Annual Statement of Performance 2020

This report describes the performance of the Registrar of Community Housing in 2020 in seeking to ensure a well governed, well managed and viable community housing sector.

Message from the Registrar

I am pleased to present the Registrar of Community Housing's Annual Statement of Performance for 2019-20.

Droughts, bushfires, floods and the COVID-19 pandemic have made this year memorable for all the wrong reasons. It has been a difficult time for all and I very much appreciate the effort that our community housing providers (CHPs) and the wider community housing sector have made.

This report describes the performance of my office in seeking to ensure a well governed, well managed and viable community housing sector. It captures our achievements and ongoing improvements over the last financial year.

The highlights of the past year have been described in this report. The report 'spotlights' certain focus areas which are looked at in greater depth.

There has been a small increase in the number of registered CHPs over the year, showing the continuing growth of the community housing sector.

This year has seen a significant rise in enquiries from the Aboriginal Housing sector. This is new business and it has been driven by a number of factors including innovative programs within NSW government promoting business opportunities to ease the social and 
affordable housing stresses.

The first indigenous housing provider was registered under the NSW Local Scheme in March 2020. The NSW Local Scheme now has four registered providers. The ongoing registration of indigenous housing providers is a high priority within this office.

The Registrar's capability is being reshaped by unique and complex business arrangements emerging in response to new housing challenges and opportunities. In particular, special purpose vehicles have been much in demand in response to individual housing developments where ring-fenced financing and project arrangements have been sought by housing agencies, providers and Housing Australia (previously the National Housing Finance Investment Corporation).

Demand for capacity building has been at a premium, especially for smaller providers. Streamlining capacity building with the assistance of the housing agencies remains an important function for all concerned.

A number of discussion papers have been published throughout the last year. Our paper on Regulation of Boarding Houses in NSW made clear that there is no overall stewardship of the boarding house sector. Where boarding houses are built with the benefit of tax, planning or other concessions, those developments ought to be monitored for compliance. Our office will continue its representation in relation to that sector.

Our paper on Affordable Housing (the Housing Regulatory Perspective) allowed us to engage with the sector and form views as to how to enhance the current regulatory environment.

We have continued to build and strengthen a number of new and already formed relationships with both commonwealth and state regulatory bodies and stakeholders within the community housing sector as well as with broader stakeholders to allow for an ongoing open dialogue with each other.

Red tape reduction will continue to be a priority with a view to reducing regulatory burden.

The Registrar also undertakes the registration and regulation of providers in the Northern Territory and Tasmania. Earlier in the year, we undertook a competitive tender process to continue to provide regulatory delegate support services to Tasmania. NSW was awarded this tender. We will continue to provide Tasmania with ongoing service delivery for the next five years. We are also currently in negotiations with the Northern Territory to 
continue ongoing service delivery for them.

As always, I welcome feedback on this report and acknowledge the ongoing and valued input from our registered providers. I am also pleased to say that there is greater involvement and consultation with each of the 3 NSW housing agencies and this is good for all stakeholders as well as our office.

Chris Valacos 
NSW Registrar of Community Housing 

Annual Statement of Performance 2020

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