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Types of Community Housing Assistance

Community housing has a proven track record in providing good quality housing for households across NSW. The housing services available tend to fall into three categories:

  • General housing
  • Crisis and emergency accommodation
  • Services for renting privately.   

General Housing Services

Community housing is good quality, secure, affordable housing for households who are eligible for public housing.  This means that that anyone applying for community housing should meet the income criteria and have a housing need.  Quite often, households applying for community housing also have other needs that gives them a housing priority. 

Crisis and other Emergency Accommodation

In addition to general housing, the Community & Private Market Housing Directorate also funds housing for people who are homeless, at risk of becoming homeless and who are in crisis. These can be short-term crisis housing for people who are in immediate crisis or are at great risk of becoming homeless. This may be because of domestic violence, abuse, mental health illnesses or other reasons. 


The Community & Private Market Housing Directorate also funds other, medium term transitional housing. This housing is for people who have been in crisis and are ready to move on to more stable accommodation. 


If you are in crisis, or know someone who is in crisis and would like some help, please contact your nearest Housing NSW Office. Alternatively, you can contact:

Services for Renting Privately

For a lot of people, public and community housing is unnecessary, in the wrong place or an option not available.  For these households, renting privately is a suitable housing choice.  However, renting privately, particularly for the first time, can be difficult.  To help households who wish to rent privately, the Community & Private Market Housing Directorate funds some very useful services. 


Rentstart assists people to rent privately, by giving them some financial assistance at the start of their tenancy.  To be eligible for Rentstart you have to be eligible for public housing


Rentstart is administered by Housing NSW.  For more information about how to apply and eligibility please contact your local housing office.

Tenancy Guarantees

The Tenancy Guarantee is a product developed by the Community & Private Market Housing Directorate. It is designed to encourage private sector landlords and estate agents to grant tenancies to people who might otherwise be denied access to the private rental market.


A Tenancy Guarantee provides up to $1,000 (including GST) compensation to landlords/agents over and above the rental bond, for rent arrears and property damage, subject to certain conditions.


A Tenancy Guarantee can help overcome barriers to accessing the private rental market resulting from lack of a tenancy history (e.g. young people, DV victims, new migrants, refugees), a poor tenancy history, or discrimination because of age, race, sexuality, disability, gender or family composition (single parents or large families).


Tenancy Guarantees are currently issued by nine Community Housing Associations. These are:

Wentworth Area Community Housing

Operating in Penrith, St Marys, Blue Mountains and the Hawkesbury.

Hume Community Housing

Operating in Fairfield, Liverpool, Campbelltown, Picton and Camden

Sapphire Coast Community Tenancy Scheme

Operating in Bega, Eden, Merimbula.

Community Housing Limited

Operates nationally

Southern Cross Community Housing

Operating in Nowra, Shoalhaven and St George’s Basin

The Housing Trust, Illawarra


Compass Housing Services

Operates in Newcastle, Lake Macquarie, Gosford, Wyong, Maitland, Port Stephens, Cessnock, Singleton, Scone, Muswellbrook and Broken Hill

Anglicare North Coast

Operating in Maclean and Grafton.

North Coast Community Housing

Operates in Lismore, Grafton, Tweed Heads

Homes Out West

Operating in Albury and Deniliquin


Private Rental Brokerage Service project officers can also issue Tenancy Guarantees to their clients.

Target Clients

Tenancy Guarantees are available to people who:

  • meet Housing NSW income eligibility requirements;
  • are seeking and have been denied access to the private rental market;
  • have been assessed as having the ability to sustain a private sector tenancy;
  • do not have a debt from a previous Tenancy Guarantee;
  • accept liability for payment of any claim arising from their Tenancy Guarantee.

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Last modified: Thursday, 13 November 2014
Housing NSW © 2015Date last modified: Thursday, 13 November 2014