The NSW government has celebrated the successful transferal of some 14,000 social housing tenancy management tenders to community housing providers.
The program, which was finalised with Hume Community Housing assuming tenancy management of the Maitland/Port Stephens area in early September, was celebrated at NSW Parliament today.
The nine community housing providers now managing public housing under the Social Housing Management Transfer (SHMT) program were in attendance, as well as the NSW minister for families, communities and disability services, Gareth Ward MP.
Mr Ward congratulated the providers for winning the competitive tenders to manage housing portfolios across Sydney and NSW for the next 20 years, saying the transition they had facilitated was as smooth as any other global example he had witnessed.
“You are to be commended for your passion, your dedication to helping vulnerable people and to making this transfer work,” he said.
The move came as part of the NSW government’s Future Directions for Social Housing program – a 10-year vision for the state’s social housing sector that commenced in 2016.
Prior to the transfer, 19 per cent of the 144,000 social housing properties across NSW were managed by community housing providers including Bridge Housing in the Northern Beaches, Mission Australia Housing in Coffs Harbour and Bellingen and Hume Community Housing in Maitland and Port Stephens.
According to the Family and Community Services website, the completion of changes celebrated today brings that figure up to 32 per cent.
The transfer meets one of the program’s strategic priorities to provide a better overall experience of social housing. The others include the provision of more social housing, and increased support for people to avoid and/or leave social housing.
This transferal of tenancy management from the private to the public was described by Bridge Housing’s chief executive, John Nicolades, as “the biggest single transition of social housing tenancies ever to the community sector anywhere in Australia”.
“[The transfer] has built the capacity of housing providers to operate at scale and enabled many more residents to experience the high customer service standards enjoyed by community housing tenants,” Mr Nicolades added.
The community housing providers managing public housing under the SHMT program are:
- Bridge Housing, in partnership with the Women’s Housing Company: 1,200 properties on the Northern Beaches, Sydney
- Community Housing Limited: 1400 properties on the mid-North Coast
- Compass Housing Services: 1800 properties in the Hunter and North Coast
- Homes North Community Housing: 1700 properties in Northern NSW
- Hume Community Housing: 2200 properties in Maitland and Port Stephens
- Link Housing: 1800 properties on the Upper North Shore, Sydney
- Mission Australia Housing: 1060 properties in Coffs Harbour and Bellingen
- Southern Cross Housing: 960 properties in the Shoalhaven
SGCH (St George Community Housing): 1400 properties in Northern Sydney.