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Management Transfer Program overview

Family and Community Services is transferring the tenancy management of around  14,000 social housing tenancies to community housing providers, including the delivery of private rental assistance products under Housing Pathways. The NSW Government supports the diversity and service delivery of community housing providers and their ability to make a positive impact on people’s lives.

Currently almost 19% of social housing properties in NSW are managed by community housing providers. After the implementation of the Social Housing Management Transfer Program, this will change to 32%.

This will help us deliver on the Future Directions for Social Housing in NSW reform program aimed at improving social housing tenant outcomes, announced in January 2016.

Benefits of the Management Transfer program

The NSW Government wants to make sure social housing has a more positive impact on people’s lives. Increasing the management of social housing properties by our community housing partners will:

  • make the most of community networks to deliver better long term outcomes for our tenants and applicants
  • make the social housing system stronger and more diverse
  • access more sources of funding that are available to community housing providers to better support tenants
  • build up the skills and size of the community housing sector.

Community housing providers (CHPs)

Nine successful CHPs were selected following a rigorous tender and evaluation process.

Since transfers commenced in October 2018, the CHPs have been focusing on building partnerships with social housing tenants, applicants, local communities and stakeholders to provide housing services and supports that meet the client’s individual housing needs. They have a common goal to make the social housing system more sustainable, diverse and dynamic.

They are registered under the National Regulatory System for Community Housing Providers and meet national performance standards. They have additional contractual requirements for achieving better outcomes for tenants.

They are also required to link tenants with appropriate local support services as required, based on individual need.

Who will my community housing provider be and when will the management transfers happen?

Here is a summary of transfer locations, successful community housing providers and proposed dates for the transfer of properties to the community housing providers:

Local Government Area

Community housing providers (CHPs)

Transfer date

Maitland and Port Stephens

Hume Community Housing

2 September 2019

Singleton, Cessnock, Dungog, Mid-Coast, Muswellbrook, Upper Hunter

Compass Housing Services

3 June 2019

Gunnedah, Tamworth, Walcha, Liverpool Plains, Armidale Regional, Glen Innes, Gwydir, Guyra, Inverell, Moree Plains, Narrabri, Tenterfield, Uralla

Homes North Community Housing

6 May 2019

Shoalhaven

Southern Cross Housing

22 October 2018

Coffs Harbour, Bellingen

Mission Australia Housing

1 July 2019

Nambucca, Kempsey, Port Macquarie-Hastings

Community Housing Limited

19 November 2018

Ryde, Hornsby, Ku-ring-gai

Link Housing

3 December 2018

Northern Beaches and Mosman

Bridge Housing in partnership with the Women’s Housing Company

5 August 2019

North Sydney, Hunters Hill, Lane Cove, Willoughby

St George Community Housing (SGCH)

1 April 2019

Aboriginal Housing Office tenancies

  • The FACS transfers do not affect AHO tenants.
  • You will not have to move, and your rent, terms and length of your lease stay the same.
  • FACS will still manage your lease and put you in touch with the services you need.
  • The contact number for repairs will be the same.
  • If you have questions, please call your Client Service Officer at FACS or visit www.aho.nsw.gov.au/tenants

Repairs and maintenance

Community housing organisations are responsible for the repairs and maintenance of the property including organising emergency repairs. Tenants of FACS owned properties will continue to call the Maintenance Line on 1800 422 322, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you were part of the 2017 management transfers you will continue to call your community housing provider for maintenance.

More information

If you have any questions about the transfers or want to talk to someone, you can:

Community housing

Community housing is one of the three ways social housing is provided in NSW. The other ways are through public housing and Aboriginal housing. The three streams of social housing are primarily accessed through a single system - Housing Pathways - which has one application form and one housing register for applicants.

Registered community housing providers are generally not-for-profit organisations managed by a Board of Directors. They manage the properties that they own and they also manage other properties that are owned by the Government, or that are rented from private landlords with Government funding. They also manage properties for various entities on a fee for service basis.

Benefits of community housing providers

Community housing providers are a cost-effective way to deliver social housing as they can:

  • access additional revenue from Commonwealth Rent Assistance at no extra cost to tenants
  • save GST on costs for the purchase and management of new housing as not-for-profit organisations.

A number of providers also deliver another type of housing, called affordable housing. This is housing that is appropriate for the needs of a range of very low to moderate income households and priced so that these households are able to meet basic living costs.

Types of community housing providers

There are a number of different types of community housing providers, the main ones are:

  • general social housing providers who offer secure, long term housing services and also link clients to specialist support from other community organisations in response to the needs of their tenants and the local community
  • specialist homelessness services who provide short term crisis accommodation and/or short to medium term transitional housing to support people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless and who are in crisis.

Community housing eligibility

People who are eligible for public housing are also eligible for community housing. There are different criteria for eligibility for affordable housing, crisis accommodation and transitional housing. For more information see the Community Housing Eligibility Policy.

Community housing tenants’ rights

As a landlord, community housing providers will have a lease with the tenant under the Residential Tenancies Act 2010. The lease will outline the rights and responsibilities of the landlord and tenant according to the law.

Community housing rent

NSW Community Housing Rent Policy sets out the requirements for rent policies operated by community housing providers in NSW.

Community housing rents are assessed as 25% of assessable income.Community housing providers can also assist people on moderate incomes with affordable housing options. The rent for those properties may be higher than 25% depending on the tenant’s individual financial circumstances.

Repairs and maintenance

Community housing organisations are responsible for the repairs and maintenance of the property including organising emergency repairs.

Do community housing organisations provide good service?

Tenant surveys show that tenants that live in community housing properties are very satisfied with the services they receive and the homes they live in. Family and Community Services (FACS) also monitors the performance of community housing providers to ensure they continue to provide quality services to tenants.

Rehousing community housing tenants

Community housing tenants can apply to their community housing provider to be rehoused.

What if something goes wrong with a community housing provider?

Community housing providers are subject to an independent regulatory system ensuring a high standard of service is provided. If a community housing provider fails to comply with the regulatory code they can lose their registration status and FACS can appoint a new provider to manage the properties so that the rights of tenants are unaffected.

Making a complaint about a community housing provider

Community housing tenants must first seek to resolve any issues directly with their community housing provider. Tenants can do this in person, in writing or by telephone to their community housing provider. Community housing providers must make information about internal complaints and appeals processes accessible to community housing clients.

For further information refer to the Housing Appeals Committee website.

How can tenants get involved?

Community housing providers aim to deliver services that reflect the needs of tenants and communities and are keen to involve tenants in the development of these services.

Different community housing providers have different approaches to tenant participation. Some community housing providers invite tenants to sit on their management boards, others run local management committees. If tenants want more information about how to get involved, they should contact their community housing provider to find out what is happening in their area.

Regulation

Under Community Housing Providers (Adoption of National Law) Act 2012 (NSW) a community housing provider must be registered with the Registrar of Community Housing. The Registrar is responsible for registering and regulating community housing providers. The Registrar reports directly to the Minister for Family and Community Services.

The National Regulatory Code sets out the performance requirements that providers must comply with under the National Law. It focuses on the achievement of outcomes in the following areas:

  • tenant and housing services
  • housing assets
  • community engagement
  • governance
  • probity
  • management
  • financial viability.

Information for landlords and agents of leased properties

What is the Social Housing Management Transfer (SHMT) Program?

The SHMT Program is the transfer of management of Family and Community Services (FACS) social housing properties to community housing providers (CHPs) in certain locations in NSW. There are around 14,000 properties transferring through this process. The SHMT Program is a key initiative under the Future Directions for Social Housing in NSW (Future Directions).

The transfers that are currently under way will see approximately 32% of social housing in NSW being managed by CHPs. The transfers are occurring in nine locations across four FACS Districts. There will be no FACS Housing presence in these locations when the transfers to CHPs take place.

What are the benefits of the SHMT program?

By increasing CHP management of social housing properties the NSW Government will be able to:

  • make the most of community networks to deliver better long term outcomes for our tenants and applicants
  • make the social housing system stronger and more diverse
  • access more sources of funding that are available to community housing providers to better support tenants
  • enhance the capacity and size of the community housing sector.

Funding for leased properties

Funding for the leasing program will not change and will continue to be provided by FACS on an annual basis. Rent paid to the landlord also remains unchanged.

What are the strengths of CHPs?

The community housing sector has been active for over 30 years and currently manages around 28,000 properties across NSW.

NSW CHPs have an average tenant satisfaction rate of 79 per cent. This is largely a feature of their experience in facilitating support services and undertaking meaningful community engagement.

What safeguards are in place to monitor the CHPs?

All CHPs who are selected to provide social housing services are required to be registered with the National Regulatory System for Community Housing (NRSCH).

The NRSCH aims to ensure a well governed, well managed and viable community housing sector that meets the housing needs of tenants and provides assurance for government and investors. For information about the NRSCH please refer to http://www.nrsch.gov.au.

Where will management transfers occur?

Current management of social housing in the following locations will be transferred to CHPs by 2020:

  • Northern Sydney District (excluding Ivanhoe Estate)
  • Mid North Coast District
  • Hunter New England (excluding Lake Macquarie LGA and Newcastle LGA)
  • Shoalhaven LGA

When will transfers of leased properties to CHPs take place?

It is expected that all leased properties within each of the transfer locations will be transitioned by December 2019. FACS will inform the landlords/agents of the specific transition timeframes.

At the time of transfer, your lease/s will be transferred to the CHP via a Deed of Assignment and Consent (Deed) that is signed by the landlord/agent, NSW Land and Housing Corporation (LAHC) and the CHP.

FACS will endeavour to make the transition of all leased properties to each CHP as seamless as possible.

For landlords who currently lease to FACS

What does this mean for the landlord/agent of the leased property?

When the transfers occur, CHPs will assume the tenancy management responsibility for the social housing properties in each location. This means there will no longer be a FACS Housing presence, and CHPs will become the point of contact for landlords.

What should I do now?

You do not need to do anything right now.

FACS will send you a Deed of Assignment and Consent (Deed) for your execution, when your leases/s is/are ready to be transferred to the CHP.

FACS will continue to be your point of contact for all tenancy management matters until the management of your property or properties is transferred to the CHP.

FACS will continue to keep you and any tenants informed ahead of any changes to assist with the transition of the transfer of the lease to the CHP.

For landlords about to enter into a new lease or renew an existing lease with FACS

What should I do now?

You do not need to do anything right now.

The lease that you enter into and sign off will include the following clause:-

Despite anything else in this Lease the landlord agrees that New South Wales Land and Housing Corporation can assign or transfer this lease without consent to any social housing provider as defined in section 136 of the Residential Tenancies Act 2010.

FACS will continue to be your point of contact for all tenancy management matters until the management of your property or properties is transferred to the CHP.

FACS will continue to keep you and any tenants informed ahead of any changes to assist with the transition of the transfer of the lease to the CHP.

Who can I talk to about leasing arrangements?

For all current property lease matters please contact your FACS District contact.

For all matters relating to the SHMT Program, please email the Management Transfers mailbox at:
ManagementTransfers@facs.nsw.gov.au

Upon receipt of your email, a staff representative from the SHMT Program will be in contact you to assist you with your enquiry.

For Tenants

If a headlease tenant needs to report a maintenance problem after the transfer date, they should call the new community housing provider directly.

Where can I find more information?

For more information about the SHMT Program.

For more information about Future Directions.


Are all your questions answered?

If you have any questions about the transfers or want to talk to someone, you can:

  • Call the Housing Contact Centre on 1800 422 322. This is a free call from landlines, most mobile phones and the phones in your local Family and Community Services housing office.
  • Speak to your local Family and Community Services client service team.
  • Visit Management transfer program
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Last updated: 26 Feb 2019
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