Social Housing Community Improvement Fund

A major aim of Future Directions for Social Housing in NSW, which sets out the NSW Government’s vision for social housing over the next 10 years, is to create a better customer experience in social housing.

This includes a range of initiatives to support stronger and safer communities with improved amenity, community facilities and physical environments.

The NSW Government has announced grants worth $5.5 million to nearly 100 community organisations and local councils under Round Two of the Social Housing Community Improvement Fund (SHCIF). These grants will assist local organisations undertake a range of physical improvement projects in social housing communities across NSW.

The successful projects cover improving community facilities, enhancing open space, improving resident safety as well as facilitating better integration between social housing and the surrounding community.

For projects funded under SHCIF 2016 - Round Two click here.

For projects funded under SHCIF 2015 - Round One click here.

Improving liveability, strengthening communities

The Social Housing Community Improvement Fund (SHCIF) provides $20 million over three years (2015/16 – 2017/18) to improve the liveability and amenity of social housing communities.

The SHCIF aims to create better and stronger social housing communities by improving local amenities through the provision of one-off grants to undertake physical improvements on or near to social housing. This includes:

  • improving community facilities
  • enhancing open space or recreational areas
  • increasing accessibility
  • improving resident safety
  • facilitating better integration between social housing and the surrounding community.

Grants of up to $50,000 per project are available. Applicants are encouraged to partner with other local stakeholders to leverage additional resources if needed.

When will applications open for Round Three?

Applications for Round Three are expected to open in March 2017.

If you would like to be notified of the opening of Round Three, please send your contact details to

Who can apply?

The application process is open to:

  • incorporated not-for-profit community organisations,
  • Aboriginal land councils and corporations
  • local councils and
  • incorporated private organisations.

NSW Government agencies are not eligible to apply for funding, including NSW Public Schools.

What is the application process?

Interested applicants are encouraged to apply by submitting an application through the SmartyGrants grants portal at The application form asks for organisation and partner organisation details, project details (such as location), financial information (including quotes, budgets, financial reports) and statements against each assessment criteria.

As per previous rounds, applications for Round Three are expected to be open for six weeks. Applications will not be accepted after the closing date.

How are applications assessed?

There are two assessment stages – eligibility and merit-based assessment.

During the eligibility stage, we will check that:

  • the applicant has Public Liability Insurance with a minimum $5 million cover
  • the applicant is from an eligible organisation, and
  • the proposed project activities are eligible for funding under the Program Guidelines.

Eligible grant applications are then assessed competitively on merit against the Program Assessment Criteria with other projects across NSW. Each application needs to demonstrate that the proposed project:

  • physically improves the liveability and amenity adjacent to, or on, social housing communities or sites
  • provides benefit to social housing tenants and the local community
  • collaborates with, and involves, social housing tenants and the local community
  • Partners with other community stakeholders, and, where possible, leverages additional resources
  • can be maintained to sustain community benefit
  • can be delivered within the proposed budget, and
  • can be completed within 12 months.

The applicant must demonstrate that they have the capacity and experience to deliver the project.

All proposed projects are required to indicate whether they have sought approval from the appropriate land owner/s. This approval must be secured prior to the issuing of a funding agreement.

All projects must be completed in line with all relevant standards and building codes, where required.

More Information

If you have any questions or want to talk to someone about this grant program, you can call the SHCIF hotline on 1800 379 184 or email