THE NSW government will look to overhaul what it describes as a “confusing, disjointed and unworkable” maintenance program across 95,000 of the state’s social housing properties.
It says a new and simpler back-to-basics model will focus on quality, accountability, better outcomes for tenants and better value for taxpayers, with the establishment of a one-stop maintenance hub within Homes NSW that will streamline requests for maintenance under one roof.
This is all in addition $35 million announced in the state budget help ease the maintenance backlog.
“The current arrangement – privatised by the former government, has a left a maintenance system that is confusing, disjointed and unworkable,” the government said yesterday.
“Tenants are bouncing between departments with requests being stalled by bureaucracies and a lack of accountability.”
Homes NSW will triage, scope and issue work orders while contractors will be the ones to attend site for work delivery.
Tenants will now be able to see the status of their requests with development of a new maintenance app.
“The new model will deliver better results for taxpayers by determining costs through a pre-agreed schedule of rates, rather than under a scope and quote process which causes delays to work being undertaken,” the government said.
The new maintenance hub and app will be operational by mid-2024.
The NSW government will begin to actively seek out a number of key partnerships to deliver maintenance for the state’s social housing portfolio,
“We have a housing crisis in New South Wales, and we are working across the government to address the challenges, including maintaining the liveability of our social housing properties,” Premier of NSW, Chris Minns said.
“Everyone deserves access to safe and secure shelter without having to jump through hoops to ensure essential maintenance is done.”
Minister for Housing and Homelessness, Rose Jackson said the announcement will “restore dignity, respect and hope to our social housing tenants and the social housing system in NSW”.
“It is clear the Liberal experiment of out-sourcing jobs and contracts to private providers has failed with soaring wait times for basic maintenance and breeches of contacts rife.”
“We acknowledge that there have been flaws in how maintenance has been addressed in the past and it’s our job to fix that, for now and into the future and that’s why we’re overhauling the current system to ensure a better outcome for our residents.
Member for East Hills Kylie Wilkinson said, “Fixing the maintenance system will play a vital role in rebuilding our broken housing system”.
“For too long residents have had to navigate a heavily bureaucratic and confusing system to have basic maintenance requests addressed.”