This Guidance Note provides advice to registered housing agencies on regulatory oversight of tenancies and properties managed under specialised housing programs.
This includes regulatory requirements in relation to the Register of Housing Agencies (the Register), Key Performance Measures (KPMs) and complaints received by the Housing Registrar (the Registrar).
The Housing Act 1983 (Vic) (the Act) does not define housing services or specify programs or tenant groups to be included or excluded from the Registrar’s regulatory oversight. Therefore, all tenancies and properties owned or managed by registered agencies are within the Registrar’s regulatory remit and subject to compliance with performance standards and reporting requirements.
The Registrar’s broad jurisdiction ensures that all tenants, regardless of tenure, housing type or funding source, receive the same standard of service.
Specialised housing programs are programs managed by registered housing agencies that focus on housing specific groups, such as the aged, homeless, youth or people with disabilities.
Registered agencies that manage these programs may have special arrangements, support services or equipment available for tenants.
These programs may include:
- Housing programs with a fixed term of service provision.
- Housing that is not tenanted through the Victorian Housing Register (VHR).
- Housing that is not funded by government.
- Housing programs that are funded and administered by another government agency e.g., Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA).
Register of Housing Agencies – assets
In October 2021, the Registrar published guidance to clarify the types of assets required to be reported to the Registrar for inclusion on the Register in accordance with the Act. Assets should be reported to the Registrar through the asset list.
Assets that must be reported include owned assets (regardless of jurisdiction), assets in which the Director of Housing has an interest and assets in which registered agencies provide housing services.
For comprehensive advice on the types of assets required to be reported, please refer to Guidance Note – Asset reporting requirements for registered agencies.
Key Performance Measures (KPMs)
Data collected against KPMs is used by the Registrar to evaluate registered agency performance against two performance standards:
- Performance standard 1: Tenant and housing services
- Performance standard 2: Housing assets
The Registrar has determined that all Victorian properties at which housing services are provided by a registered housing agency should be included in KPM reporting, except for crisis housing and emergency housing.
When categorising specific properties for KPM reporting:
- Properties managed under programs with a fixed term of service provision (less than 24 months) should be included in the asset list and KPMs as Transitional Housing due to the shorter-term nature of the program.
- SDA properties should be included in the asset list and KPMs as long-term.
- Properties not tenanted through the VHR or funded by government should be included in the most relevant housing type for the nature and tenure of the tenancy.
KPM results are used by the Registrar to monitor and assess registered agencies against performance standards and for continuous improvement. This performance information informs regulatory engagement and enables the Registrar to identify trends across the sector.
Where inclusion of any housing type impacts the overall KPM, registered agencies should include relevant contextual information and/or figures in the comments field for that KPM.
The Registrar considers all complaints received in relation to a registered housing agency for compliance with performance standards, including management of complaints under 'Performance Standard 1: Tenant and housing services'.
The Registrar will review complaints from people who are affected by decisions of the registered agency on matters relating to rental housing which have been through the agency’s complaints process but have not been satisfactorily resolved.
The Registrar will make enquiries with registered agencies where necessary and provide alternative avenues for information or resolution to complainants where appropriate. This includes complaints received in relation to properties or tenancies managed under specialised housing programs.
Where there are alternative oversight or complaints mechanisms in place for these programs the Registrar will provide referrals as necessary.
Example of program with a fixed term of service provision
The Homelessness to a Home (H2H) program was established to provide access to stable medium- and long-term housing and support packages to 1,845 households experiencing homelessness who were residing in emergency accommodation due to the coronavirus pandemic prior to 6 December 2020.
Properties are located in regional and metropolitan areas of Victoria and include those owned by the registered community housing agency, private rental properties head leased by the registered agency, newly acquired properties owned by the Director of Housing (DoH) and leased to the registered agency under a General Lease Agreement, and existing Public Housing stock.
The term of service provision differs for each service type (i.e., Property Services, Intensive Support Services, Targeted and Tailored Support Services) but is capped at 24 months.
Register of Housing Agencies – assets
Properties managed under the H2H program are located in Victoria and used to provide housing services. Therefore, these properties will be included in the Register of Housing Assets from the registered agency’s asset list.
Due to the shorter-term nature of the program, these properties should be included as Transitional Housing in the asset list.
Properties managed under the H2H program are located in Victoria and used to provide housing services, and therefore are reported in KPMs.
Due to the shorter-term nature of the program, these properties should be reported as Transitional Housing in the KPMs.
The Registrar considers all complaints received in relation to H2H properties managed by registered agencies. Where appropriate, tenants are provided with referrals to other complaint resolution bodies as necessary, including the Homelessness to a Home Resolutions Team in the Department of Families, Fairness and Housing (DFFH).
Reviewed 08 February 2023