OUR PERFORMANCE

Hume Community Housing’s unique structure provides for proactive, high-level resourcing and intensive housing management that delivers value for money, efficiency and enables customer movement through The Housing Continuum.

Our strategic objectives direct our service delivery and performance to maximise social impact through customer-driven services, sustainability through the consolidation and deepening of our footprint and delivering value for money through a progressive and high-achieving organisation.

Achieving our goals

Our key organisational goals for 2018–19 were to:

Highlights from 2018–19

• We continued to work with families to break out of generational disadvantage, including with customers like Samuel (click here) to develop the skills to sustain a tenancy, secure a private rental or seek social housing.
• We provided Specialist Disability Accommodation to 559 customers, including Kerry and Steven (click here), who required a housing solution that supports their individual needs.
• We secured access to $35 million in finance through the National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation (NHFIC) for affordable housing.
• We became business-ready for the largest social housing transfer in NSW under the Social Housing Management Transfer (SHMT) program. We were awarded the transfer of more than 2,200 homes and 4,000 customers across Maitland and Port Stephens.

Enhancing customer experience

We aim to provide our customers with an experience that ensures:
• they have high trust in us
• we will deliver on our service promises
• it takes a low effort from them to have that service delivered.

Our Customer Service Charter demonstrates our commitment to, and respect for, customer diversity. It is our commitment to:
• deliver services in a culturally respectful manner
• advocate for equal access to services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples
• ensure all information necessary to make informed decisions about housing options is available to our customers
• actively use translation and interpreter services
• remove barriers to participation.

Our Customer Service Charter is available on our website: www.humehousing.com.au

Customer satisfaction

We commissioned Community Housing Industry Association NSW to produce our Hume Community Housing 2018 Tenant Satisfaction Survey. The aims of this survey were to:
• establish levels of customer satisfaction with services in line with the National Regulatory Scheme for Community Housing (NRSCH)
• benchmark performance levels against CHIA NSW’s tenant satisfaction benchmarking group
• inform future service delivery improvements.

The survey showed an overall 81% of customers were satisfied with us.

In comparison to the NRSCH thresholds, Hume Community Housing comfortably out-performed the thresholds for overall satisfaction (by 6%) and condition of home (by 5%).

When compared to the CHIA NSW House Keys benchmark indicator set, our best performing indicators were communications and customer involvement (both 3% above). The poorest performing indicator compared to CHIA NSW’s benchmark was complaints handling (6% below). The key indicator of overall satisfaction with the services provided by Hume Community Housing (81% satisfied) was just below the CHIA NSW benchmark (84%).

KEY RESULTS FROM OUR ANNUAL CUSTOMER SURVEY

81%

OF CUSTOMERS WERE SATISFIED WITH US OVERALL

79%

OF CUSTOMERS FELT POSITIVE ABOUT THEIR NEIGHBOURHOOD AS A PLACE TO LIVE

80%

OF CUSTOMERS ARE SATISFIED WITH THE CONDITION OF THEIR HOME

74%

OF CUSTOMERS FEEL THEY RECEIVE VALUE FOR MONEY FOR THE RENT THEY PAY

Responding to customer feedback

In response to these customer satisfaction results, in the first half of 2019, we have focused on the areas that are most important to our customers, as well as those areas that performed under the CHIA NSW benchmark. These areas were:

The Hume Services Guide

During the year, we developed the Hume Services Guide, to give our employees the tools to deliver a wholistic customer experience. The guide supports operational efficiency and effectiveness of our customer service teams through the implementation of best-practice policy, process and systems. This means that we can provide:

• a consistent level of service to our customers when they contact us
• the person they speak to can resolve their enquiry at the first point of contact
• all aspects of the interaction from conversation to administration completed.

The Hume Services Guide will be rolled out in the coming year.

Customer support coordination

During 2019, we developed our Customer Support Coordination Services Framework as part of our approach to an outcomes-focused delivery of our services.

The framework will be implemented in the coming year and will complement our objectives aligned to the Social Housing Outcomes Framework. This approach will enhance our customers’ ability to achieve tenancy sustainment and housing independence.

The Customer Support Coordination Services Framework is built on:
• a person-centred and trauma-informed approach
• assessing customer support needs
• referrals to support services
• planning and coordination of customer independence plans
• working with customers to achieve long term housing goals
• developing understanding of local supports, services and networks
• partnerships and collaboration
• ongoing monitoring and review
• measuring impact of customer and Hume activities.

Outlook for 2019–20

In the coming year, we will:

• implement our Customer Support Coordination Services Framework to complement our objectives aligned to the NSW Government’s Social Housing Outcomes Framework.
• embed our new organisational structure. The new structure is designed to include localised service teams comprised of specialist officers who are technically skilled in tenancy management, assets and allocations, and community cohesion services. Our aim is for customer experience to be captured across Hume and our services are relevant to the areas where our customers live. New social outcomes and customer experience teams will be created. The new structure will ensure our customers’ individual support needs can be met to sustain tenancies and reduce social isolation.

Creating community cohesion

At Hume, we believe that home is the place where people should feel safest, happiest and the most comfortable. The degree to which people feel at home is determined by the physical quality and level of maintenance of their buildings, the connection to their neighbours, and their connection to support services. We recognise that this has a direct impact on their health and wellbeing.

Within Hume, ‘community cohesion’ is a process where all community members can share in the creation of shared goals for what their community will look like, feel like and be like, as well as working together towards the realisation of those goals.

Our Community Cohesion Strategy, launched in 2016, underpins how we approach our delivery of our services to help us achieve our community cohesion strategic priorities. They are:

1. Sustaining Home—our customers will have the capacity and resilience to sustain their tenancies and have a sense of pride and safety in their homes.
2. Connecting People—our customers will be connected to their neighbours and local services, belong within their communities and have improved health and wellbeing.
3. Creating place—we will work with our customers and local services to create improved, activated local places and spaces that encourage community gatherings, socialising and that are safe.
4. Facilitating participation—our customers will be engaged, informed and supported to participate in community life and decision making.

Providing opportunities for customer participation

During 2019, we formalised the ‘Tenants’ Voice’ model of holding monthly customer forums, alternating locations between our communities in Fairfield, Liverpool and Telopea. Tenants’ Voice forums are open to all Hume customers, their family and friends. The forums are an opportunity for customers to have their say, learn about what’s happening at Hume and in their community, as well as getting to know their fellow neighbours and the Hume team.

We also introduced the Tenants’ Voice Leadership Group, which acts as a connection between our customers across all locations and our management and Board. This table shows outcomes from this customer participation.

MOORE STREET, LIVERPOOL DEVELOPMENT

In 2018–19, Hume worked with the NSW Government to manage the development of 23 social housing units at 188–190 Moore Street, Liverpool.

The properties belong to NSW Land and Housing Corporation (LAHC) and Hume was selected to project manage the construction. The units were handed over in June and now the project is complete, Hume will manage the tenancies and property maintenance. These properties form part of Hume’s general capital properties and will be ready to move into by the end of July 2019.

The project includes:
• 9 x 2-bedroom apartments
• 14 x 1-bedroom apartments
• 4 x 2-bedroom adaptable apartments
• basement car park with 21 secured car parking spaces.

The Moore Street, Liverpool development brought the total of new social housing homes built under our partnership with LAHC to 52 delivered in the last two years.

Moore Street Liverpool development

IN 2018–19, WE ORGANISED 131 ACTIVITIES WITH 7,212 PARTICIPANTS. ALL ACTIVITIES WERE ALIGNED TO SOCIAL OUTCOMES:

34%

AIMED TO IMPROVE SOCIAL AND COMMUNITY CONNECTIONS

27%

AIMED TO IMPROVE EDUCATION AND SKILLS

16%

PROVIDED OPPORTUNITIES FOR CUSTOMERS TO BE INVOLVED IN THEIR HOUSING AND COMMUNITY

37

PARTNERSHIPS WITH ORGANISATIONS TO DELIVER EVENTS AND ACTIVITIES FOR OUR CUSTOMERS

Tenants Voice Forum Fairfield

Issues raised by our customer leadership group and what Hume did in response to their feedback

Issues and Outcomes

Creating places

Together with our customers, partners, and the wider community, Hume has developed Neighbourhood Plans for each of our communities. The plans include ‘block meetings’ to give our customers the chance to share information and discuss issues, identify areas for neighbourhood improvement and environmental, safety and security physical upgrades.

As part of our Neighbourhood Plans, we survey our customers and their neighbours to understand their priorities and connections to their community.
In our customer survey:
• 94% of our customers said they feel safe and secure in their home
• 92% feel safe and secure outside of their home
• 76% of customers feel comfortable speaking to their neighbours
• 70% feel connected to their community meaning they don’t feel so lonely.

Places to congregate

In 2018–19, we completed four of the seven projects funded by the Social Housing Community Improvement Fund (SHCIF). We were awarded a total of $299,532 to complete the upgrade projects to improve the physical surrounds, facilities and amenities in social housing communities.

The four completed projects were:
• Willian Drive in Cartwright—we installed a new barbecue area and outdoor setting.
• Woodward Crescent in Miller—we upgraded the outdoor area and installed a barbecue, privacy screens and landscaping.
• Sturt Street in Telopea—we installed fresh grass, seating and lighting, and we worked with customers to design artwork for the foyer and outside terrace.
• Glenroy Drive, Claymore—we installed a shade awning, cleaned up flower beds and walkways and installed accessible amenities.

Completion of the two remaining projects at Marshall Street in Bankstown, and Cumberland Street in Cabramatta is expected in the coming year.

THE LIVERPOOL NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN

During stakeholder consultation for the Liverpool Neighbourhood Plan, our customers identified a need for more opportunities to build a social connection between each other, as well as a better understanding of their community, including its services and assets.

Hume worked with Liverpool City Council to establish the ‘Liverpool Discovery Tour’ program, designed for customers to make connections with others in their community, learn about key services they can access and visit landmarks.

In 2018–19, Hume organised more than 10 separate activities with more than 100 of our Liverpool customers. Our partner, Liverpool City Council, provided busses and Hume organised volunteer drivers and activities, which included visits to Carnes Hill Recreation Centre, Mount Annan Botanical Gardens, Chipping Norton Lakes, Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre and cultural education at Muru Mittigar Aboriginal Cultural and Education Centre. Our customers in Liverpool have an increased knowledge of Indigenous culture, as well as the importance of Reconciliation Week.

OTHER OUTCOMES INCLUDE:

100%

OF PARTICIPANTS REPORTED BUILDING NEW SOCIAL CONNECTIONS BY PARTICIPATING IN THE TOURS

50%

OF PARTICIPANTS SAID THEY FELT MORE AWARE OF THEIR NEIGHBOURS’ CULTURES AND TRADITIONS, AS A RESULT OF HAVING THE OPPORTUNITY TO SHARE FOOD AND TIME TOGETHER.

Providing customer connections

In 2018–19, Hume hosted 45 social and community events for our customers and their friends and family. All activities were chosen in consultation with customers based on their interests. Customers tell us they love the social outings as it gives them something to look forward to, a chance to meet new friends and try something new. We have been able to offer most of these activities for low or no cost because of our partnerships with local councils.

Outings have included:
• Cherry Blossom Festival
• Nepean River Cruise to celebrate Christmas in July
• Bowral Tulip Festival
• Premier’s Seniors Concert
• Symbio Wildlife Park.

Employment, education and training

We understand the important role employment can play in the creation of stronger, safer and more cohesive communities that lead to more economic opportunities for the people who live in them.

Hume creates employment opportunities and supports customers to access them through our community cohesion services.

Our Employment and Learning Opportunities Program provides:
• Training and learning opportunities—like bar and barista courses, customer service, flower arranging, and construction, or any course that meets a customer’s interest and career aspirations
• Employment support
• Student work placement programs
• Volunteering opportunities
• Employment opportunities with our contractors and service partners
• Training spaces in our Telopea, Cabramatta and Claymore communities available to hire for customers and the local community.

IN 2018–19, HUME SUPPORTED:

39

CUSTOMERS WITH THEIR LEARNING AND EMPLOYMENT GOALS

3

CUSTOMERS ENTERED EMPLOYMENT

5

JOBS CREATED THROUGH OUR PARTNERSHIPS

Customer excursion

Outlook for 2019–20

In the coming year, we will:
• have dedicated employees to enhance opportunities for customers to prosper
• complete the remaining two community projects funded by our SHCIF grants
• embed placemaking activities for our customers in the Hunter region
• grow our services and activities in seniors and youth housing with dedicated employees in Sydney and the Hunter region
• grow our customer access to our employment and learning support with dedicated employees in Sydney and the Hunter region
• improve our measurement, reporting and sharing of our outcomes using the social outcomes framework.

Customer Spotlight - Kerry's Story

Kerry has had her fair share of challenges, but has remained optimistic and determined to live her life to the fullest. She survived an abusive relationship at a young age and is today supporting her middle-aged daughter through cancer. Kerry, now aged in her 70s, began to find it difficult to make ends meet, and applied for community housing with Hume.

“I heard about community housing and asked to be placed on the waitlist. Hume called me and said they’d find something for me as soon as they could. When I was offered a place in the Wollongong area, I couldn’t believe it when they told me it was a brandnew building—I was completely overwhelmed,” Kerry said.

Her home is filled with colour and energy, and most importantly is a safe, inviting space she feels proud to call home. More than anything, Kerry loves how the units are dedicated to seniors and the peace and privacy that gives to older people.

“I am constantly amazed at how different Hume is. They called me to see how I was enjoying my new home and if I needed anything. I could not believe the interest in and care they take of me. They arrange occasional resident get togethers so we can provide them with feedback. Hume cares what I think. I feel like I really matter,” Kerry said.

“My neighbours in these units are around my age and we all respect each other’s space. Everyone is so friendly. I am so grateful for my home with Hume and everyday appreciate the community spirit they have cultivated,” she said.

OUR HOUSING PROGRAMS

Temporary Accommodation Program

The Temporary Accommodation Program (TAP) has been successfully operating in cooperation with the NSW Government for the last 13 years, during which time the program has provided services to more than 3,000 customers.

TAP provides customers with accommodation (alternative to motels) and support to look for other suitable accommodation. TAP also links customers with other services and provides transport to property viewings and assistance with rental applications. Participation in the program has shown to increase tenancy sustainment following completion.

IN 2018–19:

AROUND 400 TAP CUSTOMERS WERE SUPPORTED WITH TRANSITIONAL ACCOMMODATION OF WHICH:

68%

EXITED INTO A MORE PERMANENT HOUSING OPTION

32%

EXITED INTO FURTHER SUPPORT TO TRANSITION OUT OF THE SOCIAL HOUSING SYSTEM

Housing Independence Program

Taking a ‘housing first’ approach, the Housing Independence Program (HIP) rapidly rehouses people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, for up to 12 months. Hume provides support to the household during that period, working with our service partners, we help our customers to develop the skills to sustain a tenancy, secure a private rental or seek social housing.87% of Housing Independence Program customers exited into stable housing options

The core work of the program is to support our customers to gain living skills by addressing underlying issues like budgeting, including rent; negotiating payment plans for debts with real estate or social housing agencies; and building other essential skills needed to sustain a tenancy.

HIP is unique in that the properties used for the program are scheduled for renovation or redevelopment and would otherwise be vacant. The properties belong to the NSW Government or other community housing providers and are leased to Hume. This is a way to maximise the use of available housing stock and to keep communities stable during redevelopment.

Our customers have told us that they appreciate the positive support Hume offers, particularly that our employees are able to boost their enthusiasm for achieving their housing goals and broader aims to prosper in life.

Customer Spotlight - Alexandra's Story

After a financial crisis left them homeless, Alexandra and her family were able to turn their situation around with the help of Hume’s Housing Independence Program.

Earlier this year, Alexandra and her family’s rent had fallen into arrears in the private market. “Everything went downhill after that,” she said.

With no support network to turn to, the family were forced to leave their home and live out of their car. Both parents were experiencing depression. They knew they needed to find stability in their housing situation to help themselves get back on their feet.

“We had no family to turn to. We stayed in motels at first, but then our money ran out and we were forced to live out of our car. I had resigned from my job and my husband had left his job because he feared leaving our daughter and I alone. We had never, ever been through anything like this,” said Alexandra.

After connecting with FaCS, the family understood the importance of asking for help during the difficult adjustment to their situation.

Working with Hume’s Housing Independence Officer, the family was connected to Uniting’s Doorways for Men with Families program. Alexandra said, “we were able to get back on our feet. They were supporting us and it was truly their help and belief in us that got us through.”

“Hume reassured us that we had plenty of time to get back on our feet and that the place they had given us was our home for the time being. But I told my husband that we wouldn’t become complacent because there were other people who needed help just as much as we did. Transitional housing was not the end for us, it was the beginning,” Alexandra said.

Having a safe, affordable home with Hume allowed Alexandra’s husband the peace of mind to find work while she was able to better manage their finances and support their daughter.

“This could happen to anybody. So, nobody should feel alone or isolated. We were a normal family who were doing it tough and while it took a toll on us, we are so grateful that Hume was there to support us,” she said.

With a stable rental record, money saved and a paying job, the family was able to secure a private rental after just four months into the Housing Independence Program. The family won’t stop there—Alexandra has started a catering company from home, and the couple is working hard to save for a property of their own.

HOUSING FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITY

Hume delivers Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA), which is accommodation for people who require specialist housing solutions for their extreme functional impairment, or very high support needs.

There are several different housing solutions and support a customer can consider in relation to their individual circumstances and needs when determining the best housing solution for their situation.

Hume’s Housing for People with Disability program is intended to improve the choice and control over housing options for people with disability. We believe that a key element to disability housing and SDA service provision is listening. We are committed to giving our customers the opportunity to provide feedback on the things that are important to them. We are committed to listening to their needs to ensure that we deliver individualised and person-centred services to them.

Partnering to deliver Specialist Disability Accommodation

Hume has partnered with Northcott to deliver disability accommodation support services for 505 customers in 112 properties located in the Greater Western Sydney and Murrumbidgee regions, on behalf of the NSW Government. We have also partnered with Life Without Barriers to provide disability accommodation support and respite support services for 126 customers in 26 properties located in the Blue Mountains and Nepean regions, and the NSW Central Coast.

Through these partnerships, we provide housing and tenancy management services funded by the NDIS. At 30 June 2019, we had 137 properties for people with disability, many of whom have lived in their SDA homes for 30 years or more.

In 2018–19, we secured a further two partnerships with supported independent living providers serving customers in regional areas of NSW. These are:
• Ningana, which operates disability support services across the NSW Riverina. We have a joint portfolio of three properties.
• Central Coast Living Options, which provides disability accommodation and support on the NSW Central Coast. We have a joint portfolio of one property.

HUME IS ONE OF AUSTRALIA’S LARGEST SDA PROVIDERS WITH 137 PROPERTIES AND 559 CUSTOMERS.

HOUSING FOR PEOPLE WITH A DISABILITY—RESPONSIVE REPAIR AND MAINTENANCE WORKS

2832

WORK ORDERS REQUESTED BY A CUSTOMER OR PARTNER

2604

WORK ORDERS COMPLETED

Auditing our performance

As a provider of Specialist Disability Accommodation under the NDIS, Hume was required to undergo a re-registration process with the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission. We engaged a third-party auditor, SAI Global, to verify our compliance with NDIS practice standards. For further information on this process, click here.

We also contracted Disability Services Consulting to conduct an initial gap analysis of our policies and procedures. It was a challenging but rewarding process, producing customer-centred documentation and amended practices that are now more accessible and inclusive to our customers’ communication and support needs.

Outlook for 2019–20

In the coming year, we will:
• receive the result of our NDIS re-registration audit and implement any recommendations.
• expand the accessibility of our documentation for our customers with disability.
• seek further opportunities deliver disability accommodation support services.

Customer Spotlight - Kerry and Steven's Story

For 40 years, Judith and Rudy cared for their daughter Kerry and son Steven, who both have cerebral palsy, without asking for assistance from respite or care organisations. They felt that no one else could provide the level of care they could at home and accepted that they would care for their children independently into old age.

Judith was admitted to hospital and the couple realised they needed to look beyond their capacity to care for Kerry and Steven, now aged 59.

“We had been looking after them for 60 years, but Rudy and I are now in our eighties. We didn’t want to send the twins into care … I was scared they would be split up because they have different needs and genders,” Judith said.

The family met Angela, a direct care worker for the Cerebral Palsy Alliance (CPA), when they were exploring respite services. Angela put the family in touch with Hume Community Housing, and with Angela’s support, the twins were able to move together from the family home to a purpose-built home in Southwest Sydney.

Designed and built in 2016 to platinum level Liveable Housing Design Guidelines, the Specialist Disability Accommodation home is central to the twins’ day service and close to the family home. It has been customised to meet the twins’ high-support needs and is staffed with familiar faces, many linked with CPA who worked closely with Hume to ensure the fitout was suitable. With their home and care services carefully coordinated, Rudy and Judith could ‘let go’ of the twins, knowing they were in safe hands.

“Before coming to Hume, Rudy and Judith did everything for their kids. They were completely self-sufficient. The only thing they were using regularly was the respite service where I worked,” Angela said.

Located in a friendly neighbourhood, Rudy and Judith appreciated how Hume values connected communities above all else. There are regular community gatherings and they visit regularly.

“I knew it would be hard to let go of my children. I thought they’d be lost without me—I was certainly lost without them. After walking through the Hume property, I felt comfortable in having them live there,” Judith said.

Angela continued, “This house is a home for the twins. It’s functional and purpose-built to their needs. We work with Hume to optimise its features to suit the twins’ evolving needs.

“We’re grateful to have found a property that they feel safe and comfortable in. We feel confident in having the twins live in this house which is the most important thing. Hume is so supportive and responsive,” Angela said.

The family had travelled domestically with the twins, but they had never taken a holiday on their own. They recently enjoyed a well-deserved break on a European river cruise which was “something we would never have considered if the twins were still at home,” Judith said.

DELIVERING OUTCOMES FOR ABORIGINAL PEOPLE

In 2019, we formally partnered with the NSW Government to improve outcomes for Aboriginal customers in line with the Government’s Aboriginal Outcomes Strategy. We have set out the key activities that Hume will undertake to meet our targets.

We signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Tharawal Aboriginal Corporation in Tharawal Aboriginal CorporationAirds to work together to improve housing and social outcomes for Aboriginal people and communities across Southwest Sydney. Under the agreement, we committed to supporting Tharawal Housing Aboriginal Corporation in their goal of achieving Community Housing Provider status. In return, Tharawal committed to develop Aboriginal Cultural Competency Training to build capability and awareness across Hume’s workforce.

As a result of our expansion into the Hunter region, the percentage of our customers who are Aboriginal will increase to 7%. We will actively recruit targeted Indigenous roles and in the coming year we will finalise our Reconciliation Action Plan.

WORKING WITH OUR PARTNERS

Hume values the support, expertise, leadership and resources of our partners in assisting us to provide wholistic services to customers to achieve their goals throughout each stage of their housing journey. Our partners support Hume’s capacity to address housing affordability, growth and expansion of service offerings.

In 2018–19, we worked with more than 50 service partners. They were:

• Allambi Care
• The Benevolent Society
• Bonnie Womens’ Support Services
• Carrie’s Place
• Cerebral Palsy Alliance
• Claymore Action Group
• The Collectives
• Core Community Services
• Craze Lateral Solutions – Dr. Leanne Craze
• Daystar Foundation
• DigiHouse
• Dundas Area Neighbourhood Centre
• Habitat for Humanity
• Hunter New England Mental Health Service
• Infoxchange
• Kari Aboriginal Resources
• Legal Aid
• Life Without Barriers
• Liverpool Migrant Resource Centre

• Liverpool Neighbourhood Connections
• Liverpool PCYC
• Macarthur Homelessness Steering Committee
• Macarthur Real Estate Project
• Maitland Neighbourhood Centre
• Mai-Wel
• Mindaribba Local Aboriginal Land Council
• Mission Australia
• National Rugby League (NRL)
• Northcott
• Not For Profit Alliance
• NSW Justice Department
• Partners in Employment
• Port Stephens Family & Neighbourhood Services
• Royal Rehab
• Samaritans
• Save the Children
• Seed Harvest Spoon

• Small Shift
• The Smith Family
• South West Mental Health – Liverpool
• St Vincent De Paul
• SwSi TAFE
• Sydney Self Defence
• Telopea Connections
• Tharawal Aboriginal Corporation
• Ungooroo Aboriginal Corporation
• United Way Australia
• Wariga Ngurra
• Wesley Mission
• Western Sydney Partners in Recovery
• Western Sydney University
• Westfield Liverpool
• Whitelion
• Womens’ Homelessness Service
• Woodberry Family Centre
• Yfoundations
• Yourtown

COMMUNICATIONS

All Hume employees and our Board of Directors have a role in communicating our purpose, values, activities and successes. We have a framework for the consistent delivery of messaging to our stakeholder groups, particularly on social media, to ensure that Hume’s brand and reputation are promoted and protected.

Facebook

In 2018–19, Hume made a commitment to focusing on our Facebook presence and growing our following because the platform is used widely by our customers. Facebook is a low-cost yet effective communications tool that allows us to specifically target audiences that match our customer demographics.

We ran a successful real estate and educational campaign on Facebook which, through targeted posts, media and customer stories, grew our number of followers.

Hume’s Facebook page grew by 49%

Real estate campaign

In February 2019, there were higher than usual rental vacancies in our affordable housing portfolio. This was particularly evident across fee-for-service and National Rental Affordability Scheme properties due to an increase in competition in the rental market. To reduce the number of voids and time taken to fill them, we implemented a strategy to:
• negotiate rent reductions in line with market rates
• use social media to target potential affordable housing customers
• raise awareness of affordable housing
• improve the pipeline of eligible customers applying for affordable housing by implementing an eligibility wizard on Hume’s website.

A range of content was created, including real estate video ads that were geo-targeted to key socio-economic audiences within a 10-kilometre radius of each property, as well as educational posts that talked about income limits for affordable housing. Both types of post linked through to the affordable housing eligibility wizard on Hume’s website.Open home attendance peaked in March 2019 to almost 200

This campaign produced the following results:
• More link click-throughs to the Hume website.
As the campaign launched in January 2019, we had an average of 12,388 pageviews, a 34.3% increase from the first half of the year.
There were 2,128 views of the eligibility wizard between its inception in April 2019 and 30 June 2019.
• Higher call volumes.
There were 829 calls for Housing Options in February upon the launch of the campaign, an 60% increase from 519 calls in January 2019.
• A measurable decrease in our affordable housing voids from 32 to 8 in the first five weeks of the campaign.
• More potential customers at open home showings. We coordinated increased open-home viewings outside of business hours and on weekends to gain more applications. Open home attendance peaked in March 2019, with almost 200 attendees across the vacancies, as shown in the figure here.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is an important platform for communicating to our business partners and others in the housing sector. To increase our following, we shared sector news, tagged relevant pages from our website in posts, boosted job vacancies, and interacted with influential peoples’ posts.

Hume’s Linkedin page grew by 45%

Twitter

Despite having character limitations and a smaller user base than Facebook, Twitter is an effective communication tool to talk directly to business partners and government stakeholders. The sector content we created for LinkedIn was also used on Twitter, but in appended form to fit the character limit.

Hume’s Twitter page grew by 19%

Tenants’ Voice newsletter

Our Tenants’ Voice newsletter is released quarterly and features information about our housing programs, upcoming events and support services and programs. A copy of every Tenants’ Voice newsletter is sent to each Hume household and copies are available at any Hume office. It is also available on the Hume website, and the newest issue is promoted via Facebook.

CUSTOMERS AND COMMUNITY MEMBERS ARE WELCOME TO MAKE CONTRIBUTIONS TO EACH NEWSLETTER.

NUMBER OF TENANTS’ VOICE
NEWSLETTERS DISTRIBUTED IN 2018–19:

8532

OUR WEBSITE:

3673

AVERAGE MONTHLY SESSIONS
AN 18% INCREASE ON THE PREVIOUS YEAR

10803

AVERAGE MONTHLY PAGE VIEWS
A 9% INCREASE ON THE PREVIOUS YEAR

2697

AVERAGE MONTHLY USERS
AN 18% INCREASE ON THE PREVIOUS YEAR

OUR AWARDS

Hume's list of Awards 2019Hume's list of Awards 2019Hume's list of Awards 2019Hume's list of Awards 2019Hume's list of Awards 2019
Hume won multiple awards at the 2019 Zest Awards

SOCIAL HOUSING MANAGEMENT TRANSFER PROJECT

In 2018, Hume Community Housing secured the largest social housing transfer in NSW under the Social Housing Management Transfer (SHMT) program. The NSW Government awarded the transfer of more than 2,200 homes and 4,000 customers across the Maitland and Port Stephens local government areas to us.

The transfer is part of a broader program that saw around 14,000 properties across NSW transferred to nine registered community housing providers. These providers, including Hume, were selected through a rigorous evaluation process that assessed their capacity to deliver good outcomes for social housing customers.

In preparation for the transfer of properties and customers, we established our project delivery team called ‘Project Highway’ who worked closely with the NSW Government and other community housing providers to ensure we achieve a successful transfer that focuses on people, systems and best practice, minimising the impact on customers and delivering value for money.

We will extend our tenancy and property services and introduce new initiatives to the communities of Maitland and Port Stephens local government areas. The project includes the opening of our office in High Street, Maitland on Monday 2 September 2019, as well as delivering services from our Hume mobile office, and our new office in Raymond Terrace, which will open later in the year. Our entry into the region will also create more than 40 local jobs.

Our outcomes for this project will be measured in the next financial year. We have outlined below, our progress so far.

Highlights from 2018–19

An unknown entity within the Hunter, we utilised this period to introduce ourselves to the communities of Maitland and Port Stephens. In May 2019, we commenced direct engagement with customers transferring to Hume. We held drop-in sessions and home visits to meet our new customers and to assist them with paperwork required as part of the transfer.

Whole–of–business improvements

With the expansion of our business in the Hunter region, and to support our customers to achieve life-changing results, we need a structured, consistent approach to how we coordinate service delivery across Hume. This is a whole-of-business improvement resulting from our entry into the Hunter.

Along with readying our business aligned with our contractual obligations, we identified continuous improvement opportunities along the way that would benefit the entire organisation. These included major IT and system improvements as well as designing new frameworks to deliver improved customer service, performance and reporting.

The community housing sector is increasingly being called on to provide evidence of our results, meaning measurability and return on investment are needed. We have improved our reporting framework with internal KPIs, and NRSCH and NSW Government requirements. To strengthen our ability to measure outcomes, we are developing a structured, consistent Social Housing Outcomes Framework that identifies set performance indicators, outlines what is measured, and how we report on our impact. We have also developed our Customer Support Coordination Framework, which will be implemented in the coming year. The frameworks provide Hume employees with a consistent customer support coordination approach and data-backed measurability documenting the outcomes we achieve.

HIGHLIGHTS

BUSINESS READINESS FOR THE TRANSFER OF:

2200+

PROPERTIES TO BE TRANSFERRED TO HUME IN THE HUNTER REGION

4000+

NEW CUSTOMERS IN THE HUNTER REGION

40+

NEW JOBS AT HUME TO SUPPORT OUR HUNTER CUSTOMERS

AT 30 JUNE 2019:

7

DROP-IN INFO SESSIONS TO SUPPORT CUSTOMERS WITH THE COMPLETION OF TRANSITION PAPERWORK

150

CUSTOMERS PER SESSION AVERAGE ATTENDANCE

2000

HOME VISITS TO SUPPORT CUSTOMERS WITH TRANSITION PAPERWORK

98.5%

RETURN RATE ON COMPLETED TRANSITION PAPERWORK

#ONEHUME

Recognising the organisational change that will occur as a result of our growth, we introduced a change management strategy that focused on positive change, as well as retaining our engaged culture and values alignment despite operating across an increased number of locations. The aim of this strategy was to ensure that Hume remained one integrated organisation. In preparation for our large-scale recruitment, Hume introduced our new induction program called Launch Pad, to give our new employees the best start to their Hume journey (click here for further information).

Outlook for 2019–20

In the coming year, we will:
• Deliver a successful transition of new customers from the NSW Government to Hume in the Hunter region on 2 September 2019, along with the opening of our new offices in Maitland and Raymond Terrace.
• Embed our integrated organisational structure across all our offices and service areas, underpinned by strong culture and values alignment and seamless service delivery.
• Embed our Social Housing Outcomes Framework and Customer Support Coordination Framework.
• Develop and implement a service-level agreement with The Benevolent Society for the design and delivery of tailored support programs for youth and women and children who are experiencing domestic violence.
• Provide a customer experience that delivers high trust, yet low effort for all our customers.
• Launch new initiatives and programs that create more opportunities for customers to prosper including our Crash Pad, Transitional Housing and Real Estate Engagement Program.

Hume’s SHMT project delivery team (L–R): Sririsay Vukovic, Rodrigo Gutierrez, Andrea Ritchie, Christine Malton, Selin Britto, Lynette Preston, Anna Nguyen.

Hume’s Social Housing Management Transfer (SHMT) project delivery team

FINANCE, IT, RISK AND BUSINESS SERVICES

In 2018–19, as we worked to expand our footprint particularly in the Hunter region of NSW, we focused on several key strategic initiatives to underpin the achievement of our organisational goals.

Highlights from 2018–19

Our highlights included:
• stabilisation and scalability of IT infrastructure and operations to enable our systems to cope with the huge growth in customers and employees from our entry into the Hunter region.
• establishment of Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) compliance regime to enable Hume to expand our portfolio of accommodation and services for people with disability.
• securing access to $35 million in finance through the National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation (NHFIC) for affordable housing.

Improving our IT infrastructure

In preparation for the transfer of more than 4,000 social housing customers from the NSW Government to Hume in September 2019, it was necessary for us to completely replace our IT infrastructure to ensure that we can continue to consolidate and deepen our footprint, deliver customer-driven services and strengthen organisational governance. This also included back up and disaster recovery systems and security penetration testing.

We reviewed and stabilised our tenancy and property management system, known as SDM, to manage at our new scale. Through the creation of champions meetings, we were able to resolve 30 system issues to connect SDM to FaCS in preparation for the Hunter transfer.Improving employee experience by in sourcing our it help desk has boosted efficiency and productivity.

Internally, we implemented Workplace by Facebook, an internal communications platform, as well as Zoom virtual conferencing software to enable better connectivity between our offices. Click here for further information on how Workplace has improved our productivity.

We reviewed and improved our procurement processes by rationalising our suppliers and made savings by bypassing retails sales channels and implementing bid pricing on IT assets. We implemented Kyocera Print N Follow for consolidated print management and reporting which has significantly reduced printer wastage and improved document security.

We documented all facets of our IT systems and IT processes into one secure system ensuring knowledge is retained within the organisation. Our strong capable IT team is in place and recognised by our employees through positive feedback in our annual Employee Opinion Survey.

IN 2018–19:

RECEIVED

1640

IT SERVICE TICKETS

RESOLVED

1607

IT SERVICE TICKETS

URGENT IT TICKETS RESOLVED WITHIN

2

HOURS

OUR IT SERVICE LEVEL AGREEMENT MET WITHIN

95%

OF ALL TICKETS

Establishing an additional compliance regime for housing for people with disability

As a provider of Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) under the NDIS, Hume was required to undergo a re-registration process with the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission, a new, independent agency established to improve the quality and safety of NDIS supports and services in NSW.

The commission is tasked with regulating the NDIS market to provide national consistency, promote safety and quality services, resolve problems and identify areas for improvement. The process assessed the suitability of providers to deliver NDIS supports and services to NDIS participants, and the providers’ compliance with the NDIS Practice Standards.

Hume was required to undergo a certification audit for the SDA Quality Standard, conducted by an independent third-party auditor, SAI Global. The audit involves two stages that focused on:
• demonstrated compliance to the Quality Standards through documented policies and procedures
• evidence of practical implementation of these policies and procedures.

Stage 1 involved Hume disclosing all policies and procedures related to our Housing for People with Disability portfolio for auditing. Stage 1 of this audit was completed on 22 April 2019, without any non-conformances. This result provided assurance that Hume has the structure and mechanisms in place to deliver quality services in relation to SDA.

Stage 2 is expected to be completed in August 2019. Following the audit result, the commission is expected to make a final decision on the re-registration of Hume as an SDA provider later in 2019.

Outlook for 2019–20

In the coming year, we will:

• review and assess our Housing IT platform
• identify alternate sources of funding to assist with our growth plans
• review our governance frameworks by our Board and management.

National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation (NHFIC)

HUME SECURES $35 MILLION WITH NHFIC’S FIRST FINANCE DEAL

In January 2019, the National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation (NHFIC) made its first finance commitment of $35 million to Hume Community Housing. With secured growth into the Hunter region to manage a further 2,200 homes in addition to our current portfolio, Hume will use the loan finance to support our ongoing operations providing affordable homes and services to more than 9,000 customers.

The loan is provided under NHFIC’s Affordable Housing Bond Aggregator (AHBA) and will enable Hume to access low interest and long-term finance. Through the AHBA, NHFIC will continue to provide greater funding certainty and enhanced cash flow to support the growth of the community housing sector.

The finance represents an important milestone, not only for Hume but for the entire community housing sector, which will benefit from access to lower-priced finance and greater certainty in terms of future financing costs.

NHFIC operates the AHBA to provide better funding solutions for registered community housing providers. The AHBA aims to provide cheaper and longer-term secured finance for community housing by issuing bonds in capital markets.

NHFIC is an independent corporate Commonwealth entity dedicated to improving housing outcomes, with a focus on affordable housing.

Customer Spotlight - Simon and Julian's Story

Simon, 24, and Julian 18, are two brothers from Liverpool. Before coming to Hume, Simon and Julian had been homeless for about five years due to the breakdown of their family.

The brothers were referred to Hume by Mission Australia and entered through the Housing Independence Program. At the time, Julian was a shy and very withdrawn 15-year-old boy. Neither he or Simon were going to school or work and were living on Simon’s Newstart allowance.

Hume supported Simon and Julian to access a series of support services, including the White Lion Youth program, the NSW Department of Education, and psychological and financial counselling. They successfully engaged with each of these services.

Six months after entering HIP, a three-bedroom apartment became available. Hume nominated the brothers for the lease, which Simon, who is now employed, holds.

The two brothers rely on Simon’s income to cover the rent, and in two instances, they fell in arrears. They were referred to brokerage and with the added assistance of Anglicare and Centrepay, they were able to catch up on the rent payments. They were also linked with a food bank, which delivers food to them twice weekly at a significantly reduced price.

Hume have provided Simon and Julian with the opportunity to secure stable, long-term accommodation, as well as assistance and encouragement. Hume employees taught them how to sustain a tenancy, to be proactive if they are not able to pay their rent on time, and to engage with the support available.

It has taken some time, but Simon and Julian are now financially stable and successfully sustaining their tenancy.

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Contact Us

  • Fairfield
    7 Hamilton Road, Fairfield
    NSW 2165
  • Parramatta
    Level 4, 79 George Street, Parramatta
    NSW 2150
  • Claymore
    2 Glenroy Drive, Claymore
    NSW 2559
  • Maitland
    464 High Street, Maitland
    NSW 2320
  • Raymond Terrace
    46 William Street, Raymond Terrace
    NSW 2324

Note: Maitland open from 2 September 2019 and Raymond Terrace to open later in 2019.