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You are here: Home / UrbanGrowth, SMDA & RWA Plans & Activities / Waterloo Public Housing & Metro Station Redevelopment / LAHC post zoning planning. / Back to basics: Social housing maintenance call centre back in public hands

Back to basics: Social housing maintenance call centre back in public hands

This media statement of 13 November 2023 sets out the major changes proposed to public housing maintenance to come into effect mid 2024. This was a major focus of many questions to the Minister for Homes NSW and the CEO at the REDWatch meeting of 5 February 2024.

The NSW Government will overhaul how social housing maintenance is conducted across 95,000 of the State's social housing properties with a new and ‘simpler’ back to basics model that will focus on quality, accountability, better outcomes for tenants and better value for taxpayers.

The NSW Government will establish a new one stop 'Maintenance Hub' within Homes NSW that will streamline requests for maintenance under one roof.

The current arrangement – privatised by the former government, has a left a maintenance system that is confusing, disjointed and unworkable.

Tenants are bouncing between departments with requests being stalled by bureaucracies and a lack of accountability. 

Homes NSW will triage, scope and issue work orders while the contractors will be the ones to attend site for work delivery.  

Today’s announcement will mean improved responses, with trained experts who can better address tenants’ questions, coordinate work orders and deliver better outcomes for tenants.

For the first time ever, tenants will be able to see the status of their requests with development of a new Maintenance App.

This is about making the process easier to navigate for our tenants while simultaneously allowing maintenance contractors to deliver works under a simplified approach.

The new model will deliver better results for taxpayers by determining costs through a pre-agreed schedule of rates, rather than under a scope and quote process which causes delays to work being undertaken. 

This approach will provide better oversight by putting 'boots on the ground' with technical and inspection staff to return to the field to improve processes and engage with tenants to realise improved maintenance outcomes.

There will also be a strong focus on supporting small businesses, local tradies, and local jobs especially in our regions.

As well as new jobs created for disability and community service providers, Aboriginal trades and businesses and social housing tenants.

The new maintenance hub and app will be operational by mid-2024. 

This is on top $35 million announced in the NSW Budget to help ease the maintenance backlog.

Over the coming months, the NSW Government will begin to actively seek out a number of key partnerships to deliver maintenance for the state’s social housing portfolio, with a specific and simplified directive to focus on the quality and timeliness of delivery of maintenance and repairs.

Premier of New South Wales Chris Minns said:

“This announcement is an important step in simplifying the social housing maintenance system to deliver better outcomes for residents and taxpayers. 

“Everyone deserves access to safe and secure shelter without having to jump through hoops to ensure essential maintenance is done.

“We have a housing crisis in New South Wales, and we are working across the government to address the challenges, including maintaining the liveability of our social housing properties.”

Minister for Housing and Homelessness Rose Jackson said:

“Today’s announcement will restore dignity, respect and hope to our social housing tenants and the social housing system in NSW.

“It is clear the Liberal experiment of out-sourcing jobs and contracts to private providers has failed with soaring wait times for basic maintenance and breeches of contacts rife.”

“We acknowledge that there have been flaws in how maintenance has been addressed in the past and it’s our job to fix that, for now and into the future and that’s why we’re overhauling the current system to ensure a better outcome for our residents.

“This is about putting residents of our social housing properties at the heart of what we do because everyone deserves to live in a safe and secure home and this new approach to how we deliver maintenance will play a vital role in ensuring basic requests are actioned in a timely manner to stop the risk of homes falling into disrepair.

“Homes NSW will bring social housing delivery, maintenance and tenancy management under the one roof, to ensure tenants no longer fall through the cracks trying to get basic issues resolved.

Member for East Hills Kylie Wilkinson said:

“Fixing the maintenance system will play a vital role in rebuilding our broken housing system. For too long residents have had to navigate a heavily bureaucratic and confusing system to have basic maintenance requests addressed.

“This announcement today is a strong step in the right direction to creating processes that put people first."