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Community Housing Conference from a tenant’s perspective

Community Housing Conference from a tenant’s perspective

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Members of our staff group and Tenant Advisory Group (TAG) attended this year’s Community Housing Conference hosted by the Community Housing Industry Association (CHIA). As well as being a proud gold sponsor of this valuable industry event, our Chair Mike Allen PSM and CEO Andrew McAnulty also appeared in the program.

Here, a member of our Northern Sydney TAG shares what she learnt.

Summary by Lyndal Evatt

As a Link Wentworth attendee, what I learnt overall, is that we are never too old to learn about the new. While there were many presentations and discussions from the comprehensive program, I have focused on some topics that I hope will be of interest to many Link Wentworth tenants and residents. Thank you Link Wentworth for the opportunity to attend this inspiring conference.

Housing to the rescue: housing and economic recovery after COVID-19′, featuring Andrew McAnulty

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the real situation in Australia with the lack of safe and secure housing needed for thousands of people across the country.

State governments have pledged to provide social housing stimulus funding over a period of four years. The following demonstrates how such funding currently varies between states. Funding in New South Wales appears to need a serious, urgent boost when considered alongside neighbouring states. For example:   

  • Victoria to receive funding for around 12,000 homes (Vic. population 6.7 million)
  • Queensland around 7,400 homes (Qld. population 5.2 million)
  • NSW funding for around 980 homes (NSW population 8.2 million)

Link Wentworth CEO Andrew McAnulty said that delivering social and affordable diverse housing is complex and requires a collaborative approach across all levels of government, as well as industry and the community.

The discussion helped me, as a tenant, better understand the benefits and timing of our merged Link Wentworth Housing in creating a larger organisation with a stronger voice – a voice to be heard. Hopefully this will open more of the funding bodies’ doors in all sectors necessary to enable planning for, and provision of, additional community housing projects – together with a fresh outlook to the future, both with homes and services.

Global Economic Trends and the Outlook for Housing Demand in Australia’. Presenter: Dr. Stefan Hajkowicz, Senior Prinicpal Scientist, CSIRO

‘Megatrend’ is a word reference used by the CSIRO Principal Scientist meaning: ‘the urgency of adaptation to really big things’. An example is how ten years of digital transformation happened in a few months due to COVID-19. Universities that were going to put their courses fully online by 2030 had done it by 2020.

Together with UN involvement since October 2020, the CSIRO is trying to craft a megatrend working with events that are happening now from infectious diseases through to climate change over the next ten to twenty years.

Climate change

The reality is that we will have to adapt to challenges associated with climate change – much of this through current and future technological advances. Some examples include the following:

  • Housing construction

New building materials and cost-effective way of building houses – mass rollout of materials and contemporary housing designs constructed to survive bushfires and to remain cooler are constantly being developed.

  • Energy revolution

Battery innovation with lighter, more powerful batteries. Many companies are working on this now. Advanced solar panels will be cost effective for households by disconnecting from the grid, and people can enjoy cleaner energy.

  • Food

Stefan Hajkowicz says we need 100% more plant-based meat and synthetic food production.

  • Electric cars in Australia

Stefan Hajkowicz thinks 2025 to 2030 will be the crossover time. Costs will come down, the air will be cleaner.

  • Recycling 

Converting gold from computer circuits to gold nuggets is one of the technological advances in EWaste.

  • Transport mobility

We are moving into a more mobile world with electric jet travel in the future moving people, and freight across the world with the rise of online shopping.

It is clear that megatrends will be reshaping our lives through technology, design and forward planning over the coming decades. I hope some of this information may assist us all as we learn more and adapt to the future.