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Why is information about the estimated waiting times for social housing released each year?

This information gives general housing applicants an idea of how long they may need to wait for a social housing property in specific areas across NSW.

What is an allocation zone?

Information is displayed by allocation zones which are groups of suburbs or towns where social housing is available. Social housing applicants are generally asked to select a single allocation zone where they wish to be housed when they apply for social housing.

The waiting time between different allocation zones may vary greatly, with the waiting times in high demand zones being much longer than others. For more information on the suburbs or towns included in each allocation zone, please see allocation zones or use the allocation zone locator.

What does the information about waiting times include?

Expected waiting times are published under the following categories:

  • less than 2 years
  • 2 to 5 years
  • 5 to 10 years
  • more than 10 years.

This information provides current approved general social housing applicants with a better idea of how long they may need to wait for a property in their chosen zone.

Updated information will be provided each year and is current as at 30 June. For further information and full data tables, see expected waiting times.

What can impact waiting times for applicants?

The time that an applicant waits for social housing depends on:

  • the number of suitable vacancies that occur and how many social housing properties are in the allocation zone
  • the number of approved applicants looking for the same type of property in their allocation zone
  • whether applicants will accept offers of public housing, community housing or Aboriginal housing (for eligible applicants)
  • the number of people approved for priority housing who are placed on the list above people who do not have a priority need.

What is a priority applicant?

Applicants with complex housing needs are interviewed to assess the urgency of their situation. They must demonstrate they are in need of urgent housing and are not able to rent privately. Applicants must also show that they have tried to find accommodation in the private rental market before being considered for priority housing.

Can I change my allocation zone?

Yes. Approved applicants are able to change their allocation zone by completing an online change of circumstances form or requesting a change of circumstances application form from your local office.

An applicant’s position on the waiting list for their new allocation zone will depend on when they originally applied for social housing and how their housing needs compare to other applicants in the newly chosen allocation zone.

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Last updated: 15 Nov 2023