Registered housing agencies are not-for-profit organisations that provide affordable rental housing for low income households. They are registered under the Housing Act 1983 (the Act) as either housing associations or housing providers.
To be eligible to be registered, a not-for-profit organisation must be a company limited by shares or guarantee, an incorporated association, or a co-operative. As at 1 January 2021, there were 40 registered agencies consisting of ten housing associations and 29 housing providers.
Registered housing agencies:
- may own, manage and develop affordable rental housing
- may provide a range of housing support and assistance to clients
- are viable businesses partnering with both government and the community
- have met registration criteria, and continue to meet ongoing compliance requirements as well as demonstrate continuous improvement
Housing managed by registered agencies is primarily long term and/or transitional but some agencies also provide crisis housing and other forms of housing such as disability shared accommodation.
Some agencies have now incorporated real estate agent business arms to enable them to manage private rental market housing.
All registered agencies must comply with performance standards and other legislative requirements, as well as demonstrate skills, expertise and resources to manage a viable social housing business.
Housing associations are larger, more complex businesses with the skills, expertise and resources to manage, maintain and grow a viable social housing portfolio. They expand new housing through construction, purchase or acquisition, using a mix of government funds and private sector investment. They also manage housing properties owned by them or leased from other parties, such as the Director of Housing.
Housing providers range in size and primarily manage rental housing portfolios for other parties, such as the Director of Housing (DoH). Some housing providers own properties; however their growth is small scale compared with housing associations. Housing providers often specialise in particular client groups which may include disability housing, aged tenants and youth housing.
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