The Program framework includes the rules, regulations and principles of the CEHL Housing Program. The rules and policy governing the program reflect the regulatory environment including the standards as set out by the Victorian Housing Registrar.
The Program Principles outline the key considerations for all decision-making within the CEHL Housing Program.
The Program Principles describe the important features of the CEHL Housing Program that must be considered by the CEHL Board and co-op members when making decisions about the Program. They were developed in consultation with the whole membership of the housing program.
Affordability and Financial Sustainability
Our program should facilitate affordable living for all program participants. Our program’s financial structure and operations should ensure ongoing viability of co-operatives and CEHL.
Our program will be flexible in order to accommodate the changing needs of tenant members, co-ops and the community and to ensure ongoing viability.
Member Support and Development
All tenant members should have access to appropriate information, support and training in order to be able to meet program requirements.
Co-operatives need everyone to share activities and democratic decision-making to ensure that they meet all their responsibilities and keep operating. Co-operatives will provide opportunities and encouragement for all members to participate according to individual capacity and capabilities.
Quality of Housing
Properties managed by our program will offer safe, secure housing that is well-maintained to a consistent quality.
The primary goal of our program is to offer safe, secure, long-term tenure with tenant members offered housing choices that are appropriate to their needs and requirements.
Co-operatives and CEHL will reflect co-operative values in all aspects of their operation, with all interactions conducted in a respectful and collaborative manner. The program will foster a sense of program ownership amongst its participants, who will be offered genuine opportunities to influence program development and governance.
About Program Policy
Program Policy outlines the ‘rules’ that all co-ops must abide by as members of the Program.
What is Program Policy?
Program Policy outlines the ‘rules’ that all co-ops must abide by as members of the Program.
Program Policy reflects the regulatory environment in which the Program operates and, together with the Program Principles, provides the framework for all decision-making within the Program.
Who makes the policies?
The CEHL Board is responsible for the strategic management and the overall financial performance of the Company, this includes oversight of Program policies and strategies. They established the CEHL Policy Advisory Committee (PAC) to assist the CEHL Board with the responsibility of policy development.
PAC consults with the co-op membership each quarter and recommends Program Policy to the CEHL Board for approval. See Policy Consultation Process for more information.
As Program Policies are approved they will update and replace what was previously called Program Directives or other Program Documents.
Implementation of policies
- Each co-op is responsible for implementing program policy and has autonomy to determine their own implementation process.
- PAC develops Procedures and Best Practice Advice which co-ops may wish to use to support implementation of Program Policy.
Policy development Process -members influencing the Program
Program policies and procedures determine all decision-making and actions of the Program. It is vital that the views and opinions of Program members are reflected in policy development as they affect the way the CEHL Housing Program is governed.
Under the CEHL /Co-op agreement (CCA) co-ops must be consulted in significant program decisions. Co-ops and members are strongly encouraged to use the consultation period to have their say on the draft policies and procedures before they are put to the Board for endorsement.
Quarterly consultation - the Policy Cycle
The quarterly policy process gives co-ops and their members six weeks to:
- review policies
- provide feedback
Co-op and CEHL agreements
The Co-op and CEHL agreements define the mutual obligations, expectations, rights and responsibilities between a member co-op and CEHL.
CERC/Company Agreement (CCA)
The CCA is the fundamental document that defines the mutual obligations, expectations, rights and responsibilities between each Common Equity Rental housing Co-operative CERC and Common Equity Housing Limited.
Community Managed Co-Op/CEHL Agreement
The new Agreement replaces the previous RCA, and is signed by the Community Managed Co-operatives in the CEHL Program.
Click here to view all the available resources.
Compliance and legislative requirements
CEHL Housing Program complies with and reports on performance standards and other legislative requirements set out in the Housing Act 1983 (the Act).
All registered housing agencies must comply with performance standards and other legislative requirements, as well as demonstrate skills, expertise and resources to manage a viable social housing business.
Performance standards cover seven key areas:
- Tenant and housing services
- Housing assets
- Community engagement
- Financial viability
Role and function of the Housing Registrar
The Housing Registrar is the government body responsible for regulating non-government rental housing agencies. Registered housing agencies are not-for-profit organisations that provide affordable rental housing for low income households. They are registered under the Housing Act 1983 (the Act) as either housing associations or housing providers.
Member Satisfaction Survey
Every two years CEHL conducts a Member Satisfaction Survey. Member responses are used to inform and improve CEHL services.
Data gathered from the first three questions of the survey are set by the Government Regulator - the Victorian Housing Registrar, who uses the responses to rank the CEHL Co-op Housing Program tenancy experience, against all other Victorian Housing Associations.
See Housing Registrar Sector Reports
Findings from the survey are shared with members in Co-operatively Speaking and with co-op regions.
Members of the CEHL Housing Program are sent a link to the survey via the portal, email and text.
Committees made up of co-op representatives have an important role in the development of Program Policy, Training and the member newsletter. Additional advisory committees are established by the CEHL Board when significant program change is required.
Co-op Program Committee
The Co-op Program Committee (CPC) (established in 2019) provide advice and recommendations to the CEHL Board about:
- Program direction and development
- Program engagement such as consultations, managing change and communication
- Emerging Program issues
- four (4) CEHL co-operative housing co-op members
- two (2) CEHL Board members
- an independent Chairperson (not a co-op member, CEHL Board member or employee)
- an independent co-operatives expert
Policy Advisory Committee
The Policy Advisory Committee (PAC) assist the CEHL Board with the responsibility of policy development.
PAC consult with the co-op membership each quarter and recommend Program Policy to the CEHL Board for approval.
PAC is made up of co-op elected representative from each region and a CEHL Board member.
- a Chairperson who is a CEHL Board member
- representatives from each region who are elected at a Regional Forum and appointed for a two-year term
Your PAC representative may be able to support your co-op to understand the particular policies or the policy development process. Find out your PAC representative
Refer to the Policy Advisory Committee Charter for more information on PAC.
Training Advisory Committee
The Training Advisory Committee, TAC, was established to facilitate collaboration between CEHL employees and co-op members in the review and development of training activities and materials.
- A Chairperson, may be a co-op member or CEHL Co-op Development Coordinator
- representatives are elected from the regions each year
TAC representatives seek input from members from their region, contribute to the development of training and materials so co-op members can contribute effectively to the development of their co-operative.
The committee meets quarterly and is chaired by a co-op member.
TAC welcomes input and feedback from co-op members regarding training and materials
Newsletter Advisory Group
The Newsletter Advisory Group (NAG) ensures that the achievements of co-op members and the co-op program are promoted to stakeholders through the quarterly newsletter, Co-operatively Speaking. They can also be consulted on CEHL publications.
- Co-op member representatives elected from the regions each year or co-op members with a skill or interest in newsletter production
- Chaired by CEHL Communications Manager
- a Co-op Development Coordinator
NAG members seek input from co-op members in their region, contribute to the content of the newsletter and provide feedback to improve the newsletter.
NAG welcomes your feedback and contributions to the newsletter
Program + Co-op Insurance
CEHL takes out insurance coverage for Common Equity Rental Housing Co-operatives (CERC) and Community Managed Co-operatives (CMC) through an insurance broker to leverage the combined buying power of the Program.Insurance Guide
CEHL takes out insurance coverage for Common Equity Rental Housing Co-operatives (CERC) and Community Managed Co-operatives (CMC) through an insurance broker to leverage the combined buying power of the Program.
In an insurance event, an insurance excess is paid for by the CERC, CMC or CEHL based on the 1st Schedule in the Co-op/CEHL Agreement.Insurance Guide
The four insurance policies taken out by CEHL on behalf of the CERC's and CMC's are:
1. Program Property Insurance
2. Co-op Association Liability Insurance
3. Co-op Third Party Liability (Public Liability) Insurance
4. Co-op Voluntary Workers Personal Accident Insurance