1. Provider Registration Overview
Provider Registration Overview
The Aboriginal Housing Act 1998 (NSW) requires all Aboriginal Community Housing Providers (ACHP) to be registered with the AHO in order to receive assistance from the AHO. Types of assistance include; funding, housing management and construction, transfer or lease of property, grants, subsidies and business support.
The AHO Registration Policy explains the requirements for registration of ACHPs.
The AHO Registration Policy:
- describes how Providers can become registered,
- outlines the requirements for registration of new providers seeking registration with the AHO and providers currentlycurrently registered with the AHO; and
- outlines the obligations of the AHO and the registered Provider
2. Importance of Registration
Importance of Registration
Under Part 5 Section 26 of the Aboriginal Housing Act 1998, Aboriginal Community Housing Providers (ACHP) must be registered with the AHO to be eligible for assistance from the AHO.
This means registration is a prerequisite for the provision of funding and assistance under the Aboriginal Housing Act 1998, therefore the AHO Registration Policy 2018 has links to all AHO frameworks, agreements and policies related to the provision of properties, funding or assistance to ACHPs.top
3. Eligibility of Registration
Eligibility of Registration
To be eligible to apply for registration with the AHO, an ACHP must be an eligible organisation under the Aboriginal Housing Act 1998 and achieve registration under the registration systems outlined in AHO Registration Policy.
An eligible organisation under the Aboriginal Housing Act 1998 is:
- an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander corporation,
- an Aboriginal Land Council,
- a body corporate which the AHO is satisfied is controlled either directly or indirectly by Aboriginal people or Torres Strait Islanders.
In addition, ACHPs:
- must provide or propose to provide housing or housing related services for Aboriginal people or Torres Strait Islanders; and
- must be suitable to be registered having regard to such matters as may be determined by the AHO.
An ACHP which is under administration cannot apply for registration with the AHO.top
4. Registration Process
Housing Providers wanting to receive funding and support or manage AHO properties must go through a two step process for registration with the AHO:
- First step, be registered through the National Regulatory System for Community Housing (NRSCH)) or the NSW Local Scheme (NSWLS) with the Registrar of Community Housing.
- Second step, the provider must apply using the registration application form.
Any new provider seeking to be registered as an ACHP will need to demonstrate its capacity to deliver long-term Aboriginal community housing within its existing business model. Becoming a registered ACHP does not mean the AHO will automatically provide assistance to the provider.
For ACHPs currently registered with the AHO, a four year period from 2018 has been given to allow ACHPs time for preparation with the expectation that all providers will have applied for registration under the NRSCH or the NSWLS by December 2022.
National Regulatory System for Community Housing
The NRSCH aims to ensure a well governed, well managed and viable community housing sector that meets the housing needs of tenants and provides assurance for government and investors.
The NRSCH seeks a clear separation between regulatory activities, and state and territory policy and funding activities. The Registrar is an independent statutory officer appointed by the NSW Minister for Family and Community Services to carry out the functions established under the National Law for Community Housing Providers. The scope of a Registrar’s functions under the NRSCH is limited to regulatory activities.
More information about the role of the Registrar’s function can be found at: http:// www.rch.nsw.gov.au/about-us
For more information on the National Regulatory System for Community Housing go to: http:// www.rch.nsw.gov.au/national-regulatory-system-for-community-housing and http:// www.nrsch.gov.au/home.
The NSW Local Scheme
In October 2016, NSW Parliament enacted an amendment to the Community Housing Providers (Adoption of National Law) Act 2012 [NSW] (the Act) to establish a local system of registration, monitoring and regulation of entities that provide community housing but are unable to be registered under the Community Housing Providers National Law (NSW).
In August 2017, under section 25A of the Act, the NSW Minister for FACS directed the Registrar to commence the NSWLS that:
- as far as reasonably practicable, is consistent with the NRSCH,
- does not include the ‘wind-up’ condition of registration under the Act, whilst ensuring that any assets or assistance provided by the NSW Government is appropriately protected,
- Initially focuses on registering NSW Local Aboriginal Land Councils (LALCs).
For more information on the NSW Local Scheme go to: http://www.rch.nsw.gov.au/nsw-localschemetop
5. Registration Status
List of AHO registered ACHPs
The AHO will maintain a Public Register of AHO registered ACHPs on its website. When a provider achieves registration, its details are published on the AHO website. Details published include the ACHP’s:
- email address
- registration status
- the registration start date
The AHO may review an ACHP’s AHO registration status at any time. Circumstances which may prompt a review include but are not limited to:
- changes in circumstances
- a request for a review by the ACHP
- non-compliance with requirements relating to AHO agreements, leases and contracts
- non-compliance with requirements relating to the relevant registration system
- non-compliance with statutory requirements relating to their functioning as a LALC, association, corporation or cooperative
The AHO will advise the ACHP in writing of the outcome of the status review and whether any actions are required. The AHO grants the ACHPs up to 30 days to complete any actions required as a result of the review.top
6. Cancellation of Registration
Cancellation of Registration
The Registrar of Community Housing (RCH) assess and registers providers against the requirements set out in NRSCH or NSWSL; however, the AHO will continue to be responsible for assessing and registering providers under the Aboriginal Housing Act 1998. Under Part 5 Section 27of the Aboriginal Housing Act 1998 the AHO may cancel the AHO registration of an ACHP due to non-compliance with the AHO registration policy or contractual requirements.
The AHO will undertake a review of the ACHP’s registration status before making a decision to cancel its AHO registration. A risk based approach on a case-by-case basis will be employed taking into account the size, complexity and location of an ACHP in order to determine the appropriate course of action. The AHO grants the ACHPs up to 30 days to complete any actions required as a result of the review.
Circumstances which may result in the cancellation of the AHO registration of an ACHP include, but are not limited to, the following:
- failure to apply for or achieve registration in accordance with the AHO Registration Policy
- if the ACHP has its registration cancelled by the NSW Registrar of Community Housing
- if the AHO is satisfied that the ACHP concerned has contravened an AHO housing agreement, lease or contract that is binding on the ACHP
- non-compliance with statutory requirements relating to their functioning as a LALC, association, corporation, company or co-operative
- if the ACHP is wound-up
- if the ACHP has elected to cancel its registration with the AHO
In each case, the AHO will notify the ACHP in writing of the intention to cancel its AHO registration.
Cancellation of registration will result in a breach of a binding AHO agreement. Refer to the AHO Compliance Framework for further detail on the process for managing non-compliance with contractual conditions.
Cancellation of AHO registration means the AHO properties currently managed by an ACHP will be re-allocated to an ACHP registered in accordance with the AHO Registration Policy and/or the withdrawal of any assistance provided by the AHO. ACHPs are advised to seek independent legal advice before cancellation of registration with the AHO to ensure the consequences of deregistration are clearly understood. The AHO will work with your organisation to avoid disruption to AHO tenants and to make this process as smooth as possible.
ACHPs who want to cancel their AHO registration will need to formally advise the AHO.top
7. Changes in Circumstances
Changes in Circumstances
An ACHP will need to advise the AHO within 30 days whenever details about its organisation changes, such as:
- the name of the organisation
- contact details of the organisation
- significant staffing changes
- significant changes to the board or governing body
- the organisation is considering transferring or dealing in land in which the AHO hasan interest
The AHO registered ACHP will also need to advise the AHO if it is managing other community housing stock and if there are any changes to those management arrangements, such as numbers of properties managed.top
8. Registration Appeals Process
Registration Appeals Process
Under the AHO Administrative Appeals Policy, an AHO registered ACHP may appeal a decision made by the AHO pertaining to their AHO registration. The AHO will review appeals from providers on:
- decisions made by the AHO to register, cancel (revoke) registration or to not register a housing provider with the AHO
- decisions made by the AHO to withdraw funding or not renew funding
- decisions made by the AHO on the allocation of properties
When an AHO registered ACHP disagrees with an AHO decision it can request for an appeal of that decision if it believes that: inadequate consideration was given to its individual circumstances; or
- the decision was made contrary to AHO’s policy and/or guidelines; or
- the decision involved a poor interpretation of policy or guidelines; or
- the procedure used to reach the decision was not fair and correct
Refer to the AHO Administrative Appeals Policy for details on how to lodge an appeal.
ACHPs will need to appeal to the RCH for decisions relating to their NRSCH or NSWLS registration, including decisions made by the Registrar to refuse an application for registration or cancel registration under the NRSCH or NSWLS.top