An ambitious reform to tackle the state’s housing crisis has been delivered with the official launch of Homes NSW, with one of its first tasks to turbocharge the construction, maintenance and repair of social and affordable homes across the Wyong electorate.
Member for Wyong David Harris said the move marked a once-in-a-generation reform to the largest public housing agency in the southern hemisphere and an important first step to rebuild a broken public housing system.
He said the former government’s system was “fractured”, splitting up maintenance, tenant management and homelessness services, making it incredibly confusing and difficult for people to navigate.
Homes NSW will bring together the housing and homelessness services of the NSW Department of Communities and Justice (DCJ) with NSW Land and Housing Corporation (LAHC), the NSW Aboriginal Housing Office (AHO) and key worker housing all under one roof – making the system more efficient and accessible.
Harris said the transformation would help those who need it most, at a time when the need for social and affordable housing had never been greater.
“Across the Wyong electorate I hear from the residents how the previous agency was confusing and complex,” he said.
“Bringing together these agencies under the one roof is something to be proud of and will make things easier for residents in the Wyong electorate.
“We need safe and good quality homes in the community for those who need it most and this is a welcome step forward.”
Homes NSW will: turbocharge and streamline the building and maintenance of all publicly owned and operated social homes across the Wyong electorate; simplify and fix tenancy services, including maintenance, support, allocation of properties and transfers to improve outcomes for tenants and the tenant experience; focus on providing important homelessness services, with the goal of creating a state where experiences of homelessness are rare, brief, and not repeated; and drive collaboration between the NSW Government, the Federal Government, sector experts and peak bodies, local councils and Community Housing Providers to work closer together than ever before to address the state’s housing and homelessness crisis.
This work will include: ensuring NSW is in the best position to make use of the $10B Housing Australia Future Fund that provides funding to create thousands of new social and affordable homes across the state; bringing the housing maintenance call centre back into public hands; and addressing the rising number of rough sleepers in the Wyong electorate by better incorporating homelessness services and a clear commitment to the principles of housing first.
“You can’t tackle the housing crisis if you don’t have a strong social and affordable housing system,” Minister for Housing and Homelessness Rose Jackson said.
“We need safe, good quality, accessible homes for people who need them most.
“Homes NSW is a crucial part of this work.
“Adequate housing is a basic human right and Homes NSW will be the driver of much needed and long overdue reform to the social and affordable housing sector.
“For too long, social housing in this state has been neglected – simple issues such as a leaking tap or even the ability to register on the waitlist have been unnecessarily complicated.
‘’That’s why this overhaul is needed.
“We’re breaking the chains of bureaucracy and empowering our tenants, as well as those who are in need of emergency housing, or on the social housing waitlist.
“The creation of a single agency to manage social and affordable housing and homelessness services is a common-sense approach and is positioned to provide support to the people who need it most.”