Overview of the Social & Affordable Housing Fund
The Social and Affordable Housing Fund (SAHF) comprises two elements:
- The SAHF has been set up with $1.1 billion in seed capital from the Government (the Fund). This seed capital was invested in the market by the Government’s investment arm, NSW Treasury Corporation. Further capital will be made available for the second phase procurement outcome, as required. Market returns from this investment will be applied to SAHF projects.
- A commissioning unit within FACS: a unit established within the Department of Family and Community Services to commission and procure social and affordable housing services.
The SAHF is a key component of the NSW Future Directions for Social Housing in NSW Strategy to provide more social and affordable housing in NSW.
The government listened to the views of a broad cross section of the market about how the social housing system can deliver improved levels of service and choice for clients.
The government then designed the SAHF and the SAHF Phase 1 procurement with support and input from an Expert Advisory Panel comprising representatives from the not-for-profit and private sectors, co-chaired by the NSW Council of Social Service and Infrastructure Partnerships Australia.
The Social and Affordable Housing Fund is a key initiative under the Future Directions for Social Housing in NSW strategy, along with Communities Plus, the Social Housing Management Transfers program and Service Improvement Initiatives. Together these reforms will expand the social housing stock across NSW, while providing more pathways for clients to gain housing independence.
The Social and Affordable Housing Fund is an innovative approach to the way we are delivering social and affordable housing in NSW. Together with providing homes to those who need them most, it offers residents coordinated access to support tailored to their individual needs − giving them the tools they need to improve their lives.
It is designed to empower people to live more independent lives and, for some, to move beyond the need for housing support. The SAHF has the potential to change how the NSW social housing system works.
The Social and Affordable Housing Fund Phase 1 procurement introduced innovations to Social and Affordable Housing Delivery including:
- an innovative approach to funding Social and Affordable Housing projects;
- the NSW Government not taking a direct interest in the underlying asset used to deliver accommodation services;
- a payment stream over a 25 year term that funds the gap between provider equity, tenant revenues and the cost of providing the services package;
- A Services Agreement that combines accommodation, asset and tenancy management, tailored support coordination, and performance and data reporting services to deliver tenant and household outcomes; and
- A Services Agreement that provides a pathway to payment by outcomes over time.
Details on SAHF Phase 2 Procurement
The second phase of procurement for the SAHF (SAHF Phase 2) aims to deliver access to up to 1,200 Social and Affordable homes and support across all of NSW.
Improving lives and wellbeing is not just about delivering homes, it is about access to tailored support services. The second phase of the SAHF will continue with these two core aims.
Information on SAHF Phase 2 Procurement, including the objectives and timeline for procurement, can be found at on the Phase 2 webpage.
Details on Phase 1 of the Social and Affordable Housing Fund Program
On 10 March 2017, it was announced that contracts from the first phase procurement for the SAHF initiative were awarded to five service providers:
- BaptistCare NSW & ACT
- Compass Housing Services Co Ltd
- SGCH Sustainability Ltd
- St Vincent de Paul Housing
Each service provider will deliver a package for 25 years that consists of:
- access to accommodation,
- asset management and tenancy management services,
- tailored support services for each household member, and
- performance and data reporting.
Services agreements from the first phase of procurement commit service providers to delivering 2,200 additional social and affordable homes in metropolitan and regional NSW over the next four years. Each household will also benefit from access to support services tailored to their needs as part of their tenancy.
The majority of the homes contracted through the SAHF Phase 1 procurement are expected to be delivered within three years, with the balance delivered within four years. Contracts with service providers for access to accommodation and tailored support coordination will be in place for 25 years.
The Social and Affordable Housing Fund Phase 1 sought to purchase accommodation as a service rather than purchasing the properties used to provide accommodation.
Dwellings for the delivery of Accommodation Services can be delivered through the:
- development and construction of new housing stock
- purchase or lease of existing dwellings from the private sector market
- re-configuration and/or re-development of existing dwellings or buildings.
The overall accommodation mix sought was 70 per cent social housing as a minimum and the remainder to be affordable housing, with the precise mix able to change flexibly over the term to best achieve the targeted social outcomes.
The Service provider must integrate affordable housing into the Service Package in a way which is consistent with the program objectives, including increasing the economic independence of households and transitioning out of social housing.
If there are no social housing Tenants who are able to transition, Affordable Housing vacancies may be filled from elsewhere in compliance with NSW Affordable Housing Guidelines.
Accommodation services must be delivered such that the social and affordable homes are integrated within a diverse and mixed community.
The majority of dwellings delivered under SAHF will meet the Silver level of the Liveable Housing Design Guidelines.
The SAHF Program aims to deliver dwellings across metropolitan and regional NSW.
As defined in the SAHF Expression of Interest tender for Phase 1, a regional area is any part of NSW excluding Sydney, Newcastle, Central Coast and Wollongong. Nineteen per cent of dwellings are considered in regional areas.
Applicants for social housing under the Social and Affordable Housing Fund must be shortlisted from the NSW Housing Register.
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.
The Social and Affordable Housing Fund provides an innovative approach to the delivery of a sustainable housing system that focuses on services to achieve high quality outcomes for tenants.
Tenant welfare will be protected in a number of ways including:
- Providers are required to report to FACS on tenant satisfaction and outcomes.
- Projects delivered under SAHF will work within residential tenancy and community housing laws to ensure that Tenant rights are protected.
- SAHF Providers must be registered as a Community Housing Provider when they deliver services and therefore meet the requirements of the National Regulatory System for Community Housing Providers.
- Service Agreements include tailored support coordination services that address the specific needs of each Tenant and household member.