Joint review of community housing regulation begins to drive investment and improve outcomes

The Commonwealth and New South Wales (NSW) Governments have jointly announced a comprehensive review of the National Regulatory System for Community Housing (the Review).

Commonwealth Minister for Families and Social Services, Paul Fletcher, NSW Minister for Social Housing, Pru Goward, and Commonwealth Assistant Minister for Social Services, Housing and Disability Services, Sarah Henderson, have jointly announced the Review.

The Commonwealth and the NSW Government will lead the Review, which is designed to drive greater investment in community housing supply and better outcomes for tenants.

“The Commonwealth is contributing $1.1 million, with state and territory governments providing equivalent in-kind support,” Mr Fletcher said.

“The Review will help to leverage private sector financing and other market innovations such as the Australian Government’s Affordable Housing Bond Aggregator to provide lower cost and longer tenure finance to community housing providers.”

NSW Minister for Social Housing Pru Goward said the Review is vital to supporting an innovative and adaptable community housing sector.

“This Review will result in a stronger and better regulated Community housing sector, which means more choice, opportunity and support for vulnerable people,” Ms Goward said.

“A better regulated community housing sector will also mean better outcomes for tenants.”

Ms Henderson welcomed the Review and said she hoped it would encourage her home state of Victoria to participate in the National Regulatory System for Community Housing.

“I hope that Victoria and Western Australia will join the National Regulatory System for Community Housing following this Review, which will improve its effectiveness and ultimately deliver better community housing outcomes across Australia,” Ms Henderson said.

The Review will:

  • ensure the regulatory framework will continue to support the growth of the community housing sector into the future;
  • secure a national system; and
  • improve data and governance arrangements.

A Working Group of Commonwealth and state and territory officials is undertaking the Review in three stages. The Review is expected to be completed in late 2019.

The Working Group today released a discussion paper to support the first stage of the Review and encourage public submissions in response to the issues raised in the paper. The discussion paper is available on the NSW Department of Family and Community Services website (NSW FACS): https://www.facs.nsw.gov.au/__data/assets/word_doc/0018/640701/NRSCH-Review-Discussion-Paper.docx.

The Review will be supported by an expert panel to provide high-quality guidance and technical advice to the Working Group. Expressions of Interest are sought for members, with further information available on the NSW FACS website: https://www.facs.nsw.gov.au/about/reforms/NRSCH/review-of-the-national-regulatory-system-for-community-housing.