Social Housing Community Improvement Fund

Applications for SHCIF Round 3 have been extended to Wednesday, 5pm, 24 May 2017.

For more information, and for examples of successful projects from Round 1 and 2, read the SHCIF Applicant Pack.


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.

Future Directions sets out a range of initiatives to support stronger and safer communities with improved amenity, community facilities and physical environments, including the Social Housing Community Improvement Fund.

Improving liveability, strengthening communities

The NSW Government is supporting local organisations to build stronger social housing communities across NSW through one-off grants between $2,000 and $50,000 under the Social Housing Community Improvement Fund (SHCIF). Funding is provided for projects that make physical improvements, including construction of new capital works, or refurbishment, upgrade and repairs of existing facilities and public spaces to benefit social housing residents.

So far the NSW Government has approved a wide range of projects including community gardens, park upgrades, communal space improvements and other projects which bring together social housing tenants and the surrounding community.

This page lists projects funded under SHCIF 2016 - Round Two.

This page lists projects funded under SHCIF 2015 - Round One.

To read case studies and see photos from successful projects from Rounds 1 and 2, head to the page ‘Successful SHCIF projects – Case studies ’.

Across the first two rounds of SHCIF, $10.2 million has been approved for nearly 300 projects across the state. Successful applicants have committed an additional $13 million in cash and in-kind resources.

Applications now open for Round 3

FACS invites organisations to apply in Round 3. Applications have been extended until 5PM, Wednesday 24th May. Late applications will not be accepted.

To ensure your project proposal meets the program guidelines, read the following documents:

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. Schools as Community Centres may seek grant funding where a non-government organisation is listed as the applicant (including ABN details).

What type of projects could be funded?

One-off grants, between $2,000 and $50,000 per project, are available for physical improvement projectsin or close to social housing communities, or at facilities and areas frequently used by social housing tenants.

Types of work that will be considered for funding include the contribution to construction of new capital works, and refurbishment and repairs of existing facilities.

Grants are for projects that:

  • improve community facilities;
  • enhance open space;
  • improve resident safety;
  • increase accessibility for older people or people with a disability to promote use of community facilities; and
  • allow for integration between social housing and the surrounding community.

Priority will be given to projects that:

  • bring additional resources to leverage the SHCIF funding;
  • attract clubs, sporting and other organisations to deliver additional services and programs;
  • maximise the benefit of asset improvements by linking to work being undertaken by local councils, NGOs or the private sector; and
  • enhance existing projects to deliver the aims of the funding.

Organisations may submit more than one application for different project sites.

Projects are required to be completed within a 12 month timeframe.

How do I apply?

Applications can be made online at https://socialhousing.smartygrants.com.au/SHCIF2017.

The SHCIF application form asks applicants to describe their project activities, deliverables and budget, and how the project will benefit social housing communities. At different points in the application you will be asked to attach documents including:

  • a copy of the organisation’s financial statements;
  • evidence of partnerships (e.g. letters of support);
  • quotes;
  • development approval (where relevant); and
  • certificates of currency for public liability and other relevant insurances.

The program encourages all applicants to liaise with the land owner/s or lease holder regarding their projects. However this is not mandatory in order to apply for the grant.

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 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, or at facilities frequently used by social housing tenants;
  • provides benefit to social housing tenants, including facilitating better interaction between 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 adequately maintained without SHCIF funding to sustain community benefit;
  • can be delivered within the proposed budget; and
  • can be completed within 12 months of the FACS signed funding agreement.

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 before the funding agreement is executed.

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 SHCIF@facs.nsw.gov.au.