Delivering better outcomes for tenants and the community is the focus of reform which will see social housing in four areas of NSW managed by Community Housing Providers (CHPs).
Minister for Social Housing Brad Hazzard said Family and Community Services (FACS) would transfer, on a long leasehold basis, management of approximately 18,000 properties to the community sector to ensure a better experience for tenants in social housing.
The NSW Government is committed to increase community housing’s management of social housing under its Future Directions reforms of social housing. Today’s reforms deliver on a 2009 COAG agreement by NSW to transfer up to 35 per cent of social housing to community housing providers. Currently 19 per cent of social housing in NSW is managed by CHPs.
Minister for Social Housing Brad Hazzard said the reform aims to improve services for tenants and ensure more money comes in, to provide supports for social housing tenants.
“Already more than 28,000 social housing homes are managed by community housing and tenants report very high satisfaction with the level of services offered by community providers,” Mr Hazzard said.
“Community housing has shown it is innovative and can help vulnerable tenants to achieve positive outcomes such as securing employment and education.
“Tenants’ lease length and lease conditions will remain the same, their income after rent will remain the same and FACS will keep tenants fully informed as their areas transition to community housing providers.
“It’s also estimated an extra $1 billion will come in over the next 20 years as the Commonwealth supports tenants with rent assistance, which will allow community providers to give more supports to vulnerable people.
“Currently tenants in state government managed housing get no additional funds from the Commonwealth.”
Legislation will be introduced to achieve better outcomes for tenants.
There are 82 CHPs in NSW and they will be able to bid to manage portfolios of properties in four areas across the State in: the Shoalhaven, Northern Sydney, Mid North Coast and Hunter New England (excluding Newcastle and Lake Macquarie LGAs). The procurement process is expected to commence in early 2017.
The Aboriginal Housing Office will undertake a separate procurement process to select Aboriginal community housing providers in these locations to manage Aboriginal Housing Office owned properties.
As areas transfer to the community housing providers, approximately 190 Government housing jobs will go. FACS is consulting with the Public Service Association and staff will be given the opportunity to take up jobs in the expanded community housing sector.
“This is a landmark opportunity for not-for-profit community housing providers to grow and diversify and help more people in need,” Mr Hazzard said.