Toolkit for Neighbourhood Houses and Men’s Sheds

Overview

This Toolkit provides information for prospective Men’s Sheds and Neighbourhood House applicants who wish to:

  • Develop project proposals for a new Men’s Shed / Neighbourhood House within the City of Hume.
  • Discuss any capital works and/or facility upgrade/extension ideas for the community facilities they are located within.
  • Understand what the key steps are to implement minor capital works and maintenance request/s for the Council community facilities they are tenants within.

The Toolkit works as a guide for Men’s Sheds and/or Neighbourhood Houses to build their understanding about various capital works projects. It helps them to approach Council with their requests for implementation. 

Some examples of capital works request/s can be: 

  • establishment of a new Men’s Shed and/or Neighbourhood House,
  • upgrade of a kitchen/toilet,
  • extension of an existing room, and
  • refurbishment of an existing facility etc.

How to develop a new Men’s Shed/Neighbourhood House?

If you are interested in developing a new Men's Shed or Neighbourhood House within the City of Hume, there are various stages in the process.

Process to starting a New Men’s Shed/Neighbourhood House

Contact the Community Development Officer to discuss your proposal.
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Submit a Project Proposal Form to the Community Development Officer who will conduct a preliminary assessment.
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The Community Development Officer will meet with you to provide feedback regarding your proposal. This will include information regarding research, planning requirements and processes, suitable sites, funding opportunities and management options.
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You finalise the scope and detail of your proposed project and submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) Form for
Capital Works: Men’s Sheds / Neighbourhood Houses.
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A formal assessment is undertaken of the EOI by a Project Working Group representing different departments across Council.
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The Community Development Officer completes internal and external consultations.
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The Working Party decides on your application.
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The applicant is advised of the outcome.
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If your application is supported, the Community Development Officer guides you through the next process.
You may need to:
understand hire/licence arrangements and capital works process,
seek additional funding from external parties i.e. State/Federal Government, and
form partnerships with relevant organisations if you wish to build a new facility.

 

Your first step is to get in contact with Council’s Community Development Officer for an initial discussion so that they can provide feedback regarding your project proposal.

All groups are required to submit a Project Proposal Form - New Men’s Shed/Neighbourhood House to assist the Community Development Officer provide guidance and feedback. 

You can contact the Community Development Officer on 9205 2533 or nhlcmenshedcapwork@hume.vic.gov.au

 

What is a Project Proposal?

The Community Development Officer will organise a meeting with the interested group to discuss their project proposal to:

  • gain an understanding of the group/s proposing the project,
  • determine the extent of the proposed project,
  • provide feedback and guidance regarding suitable sites for the proposed Men’s Shed/Neighbourhood House,
  • help the group identify sources of financial support or funding for the project,
  • provide guidance regarding research and planning requirements and project budget/expected costs, and
  • help identify any potential obstacles or risks associated with the project.

 

When can I submit a Project Proposal?

You can contact the Community Development Officer anytime of the year to discuss your project idea for a new Men’s Shed/Neighbourhood House. Timelines, according to each project assessed, will vary based on its merits. Projects that require significant Council contribution will go through Council’s annual capital works budget process which normally begins in September.

How is a Project Proposal assessed?

The Community Development Officer will conduct an initial assessment of the proposed project to determine:

  • current provision of Men’s Shed/Neighbourhood House programs,
  • suitability of the proposed site,
  • available funds and support for the new facility,
  • community need and/or interest for a new Men’s Shed/Neighbourhood House.

The Community Development Officer will provide feedback to the group regarding the initial assessment.  This will include the Community Development Officer meeting with the group to discuss:

  • the proposal,
  • possible sites,
  • operational and governance models,
  • planning requirements,
  • capital funding opportunities i.e. State/Federal Government,
  • auspice arrangements etc.

The Community Development Officer can also assist the group to investigate relevant planning and building regulatory requirements, including site meetings with relevant Council Officers.

 

How do I submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) Application for Capital Works - New Men’s Shed / Neighbourhood House?

Once the group has finalised the scope and detail for the project, it will be required to submit an Expression of Interest Form for Capital Works – New Men’s Shed/Neighbourhood House.

The EOI it will be assessed according to the following criteria:

 Selection Criteria
Social Need
Evidence of the need for a new Men’s Shed / Neighbourhood House facility
Capability
Evidence that the applicant can develop and operate a new Men’s Shed / Neighbourhood House
Finances
Evidence of financial sustainability
Location
Evidence of site suitability and regulatory compliance

 

When will I know if the EOI Capital Works Application has been successful?

The applicant will be formally notified by Council once the EOI Application has been fully assessed by an internal Project Working Group. 

If the EOI Application is successful and the applicant has requested Council to develop a new facility on Council land, the project will be referred through to Council’s annual Capital Works budget process for consideration.

The Community Development Officer will advise the successful applicant regarding the timelines and process for this.

 

How will the Capital Works Project be managed?

Once the project is confirmed within Council’s annual Capital Works Program, the group will be advised what the project commencement dates are.

Council will normally be responsible for project managing the design and construction of a new Men’s Shed / Neighbourhood House on Council owned and/or managed land.

Council will discuss with the group the details of how the project will be managed including:

  • establishment of a Project Working Group to oversee design and construction,
  • development of a Memorandum of Understanding between Council and the group/partners that details funding contributions and roles and responsibilities,
  • Project Management Plan,
  • planning and building permits,
  • development of a licence/lease agreement for a new Men’s Shed /Neighbourhood House.

How to maintain and/or improve your Men’s Shed / Neighbourhood House?

Getting your Men’s Shed or Neighbourhood House started is one thing; keeping it going is another. In this section we review things to consider with respect to maintaining, upgrading and/or extending your facility.

How do I get Council permission to make capital improvements to a Men’s Shed / Neighbourhood House?

Council receives regular requests from community groups to undertake capital improvements to the facilities they utilise.

Men’s Sheds or Neighbourhood Houses wishing to undertake any alterations or capital works to their facility must first contact the Community Development Officer to discuss their project. This includes groups who are wishing to seek funding for capital improvement projects.

Council approval is required for all alterations or capital works to licensed facilities before they can proceed.

The Community Development Officer can advise groups what information is required if they wish to obtain Council consent to make alterations to their facility.  This may include the following:

  • Scope, budget and planning requirements,
  • Site plans,
  • Quotations (if available),
  • External funding application (if needed).

The following flowchart provides an overview of the key steps in the approval process for capital improvements to a Men’s Shed/Neighbourhood House.

Making capital improvements to your existing facility process

Contact the Community Development Office.
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Discuss your proposal with the Officer including, budget and scope, any site plans/surveys, quotations, community consultation undertaken, background research, project management.
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The Officer guides the group to prepare and submit relevant documentation that may be required for Council’s (land owner) approval or Council’s Capital Works Budget process.
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You submit a Request to Undertake Alterations or Capital Improvements Form. The Community Development Officer convenes an internal Working Group meeting with representatives from all relevant Council departments. The Working Group may also seek further information from you before deciding.
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The Working Group determines whether your proposal is supported for land owner approval and/or referral to the
Capital Works budget process.
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Referral to Capital Works budget process.
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The Officer notifies you about the outcome of the application.
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If your proposal is supported, the Officer organises land owner consent and refers your capital work project to the annual Capital Work Project budget process. The Officer will inform you of the outcome of Council’s annual Capital Work Budget Process.  When your project is endorsed the project management phase begins. In this phase, a Project Working Group is formed, and a Service Agreement is developed which details the roles and responsibilities of all parties.

 

The group will need to submit a Request to Undertake Alterations or Capital Improvements Form, before the request can be assessed by Council staff.

 

When will I know if my Request to Undertake Alterations or Capital Improvements to a Men’s Shed/Neighbourhood House has been approved?

Once Council receives a Request to Undertake Alterations or Capital Improvements from a Men’s Shed / Neighbourhood House, the following occurs:

The Community Development Officer convenes an internal meeting with all relevant departments to discuss the request.  Note: the applicant may be asked to provide additional information to assist with the assessment.

The request will be assessed according to the following criteria: 

Assessment Criteria
Social Need
Evidence of the need for a new Men’s Shed / Neighbourhood House facility
Capability
Evidence that the applicant can develop and operate a new Men’s Shed / Neighbourhood House
Finances
Evidence of financial sustainability
Location
Evidence of site suitability and regulatory compliance

 

If the request is supported, the Property Development Department will issue the applicant with formal Landowner’s Consent to undertake the alterations or capital improvements. This may include planning and regulatory conditions that the group is required to meet. 

If the request is supported, and the Men’s Shed/Neighbourhood House is seeking a financial contribution from Council, the capital improvements will be referred to Council’s annual Capital Works budget for review and consideration.

The Community Development Officer will advise the group regarding the timelines and outcomes of this process.

What happens if Council agrees to undertake the requested alterations or capital improvements to the Men’s Shed/Neighbourhood House?

If Council agrees to fund (or partially fund) the requested capital improvements within a Men’s Shed/Neighbourhood House, the project will be scheduled within Council’s annual Capital Works Program. 

Council will normally be responsible for project managing any capital improvement works to Men’s Sheds/Neighbourhood Houses that are on Council owned and/or managed land.

The Community Development Officer will discuss with the group the details of how the project will be managed including:

  • establishment of a Project Working Group to oversee design/construction,
  • development of a Memorandum of Understanding between Council and the group/partners that details funding contributions and roles and responsibilities,
  • Project Management Plan,
  • planning and building permits.

How do I submit a facility maintenance request?

Most of the Men’s Sheds/Neighbourhood Houses within the City of Hume have a licence agreement with Council to occupy their community facility. 

The licence agreement sets out the details regarding who is responsible for different types of repairs and maintenance within the building.  Groups are encouraged to check the Maintenance Schedule within their licence agreement.

Urgent Maintenance Requests

Urgent maintenance matters must be reported by telephone to Council’s Property Leasing Officer on 9205 2213.  If the Property Leasing Officer is uncontactable please report to Council’s Customer Service Department on 9205 2200.

Urgent maintenance requests occurring outside business hours must be reported to Council’s Out of Hours Service on 9205 2200.

Non-urgent Maintenance Requests

All maintenance requests of a non-urgent nature should be sent via email to propertyleasing@hume.vic.gov.au or submitted via the Minor Maintenance Request Form.

Groups may have a maintenance request of a non-urgent nature that they would like Council to address e.g. installing new floor coverings, repainting walls, replacing kitchen appliances etc.

Groups are encouraged to contact the Community Development Officer in the first instance to discuss the detail of their non-urgent maintenance request.  The Officer will be able to advise whether the maintenance is likely to be addressed within the current budget year or will need to be referred for consideration within the annual budget process.

Other useful resources

In this section you will find links to several resources where you can learn more about how to plan, develop or improve your Men’s Shed/Neighbourhood House.

Men’s Sheds – Capital Work Projects

You are encouraged to look at examples of various successful capital work projects for Men’s Sheds. You may download the following examples of budget and project development:

Tullamarine Men’s Shed and Neighbourhood House Project Budget template(XLSX, 14KB).

Victorian Men's Shed Association (VMSA) resource sheet(PDF, 1MB).

Policies and Plans

Council’s Men's Shed Policy(PDF, 218KB)

Funding Opportunities

Council’s Community Grants

Victorian State Government funding for Men’s Shed

State Government for Neighbourhood House funding

Melbourne Airport Grants for NHLCs

Peak Associations/Organisations

Australian Mens Shed Association (AMSA)

Victorian Men's Shed Associated (VMSA)

Neighbourhood Houses Victoria

Other Organisations devoted to build community resilience and capacity

Our Community

Justice Connect- Understand Not for profit law