The plan sets out our strategic priorities to deliver regulation of the Victorian community housing sector (the sector) under Part VIII of the Housing Act 1983 (Vic) that encourages growth, strong sector performance and continuous improvement, and responds proportionally to emerging risks and harms.
Our aim is to provide best practice regulation that provides an accountable, transparent, and outcomes-focused service for tenants and prospective tenants delivered through our priorities of:
- organisational excellence through continuous improvement of our internal capability, systems, and processes
- better regulation that is agile and responds to the policy and operating environment and that draws upon lessons in other jurisdictions
- strong partnerships and engagement with our valued stakeholders.
We place tenant outcomes at the forefront of our regulatory approach and must ensure that registered agencies are doing the same. For this reason, each year we assess every registered agency in Victoria irrespective of size and scale to identify continuous improvement opportunities and to monitor tenant satisfaction and other performance measures.
In this plan, we continue to focus on reform activities that improve efficiency, accountability, and transparency to increase community and market confidence. We publicly report on compliance and performance information to promote trust and confidence and to support informed decision making.
We will continue to embrace Aboriginal cultural safety in our organisation and look for opportunities to increase our knowledge and understanding. The Housing Registrar strongly supports a social housing system that provides affordable and appropriate housing for Aboriginal Victorians in a way that is culturally safe and understands their connection to land, culture and family networks. We look forward to continuing to work with Homes Victoria and the Department of Treasury and Finance to deliver the Aboriginal Housing Round of the Big Housing Build, including through the registration of Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations (ACCOs).
We must achieve these goals in a changing economic, growth and reform environment, which will continue to impact our regulatory approach.
The Victorian Government’s $5.3 billion Big Housing Build will deliver 12,000 new homes in social housing, with 9,000 being delivered by registered housing agencies. This will grow the sector significantly in a relatively short period of time. In this environment, the Housing Registrar must continue its close prudential oversight of the sector to facilitate growth and manage emerging risks, while monitoring the quality of rental housing services and understanding tenant experiences.
The Social Housing Regulation Review delivered its Final Report to Ministers on 31 May 2022, providing a significant reform roadmap for the Victorian social housing system that recognises the fundamental importance of putting tenants at the centre of the system and the sector’s role in delivering housing growth.
We have taken priority reform areas into account when preparing this plan and focusing our resources. Following decisions from government on the future reform options, we welcome the opportunity to be part of, and to contribute to, an improved Victorian regulatory system.
This plan is also set within the broader context of the COVID-19 pandemic, and we acknowledge the significant challenges this presents to the sector and the broader Victorian community. We will continue to work in collaboration with Department of Health (DoH), Department of Families, Fairness and Housing (DFFH) and the Community Housing Industry Association Victoria (CHIA Vic) to support registered agencies and tenants and adjust our regulatory approach to the evolving environment.
On behalf of the team, we look forward to working closely with our stakeholders across community housing and the wider community to deliver our shared goals.
Registrar of Housing Agencies