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Innovation helps build social housing certainty

Last published on 23 Apr 2020 in News

Community Housing Providers (CHPs) will have greater contractual certainty, to enhance the delivery of social housing outcomes, through a new initiative by the NSW Government.

A change in contractual arrangements offered by the NSW Land and Housing Corporation (LAHC) will open the door for CHPs to transition from existing three-year general social housing leases, to 20-year leases on their LAHC owned portfolio.

NSW Minister for Water, Property and Housing Melinda Pavey announced the initiative today by opening an Expression of Interest process, calling for applications from interested CHPs.

A staged implementation process will initially focus on Tier One CHPs that express interest in taking-up the 20-year leases, for which LAHC will review and determine their eligibility to transition around 14,000 properties to 20-year leases.

Stage two will see a review of the suitability for Tier Two and Tier Three CHPs to transition to 20-year leases, covering approximately 1400 properties.

Minister Pavey said this significant increase (about 570 per cent) in the prescribed time-frame for leases will provide greater certainty in contractual obligations between LAHC and CHPs.

“During this difficult time we are creating greater certainty for our Community Housing Providers for rental income, by allowing them to carry out 10 year asset maintenance planning, which is essential in a life cycle maintenance approach,” Mrs Pavey said.

“A 20-year lease will enable CHPs to consider leveraging more secure longer-term revenue streams, to grow their portfolio, employ more people and engage with financiers and investors, to ultimately deliver higher quality homes.”

Minister for Families, Communities and Disability Services Gareth Ward said this initiative followed the successful transfer late last year of 14,000 properties to nine CHPs, under the

Social Housing Management Transfer program.

“In partnership, our Government is strategically managing outcomes to deliver benefits for the community housing sector,” Mr Ward said.

Supporting a stronger community housing sector is all about supporting better options for tenants that deliver a wealth of opportunities and experiences.”