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Homes NSW Launch Statement

This is the media statement of 2 February 2024, issued by Minister Rose Jackson, about the launching of Homes NSW.

Homes NSW will rebuild the social and affordable housing system in NSW 

An ambitious reform and key election commitment to tackle the state's housing crisis has been delivered with the official launch of Homes NSW, putting people back at the heart of housing and roofs over their heads.

This marks a once-in-a-generation reform to largest public housing agency in the southern hemisphere and an important first step to rebuild a broken public housing system.

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.

Homes NSW has also been tasked with turbocharging the construction, maintenance and repair of social and affordable homes across our state.

This transformation will help those who need it most, at a time when the need for social and affordable housing has never been greater.

Homes NSW will:

  • turbocharge and streamline the building and maintenance of all publicly owned and operated social homes across NSW.
  • 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.
  • 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 $10 billion 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 – a once-in-a-generation opportunity to overhaul the way maintenance is administered across the state's social housing properties and slash unnecessary bureaucracy
    • addressing the rising number of rough sleepers in NSW by better incorporating homelessness services and a clear commitment to the principles of housing first – you can’t solve homelessness if you don’t have homes for people to live in.

Since March 2023, the NSW Government has shown that is willing to work across all levels of both the public and private sectors, as well as the ability to think outside the box in addressing the state’s housing crisis, which includes:

  • the creation of a pilot project for 3 sites at North Parramatta, whereby the NSW Government put to tender the search for a Community Housing Provider as a development partner, a process that mirrors one of the ways we will partner with CHPs in NSW for the HAFF
  • immediate use of the Federal Government’s Social Housing Accelerator Fund, which has already seen hundreds of vacant homes refurbished and brought back online
  • a state-wide audit of public and crown land to find surplus land that can be used to deliver much-needed homes for those in need
  • significant planning reforms to cut through red tape at both local and state levels to slash delays and get the construction industry moving and building homes for people in need.

Minister for Housing and Homelessness Rose Jackson said:

“You can’t tackle the housing crisis if you don’t have a strong social and affordable housing system – 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.

“I am sick and tired of public housing being the 'worst house on the block'. NSW will rebuild a broken system, properly repair homes and better support our people which means we can build better communities and neighbourhoods.

“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.”

Homes NSW Chief Executive Rebecca Pinkstone said:

"I look forward to the challenge of building a thriving social and affordable housing sector in NSW.

“Homes NSW will deliver on the promise of more and better social and affordable housing in NSW. Our aim is to create the best social housing system in the country. We will work in partnership to maximise homes on the ground, reduce instances of homelessness and deliver a quality housing service for our residents.”