Shelter WA AGM 2021

Shelter WA’s Annual General Meeting was held on Thursday, 28 October at Claisebrook Lotteries House.

At the meeting there were five board members elected who join the existing members continuing their term.

Shelter WA Board, Elected Board Members 2021

  • Alf Lay – Individual Member.
  • Eugenie Stockmann – CEO – Co-operation Housing.
  • Gordon Cole – Chair, Noongar Mia Mia.
  • Mark Slattery – EM, Services, Ruah Community Services.
  • Sandy McKiernan – EM, Services, St Vincent de Paul Society.

Shelter WA Board, Continuing

  • Kieran Wong – Individual Member.
  • Julie Waylen – Individual Member.
  • Natalie Sangalli – GM, Community Housing, Housing Choices (WA).
  • Michael Piu – CEO, St. Patrick’s Community Support Centre.
  • Justine Colyer – CEO, Rise.

Guest Speaker

The guest speaker was Mark Bryden, Deputy Director General Housing and Assets, Department of Communities. Mr Bryden outlined the recent government commitment to social housing as part of the most recent state budget.

Kieran Wong and Mark Bryden

“It is a very considerable injection,” Mr Bryden said.

The presentation touched on several initiatives such as the repurposing of stock which would ordinarily be sold to the private market, the spot purchase program, and the provisional allocation of funds to refurbish properties which might otherwise be demolished.

“As you’ll appreciate with a relatively large holding of stock there is always properties coming offline at any one point in time. This will help us divert those properties back into circulation,” he said.

View the slides

During his presentation Mr Bryden outlined the minister’s announcement of the Social Housing Economic Recovery Package – Grants Program and the start of a series of Community Housing Roundtables between the sector and the Housing Minister to develop a shared vision for the future of Western Australia’s social and affordable housing system.

Housing and Assets Division

A functional realignment has happened within the Department of Communities and a Housing and Assets Division has been created.

Mr Bryden outlined how the division is structured.

“The key work done over the last three months … brings together a range of housing functions that had previously been embedded in different areas. And that’s to provide a real focus point for the housing business and a point of accountability for government in terms of the delivery of its housing programs. That responsibility first and foremost sits with me, and I am constantly talking to ministers about their housing requirements,” Mr Bryden said.

“It is a very considerable injection.”

The structure focuses on five main areas: Strategy, Planning and Policy; Construction; Maintenance; Program Management Office; and Operations. “What we have tried to do is come up with a structure that makes sense from an asset management and delivery perspective. We move across the asset management lifecycle into a maintenance business. Maintenance is one of those things that doesn’t often attract a lot of attention but when you have 35,000 assets it is a big focus for us and is a considerable spend.”

Constitutional Amendments

A resolution to amendments to the Shelter WA Constitution was carried.

Annual Report

In presenting the Shelter WA Annual Report 2020/21 Chairperson Kieran Wong highlighted some of the key policy and advocacy work undertaken “to drive our vision over the last twelve months”.

“We had a state election – which provided a significant opportunity to prosecute the case for new investment into social and affordable housing and homelessness services,” he said. “The Unlock Housing pre-election campaign … harnessed the sector to drive change was built on a strong evidence base, public perception research and the stories of people impacted by housing stress.

“And an election of a new Lord Mayor for the City of Perth, and the opportunity to highlight the role local government can play in ending homelessness in our capital city.”

Mr Wong also highlighted the launch of the Re-imagining Indigenous Housing, Health and Wealth Report A Framework for Creating Homes with older Single women on low incomes – and driving the case for change based on the findings the work of the Hear of My Experience (HOME) project and the facilitation of a Design Charette with the community housing sector and industry to show what is possible to deliver good housing options on vacant government land.

In looking froward Mr Wong noted the importance of the review of the Residential Tenancies Act (1987) a document that “hasn’t been reviewed in thirty years” and an “important piece of legislative reform” and to continue to build the capacity of the Aboriginal community housing sector to deliver great housing outcomes for First Nations People. Also harnessing opportunities for the community housing sector to be a key delivery partner with government to increase social and affordable housing supply.