Community Housing in Tasmania
Community housing comprises a diverse range of affordable housing options to low-medium income tenants. As the name implies, the aim of community housing is to provide a sustainable tenant community, and to “increase social capital by encouraging local communities to take a more active role in providing affordable housing” (Steering Committee Report p16). This is achieved in part through providing quality stock, tenancy support, tenancy consultation and involvement, and long-term stability.
Community housing is rapidly growing in Tasmania under the State’s Better Housing Futures program. The legal title of most community housing stock remains with Housing Tasmania, but properties are leased and managed by not-for-profit agencies that provide both property management and tenancy support. In Tasmania, around 100 different community housing organisations provide 1,500 homes (DHHS “Community Housing”). The regional breakdown of community housing is almost identical to that of public housing (Steering Committee, Report Table 16.2).
Under the National Affordable Housing Agreement (NAHA) and the National Building Economic Stimulus—Social Housing Initiative, the Tasmanian Government is obliged to transfer public housing stock to community housing providers. In October 2011, the Tasmanian Government announced its intention to transfer the management of approximately 4,000 Housing Tasmania public housing properties to community housing organisations for management, which will equate to approximately one third of Housing Tasmania’s total portfolio (DHHS “Better Housing Futures”). In the first tranche of the transfer process approximately 500 stock in the Rokeby/Clarendon Vale area were transferred for management by Mission Australia. At the time of writing, tenders for the second tranche to manage properties and build new stock in the North West, North and South of the State are being assessed (July 2013).
National Regulatory System of Community Housing
Monday 1 July 2013 saw the start of the new National Regulatory System for Community Housing (NRSCH). 24 Phase 1 providers attended a briefing in Sydney to participate in a six-month period of system testing and evaluation of the registration process, to inform any fine tuning of the system before formal commencement in January 2014. The Phase 1 providers were chosen as a representative sample of community housing providers based on geography, portfolio size, organisational structure and whether they are currently operating in one or more jurisdictions. Ministers also endorsed for public release the National Regulatory System for Community Housing Charter.
Further information is available on the NRSCH website.