There are some changes coming for tenants of social housing in the region – but it’s hoped the biggest ones will be for the better.
Homes North will take over managing about 1700 social housing properties from the NSW government in May, boosting its scope from about 1000 properties to almost 3000.
Homes North chief executive Maree McKenzie said it was “a wonderful opportunity” and a game-changer” for the region.
“We are a regionally based community housing provider, servicing communities in our region,” she said.
“We can tailor planning and management of social housing to the specific needs of our region.
“We have offices in Armidale, Glen Innes, Gunnedah, Inverell, Moree and Tamworth, which are staffed by locals, and this is an economic positive for the region.”
The change was expected to allow the group to more than double its workforce.
Tenants will receive a mail-out by about mid-January on the changes; these include how rent is to be paid.
However, the out-of-pocket amount will stay the same as long the required forms are submitted.
“Basically, tenants will be charged a bit more rent but will get an allowance through Commonwealth Rent Assistance to cover that extra amount,” Ms McKenzie said.
Homes North will host information barbecues for tenants, in Wee Waa, Narrabri, Inverell, Armidale, Tamworth and Moree.
Ms McKenzie said more local management should bring a new level of communication, responsiveness and opportunities to tenants.
“We are part of the community in our region and we aim to ensure our residents also feel a sense of community here,” she said.