Wednesday, July 24, 2024

NSW to rebuild social housing maintenance system

The NSW Government has announced an overhaul of the state’s social housing maintenance system, with a new and ‘simpler’ back to basics model that will focus on quality, accountability, better outcomes for tenants and better value for taxpayers.

The Government will establish a new one stop ‘Maintenance Hub’ within Homes NSW to streamline requests for maintenance across its 95,000 social housing properties.

NSW Premier, Chris Minns said the current arrangement – privatised by the former government – has a left a maintenance system that is “confusing, disjointed and unworkable”.

“Tenants are bouncing between departments with requests being stalled by bureaucracies and a lack of accountability,” he said.

“This announcement is an important step in simplifying the social housing maintenance system to deliver better 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.

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

Homes NSW will now triage, scope and issue work orders while the contractors will attend site for work delivery.  

Minister for Housing and Homelessness, Rose Jackson said today’s announcement will mean improved responses, with trained experts who can better address tenants’ questions, coordinate work orders and deliver better outcomes for tenants.

For the first time ever, tenants will be able to see the status of their requests with development of a new Maintenance App.

“Today’s announcement will restore dignity, respect and hope to our social housing tenants and the social housing system in NSW,” said Ms Jackson.

“It is clear the Liberal experiment of out-sourcing jobs and contracts to private providers has failed with soaring wait times for basic maintenance and breeches of contacts rife.

“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.

“This is about making the process easier to navigate for our tenants while simultaneously allowing maintenance contractors to deliver works under a simplified approach,” she said.

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

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