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					Accreditation Status Report

The Report

This report provides an overview of Sunshine Coast Regional Housing Council’s
performance in relation to the National Community Housing Standards.

The report consists of two main parts:

   Accreditation Status Report
   Accreditation Evaluation Report.

The Accreditation Status Report includes:

   Recommended/current accreditation status.
   Background information about the organisation’s work and history.
   An overview of the Evaluation Team’s assessment of the organisation’s
    performance, identifying major achievements as well as major areas for
    improvement.
   Evaluation Team.
   Methodology.

It is important to note that the Accreditation Status Report, for accredited
organisations only, will be made publicly available on the Community Housing
Standards and Accreditation Unit website. Go to http://www.chsau.qld.gov.au.

The Evaluation Team has assessed the organisation’s performance by rating each
standard against a five-point scale, as outlined below:

       Surpassed – Performance meets expectations in all three categories of
        evidence (documentation, processes, measuring outcomes), and at least one
        category has exceeded expectations.
       Met – Performance meets expectations in all three categories of evidence
        (documentation, processes, measuring outcomes).
       Partially met – Where there are no categories of evidence (documentation,
        processes, measuring outcomes) not met, and any of the three categories is
        partially met.
       Not met – Where there is a not met rating in any of the three categories of
        evidence (documentation, processes, measuring outcomes).
       Not applicable – The standard cannot be met by the organisation because
        external legislation, organisation definition or funding policy guidelines
        prevents them from doing so.
Accreditation status

Sunshine Coast Regional Housing Council (SCRHC) has met the required standards
and has been awarded full three-year accreditation for the period 27 October 2009 to
26 October 2012

Summary of feedback from tenants and other stakeholders

As part of the accreditation evaluation process the Evaluation Team met with
tenants, interviewed a number of community agencies and received a report from the
funding body (Housing Provider Management Section of Social Housing Programs).

Feedback from tenants

The Evaluation Team met with tenants of SCRHC and were provided collated
responses from a recent tenant survey conducted by the organisation.

Tenants confirmed that during the allocation process they were able to ask questions
and visit the property before accepting or declining the offer of accommodation.

Tenants were satisfied with the amount of information that was provided during the
sign-up interview and in the new tenants’ kit.

Tenants advised they were aware of the complaints and appeals process but as the
staff were very approachable the tenants were confident that any issue of concern
could be resolved with staff in the first instance.

Feedback from other stakeholders

Staff from the other community agencies indicated they have a close working
relationship with SCRHC and comments were made about the positive outcomes of
the referral process between the agencies with both formal and informal referral and
support agreements in place. Staff from the other community agencies also advised
that clients who had been referred to SCRHC reported positive feedback.

Staff from the community agencies interviewed indicated that they had a good
knowledge of SCRHC including the location of the services, eligibility criteria for the
various programs, hours of operation and the complaints and appeals process.

The Housing Provider Management Section of Social Housing Programs did not
advise of any major compliance concerns with SCRHC.

Overall summary of major achievements

SCRHC operates from a well located office that provides a good working
environment for clients, governing body and staff.

SCRHC has demonstrated a strong commitment to sustaining the tenancies that it
manages. Tenants are offered opportunities to remedy breaches and enter into
agreements for repayment of rent arrears and the organisation attempts to support
and sustain tenancies.
Staff performance is evaluated annually and all new staff receive an comprehensive
induction to SCRHC and are subject to a probationary process. Staff reported to the
Evaluation Team as being happy with their employment conditions including the level
of support from the governing body.

SCRHC has a comprehensive governance system with clear delineation of roles,
responsibilities and lines of authority. There is an effective framework for
organisational performance, financial and legal accountability. The governing body
undertakes a self-assessment process annually and findings from this process are
used to improve its operation.

SCRHC has explored a number of funded housing programs to seek opportunities
for increasing its funding and housing stock.

The governing body is active in local and regional networks and has developed a
good working relationship with other service providers in the area.

Interviews with other community agencies indicated that SCRHC has a good working
relationship with the agencies and referrals are made appropriately with good
outcomes for clients.

Tenants interviewed during the accreditation evaluation visit were very positive about
the service and commented on the professionalism and competency of the SCRHC
staff.

SCRHC has implemented all of the suggestions and recommendations from the
2003 Accreditation Evaluation Report

Overall summary of strategic recommendations and suggestions

Recommendation:

It is recommended that SCRHC review its policies and procedures to develop an
appropriate system to monitor and respond to low levels of client satisfaction with the
repairs and maintenance service provided by QBuild.

Suggestions:

It is suggested that SCRHC considers the benefits of:

   developing a networking and consultative relationship with a local Indigenous
    organisation to ensure that the organisation continues to provide culturally
    appropriate services

   relocating the Tenant Advice and Advocacy Service (Queensland) (TAAS(Q)) out
    of the SCRHC office building into an alternate location

   reviewing the Limitations to confidentiality section of its policy and procedures
    manual to provide a more comprehensive process for the release of client
    information when informed consent by the client is not possible.

It is suggested that SCRHC consider the benefits of reviewing its policies and
procedures to:
   address the issue of succession of tenancy when the principal tenant no longer
    lives in the property

   provide clarity for the governing body and staff about when the point has been
    reached where a difficult tenancy is no longer sustainable

   include the current practice of requiring all requests for client information by
    outside agencies, including where there is a statutory requirement to provide
    client information, to be made in writing

   provide for a report on complaints and appeals activity in its annual report.

2003 Accreditation Evaluation Report Location

SCRHC was accredited in March 2003 following an on site evaluation in December
2002.

The 2003 Accreditation Evaluation Report recommended that SCRHC further
develop its policies and procedures to better:

   manage potential conflicts of interest
   respond to changes in tenant’s circumstances
   define the complaints and grievance process
   manage neighbourhood disputes.

The Evaluation Team also recommended that SCRHC consider the relocation of its
office from 14 Maud Street, Nambour to more appropriate premises.

SCRHC has implemented the recommendations contained in the 2003 Accreditation
Evaluation Report including the relocation of the of the SCRHC office.

SCRHC’s office is located at 15 Sydney Street, Nambour.

Background information about the organisation

History

The SCRHC commenced operations in 1991 after a public meeting adopted a
regional model for the Community Rent Scheme and Housing Resource Worker
programs across the Sunshine Coast. SCRHC was auspiced by the Meeting Place
at the Nambour Community Centre until it was incorporated in its own right in 1993.

In 2001, SCRHC amalgamated with AAA Housing, expanding its role as a long-term
community housing provider and enhancing the provision of integrated housing
services to the Sunshine coast community.

In 2004, Cotton Tree Housing Co-operative merged with SCRHC.

In 2007, Sunshine Coast Housing Company Ltd was established and it is expected
that the SCRHC and the Sunshine Coast Housing Company will merge in the future.
Community served

SCRHC works in partnerships with local communities, community service agencies,
the private sector, charities and all levels of government to provide appropriate
secure and affordable rental housing and a tenant advice and advocacy service to
Sunshine Coast communities and people in need.

Services provided by the Organisation

SCRHC provides tenancy and property management services under a number of
programs funded by the Department of Communities (Housing and Homelessness
Services).

Number of staff employed listing job titles and identifying the hours allocated
to these positions

       CEO – full-time (76 hours per fortnight
       Manager Finance and Administration – full-time (76 hours per fortnight)
       Manager Governance – part-time (60 hours per fortnight)
       Office Manager/Capital Projects – full-time (76 hours per fortnight)
       Administration Officer – full-time (76 hours per fortnight)
       Housing Manager – part-time (46 hours per fortnight)
       Housing Manager – full-time (76 hours per fortnight)
       Housing Manager – part –time (36 hours per fortnight)
       Senior Housing Manager – part-time (60 hours per fortnight)
       Property Manager – full-time (76 hours per fortnight)
       Client Services Officer – full-time (76 hours per fortnight)
       TAAS(Q) Manager – full-time (76 hours per fortnight)
       Tenant Advocate – full-time (76 hours per fortnight)
       Tenant Advocate – part-time (46 hours per fortnight)
       TAAS(Q) Administration Assistant – casual (16 hours per fortnight)

Property portfolio with geographical locations

SCRHC manages properties located across the Sunshine Coast from Tewantin to
Caloundra.

Community Rent Scheme

   98 properties in various locations.

Rent Start Program

   30 properties in various locations.
Community-managed Housing – Studio Units Program

   54 properties
   30 located at Nambour and 24 located at Maroochydore.

Long Term Housing Program

   62 properties in various locations.

Target groups for each funding programs

Community Rent Scheme

   Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander households
   culturally and linguistically diverse households
   clients with a disability
   aged clients
   young people
   clients escaping domestic violence
   single parent households.

Rent Start Program

   clients who require assistance to establish a tenancy and require a supported
    pathway to self-sufficiency in private rental market.

Community-managed Housing – Studio Units Program

   single people at risk of homelessness.

Long Term Housing Program

   clients with low income.

Total number of tenancies

SCRHC manages a total of 245 tenancies.

Income sources

SCRHC receives program funding from the department and rental income from the
properties that it manages.

Management/Governance structure

As at the 26 August 2009 the management committee of SCRHC was:

Chair
Treasurer
Secretary
Vice Chair
Committee Member
Committee Member
Committee Member
Committee Member/Finance
Committee Member/Law

Key issues over the past 12 months

SCRHC listed the following key issues over the past 12 months:

   the need for affordable and community housing solutions continues to escalate
    due in part to continued population growth, excessive private market rents
    coupled with extremely low vacancy rates as well as the lack of crisis and
    transitional housing options for people on the Sunshine Coast

   continued organisational change to meet growth, National Rental Affordability
    Scheme and the Financial Stimulus Package options with limited operating
    capital resources to support due diligence processes, effective management and
    governance, staff changes and associated training

   increased pressure on staff due to the consistent high demand for services with
    little or no movement and increasing emphasis on almost a case-management
    approach for which we have very limited resources

   ongoing commitment to the organisation positioning itself to become an asset
    development vehicle on the Sunshine Coast.

Key goals for next 12 months

SCHC will over the next 12 months:

   strengthen the viability of the organisation through organisational development,
    for example, re-accreditation, improved records management and continuing to
    consolidate and improve management practices

   develop and improve existing programs and services in tenancy advice and
    advocacy, housing programs through continuous improvement practices and
    identifying service gaps and developing solutions to meet needs

   grow partnership with Break Through Housing Services Inc. including preparation
    and finalisation of Memorandum of Understanding

   continue to work in partnership with Department of Communities, Sunshine Coast
    Regional Council, Not-for-Profits and other community agencies to develop and
    deliver quality community and affordable housing solutions.
The Evaluation Team

Coordinator:             Mike Munsie - Standards and Accreditation Unit

Peer Evaluator:          Stewart Abbott - BRIC Housing

Methodology

Prior to the accreditation evaluation the service used the Self-Evaluation Workbook
to evaluate its own performance. The Evaluation Team then conducted a desk-top
assessment of information and documentation provided by the organisation. This
was followed by an on-site evaluation.

The external evaluation process involved gathering and assessing an extensive
amount of information and documentation and included:

   reviewing the organisation report and other documentation and evidence of
    various kinds

   conducting a range of interviews with management members and staff

   inspecting office facilities and equipment

   assessing policies and procedures

   reviewing the tenancy and property record audit reports

   interviewing and/or surveying tenants

   reviewing reports on the results of surveys of tenants and other organisations
    undertaken by the organisation

   interviewing or seeking feedback from key community agencies and the funding
    body.

				
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