In October 2018, FACS Housing commenced their program of ‘whole of location’ transfers to Community Housing Providers with a group of just under one thousand tenancies in the Shoalhaven District transferred to Southern Cross Housing. These are the first of about 14,000 tenancies marked for whole-of-location management transfer over the coming year.
Other affected regions are Mid North Coast, New England, Hunter and Northern Sydney. FACS Housing offices will progressively be closed in these areas. While about ten percent of the tenants affected are Indigenous households, Aboriginal Housing Office tenancies are not being transferred and so will be managed remotely from Sydney.
Transferred tenants are required to apply to Centrelink for Commonwealth Rent Assistance which will then be paid in full to the new landlord as rent. While FACS and Community Housing Providers have committed to maintaining tenants’ after-rent incomes and continuing existing tenancy terms and conditions, complications may arise as limited term rental agreements come up for renewal and/or if tenants’ circumstances change.
The Tenants’ Union is closely monitoring the transfers so as to make recommendations on ‘best practice’ and to identify policy gaps. As part of a 12-month project funded by the NSW Law and Justice Foundation, we will be documenting the experiences and views of tenants and advocates concerning the transfer process and related tenancy management practices. This project is being conducted by Michael Darcy. Contact Michael on 02 8117 3720 or via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Writing in The Conversation, Tenants' Union Community Housing Project Officer Michael Darcy raises questions about the narrative of community housing 'growth', as well as concerns about accountability, and tenant choice and voice. Read Michael's article here.
Tell us your story
Sharing your positive or negative housing transfer story with the Tenants’ Union will help us to improve FACS and Community Housing policies. Anything you tell us will be kept entirely confidential unless you give permission for us to share it. Contact Michael on 02 8117 3720 or via email@example.com