Newsletter February 2022

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Sharing with Friends 

Newsletter No. 15
February 2022 Hello Friends

Welcome to a new year and some important news!
2022 came with a difficult start due to COVID and the Omicron variant which kept most of us at home and staying safe. This didn't deter our ongoing efforts to keep Sharing with Friends moving forward with the Management Committee hard at work following leads for land, identifying funding sources, putting our important governance structures in place and meeting and collaborating with our partners to bring about some real change for Queensland's older women facing housing stress.
Read about the recent state government announcements about older women and housing below.

Ross Landsberg
Ross second on right of the picture.

Farewell and thank you Ross Landsberg

With heavy heart and an enormous sense of loss, we bade farewell to Ross Philip Landsberg late last year.
One of our five original Founding Members, who believed implicitly in the aims of Sharing with Friends, Ross put his weight and reputation behind getting us up and running.
He (with co-founder wife Anne) wrote, planned, phoned, researched, and argued our case almost daily, for several years. He secured our registration as an Incorporated Association in Queensland and set the ball rolling for us to gain tax deductible status. He was our first Treasurer.
Year after year, Ross was named in the Top 100 lawyers in Australia, so we had the Best - at our disposal!
Not only did he throw his own weight behind Sharing with Friends, Ross persuaded his colleagues across a range of specialties at Minter Ellison, to do the same. In 2022 his legacy is the strong and committed relationship Minters partners and whole team have with the Foundation.
Ross was a family man, father of 3 sons and 2 daughters-in-law, grandfather to toddlers Henry and Tom, lawyer, feminist, golfer, scone-maker, tedious joke-teller, and mentor to many. A Beaudesert boy who never forgot his roots and who never stopped helping those who crossed his path.
We will miss Ross’s humility, counsel, dedication, and unswerving belief in Sharing with Friends. And all we can do now is promise that his groundwork has laid a strong foundation and to redouble our efforts for him - as much as for the Older Women who will benefit.

Susan Davies at the Housing Minister's announcement showing Qld Minister Meaghan Scanlon plans for Sharing with Friends project.

What's been happening?

In establishing a new and innovative affordable housing concept, SwF, along with many other organisations, has encountered numerous barriers that require significant review and change to the complex planning rules and regulations across all levels of government. To support this process, Susan Davies representing SwF, has teamed up with the Housing Older Women Movement (HOW M) and QShelter to work with the government at a consultative level resulting in significant outcomes and funding going into social and affordable housing for older women.
On Thursday, February 17, the Minister for Communities, Housing and the Digital Economy, Leanne Enoch, announced a funding package of $14 million to support housing for older women. The following 4 pillars were announced:

  • A new housing and support hub - the hub will be a single-entry point, connecting women to specialist homelessness services, and renting, health and financial support.
  • More housing options through better planning - working collaboratively with the Department of State Development, Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning they are exploring opportunities to improve planning settings that grow the supply of social and affordable housing and generate better outcomes for older women.
  • Improved housing and support services for older women - review existing housing options, products and services – such as social housing, specialist homelessness services, bond loans, and RentConnect services – to ensure they meet the needs of older women, are coordinated and accessible and enable older women to access housing and support services as a priority group. This review will enable consideration of additional options and enhancements to provide social, affordable and private housing options, seniors housing developments and other tenancy models.
  • Improving the design and construction of housing to identify options to develop and deliver:-
  • new social and affordable housing for older women, under the Queensland Housing Investment Growth Initiative (QHIGI)
  • seed funding to support the design of an innovative private housing development, showcasing affordable housing for older women 
  • creating housing design principles for older people, incorporating best practice architecture and urban design principles.

This is an incredible achievement and will pave the way forward for not only SwF but many others who are working tirelessly to bring about the much needed change to ensure safe, secure and affordable housing for older women in Queensland.

For further information follow this link:

SwF has also been developing strategic partnerships with other important housing providers and will bring further news of this outcome soon....

SwF Resident's Agreement and Tenant's Agreement.
Thanks to our Minter Ellison support team, the first draft of our Resident's Agreement is currently under review. This important document will lay out the residents rights and responsibilities and, along with the Tenant's Agreement, will be the foundation documents for resident's entry to the co-housing project. The documents will be work shopped and reviewed by our resident's consultation group prior to adoption.

Check out our recent facebook post on how successful co-housing is built on compatibility, communication and trust and why a Resident's Agreement can be an important tool to support that success.

Collaboration with UQ School of Earth and Environmental Studies.
Stephanie Wyeth, Professional Planner in Residence and Senior Lecturer is undertaking a final year student project in collaboration with SwF. She saw an opportunity to build coursework and assessment around an 'older women's housing project' as the primary case-study for the 4th year planning students Advanced Planning Practice Course.  
She said "I think it would be a terrific project, it could provide an opportunity to bring Council planners to the table to explain how the planning system supports (or doesn't) this type of housing project.
 Students would assess the suitability of a selected number of potential development sites/locations and prepare a planning report (which in 'real life' would support a development application). We could use a concept design developed by your team"

Our Town Planner Joanna Blyth will be assisting Stephanie and the students to undertake this study. This is a fantastic opportunity to raise an important issue with the planning students giving them real world experience while providing SwF an opportunity to engage with Council planners to further their understanding of the barriers facing projects such as SwF.
A Win Win for all!

SwF website and future workshops
The SwF website is currently under review and will be updated with current information and links this week from February 25.
We encourage anyone interested in attending future workshops to sign up for the newsletter to be advised when they are next taking place.
While we are keen to offer workshops asap we have learnt that timing and process are everything. Workshops will be advised as soon as we have all relevant information and resources in place to support transition into a co-housing community.

We would love you to stay in touch and share our Sharing with Friends journey as we work toward finding solutions together to bring about change in the affordable housing sector.

Like our Facebook page for regular updates and other related news on co-housing in Australia


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Association (Qld) Inc, All rights reserved.

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Adrienne Irvine

Adrienne is a health professional with over 45 years' experience in team leadership and project management. She has initiated and successfully managed several start-up state-wide health programs of international recognition. With high level negotiation and facilitation skills she has significant experience in dealing with multi government departments and bringing together teams of professionals to deliver strategic goals.