Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2009 Week 12 Hansard (Thursday, 15 October 2009) . . Page.. 4597 ..
and five as community housing providers. The registrar will maintain a public register of those providers. It is expected that the first registrations will commence in November 2009.
The instruments tabled today describe separate registration processes for affordable housing and community housing providers. Affordable housing providers that apply to register are expected to be innovative and involve themselves in entrepreneurial property development for low to moderate income earners, at arm’s length from government. They will be expected to deliver housing options, including rental and homeownership, for individuals and families who would otherwise not be able to afford it.
However, to meet the eligibility criteria they will have to demonstrate that they are operating within an acceptable level of risk. The requirement for a risk management plan is essential. These providers will be utilising government assets to leverage investment and grow portfolios on behalf of the government. Only providers that demonstrate that they have risk management processes in place to adequately protect their future operation, viability and ability to deliver housing will be registered.
Community housing providers will also need to meet eligibility criteria in order to gain registration. These providers will manage properties as the head lessee, utilising government owned or other organisations’ assets which they rent to low to moderate income tenants. While their activities are less risky than those of affordable housing providers, it is still important that the interests of vulnerable tenants are protected.
That is why they will be expected to provide evidence that they comply with the performance standards which are specified in one of the instruments being tabled today. The standards cover tenancy management, tenancy rights and participation in the general management of community housing provision, governance and organisational management, finance, and management systems, including human resource management. Indicators contained in the standards serve as a guide to the types of practice that may go towards satisfying the standards.
The monitoring guidelines describe the way in which the “light touch” oversight of providers will occur. Registered providers will be monitored for ongoing compliance with the eligibility criteria for the relevant registration category. As far as possible, information already provided for other purposes, such as annual reporting, will provide the information required for monitoring. The Commissioner for Social Housing will be able to request additional information if it is required.
The Commissioner for Social Housing’s intervention powers, as described in one of the instruments I am presenting to the Assembly today, will of course only be used as a last resort. They will only be exercised in circumstances where the Commissioner for Social Housing is of the view that there is no other satisfactory alternative means of remedying issues of noncompliance. A decision to intervene will be an appealable decision.
Consultation with key stakeholders on the development of the four instruments commenced in December 2008 and has been comprehensive. The government consulted widely on the disallowable instruments, with follow-up meetings held in