Community and Private Market Housing Directorate

About Community Housing

Community housing is one of the three ways social housing is provided in NSW, along with public housing and Aboriginal housing.

As with public and Aboriginal housing, community housing offers secure, affordable rental housing for people on very low to moderate incomes, who have a housing need.

Registered community housing providers are generally not-for-profit organisations managed by a Board of Directors. They manage the properties that they own and also manage other properties that are owned by the government, or that are rented from private landlords with government funding. They may also manage properties for various entities on a fee for service basis.

As at June 2016, there are 82 registered not-for-profit community housing organisations, including housing associations, housing co-operatives, churches and other community organisations. Community housing providers manage around 28,000 properties (including general, transitional and crisis properties), which accounts for approximately 19% of the social housing in New South Wales.

Community housing tenants are tenants of the housing provider, not of FACS. Surveys show that community housing tenants are very satisfied with their homes and services. FACS also monitors the performance of community housing providers to ensure they continue to provide quality services to tenants.

Types of community housing

There are a number of different types of community housing providers, including:

  • General Social Housing Providers – these providers  offer secure, long term housing services and also link clients to specialist support from other community organisations in response to the needs of their tenants and the local community
  • Specialist Homelessness Services – these providers provide short term crisis accommodation and/or short to medium term transitional housing to support people who are in crisis, homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.

Some community housing providers also provide affordable housing for households on low-to-moderate incomes.  

Community housing providers are registered

Under Community Housing Providers (Adoption of National Law) Act 2012 (NSW) a community housing provider must be registered with the Registrar of Community Housing to receive assistance from a Housing Agency. The Registrar is responsible for registering and regulating community housing providers. The Registrar reports directly to the Minister for Family and Community Services.

The National Regulatory Code sets out the performance requirements that providers must comply with under the National Law. It focuses on the achievement of outcomes in the following areas:

  • Tenant and housing services
  • Housing assets
  • Community engagement
  • Governance
  • Probity
  • Management
  • Financial viability.

Eligibility for community housing

People who are eligible for public housing are also eligible for community housing. There are different criteria for eligibility for affordable housing, crisis accommodation and transitional housing. For more information see the Community Housing Eligibility Policy.