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Community Housing Innovation Fund (CHIF)

The Community Housing Innovation Fund (CHIF) is a $150 million program delivering more social and affordable housing in collaboration with Community Housing Providers (CHPs) across NSW.

Stakeholder engagement and co-design process

DCJ contracted the Community Housing Industry Association (CHIA NSW) to consult the community housing sector and others about the foundation principle and operating objectives of the CHIF.  This informed a co-design workshop was held on 15 February 2019 where the government’s strategic intent and expectations and asked participants to help in designing the broad outline of the Community Housing Innovation Fund (CHIF) program.  .

Participants included CHP’s, local councils, specialist homelessness services, property developers and other interested parties. Speakers from the City Futures Research Centre - UNSW, City of Shoalhaven Council, the Greater Sydney Commission and the National Housing Finance Investment Corporation provided information and discussed financial, local zoning, procurement and other strategies that could facilitate the implementation of the CHIF.

A significant amount of the feedback from the co-design workshop was incorporated into the CHIF procurement process.  Key elements adopted included:

  • Scalable tenders with a minimum bid of $500,000 and a maximum bid of $5 million to enable small and large CHPs to tender
  • That, due to the long lead times for developments, proponents could commence project planning several years in advance.
  • A simple low cost tendering process using fixed word limits, summary tables and reasonable submission timeframes (5 weeks)
  • Use of other’s information, e.g. the Registrar of Community Housing, to support assessments and provide assurance that proponents are financially viable, have sound governance arrangements, and meet the service outcomes for tenancy management, property management and community engagement.
  • That tenders are repeatable and transferrable for others to use.  DCJ can share the approach with others, for example local councils, to minimise their costs and expedite their procurement of affordable housing projects with CHPs.
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Last updated: 15 Nov 2021