Social Housing

Social housing is rental housing provided by not-for-profit, nongovernment or government organisations to assist people who are unable to access suitable accommodation in the private rental market. Social housing includes public, Aboriginal and community housing, as well as other housing assistance products such as bond loans.

The system was developed in the 1940s for working families with low incomes. Today the system supports a different demographic – the most vulnerable people in our community who need a safety net.

Family and Community Services partners with the community, industry and individuals to provide social housing for those most in need so that they can live with dignity, find support and achieve sustainable futures.

Future Directions for Social Housing in NSW

The NSW Government is transforming the current social housing system to break the cycle of disadvantage.

Future Directions for Social Housing in NSW sets out the Government’s vision for social housing over the next 10 years. A vision which will reduce homelessness, provide more housing and support for those needing social housing and provide more support to help people divert from or successfully transition out of the social housing system.

Read more about Future Directions.

Social Housing Management Transfer Program

The NSW Government wants social housing to have a more positive impact on people’s lives. We are bringing more resources into the system to meet growing demand, and increasing the capacity of non-government housing providers.

Between 2018 and 2020 we will increase the share of social housing managed by Community Housing Providers (CHPs) from 19% to almost 35%. The government will still own the properties, and lease them to CHPs to provide tenancy management services.

There are approximately 144,000 social housing properties across NSW and 19 per cent are currently managed by CHPs.

Increasing management of social housing assets by our non-government partners will:

  • See up to an additional 18,000 properties managed locally for the Government by registered community housing organisations
  • leverage community networks to better support vulnerable tenants
  • make the social housing system more sustainable, diverse and dynamic
  • harness Commonwealth Rent Assistance over 20 years that is currently unavailable to the state
  • build the capacity and resources of the community housing sector
  • protect the right to housing, income after rent, and tenancy rights of tenants.

The government introduced a proposal in 2016 to make this transfer automatic.

Please visit the Social Housing Management Transfers Program page for more information.

IPART review of social and affordable housing rent models

In June 2016, the NSW Government asked the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) to review our housing policies to ensure they are fair. The review will focus on how we calculate rent and improve incentives for social housing tenants to work if they can.

The NSW Government will only consider changes that are fair, efficient and result in a better social housing system for tenants.

IPART has now released a draft report which includes recommendations to improve the system and invites comments from stakeholders and tenants. The NSW Government will consider how the recommendations, if implemented, would impact on clients, housing providers and the Government. IPART will publish their final report in mid 2017.

You have the opportunity to contact IPART and have your say if you want to. As the review is independent, you will need to contact IPART directly.

For more information, please visit the IPART website.