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The Community Housing Industry Association of South Australia – CHIA SA – is the new name for the peak industry body representing the state’s Community Housing Providers (CHPs).

CHIA SA, previously the Community Housing Council of SA, unveiled its new brand today at an industry launch event at its Adelaide city office. 

CHIA SA Chief Executive Officer Luke Westenberg (pictured below) presented the new brand with Wendy Hayhurst – CEO of national peak body Community Housing Industry Association (CHIA).

Mr Westenberg said that while the state peak body had a new name, its role to support and advocate for SA’s community housing industry remained unchanged

He said CHIA SA’s alignment with the national peak body’s CHIA-brand meant the state’s CHPs would be more clearly represented in national issues, benefiting all South Australians.

“Our new name joining us with the CHIA federation highlights our alignment with the sector’s national voice and our partnership with peak bodies in other states,” said Mr Westenberg.

“The change will help us better advocate for SA CHPs at the national level to create a stronger national voice for community housing, in turn supporting better policy outcomes in housing for South Australians with low incomes.”

Ms Hayhurst  (pictured below) said CHIA was pleased to welcome CHIA SA into the growing national network of CHPs.

She said at the last census, there were 640,000 households either homeless or in rental stress, 40,000 of them in South Australia.

“There is a big job to do to build and manage the many new social and affordable rental homes we need, and community housing organisations are well placed to partner with all levels of government to do this,” said Ms Hayhurst.

“Our charitable status means we are cost effective developers – we don’t pay GST for starters – and reinvest our surpluses back into more homes and services.”

The increasing role of the Commonwealth Government in community housing, coupled with the escalating impact of nation-wide cost-of-living pressures and a lack of affordable housing options, has meant a unified national voice has become increasingly important.

The Australian Government’s Housing Accord and the Housing Australia Future Fund are aiming to produce 40,000 homes as part of an overall federal target of providing one million homes by 2029 to meet housing demand.

“The time is right for SA CHPs to be part of a national alliance,” said Mr Westenberg.

The brand change accompanied the launch of a refreshed CIA SA website, with new features including easy-to-read information that more clearly identifies CHIA SA’s vison, purpose and values and the support and services provided to member CHPs – including a new page called ‘Communities of Practice’. This page is where information will be signposted for networking and member engagement, including regular events to provide peer support.