The Community Housing Industry Association of Victoria welcomes the Victorian Ombudsman’s investigation into complaints handling practices in the social housing sector announced yesterday. See release here
As the sector’s peak body, we represent Victoria’s not-for-profit community housing organisations that support people on low incomes and those at risk of homelessness by providing them with secure, affordable, and appropriate homes.
The community housing sector is already regulated by a Housing Registrar with oversight of compliance with performance standards and the ability to hear complaints from community housing renters. Recent sector performance data from the regulator shows that 85% of community housing renters are satisfied with the services they receive from their respective community housing organisations and that more than 90% of complaints are resolved within 30 days.
Our sector has recommended that this regulatory system be expanded and updated to include a single regulator for all social housing (both public and community housing) and a separate complaints body that is also available to all social housing renters to ensure that the standard and service delivery is optimal.
Following the historic $5.3 Billion investment into social and affordable housing, and alongside the development of a new ten-year plan for Victoria’s social and affordable housing system, the government is considering the regulatory systems and bodies needed for a rapidly growing sector to support the interests of current, prospective and future renters.
Acting CEO Jess Pomeroy says “this is an exciting opportunity to design a new complaints framework that is simpler, more efficient and easier for renters to navigate.”
We look forward to working with the sector, the Ombudsman and the Social Housing Regulatory Review panel as options for an updated complaints system are explored.