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Homes NSW became a division of the Department of Communities and Justice in February 2024, bringing together the housing and homelessness services of the NSW Department of Communities and Justice (DCJ), the NSW Land and Housing Corporation (LAHC), the NSW Aboriginal Housing Office (AHO), and Key Worker Housing, all under one roof – to streamline services and make the system more efficient and accessible. Housing Services in Homes NSW manages applications, public housing tenancy services, and disaster welfare. Housing Portfolio within Homes NSW has responsibilities for the NSW social housing portfolio, maintenance, repairs, home modifications and the delivery of new homes.

Home Modifications (Disability) is the name for home modifications managed and installed by Homes NSW under the Home Modifications (Disability) policy. Homes NSW can arrange for certain public housing properties to be modified to help people with medical or disability needs to live safely and independently in their home.

If your modifications are funded by your National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) package, My Aged Care, alternative provider or self-funded, these home modifications are managed under the Alterations to a Home policy.

Who can apply for Home Modifications (Disability)

The tenant, or an approved housing applicant (following the acceptance of an offer of public housing), or a person you have provided written Authority to Act on your behalf, is responsible to apply for Home Modifications (Disability) if you or an authorised member of your household requires home modifications to live safely and independently in the property.

Applying for home modifications when you live in a Headlease property

If you live in a property owned by a private landlord that is managed by Homes NSW, we will need to obtain approval from the property owner before agreeing to install any home modifications.

Two Categories of Home Modifications (Disability)

Homes NSW provides two categories of home modifications:

  • Standard Modifications, and
  • Major Modifications – disability

Standard Modifications are necessary, practical, and reasonable aids improving accessibility in or around your home to assist you or your authorised household member to live safely and independently in your Homes NSW-managed property. Most Standard Modifications do not require you to provide any supporting documentation and can include installation of items such as lever tap handles, repositioning of towel rails or mirrors in the bathroom.

Some Standard Modifications may require a letter of support from a suitably qualified health professional, who can confirm the need for the modification and how it should be installed. See the Table of Standard Modifications for more information.

Major Modifications are modifications that require more extensive or structural changes to the property and may take longer to assess and install. Major Modifications can include changes to the bathroom or kitchen, and the installation of ramps. An Application for Home Modifications (Disability), including the Occupational Therapist Summary Report and detailed occupational therapist report (as well as any necessary consents) are required with a request for Major Modifications.

How to Apply for Home Modifications (Disability)

Standard Modifications

For Standard Modifications you can call the Maintenance Hub on 1800 422 322, or attend your local Homes NSW Housing Services office.

If your request for a Standard Modification requires supporting documentation, you’ll be asked to provide that before a decision or installation of the required home modification can occur. You don’t have to have the supporting documentation when you first call the Maintenance Hub for a Standard Modification, you can supply the required supporting documentation at a later date, usually within 7 days of your request.

All requests for Standard Modifications are made to the Maintenance Hub.

Major Modifications

To make your request for Major modifications, you can:

  • Complete the Application for Home Modifications (Disability) form and lodge that with your Homes NSW Housing Services client service team, by email or in person.
  • You can also visit your local Homes NSW Housing Services office who can provide you with a copy of the Application for Home Modifications (Disability) form.
  • If you call the Maintenance Hub and your request for home modifications are determined to be Major Modifications, the service staff will direct you to one of the options mentioned above.

Who can initiate a request for Home Modifications (Disability)

  • Tenants in properties managed by Homes NSW, including tenants in a Headlease property
  • Applicants for public housing, after accepting of an offer of social housing*
  • People authorised to act on behalf of an applicant or the tenant. See Another person can apply for modifications on your behalf.

Note: Requests for Home Modifications (Disability) for an authorised member of the household with a health or disability need, must be lodged by one of the above.

*Applicants on the NSW Housing Register can submit an application for Home Modifications (Disability) at any point. If an applicant knows they will require Major Home Modifications before being made an offer of public housing, only an Occupational Therapist’s Housing Needs Assessment is required. Following the acceptance of an offer of public housing, an Application for Home Modifications (Disability) form, detailed occupational therapist report, and Occupational Therapist Summary Report, as well as any necessary consents will need to be completed.

For more information about applications for housing where health or disability related home modifications are needed, please speak to a Homes NSW staff member on 1800 422 322, or contact your local Homes NSW Housing Services office.

Another person can apply for Home Modifications (Disability) on your behalf 

Another person that you nominate, can request Home Modifications (Disability) on your behalf.

When you nominate another person to give or receive information about you, or to act on your behalf, you need to provide your consent to Homes NSW.

You will need to complete, sign, and lodge one or both of the following consent form/s, as part of your request for Home Modifications (Disability):

Getting in Touch with an Occupational Therapist (OT)

Most Standard Modifications can be made and installed without supporting documentation from an OT or other suitably qualified health professional.

For all Major Modifications, your doctor or other suitably qualified health professional can refer you to an occupational therapist who can prepare the Occupational Therapist Summary Report, and the OT report detailing the specific information on dimensions and measurements that are required to meet your medical and disability needs. In some cases the OT may also assist you to complete and lodge the Application for Home Modifications (Disability) form, when Major Modifications are required.

Assessing your request or application for Home Modifications (Disability)

Requests for home modifications to Homes NSW managed properties are considered by either:

  • the Maintenance Hub, for requests for Standard Modifications, or
  • by Homes NSW Housing Portfolio, for applications for Major Modifications using the Home Modifications (Disability) application form

Advising you of the decision on your request or application for Home Modifications (Disability)

Homes NSW will take action to assess, approve and install Standard Modifications as soon as possible after receiving your request and any required supporting documentation. Depending on your availability and providing access to the property, Standard Modifications can usually be installed within 5 working days from receiving your request and any documentation (if required).

For Major Modifications, Homes NSW Housing Services staff will make contact with you in 3 working days after receiving your application for Home Modifications (Disability). After we’ve received all the necessary supporting documentation from you, Homes NSW Housing Portfolio will review and assess your application.

You will be advised in writing whether the Major Modifications have been approved or declined. For modifications that have been approved, we’ll advise you of the timeframe expected to complete the approved works.

If a request for Major Modifications is declined, we will explain the reason why it was declined in writing, and discuss other options with you.

Some OT reports and Occupational Therapist Summary Reports may contain Standard Modifications needed straight away. Homes NSW will usually complete the Standard Modifications as soon as possible while we consider and make a decision on the Major Modifications in the application for Homes Modifications (Disability).

Installation timeframes for approved Home Modifications (Disability)

Following the assessment and approval of a request or application for home modifications:

  • Standard Modifications are usually installed within 5 working days after receiving any documentation (if required) and depending on your availability and providing access to the home.
  • Major Modifications require more extensive or structural work and may take up to 90 days to complete
    • We’ll keep you informed along the way, and if there are delays in the expected timeframes – we’ll send you a written letter to let you know.

Communicating with you, or your nominated contact person, or the person acting on your behalf

Housing NSW staff will communicate with you and your nominated contact or support person throughout the installation of major disability modifications. Your Housing Services client service team will write to you keeping you informed of the planned start date and completion date of Major Modifications and will also inform you when any delays may arise in the installation of Major Modifications along with a revised completion date.

Temporary accommodation during the installation of Major Modifications

In some cases you may be required to temporarily relocate during a Major Modification. For example, if your property has one bathroom, it may not be able to used while undergoing modifications. As part of assessing an application for Major Home Modifications (Disability), Housing Portfolio will inform Housing Services there is a need for you to be temporarily relocated and at which stage of the Major Modification process this will be required. Your client service team will advise you if this is necessary and will arrange temporary accommodation for you at alternative premises for the timeframe that is necessary.

Completion of Major Home Modifications (Disability)

At completion, a joint inspection of the Major Modifications will be done with yourself, your occupational therapist and representative/s of Homes NSW staff to determine that the Major Modifications comply with the agreed needs detailed in occupational therapist report and Occupational Therapist Summary Report.

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Last updated: 01 Jul 2024