Friday, December 20, 2013

National Regulatory System for Community Housing to, er... commence

If your landlord is a Community Housing Provider, chances are you will have heard of the NSW Registrar of Community Housing. The Registrar's job is to make sure that any not-for profit social housing landlord (ie, the Community Housing sector) plays by the rules.

The rules are set out in a document known as the Regulatory Code for Community Housing Providers. Each provider who is assessed as capable of playing by these rules may be included on the Provider Register. Registration is necessary for Community Housing landlords who wish to do business with the NSW Government, so as to receive funding, or other assistance, to offer community housing tenancies to people on the social housing waiting list.

The structure of this system is about to change - the regulation of Community Housing landlords going to go national. As of 1 January 2014, there will be a new National Regulatory System for Community Housing, and a new national Community Housing Register.

You probably won't notice this, much. At least, not unless you have reason to grumble about your landlord because they are not playing by the rules.

Providers who are currently registered under the NSW system will start to be invited to register under the national system in about February. They will not all be invited at once - there is an 18 month window for providers to become registered. The NSW Register will remain open until July 2015. 

Providers who are currently registered in NSW will remain subject to the NSW regulatory code of conduct until they become registered under the national system. Then they will have to follow the new national regulatory code. The national code and the NSW code are similar in many ways, but not in every last detail...

So... for the next 18 months, there will be two regulatory systems, and two regulatory codes, operating concurrently in NSW. They will both be overseen by the NSW Registrar, and tenants and advocates should continue to bring relevant issues from the Community Housing sector to the Registrar's attention.

If you're of a mind to do so, you can contact the Registrar's office directly. But it's always a good idea to speak with an advocate from your local Tenants' Advice and Advocacy Service before you do.

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