26 November 2023

NSW social housing maintenance system to be brought back under government control

| Andrew McLaughlin
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Social Housing

NSW will bring social housing maintenance requests and management back under the government’s roof. Photo: NSW Housing.

The NSW Government says it will reverse a move by its predecessor to privatise social housing maintenance planning and response.

Under a new initiative, social housing maintenance will be brought back into Homes NSW, and a new one-stop ”maintenance hub” call centre will be established to streamline the system.

According to a 13 November statement, the new system will triage, scope and issue work orders, while the contractors will be the ones to attend site for work delivery.

It says the simpler system is designed to focus on quality, accountability, better outcomes for tenants and better value for taxpayers through improved responses, with trained experts who can better address tenants’ questions, coordinate work orders and deliver better outcomes. The status of a tenant’s maintenance request will be able to be tracked through a new Maintenance App.

NSW Premier Chris Minns said the announcement was an important step in simplifying the social housing maintenance system to deliver improved outcomes for residents and taxpayers.

“Everyone deserves access to safe and secure shelter without having to jump through hoops to ensure essential maintenance is done,” he said.

“We have a housing crisis in New South Wales, and we are working across the government to address the challenges, including maintaining the livability of our social housing properties.”

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Minister for Housing and Homelessness Rose Jackson said the move would restore dignity, respect and hope to social housing tenants and the social housing system in NSW.

“It is clear the Liberal experiment of outsourcing jobs and contracts to private providers has failed, with soaring wait times for basic maintenance and breeches of contacts rife,” she said.

“We acknowledge that there have been flaws in how maintenance has been addressed in the past and it’s our job to fix that, for now and into the future, and that’s why we’re overhauling the current system to ensure a better outcome for our residents.

“This is about putting residents of our social housing properties at the heart of what we do because everyone deserves to live in a safe and secure home and this new approach to how we deliver maintenance will play a vital role in ensuring basic requests are actioned in a timely manner to stop the risk of homes falling into disrepair.

“Homes NSW will bring social housing delivery, maintenance and tenancy management under the one roof to ensure tenants no longer fall through the cracks trying to get basic issues resolved.”

The new maintenance hub and app will be operational by mid-2024.

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