Monday, December 31, 2007

Daily Telegraph planning Houso Beat-up?

DH has just had advance notice that the Daily Telegraph is planning a beat-up on housos for New Year's Day.

She just got a breathless call from Telegraph reporter David Barrett, a young man in a hurry. Apologising for the short notice, he wanted to enlist her aid in a proposed panegyric on houso "fraudsters" who are to be blamed for the long waiting lists for public housing. No obvious mention of government policy failure was foreshadowed.

No doubt there are fraudsters out there (ye shall know them by the BMWs parked ostentatiously in the lean-to, if our late unlamented Housing Minister, and examplar of the modest lifestyle, Joe Tripodi, is to be believed). But it's nothing like the con perpetrated on the Aussie public by the Howard Government which ripped $3 billion dollars out of public housing and put it into the pockets of private landlords to no useful effect. What young David wanted was for DH to put him, pronto, onto any poor homeless sods languishing on the waiting list. DH was about to give David a piece of her mind on how she was not about to abet the Daily Telegraph's despicable policy of sooling the plebs onto each other to sell more papers, and perhaps even suggest he might like to do an indepth piece on housing policy, instead. But the poor little thing hurriedly apologised and hung up. DH indulged herself in the distinctly pleasurable reflection that the lad was probably getting the bum's rush all over Sydney from wised-up housos who were not about to be divided and ruled. So if the piece fails to materialise tomorrow, you'll know why.

PS: ... Not to put too paranoid a spin on it, but when is the first round of evictions of short-term leased tenants due? ... and what's the lead-time for softening up the public to accept it?

DOH's Christmas Gift. Don't blink or you'll miss it.

DH hears on the grapevine that tenant activists are somewhat cynical about DOH's new EcoWise and Community Development Resourcing Grants 2007/ 08

Announced in mid December, and with a closing date at the end of January, just when no tenant groups are active, it's down to individual local heroes with nothing better to do over the Christmas holidays than to sweat over a grant submission. And demonstrate that their project will "promote community awareness and skills development and can demonstrate through practical examples innovative ways to increase environmental sustainability within social housing communities". As the song says,

Dashing to the post, on EOI closing day
O what fun it is to write an expression of interest demonstrating that your project meets the following selection criteria, and its goals, objectives and KPIs *

*(not to mention either incorporate as an organisation, or find one to
sponsor you. If one is open over Christmas of course).

The usual tenant suspects who care about these things have been heard to wonder aloud whether DOH is hoping nobody noticed.
Still keen to do something for your community between now and the 31st?

On your laptops, Get ready, Steady. Go!

See the full list of criteria and the application form

Oh and dont forget to have ready the following snippets of information (p4 of 5)
Please attach the following documentation to your application:
 photocopies of 3 written quotes for the purchase of any equipment costing $1000 or more
 photocopies of insurance quotes
 a photocopy of incorporation certificate
 a copy of the most recent audited statement for 12 months of your group (or your sponsor, where relevant) showing income, including all sources of funding, and expenditure
 the current constitution or articles of association of your group or sponsor
 the most recent annual report, or the chairperson’s and treasurer’s reports from the last annual general meeting of your organisation or your sponsor. (Note: if the applicant is an unincorporated group but has an annual report or reports from its last annual general meeting, these should also be attached.)
 a letter of authorisation regarding financial or in-kind contributions that will be made to the project by the applicant or sponsor
 any other information to support your application.

Selection Criteria
Selection for Eco-Wise Community grants is a statewide, merit-based process. Eligible applications will be assessed by an Assessment Panel against the following selection criteria:
• Consistency with program aims and objectives: demonstrated alignment of project outcomes with the aims and objectives of the Eco-Wise Community Grants pilot, clear explanation of how the project addresses one or more of the program objectives.
• Demonstrated ability to deliver the project to a high standard: sound project planning and methodology, access to appropriate expertise in relevant field, demonstrated project management skills and experience of working in the housing sector and with social housing mmunities.
• Efficiency and effectiveness: stated outcomes are measurable, both qualitatively and quantitatively, extent of participation by social housing residents and other key stakeholder groups, demonstrated assessment of risk factors and identification of risk management approach, inclusion of realistic and achievable objectives and deliverables.
• Value for money: Extent to which the budget is viable for the project, sustainable outcomes of the project relative to the amount of funding sought.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

We wish you a NARI Xmas and a HASI New Year

And may the Federal Labor's National Affordable Rental Incentive* and DOH's Housing and Accommodation Support Initiative, be speedily implemented and bring salvation and peace to suffering tenants throughout the land.

* Ok, so it turns out they call it NRAS (National Rental Affordability Scheme) not NARI. What do we care as long as it happens anytime soon?

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Brother Kevin, for God's sake, consider the lilies...

Dear Brother Kevin,

DH has had to speak to you about this before, when you endorsed Howard's tough Welfare to Workhouse rules for the disabled. Which you announced, incredibly, the day after the Christmas holiday, 27th Dec 2006!

Let DH remind you of Christ's words, and God knows, she's an atheist, so this should really not be necessary.

Consider the lilies of the field, they toil not, neither do the spin, but Solomon, in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. (Matthew, 6:28)

Do you think Jesus might have been saying something about respecting each human's true nature, and allowing creation to take care of itself, without necessary flogging each creature to death to increase their production of beauty?

And didn't God also admonish us to

Remember the Sabbath Day and keep it Holy

Don't work your Ministers too hard,

Lest they become taskmasters over us all

The idea, Brother Kevin, was to lead Australia out of bondage, and free us from Howard's cruel Welfare-to-Workhouse taskmasters, not to lead us into bondage.

The idea of a Labor party, was not to make workers labour more. It was to make their labours easier.

So take a moment to breathe deeply, and notice that progressives and humanists have won the election. There is no need to kowtow to the most punitive and retrograde elements of society!

Now please make sure our MP's and Ministers get adequate rest over Christmas, and set an example to all of us.