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Role of the Housing Registrar

The Housing Registrar, as the regulator responsible for the oversight of the community housing sector in Victoria, registers, monitors and assesses registered agencies under the Housing Act 1983 (Vic) and against gazetted Performance Standards.

Amendments to the Housing Act 1983 (Vic) (Housing Act) in 2005 created the first regulatory system for community housing in Australia. The Housing Act sets out the Registrar of Housing Agencies (Registrar’s) statutory objective, functions, duties and powers.

Statutory objective

The Housing Act provides a regulatory framework to encourage the development of registered agencies to deliver secure and affordable housing solutions that meet community needs by providing for:

  1. The registration of rental housing agencies.
  2. The regulation and monitoring of registered agencies.

Functions, duties and powers

The regulatory system:

  • provides strong prudential oversight over the government’s investment in community housing and equips the Registrar with substantial intervention powers to ensure community housing assets stay in the sector
  • holds registered agencies to account against gazetted Performance Standards to ensure high-quality rental housing services and the best outcomes for tenants and prospective tenants
  • promotes market confidence in the sector to attract growth through public and private sector investment
  • builds capacity and capability in the sector through a regulatory system that embeds continuous improvement in tailored regulatory action plans for each registered agency
  • takes a risk-based approach to undertake regulatory engagement in proportion to the risks being managed

The specific functions of the Registrar are set out in section 79 of the Housing Act. 

  • Part VIII of the Housing Act 1983 (the Act) outlines the functions of the Registrar as follows:

    • To register rental housing agencies.
    • To establish and maintain the Register of Housing Agencies.
    • To recommend to the Minister the making of regulation for the purposes of this Act.
    • To recommend to the Minister the making of Performance Standards to be met by registered agencies.
    • To monitor compliance by registered agencies with Performance Standards, and regulations under this Act.
    • To provide the Minister with any information and reports about the operations of the Registrar as the Minister may request.
    • Any other functions conferred on the Registrar by this Act or the regulations.
Woman gardening in backyard

The Office of the Housing Registrar provides administrative support that assists the Registrar to discharge duties, functions and powers under the Housing Act.

The Housing Registrar also has a role in developing capacity and capability in the sector to ensure registered agencies deliver quality rental housing services and are better placed to deliver growth in housing stock to help meet demand.

The Regulatory Framework sets out how the rental housing services provided by registered agencies are regulated. It consists primarily of the Housing Act, gazetted Performance Standards and Intervention Guidelines.

The Registrar’s priorities are set out in a Corporate Plan that features the vision, purpose, priorities and values of the Registrar over the next two years:

Vision

A community housing sector that provides access to safe, secure and affordable housing solutions to Victorians in need.

Purpose

To contribute to the development, growth and continual improvement of the Victorian community housing sector through proactive, risk-based, and outcomes-focused regulation.

There are two major publications produced annually by the Housing Registrar, the Sector Performance Report and the Regulatory Update Report. These publications report on the performance, activities and impact of the Housing Registrar and the community housing sector for the financial year.

Reviewed 25 February 2021

Housing Registrar

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