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Department of Family and Community Services (FACS) Housing Agency Information Guide
Date last amended: 21 August 2017
Our Agency Information Guide will tell you about:
- Our function
- Our structure
- The services we provide to the people of NSW
- The kind of government information we will make available to you
- How you can access this information
- If there are charges related to the information you are seeking
Structure and functions
FACS Housing is a part of the NSW Department of Family and Community Services.
FACS Housing operates under the Housing Act 2001 and the Community Housing Providers (Adoption of National Law) Act 2012 to manage the NSW Government’s social housing portfolio and develop broader housing strategies for the people of NSW. The Housing Act 2001 and the Community Housing Providers (Adoption of National Law) Act 2012 are administered by the Minister for Family and Community Services.
The organisational structure of FACS is: FACS organisational structure.
Our Goal under NSW 2021: A Plan to make NSW Number One (Goal 13) is to Better Protect the most vulnerable members of our community and break the cycle of disadvantage.
We will do this through:
- Supporting people who are at risk of homelessness
- Providing housing assistance for people on low income or who are unable to access or maintain appropriate housing
- Developing and growing the affordable housing market and building the non government sector
- Providing services that support our goals and are provided in a manner that delivers best value for government money
We are working towards:
- Providing early intervention strategies to prevent people entering the cycle of homelessness and disadvantage
- Ensuring that homeless people have access to housing and are able to sustain a tenancy
- Providing appropriate and sustainable social housing
- Integrating social housing into communities
- Increasing access to clean, safe and habitable housing
- Delivering quality customer service
- Implementing sustainable business practices
We work with government, non-government and community partners to address homelessness in NSW. We manage the tenancies attached to the NSW public housing portfolio on behalf of the NSW Land and Housing Corporation, support community housing and crisis accommodation and manage Aboriginal public housing for the Aboriginal Housing Office.
We play a key role in developing policy and supporting relationships to increase access to clean, safe and habitable housing across NSW as well as providing a range of services to help people move into the private rental market and home ownership.
FACS Housing actively encourages tenants to get involved and play a part in shaping the delivery of public housing by supporting Tenant Participation Resource Services. For further information you may wish to access the FACS Tenant Participation Resources Services Program web page.
Registrar of Community Housing
FACS Housing is the portfolio agency for the Registrar of Community Housing, an independent statutory officer responsible for administering the regulatory system for Community Housing providers. As part of Open Access Information, the Registrar will make available at no cost to the public various information from the Registrar for Community Housing website.
The services we provide to the people of New South Wales
FACS Housing is the largest provider of social housing in Australia and provides safe affordable housing options for people that may need assistance in securing accommodation.
We do this by providing:
- Public housing
FACS Housing manages public housing tenancies in NSW. We provide a range of housing solutions to meet the housing needs of clients in partnership with the industry, individuals and community.
Our highest priority is to target assistance to those with the greatest needs by providing decent, safe and affordable housing opportunities so that those people can live with dignity and achieve sustainable futures. We will work with other agencies to support individuals and communities and, are committed to achieving this with fairness and integrity. FACS Housing will continue with its commitment to making a sustainable difference to social outcomes.
- Community housing
Community housing is one of the three ways social housing is provided in NSW. The others are Public housing and Aboriginal housing. Community housing properties are either owned by the Government or rented from private landlords with Government funding and managed by non government community housing providers, or directly owned by the community provider.
For further information go to: Community Housing website.
- Aboriginal housing
We provide property and tenancy management for properties owned by the Aboriginal Housing Office.
For further information go to: Aboriginal Housing Office website
- Housing Pathways
A common access system providing simplified client access to social housing and/or private rental assistance through a single application process. Applications can be made for both public and community housing; a single register of social housing applications and private rental products.
For further information go to: Housing Pathways website
- Rental assistance
We provide bond and rental assistance for social housing eligible families or singles on low incomes wanting to secure a property in the private rental market. For further information go to: Housing Pathways website
- Housing Appeals Committee
The Housing Appeals Committee (HAC) is the independent appeals agency for social housing clients in NSW. Clients that do not agree with a decision made by FACS Housing or Community Housing can apply to the HAC to have the decision reviewed. The process is simple, quick, easy and free of charge to clients.
For further information go to: Housing Appeals Committee website or Free call on 1800 629 794
- Linking support services
The development of partnerships with other government agencies and community organisations to support households with special needs living in social housing.
- Special assistance
The provision of private rental subsidies for people with the highest needs who have a disability or are at risk in their current accommodation.
- Home purchase assistance
Advice and financial assistance for home buyers.
- Temporary accommodation
The provision of assistance for people who have been made homeless because of an emergency, personal circumstances or are victims of domestic and family violence.
- Affordable housing
The development of low cost housing options with the not-for-profit and private sector.
For further information go to: The Centre for Affordable Housing website
- Community Renewal
Specific initiatives to reduce concentrations of disadvantage in social housing areas and build more sustainable communities
- Specialist Homelessness Services
Specialist Homelessness Services make services easier to access and help tackle the causes of repeat homelessness.
For further information go to the: Specialist Homelessness Services website.
The kind of information we will make available to you:
FACS Housing will make available to you at no cost on this website (www.housing.nsw.gov.au).
"Open Access Information"
- FACS Annual Reports
- All documents tabled in Parliament
- Policy documents
- Fact sheets
- FACS Code of Ethical Conduct
- Ministerial Media Releases
- Ministerial Travel
If you are unable to access this information from our website at www.housing.nsw.gov.au you may contact your local FACS Office or the Right to Information Unit on (02) 9716 2662 to assist you.
Pro-actively released information
FACS Housing will pro-actively make available free of charge to you on this website a range of additional information including the following:
- Reports, Plans & Papers Overview
- News & Newsletters Overview
- Expected Waiting Times Overview
- FACS Statistics
- Specialist Homelessness Services
Informal request for information
If you require other information that you were not able to find on our website or have any questions relating to the informal release of information, you may contact the Right to Information Unit on (02) 9716 2662 who will assist you.
FACS Housing reserves the right to ask you to lodge a formal access application in accordance the with Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009.
Other information that may generally be made available to you in response to an informal request and at no cost to you includes:
- Information that has been made publicly available in the past
- Copy of your Tenancy Agreement with FACS Housing
- Property Condition Report relating to your tenancy
- Copy of your Rental Account Statement
- Copy of a letter you provided to FACS Housing
- Copy of your completed housing assistance forms
Information available to you via MyHousing Online Account and Information Service
If you have applied for social housing and are on the NSW Housing Register, you can update your contact details and view your housing application details.
If you are a FACS Housing tenant, you can update your contact details, view your rent and water accounts, print your transactions and accounts history and make secure payments.
If you previously had a tenancy with FACS and have a current balance on your account, or if you have a current Rentstart Bond Loan, you can also update your contact details and make payments online.
For more information on how to register see: MyHousing online services.
Formal Access request (previously known as Freedom of Information requests)
You have a legal right to lodge an access application with FACS Housing relating to other information. Access applications formerly known as (Freedom of Information requests) are subject to fees and charges. See Formal Access Application form and Policy.
There is certain information that FACS Housing cannot release regardless of a formal access request. Information that will not be released is prescribed in Schedule 1 of the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 and includes the following:
- Cabinet Information
- Executive Council Information
- Legal Professional Privilege
A formal access application may be made for other government information including but not limited to all your records relating to your tenancy with FACS Housing or information relating to other housing assistance you may have received from us. On occasions there will be information that will not be released if there is an overriding public interest against disclosure.
For further information or assistance you may contact the Right to Information Unit on (02) 9716 2662.
The Information and Privacy Commission NSW
The Information and Privacy Commission NSW was established as part of the new right to information regime in New South Wales and is administered by the Information Commissioner and the Privacy Commissioner.
The role of the Information Commissioner includes but is not limited to:
- Promoting public awareness
- Assisting with the understanding of the GIPA Act
- Providing assistance and training to government agencies
- Investigating agency systems, policies and best practices
- Has broad powers to investigate complaints and conduct reviews
- Makes recommendations to agencies in relation to complaints and reviews
- It also has the power to propose legislative or administrative change
- Reports to the Minister responsible on compliance with the GIPA Act
You may obtain further information from the Information and Privacy Commission NSW at www.ipc.nsw.gov.au.