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MOU between City of Sydney and Housing NSW

The City of Sydney Council and Housing NSW entered into a Memorandum of Understanding on 14 July 2009 to “work collaboratively with residents and the community to significantly improve the amenity, safety, health and well-being of residents living in and around public housing areas.” Below is the text of that agreement extracted by Optical Character Recognition (OCR) from a copy of that agreement. While all care has been taken to provide an accurate copy REDWatch makes no guarantee that the copy is error free and it is provided here as a community service so residents are aware of the agreement and the areas covered by it.

Memorandum of Understanding

Between the City of Sydney and HOUSING NEW SOUTH WALES

2009 - 2012


The City of Sydney (City) is a capital city council which is responsible for the commercial, financial and cultural hub of the greater Sydney area. The City's community includes around 150,000 residents, 350,000 workers and more than 450,000 daily visitors, as well as other government agencies, arts and cultural organisations and community based service providers.

The City's local government area is complex and unique. It is a dynamic area that includes some of the most socio-economically diverse communities in the state including significant concentrations of wealth and advantage, alongside social housing and disadvantage.

Housing NSW manages the New South Wales Government housing portfolio. Its purpose is to help build stronger communities by providing housing solutions for people in need. Housing NSW services include property and tenancy management of public housing, community regeneration initiatives and broader social housing policy development.

As at November 2008, there are 8,879 public housing dwellings located in the City with concentrations in the following seven suburbs: Redfern, Waterloo, Woolloomooloo, Glebe, Millers Point, Erskineville and Surry Hills.

The public housing includes:

  • major presence of clients with complex needs.
  • predominantly medium and high density housing form.
  • large concentrations of public housing.
  • a significant portion of Housing NSW high-rise asset base.

Whilst social housing was once dominated by low income working families, it now houses a community characterised by cultural diversity, an aging population, families and single people with nearly 95% of residents in receipt of income support.

These communities are often vulnerable and require resource-intensive and integrated responses and interventions from different tiers of government and service providers, business and the broader community.

This Memorandum of Understanding aims to strengthen the relationship between the City and Housing NSW by establishing protocols for collaborative planning and service delivery to public housing and surrounding communities.


The responsibilities of the City and Housing NSW are identified in NSW Government commitments and legislation and City and Housing NSW policies. The section below, whilst outlining many of the key legislative, policy and priority frameworks and plans, is not intended to be an exhaustive list.

City of Sydney

Local Government Act 1993

The City's Charter under the Local Government Act 1993 requires the City to take responsibility for managing public land.

Children (Protection and Parental Responsibility) Act 1997

Statutory basis by which Local Government develops community safety and crime prevention plans and co-ordinates responses with the community and other agencies.

Corporate Plan 2007 — 2010

The Corporate Plan aims to devise compassionate, progressive and effective programs that respond to the diverse needs of people within the local government area.

Social Plan 2006 — 2010

The Social Plan acknowledges the rights of all individuals to equal access to services, facilities and public spaces within the city and promotes fairness in the distribution of resources, particularly for those most in need. Community safety is one of the eight priority issues identified in the Social Plan.

Sustainable Sydney 2030

Sustainable Sydney 2030 has a vision of a Green, Global, Connected City, and is not just about the physical environment, but also links the economy, cultures and equal participation as well, and how addressing each, with bold ideas and good governance, will result in better outcomes for current and future communities, including all public housing communities.

Safe City Strategy 2007-2012

The Safe City Strategy provides an overarching framework for the City, with Police and other agencies to tackle a complex range of crime and safety issues. Key objectives include the reduction of crime and anti-social behaviour and the aim to tackle complex crime and safety issues in areas of public housing. A key recommendation from the City's Safe City Strategy has been the appointment of a Public Housing Liaison Officer and a proposal to develop a Public Housing Community Safety Plan.

Housing NSW

Housing Act 2001

Housing NSW operates under the Housing Act 2001 and administers the act through it's services, policies and staff.

NSW Government State Plan

The State Plan: A New Direction for NSW, released in November 2006, sets out the priorities for Government action over the next 10 years.

Housing NSW Corporate Plan 2007/08 — 2009/10

The Housing NSW Corporate Plan was developed in line with the. NSW State Plan. Housing NSW contributes directly to a range of State Plan priorities including housing affordability, reduced levels of anti-social behaviour, increased participation and integration in community activities, and increased outcomes in mental health.

Residential Tenancies Act 1997

Requires Housing NSW to maintain the rights of tenants' especially in relation to security, safety and amenity.

Housing and Human Services Accord 2007

Outlines how Housing NSW will work with ten NSW Government agencies to assist to better respond to the public housing residents with complex needs through a shared access framework and new service models.

New Directions in Social Housing for Older Persons 2006

Guides responses to specific target groups.

High Rise Strategy 2006

Guides responses to specific precincts.

The Good Neighbour Policy 2007

Guide to local tenants' allocations policy and dispute resolution mechanisms.

NSW Interagency Guidelines For Child Protection Intervention 2006

Guidelines for human service agencies, such as Housing NSW, around working with children, young people and families when there are child protection concerns.

Memorandum of Understanding with the NSW Police 1994

Joint Guarantee of Service with Mental Health Services 1995

Outlines the ways in which Housing NSW, Police and mental health services will work together to support tenancies and communities.

Both the City of Sydney and Housing NSW may continue to develop and amend any policies during the period addressed by this memorandum of Understanding


City and Housing NSW will work collaboratively with residents and the community to significantly improve the amenity, safety, health and well-being of residents living in and around public housing areas.


Housing NSW and the City agree to implement this Memorandum of Understanding in a 'spirit of cooperation, based on commitments to:

  • A common interest in the. amenity, safety and the social well-being of residents in the local government area.
  • A significant and complementary role in urban and social planning and the development of sustainable local communities and villages.
  • An agreement that strengthens community capacity, supports social cohesion, ensures equity and values environmental sustainability.
  • Develop strategies to address issues in the short term while taking action to prevent issues from arising.
  • Operating within the policy, capacity and resource constraints of each party.


This Memorandum of Understanding is intended to strengthen the working relationship between the City and Housing NSW by developing processes to:

  • Increase social cohesion and improve quality of life in and around public housing properties and areas through specific and measurable indicators and practical outcomes.
  • Clarify the roles and responsibilities of the City and Housing NSW in planning for and delivering services and programs to public housing communities within the local government area.
  • Enhance communication between the City, Housing NSW and the local public housing communities.
  • Strengthen the planning, coordination and targeted delivery of services and programs for the benefit of public housing tenants and communities.
  • Address safety in and around public housing properties and communities.
  • Support community development initiatives with residents in and around concentrated public housing communities.
  • Develop joint work processes and programs to maximise efficiency and avoid confusion and duplication.
  • Provide joint advice and submissions to other levels of government or external organisations, where appropriate, on common concerns and needs for the benefit of local public housing communities.

Strategic Working Group


The City and Housing NSW agree to establish a Strategic Working Group to provide strategic advice, monitoring and reporting across areas of service delivery including planning, waste management, compliance, community development and related policy and strategic direction.

Strategic Working Group Membership

The Strategic Working Group will consist of membership from Housing NSW and the City as follows:

City of Sydney                                  

Director, Community Living

Manager, Social Policy and Community Support

Public Housing Liaison Officer

Housing NSW

Area Director(s)

Director, Service Improvement

Director, Resource Planning

The Director Community Living and the Area Directors - inner City and Inner West (Areas A and C) will play a lead role in overseeing the implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding within their respective agencies, including secretariat support and coordination of representation of relevant participants at the Strategic Working Group.

The Strategic Working Group will meet regularly as required and may call upon additional representation from the City and Housing NSW depending on the issues to be discussed.

The Strategic Working Group will be chaired and secretariat support provided by Housing NSW and the City on a roster as agreed by the Strategic Working Group.

We agree to the terms and conditions contained in this Memorandum of Understanding.

Monica Barone - Chief Executive Officer City of Sydney 14.7.09

Kathy Roil - General Manager Central Sydney Housing Services Division Housing NSW 14.7.09

[Text extracted by Optical Character Recognition from a copy of the agreement and some OCR errors may exist – REDWatch]