Management transfers are the transfer of tenancy and property management of public housing properties to registered community housing agencies.
The Director of Housing owns more than 64,000 public housing properties, of which the management of 4,000 properties will be transferred.
The transfer of management of these properties mean that they will still be owned by the Director of Housing. However, existing and new tenancy agreements, rent and maintenance will be managed by registered community housing agencies.
Benefits of management transfers
Management transfers create more localised management of communities, which can in turn promote better, more tailored services that better respond to tenants’ needs. The transfer of management to the community housing sector will:
- Allow community housing organisations to increase the total amount of social housing
- Improve tenancy management and services for tenants through local services.
- Improve tenant access to local support services networks.
- Support tenants to engage socially and in education and employment.
- Develop more safe housing
- Enable tenants to qualify for Commonwealth Rental Assistance
Number of properties being transferred
The Director of Housing will transfer the management responsibility of 4,000 public housing dwellings to registered community housing agencies on a long term basis.
The location of the management transfers will be determined in 2018. The Director of Housing will keep impacted tenants informed of timing and processes.
Why the management transfers program is being undertaken
The long term transfer of management will enable community housing organisations to create more housing, by borrowing against the revenue stream created through Commonwealth Rent Assistance and rental receipts.
Management transfers create more localised management of communities, which can in turn promote better, more tailored services that better respond to tenants’ needs.
In addition, tenants living in properties managed by community housing agencies qualify for Commonwealth Rent Assistance, which is not available to public housing tenants. This subsidy is used to deliver improved management of properties.
As a result, tenants will see improved service delivery, maintenance of their properties and staffing levels together with more responsive support networks.
The transfer of management is not a new practice. It has been used in Victoria, New South Wales, South Australia and Tasmania. In Victoria, there are currently more than 8,000 Director of Housing owned properties being managed by community housing organisations. These previous rounds of transfers have demonstrated that benefits can be delivered.
Impact on tenants
The Director of Housing will keep affected tenants informed of location, timing and processes.
Tenant’s rights to their current homes will be unchanged as a result of the transfer.
There will be no requirement for affected tenants to move out of their current homes.
Affected tenants will continue to pay no more than 25 per cent of income on rent (plus Commonwealth Rent Assistance for which they will be newly eligible). Tenants will need to apply for Commonwealth Rent Assistance, with assistance from their community housing agencies.
After the community housing agency takes over management, tenants will not need to contact the Director of Housing in relation to their lease. Tenants will need to only contact the community housing agency for assistance with their lease and property.
Once the transfer locations and time frames have been finalised, the Director of Housing will be talking to affected tenants about the transfer and how they will be assisted in meeting their new tenancy managers.
For more information on the impact of management transfers may have on tenants see the Management transfers tenant Q&A.
Funding and administration
To ensure a smooth transition and help ensure that the program benefits are delivered, one-off funding of $3 million in total will be provided to assist housing agencies.
This will be for them to set up their services close to communities to maintain contact with tenants and ensure they benefit from local management.
Community housing agencies participating in the Victorian Housing Register and its 75 per cent allocation target from the priority wait list will be eligible to apply for this program.
The Department of Health and Human Services will consult with community housing agencies and other interested parties on key design parameters for the transfer in 2017.
The Department of Health and Human Services will, on behalf of the Director of Housing, also determine a set of target locations for consideration which will be informed by broader social housing policy and asset portfolio considerations and in other new social housing initiatives being announced in the upcoming Housing Affordability Statement.
It is anticipated that management transfers will commence in 2018.
A competitive process will be used to select registered community housing agencies to undertake the transfer of management.
Further details on the forward program for sector engagement will be provided to interested parties by the end of the year.