups particularly Youth Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples Women escaping domestic violence Seniors People from culturally and linguistically diverse groups Government policy and reform in particular taxation and social housing policy Marginal tenures including boarders and lodgers, resaidents in caravan parks The impact of the resources boom on housing affordability Environmentally and economically sustainable housing models and design, including regional and remote options, and diverse models and designs for Aboriginal housing Planning and development Professional and accessible Information clearinghouse Cross-sectoral networks to build the capacity of the sector Evidence base of research to direct advocacy, change and policy advice 4 P a g e

7 Strategic Priorities Policy Advice To strengthen Shelter WA's position as a leading voice on housing policy advice to government. Key actions Provide quality, evidence-based policy advice to Government Conduct high quality research on housing issues relevant to Western Australia, in consultation with members, key stakeholders and the community Strategically disseminate housing research, information and policy papers to members, non-government agencies, the private sector and government agencies Lead and participate in research and policy working groups Actively participate in national issues impacting Western Australian housing consumers, through engagement with National Shelter, Homelessness Australia, the Council to Homeless Persons Australia and other national peaks Co-ordinate the housing research clearinghouse through the WA Housing Hub 5 P a g e

8 Co-ordination and Collaboration To provide leadership and coordination as the social and affordable housing peak body. Key actions Engage and lead the sector in achieving the Affordable Housing Strategy s goals and outcomes Proactively establish, co-ordinate and maintain relationships and links with key stakeholders across the broad housing sector, including community housing providers, private developers and builders, planners, architects, and local and state governments Work collaboratively with stakeholders to promote the development of positive housing outcomes Participate in committees and advisory groups to identify emerging housing issues Lead the sector in key community events around housing and homelessness Develop policy position papers and undertake systemic advocacy and representation on key housing issues, from trends and issues identified through stakeholder engagement Lead the co-ordination of various initiatives by stakeholders to influence social and affordable housing outcomes 6 P a g e

9 Stakeholder Engagement and Influence To work proactively with stakeholders to effect positive changes to the housing sector and address homelessness. Key actions Maintain a high public profile in relation to significant housing issues Conduct targeted and comprehensive consultations with key stakeholders and the community sector Represent the interests of the social and affordable housing sector on government and non-government advisory committees Promote the role of Shelter WA as the social and affordable housing peak body for Western Australia Convene and support forums to increase awareness of, and responses to, housing issues, program initiatives, and to influence change Establish a robust cross-sector network with a broad range of stakeholders to maximise opportunities Utilise technology to establish and coordinate a communication network across the region and increase the profile of affordable and social housing 7 P a g e

10 Governance and Accountability To ensure Shelter WA operates from a robust governance and management base and maintains continuous quality improvement in all work undertaken. Key actions Ensure the Board has the necessary skills and diversity required to meet its responsibilities Develop annual operational plans based on identified strategic directions Comply with all funding requirements and agreements Ensure congruence between the work of Shelter WA, its constitution and its strategic plan Undertake annual planning workshops for Shelter WA staff to develop operational plans Develop annual surveys for Shelter WA members and stakeholders to provide feedback on the organisation s operations Ensure all forums, workshops, training sessions and seminars conducted by Shelter WA are evaluated by participants, to contribute to a continuous improvement process Maintain current governance and operational policies and procedures through regular review 8 P a g e

11 Sustainability To ensure the sustainability and viability of Shelter WA. Key actions Meet the requirements of current funding commitments through the implementation of the operational plan Undertake consultancy projects and respond to tender documents to generate additiontional sources of income Expand the financial membership base Develop staffing and Board succession plans Support staff and Board training and development opportunities Maintain advanced information technology equipment and software Explore alternative sources of revenue as they present themselves 9 P a g e

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