Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Public housing repairs - an inquiry

It's been awhile since we talked about repairs and maintenance in public housing. The last time we brought it up was way back in 2013, when the Land and Housing Corporation was in the midst of reviewing arrangements with its contractors.

Back then, signs were ominous that change might come - at least in the way the Government procures the work it deems necessary, if not in getting better outcomes from the work itself. We've even heard that their new repair and maintenance contracts were trialled in a couple of different areas, and are set to be rolled out more broadly. But as yet, nothing seems to have come of that. We're hoping to hear from the Land and Housing Corporation soon, with an update on where the process has gotten to.

Of course, in the meantime we've had the NSW Auditor-General's report into making the best use of public housing and we've seen more of a focus on the need to renew the public housing portfolio than to repair it. But thankfully not everyone seems to singing from that particular sheet.

Recently the Legislative Assembly's Public Accounts Committee has called an inquiry into the management of public housing repairs and maintenance contracts. Its terms of reference look useful:
That the Committee inquire into and report on the management of public housing maintenance contracts in NSW, with particular reference to:
a) The current repair status and physical condition of the public housing stock managed by Housing NSW;
b) The costs of maintenance of the current public housing stock, variations in expenditure trends over the previous five years and projected expenditure for the next five years;
c) The nature and administration of maintenance contracts, including private sector arrangements;
d) Methodologies and processes for ensuring consistent public housing maintenance standards across NSW, including quality assurance, effectiveness, efficiency and contract supervision;
e) Statutory obligations on tenants to take care of properties and report maintenance needs in a timely fashion;
f) Measures to meet the special maintenance requirements of aged and disabled tenants;
g) Any other related matters. 
If you're living in a poorly maintained public housing dwelling, now is a good time to put pen to paper to make something of it. Submissions are due on February 5th 2016.

See the inquiry website for details.


  1. i have a great big hole in my dinning room due plumber trying find a water leak which never but never came back to repair /no2 bathroom plumbers again hole in the roof/not fixing around tap which they broke the tiles an patched it up with duck tape /carpet more than 20yrs old thin like paper /bathtub very slippery need hand rail so dont fall/light switch in laundry when turning on // off green sparks come out/ clothes dryer not working for more than 5 yrs / security door on balcony does not work god damn we are in bankstown we need security i am 65yrs we pay our rent but they don't any maintenance herethanking for reading my letter lynne paskovski 9/46 sir joseph banks st bankstown 2200 nsw also i been trying to get a swap from here the stairs are to much i have copd of the lungs as i am on 2nd floor your faithly lynne paskovski

  2. Hi Lynne, thanks for your comment - have you been in touch with the Southern Sydney Tenants Advice and Advocacy Service? They can be reached on 9787 4679.

    You might also like to send your story to the Parliamentary Committee that's holding this Inquiry - there is an online submission form here: http://www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/prod/web/submissions.nsf/Submission?OpenForm&ParentUNID=398740146BB1C669CA257F02000673C8&House=LA



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