News and Events

ASIC approves resignation of auditor

On 17 April 2018, ASIC sent notice to PPHA (now known as HousingFirst) that it had consented to the resignation of the Company’s auditor, Lindsay Brown of L.B.A. Services Pty Ltd, Level 1, 250 Bay St Brighton VIC 3186. The Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) requires an auditor to seek ASIC’s consent before they can formally resign.

Lindsay Brown had been PPHA’s auditor since the organisation’s earliest days. The auditor’s formal resignation was received on 24 April 2018; the resignation notice did not give a reason.

The proposed incoming auditor is Crowe Horwath Melbourne, of Level 17, 181 William St Melbourne. Crowe Horwath is recognised as a leader in providing audit and consulting services to the Not-for Profit sector. The incoming auditor will be appointed on a temporary basis until the Company’s 2018 AGM, at which the Company members will appoint an ongoing auditor.

Port Phillip Housing Association New Name and New Office

PORT PHILLIP HOUSING ASSOCIATION

NOW

HousingFirst

 A new name and a new office

ST KILDA, 04th MAY 2018 -   Leading Melbourne community housing provider, Port Phillip Housing Association (PPHA), has changed its name to HousingFirst, reflecting its operational growth and expansion as it continues to provide safe and affordable housing to hundreds of vulnerable people across Melbourne.

First established in 1986 as the St Kilda Housing Association, the agency was renamed PPHA in 2001 after local government amalgamations created the City of Port Phillip. PPHA was not directly associated with the City of Port Phillip, but at that time its housing and accommodation services had expanded beyond St Kilda and into nearby suburbs.

Chief Executive Officer Haleh Homaei said the decision to rename the organisation is a well-considered and strategic one, following lengthy consultation with staff, directors and tenants.

“We are so proud of our history of community service in St Kilda and the Port Phillip region of Melbourne. But in reality we are delivering desperately-needed housing solutions, across seven different local government areas in Melbourne.”

“It was time our growth and our philosophy was more accurately reflected in our name,” Ms Homaei said.

“We know the fundamental base for creating a home, a neighbourhood, a community and a stable healthy society is that every one of us should have an affordable and safe place to live.

Hence our new name – HousingFirst.”

HousingFirst currently owns or manages 1194 houses and apartments across Melbourne, providing homes for 1600 people who would otherwise struggle to find accommodation in the increasingly competitive public and social housing and private rental sectors.

“Our continued growth is not only by choice, but to meet increasing demand,” Ms Homaei said.

“The housing affordability crisis that’s swept across our country has impacted most on those people on low incomes, the aged and those living with illness or a disability. We need to do more, to help more people.”

From May 14th 2018, the organisation will also relocate its head office from Fitzroy Street St Kilda to just up the road at Suite 301, 492 St Kilda Rd (near Commercial Rd), a location readily accessible by public transport.

“Most importantly, as far as our residents are concerned - apart from a new name and a head office move - nothing else will change for them.”

 The name change does not affect the Port Phillip Housing Trust (PPHT) which will remain as PPHT.

 “We are the same organisation, with all the same people providing the same warm, compassionate, high quality service for our residents. In fact, hopefully even better and more efficient!”

 For more information:

Haleh Homeai
Chief Executive Officer
Tel: 03 9534 5837

 

Our new look

 New look

 

PPHA delivers 73 new affordable homes in Box Hill

PPHA will team up with the Whitehorse City Council and property developer MAB Corporation (MAB) to deliver 73 brand new architect-designed, affordable homes for low income residents. 

 

Read more

Redevelopment of The Regal

Port Phillip Housing Association (PPHA) is pleased to acknowledge the Victorian Government’s approval of the funding package for PPHA to upgrade and re-purpose its rooming house accommodation facility in Little Grey Street.

PPHA Chief Executive Officer Haleh Homaei said: “The upgrade of the Regal accommodation facility is a great outcome – delivering a sustainable long-term future for this property, as well as maintaining our capacity to support vulnerable people in the St Kilda community.

“Our aim has always been to provide a long-term solution for our residents and for this area of St Kilda.

Read more

Home News - December 2017 Tenants Newsletter is available.

HousingFirst Supports Marriage Equality

HousingFirst, unequivocally supports marriage equality. We support marriage equality because we believe it is a basic human right for everyone. We recognise the right of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex (LGBTQI) clients, employees and members of our community, to live and work free of prejudice and discrimination. This includes the right to marry the partner of their choice.

HousingFirst supports the Yes vote for marriage equality as we believe that diversity in our community is a strength.

 

We acknowledge that this is a difficult time for many people who may feel isolated or distressed. Take care of yourselves and if you find the events of the coming weeks overwhelming or they bring up issues for you, please remember there is help available and people to talk to including QLife 1800 184 527 and BeyondBlue 1300 22 4636.

 

PPHA Wins at AHI Awards

On Tuesday 18 July 2017, a large contingent of PPHA tenants and staff attended the Victorian Australasian Housing Institute Awards at Rydges in Melbourne. The AHI awards provide an opportunity to showcase social housing success stories and formally recognize excellence in professional practice and tenant/community engagement. PPHA had nominations in 5 categories and came away winners in two:

  • Leading Asset Management for the Wominjeka Induction Program and
  • Tenant Led Initiative for the Ashwood Cook-up.

PPHA are proud to have received these awards and congratulates the staff and tenants involved, both the winners and the nominated.

 

 

Affordable housing and PPHA in the media.

Ahead of the federal budget, affordable housing is certainly making headlines. PPHA has rated mention as a case study of what can be achieved by social housing organisations.

Follow these links to see more:

ABC online:  http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-04-29/will-the-budget-launch-a-new-era-in-social-housing/8480630

ABC Radio 'AM':  http://www.abc.net.au/am/content/2016/s4660955.htm

and ABC TV News : https://youtu.be/NQobVjqOsfE

PPHA launches their Customer Service Charter!

In July 2016, PPHA embarked on a project to develop a charter to improve our services to tenants, members of the public and our community stakeholders. We consulted with staff through team meetings and with tenants through the Tenant Advisory Groups. In March 2017, every tenant received the Customer Service Charter Brochure along with the March Newsletter and soon signage will be installed at PPHA Offices and at properties with notice boards.

Read more

HousingFirst Study Scholarships

HousingFirst is committed to improving the personal wellbeing of tenants and understands the importance of education as a pathway into the workforce. To support tenants who are currently studying, or are about to study, HousingFirst is offering scholarships of up to $1000 out of a total pool of $10,000. MGS Architects generously donated $2000 towards the scholarship fund to support tenants who are studying as a pathway to work.

The Scholarship is available for tenants who are over 18 years of age and are currently studying or who have been offered a place in a course at a University, TAFE, private RTO or other registered training provider (such as a neighborhood house). The scholarship is also available for entry level courses such as basic literacy and numeracy, English language classes etc.

To apply for the scholarship just complete this form:              HousingFirst Scholarship Application Form

Applications open Friday 24th March and close midnight Sunday 30th April.

If you have any questions, contact Philippa at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 9534 5837.

 

Bold for Change: International Women's Day

Under the heading Bold for Change, Haleh Homaei, CEO of HousingFirst was invited to speak at the City of Port Phillip's International Women's Day event. Other invited speakers included Clementine Ford, writer Broadcaster and speaker and Georgie Stone, Elwood College student and GLBTIQ Person of the Year.

View Haleh's presentation here.

International Women's Day 2017 presentation

 

 

 

Building Community - A Year in Review 2016

In 2016 the PPHA Community Development team have engaged tenants to participate in the organisation, learn new skills and improve their personal wellbeing through our programs and events.

Building Community - A Year in Review 2016

Rapid Housing Success

HousingFirst has secured grant funding to purchase eight units for the Rapid Housing Family Violence program and a further five units for the Rapid Housing Homelessness program. To date, HousingFirst has successfully acquired three units in Clayton and five units in St Kilda which completes the Family Violence program and will now focus on the Homelessness acquisitions. HousingFirst is working with support services organisations to ensure that tenants make a smooth transition to long term secure housing. The first of the St Kilda properties was settled on Monday 16th January and the new tenant, with support from Salvation Army Violence Service was settling in to her new home within the week.

Building Community July to September

Melbourne’s cold winter was filled with colour and creativity, as we held our annual tenant art exhibition and unearthed new talent at Barkly Street Roarhouse.

Building Community

Celebrating 30 years of Housing for the Locals

PPHA will celebrate its 30th birthday at St Kilda Town Hall on Wednesday 30th November commencing at 4pm, giving the AGM a party atmosphere.  

We invite tenants, past and present, and all those involved with PPHA over the past 30 years to join us for this momentous AGM and to hear guest speaker Rev. Tim Costello launch our book 'HOUSING FIRST a path to social justice'. The story of the campaign around affordable housing in the 80's, the establishment of St Kilda Housing Association in 1986 and PPHA's subsequent work.

There will be live music, lots of reminiscing and the opportunity to catch up with people you have not seen in a long time. For catering purposes, RSVP's are essential if attending.

PPHA's community housing program, incubated by St Kilda Council, and later nurtured by Port Phillip Council, remains unique. It is a testament to successive local governments and community resolve - and PPHA's business acumen -  that three decades later there is still no equivalent local-government initiated housing program elsewhere in Australia.

We look forward to celebrating with you.

 

PPHA 2016AGM Invitation sm

St Kilda Apartments escape Developers to Remain as Homes For Needy

Port Phillip Housing Association's purchase of an apartment complex billed as St Kilda's best development opportunity will instead continue to house people facing homelessness. Overlooking the St Kilda Botanic Gardens, it is a prime site comprising three stand alone buildings containing 50 self-contained apartments. The property was acquired under the Port Phillip Housing Trust, established by the City of Port Phillip and for which PPHA is the trustee.

Click here to read the full article.

Housing Association Gets Lifesaving Gift

Thanks to an important donation, people living in Ashwood can now live with greater peace of mind.

Link Health and Community has given PPHA a $5000 grant to help the organisation reach its goal of investing in a lifesaving defibrillator and first aid course for its tenants.

PPHA manages a number of properties in Ashwood, including at Power Ave, where many tenants suffer from chronic health conditions.

Information sessions on how to use the defibrillator will be provided, to empower both staff and tenants on how to use this tool correctly, along with a basic first aid course.

Read more

Appointment of new CEO

 

I am pleased to advise that Haleh Homaei has been appointed HousingFirst’s new Chief Executive Officer.  

For those who have been around the housing sector for some time, Haleh is well known.  She joined Haven; Home, Safe’s (HHS) Executive team as Deputy CEO/Executive Director Metro following the successful merger between HHS and North East Housing in October 2014.  Prior to the merger Haleh was the CEO of North East Housing Service, a Housing Provider managing over 300 transitional and long term properties throughout Melbourne’s north and eastern suburbs.

She has over 20 years of experience in housing, 12 years of which were with the Victorian Office of Housing and the rest within the Community Housing Sector.   Haleh’s expertise is in the area of Social Advocacy, Strategic and Business Planning, Governance and Compliance, Leadership and stakeholder management.  She has a Diploma in Social Science (Housing Management and Policy) and has completed a Company Directors Course through the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD).  Haleh has been a member of the Australasian Housing Institute (AHI) since 1998 and was a Director on the National Board representing Victoria until mid-2015.  She has been a Board member of the Community Housing Federation of Victoria since 2009 and she is currently the Chair.

In addition to her work in housing, she has had international experience.  She was centrally involved in the momentum, negotiation and outcome of the United Nation’s Post-2015 Development Agenda where she successfully promoted the agenda of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste and a group of conflict affected and fragile states resulting in inclusion of their submission in the final outcome document “Transforming Our World; The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”.

The Board is excited to have attracted an excellent field of candidates and we look forward to Haleh joining us on 29th August and working with the fantastic existing senior management team to ensure a strong future for HousingFirst, building houses for locals and developing successful communities.

Frank O’Connor

Chair, Board of Directors

HousingFirst Ltd

 

Building Community March to June 2016

It’s been a productive three months in Community Development with many projects on the go. It can be hard to motivate and engage tenants in the winter months but as our programs show, it can be done. Here is a round-up of current projects, some new and some ongoing.

 

Building Community

I am art … and this is me – PPHA Artist Collective Exhibition will surprise and excite

HousingFirst’s third tenant art exhibition, I am art … and this is me, opens at The Laneway Artspace in St Kilda on 15 September and runs until 2 October.

Read more