What is Community Housing?
Community housing is safe, affordable and secure rental housing provided by not for profit organisations to those who are unable to afford a private rental. Shelter Tas has a list of the main community housing providers in Tasmania, and for further information please contact Housing Connect.
Community housing providers are a key and growing part of the Tasmanian social housing sector. The community housing sector provides 6,056 community housing rental properties, according to the latest data from the 2019 Report on Government Services, which is just under half of all social housing. Community housing providers are not-for-profit organisations and can provide specialist tenancy management, as well as large scale and mixed communities with tenants from all income levels.
Community housing comprises a diverse range of affordable housing options to low-medium income tenants. There are about 100 community housing organisations in Tasmania, ranging from small organisations with only one or two properties, all the way up to not-for-profit organisations managing thousands of properties.
Better Housing Futures
The largest community housing program in Tasmania is Better Housing Futures. Under Better Housing Futures, renters pay the same income based rent as in public housing (below 30% of income) so their housing remains affordable. However, if rent is paid to a community housing provider, the tenant can apply for Commonwealth Rent Assistance and this additional amount is passed on to the community housing provider. The community housing provider uses the additional income to support tenants, provide maintenance and increase stock.
Around 3,926 properties were transferred from public housing to community housing management from 2013 to 2016 under the Better Housing Futures (BHF) program.
The four community housing organisations who manage these properties, and are the largest community housing providers in Tasmania, are:
- Community Housing Ltd – 1,190 properties in northern Launceston, out of a total 1,394 that they manage (CHL Annual Report 2016)
- Housing Choices Tasmania – 1,156 properties in the north-west of Tasmania, out of a total 1,464 that they manage (Housing Choices Tasmania Annual Report 2016)
- Centacare Evolve – 1,065 properties in the Bridgewater area, out of around 1,422 that they manage (Centacare Evolve Annual Report 2016-17, 2017-18)
- Mission Australia – 520 properties in Rokeby and Clarendon Vale (Mission Australia Housing Annual Report 2016)
National Rental Affordability Scheme
Community housing under other programs such as the National Rental Affordability Scheme uses a rent model that charges less than 75% of market rent. This provides a discount to tenants, but there is still a risk that a household can experience housing stress, especially if household composition or income changes.
Other Types of Community Housing
Indigenous Community Housing Organisations (ICHO)
There are two Tasmanian Indigenous community housing organisations: Cape Barren Island Aboriginal Association Inc (CBIAAI) and Flinders Island Aboriginal Association Inc (FIAAI).
Housing cooperatives governed by tenants, who provide tenancy management and maintenance of housing, and can be owned by government or an individual cooperative of tenant shareholders.
Some community housing organisation have a specific purpose or function, such as tenancy management, housing development or for specific target groups such as people with a disability, youth, or aged.
Source: based on Steering Committee for the Review of Government Service Provision data, Report on Government Services 2019.