Hunter based Compass Housing Services has been announced as one of the big winners under a new project that will see thousands of social housing dwellings transferred to the not-for-profit community housing sector.
Minister for Social Housing Pru Goward today announced that from mid-2019 Compass will take on the management of an additional 1796 social housing tenancies in the Cessnock, Singleton, Dungog, Mid-coast and Muswellbrook local government areas as part of the Social Housing Management Transfer initiative.
Compass was selected following a rigorous three-tiered evaluation process that assessed its capacity to deliver quality services and ability to deliver good outcomes for social housing clients.
The move will bring Compass’ portfolio to more than 6200 dwellings, making it one of the largest community housing providers in the southern hemisphere.
Compass’ Group Managing Director Greg Budworth said as well as industry leading tenancy and property management, social housing tenants in the package area would benefit from a range of Compass community development programs.
“At Compass we believe community housing is about more than just providing accommodation, it’s also about building communities,” he said.
“That’s why we offer a range of programs that help tenants achieve better social and economic participation and foster a sense of belonging and connection to their homes and their communities.
“By providing links to education and employment we are also able to help those tenants with the capacity to do so to transition out of the social housing sector and into private accommodation.
“Studies consistently show that tenants of community housing providers report high levels of satisfaction and Compass last year recorded an overall satisfaction rate of 93 per cent. We’re excited to be able to extend our offering to our new tenants and look forward to having them as part of the Compass community.”
Currently around 19 per cent of social housing dwellings in NSW are managed by the not-for-profit sector. That figure will rise to 32 per cent under the Social Housing Management Transfer program.
Mr Budworth said the transfer would improve the financial viability of the sector by enabling tenants to access Commonwealth Rent Assistance.
“As well as contributing to high quality maintenance, and the delivery of new community programs, the additional cash flow will enable Compass to add to the supply of new affordable housing dwellings,” he said.
The NSW Government will maintain ownership of all of the properties subject to management transfers in the Cessnock, Singleton, Dungog, Mid-Coast and Muswellbrook areas and will lease them to Compass for 20 years to provide social housing.
Tenants will remain in their homes, retain all of their tenancy rights and will not pay more rent from their current income as a result of this change.
Information sessions will be held over the months ahead to give tenants an opportunity to meet Compass staff and ask any questions they may have about the transfer.
Any Department of Family and Community Services staff affected by the transfer will be offered ongoing employment with Compass on equivalent terms and conditions.