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Key facts about Social and Affordable Housing

There are around 144,400 social dwelling homes in NSW

There are around 144,400 social housing homes in NSW. The FACS Social Housing Delivery Quarterly Report says there were 141,892 occupied social housing homes in NSW at the end of the second quarter for 2016/2017 with an occupancy rate of 98.2%[1]. Currently, around 19%[2] of social housing properties are managed by registered community housing providers. The Management Transfer program being implemented under Future directions for social housing in NSW reforms will increase the proportion of properties managed by community housing providers to 32%[3].

Supply is not meeting demand

Demand for social and affordable rental housing is increasing for people on low incomes. An increasingly unaffordable private rental market for people on low incomes, responses to homelessness and fewer social housing vacancies have driven the growth in the social housing waiting list, which has now reached over 60,000 households[4].

Social housing supply is ageing and concentrated

Social housing supply is ageing with the FACS Land and Housing Corporation reporting in its 2016-2017 Statement of Business Intent[5] that the average age of public housing in 2015/2016 was 36 years. Due to the approach to developing social housing in earlier times and the age of the housing stock, much of the existing stock is still concentrated in estates.

Social housing supply needs to match the needs of older people and people with disability

Around 27% of applicants on the social housing waiting list are aged 55 years and over. Furthermore, ageing stock needs to be replaced with accessible housing in locations close to supports and services to facilitate greater independence for older tenants and people with disability. Households with disability make up an average of 3 in 10 new allocations to social housing every quarter[6].

Social housing configuration doesn’t match the kinds of households applying for social housing

Single bedroom units and studios comprised around 26%[7] of the total social housing stock in 2015/2016 (excl. Aboriginal Housing) compared with single person households comprising 49%[8] of households on the social housing waiting list. At the end of 2015/2016, the FACS website reports that 14.5%[9] of social housing was under-occupied (defined as having two or more excess bedrooms).

Women in Social Housing

Women comprise the largest group of social housing users, comprising 57%[10] of applicants on the social housing waiting list and around 61%[11] of existing tenancies. Women aged 55 years and over represent 9%[12] of the social housing waiting list.

More Information

For more information on social housing in NSW you can visit the following sites:

The NSW Housing Register and Housing Pathways

The NSW Housing Register is the wait list for priority and general applicants for social housing in NSW. Tenants enter the NSW Housing Register via Housing Pathways. Under Housing Pathways, people can apply for public housing, Aboriginal housing and community housing. People can also apply for private rental assistance or for a transfer if they already live in social housing.

More information can be found on the Housing Pathways website.

Note that this site is aimed at clients in housing need seeking help, including social housing.

It does contain information on policies in NSW that providers of social housing, including current SAHF providers, need to comply with.

Affordable Housing

For affordable housing Tenants, the Service Provider is expected to follow the NSW Affordable Housing Guidelines for finding eligible tenants.

In the medium to long terms, the purpose of the affordable housing should be to facilitate transitions of social housing Tenants to available affordable housing.

Registering as a Community Housing Provider

Registrar of Community Housing

The NSW Registrar of Community Housing (RCH) is responsible for registering and regulating community housing providers in New South Wales under the National Regulatory System for Community Housing (NRSCH). The Registrar is an independent statutory officer reporting directly to the Minister for Family and Community Services.

You can find out more information on the RCH website.

National Regulatory System 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.

The NRSCH seeks a clear separation between regulatory activities, and state and territory policy and funding activities.

The scope of a Registrar’s functions under the National Regulatory System is limited to regulatory activities. Policy and funding decisions will continue to be a matter for state, territory and federal governments, which enables localised responses to meet housing need. Visit the pages of individual States & Territories for more information.

You can find out more information on the NRSCH website.

Information on how to register as a CHP can be found here.

NRSCH provides a snapshot of the sector for 2016/17 here.

NSW Federation of Housing Associations Inc

The NSW Federation of Housing Associations is the peak industry body for housing associations in NSW. More information can be found on the NSW Federation of Housing Associations website.

Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute

The Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI) is a national independent research network with an expert not-for-profit research management company, AHURI Limited, at its centre. AHURI is funded by Government housing agencies, and it aims to deliver high quality research that influences policy development to improve the housing and urban environments of all Australians.

You can find out more information about AHURI and access its research on their website.

Footnotes

[1] FACS Social housing delivery quarterly report.

[2] FACS Statistics, Social Housing.

[3] FACS Management Transfer program.

[4] FACS operational data – not yet published.

[5] LAHC Statement of Business Intent 2016-17

[6] FACS Social housing delivery quarterly report.

[7] FACS Statistics.

[8] FACS operational data – not yet published.

[9] FACS Statistics.

[10] FACS operational data — not yet published.

[11] FACS operational data — not published — based on public housing data 2015/2016.

[12] FACS operational data — not yet published.