Open Access Information
The Aboriginal Housing Office has a legal obligation in accordance with Part 3 of the Government Information (Public Access) Regulation 2009 to make the following material – known as 'Open Access Information' – openly available and provided free of charge.
AHO structure and functions
The Aboriginal Housing Office is a statutory body, established under the Aboriginal Housing Act 1998 (NSW) on July 24, 1998. It is an agency within the NSW Department of Family & Communities (FACS), and has a defined organisational structure.
The AHO is governed by an all-Aboriginal Board which provides advice to the Minister on Aboriginal housing issues in NSW.
Our objectives, as set down in the Act, are:
- to ensure that Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islanders have access to affordable, quality housing
- to ensure that such housing is appropriate having regard to the social and cultural requirements, living patterns and preferences of the Aboriginal people or Torres Strait Islanders to whom it is provided
- to enhance the role of Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islanders in determining, developing and delivering policies and programs relating to Aboriginal housing
- to ensure that priority is given, in providing housing assistance for Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islanders, to those individuals most in need
- to increase the range of housing choices for Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islanders so as to reflect the diversity of individual and community needs
- to ensure that registered Aboriginal housing organisations are accountable, effective and skilled in the delivery of Aboriginal housing programs and services
- to ensure that the Aboriginal Housing Office’s housing programs and services are administered efficiently and in co-ordination with other programs and services that are provided to assist Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islanders
- to encourage the sustainable employment of Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islanders in the delivery of Aboriginal housing assistance.
The Aboriginal Housing Office Board
Under the Aboriginal Housing Act 1998 (NSW), the Minister for Housing determines the composition of the NSW Aboriginal Housing Board (the Board) and may appoint between 6 to 14 members, all of whom must be Aboriginal, and an independent chairperson.
The AHO Chief Executive is also a Board member but has no voting rights.
In close consultation with NSW Aboriginal communities, the Board:
- provides strategic direction to the AHO
- determines policy, and
- provides advice to the Minister and the Chief Executive on housing for Aboriginal people.
To achieve these roles, members of the Board must:
- participate in a number of Committees and Working Groups
- oversee and guide the AHO on statutory compliance, risk management and organisational performance
- develop policy and strategic options for improving employment and training opportunities for Aboriginal people.
Services we provide to Aboriginal people in NSW
The AHO provides housing assistance for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and an increased range of housing choices, especially for those most in need.
The AHO plans, administers and expands the policies, program and asset base for Aboriginal housing in NSW.
- Resource allocation.
- Sector-wide policy.
- Strategic planning.
- Monitoring outcomes and performance in the Aboriginal housing sector.
In order to achieve this AHO receives funding through both the NSW and the Australian Governments.
The AHO manages and coordinates a substantial annual capital works program, and the development and implementation of a range of financial and resourcing strategies throughout the state.
To achieve this, it works in partnership with Aboriginal Community Housing Providers (ACHP) and the Aboriginal community, to deliver housing programs, develop housing policy and implement standards.
All functions of the AHO are guided by the principles of self-determination and self-management for Aboriginal people.
By striving to extend the skills of Aboriginal people in the housing sector, the AHO helps to enhance their training and employment opportunities, as well as improve the management of the community's organisations and properties.
The AHO is focused on four key areas of performance:
- Increasing access to safe, affordable culturally appropriate housing.
- Improving housing standards.
- Promoting employment opportunities for Aboriginal people.
- Reformed and suitable Aboriginal Housing sector.
Information freely available
Provided at no cost through this website are the following documents relating to the AHO:
- Annual budgets & reports.
- Build & Grow: Aboriginal Community Housing Strategy.
- The Build & Grow Subsidy Policy PDF, 111.44 KB.
- Code of Ethical Conduct (NSW Department of Family & Community Services).
- AHO factsheets.
- Media releases (NSW Department of Family & Community Services).
- AHO policy documents.
- Rent & Sales Reports (Housing NSW).
- AHO Newsletters.
- Report and Publications.
Access to information
A request may be made at any time for other information held by the AHO.
While the AHO reserves the right to require a formal access application to be made under the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (GIPA Act), the AHO will generally provide the following types of information in response to an informal request and at no cost to you, without the need to make a formal access application:
- Copies of correspondence where the person requesting the correspondence was the person who sent it to the AHO.
- Documents that contain only personal information about a particular individual, and that is the person who is requesting the information.
- Documents that have already been made public in some other way.
- Other reasonable requests for information the release of which would not raise any potential concerns in terms of public interests considerations against disclosure.
The AHO reserves the right to impose conditions in relation to the use or disclosure of information that is released in response to an informal request.
Other information that may generally be available as an informal request
- Copy of your Tenancy Agreement with FACS Housing.
- Property Condition Report relating to your tenancy.
- Copy of your Rental Account Statement.
- Copy of a letter you provided to FACS Housing.
- Copy of your Housing assistance forms.
The AHO reserves the right to impose time limits and conditions of the use of this information.
Formal Access request (previously known as Freedom of Information requests)
You have a legal right to lodge a Formal Request for Information application with AHO relating to other information. Access applications formerly known as (Freedom of Information requests) are subject to fees and charges.
There is certain information that AHO cannot release regardless of a formal access request. Information that will not be released is prescribed in Schedule 1 of the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 and includes the following:
- Cabinet Information.
- Executive Council Information.
- Legal Professional Privilege.
A formal access application may be made for other government information including all your records relating to your tenancy with AHO or information relating to other housing assistance you may have received from us.
On occasions there will be information that will not be released if there is an overriding public interest against disclosure.
Other AHO information
If you require information that you were not able to find on this website, you may need to submit a request to us. To find out about the process for Accessing AHO documents, please read our Right to Information policy
Right to Information Officer
All applications and enquiries related to accessing AHO information and documents should be directed to:
Right to Information Officer
You may also obtain advice on your rights under GIPA from the Information & Privacy Commission NSW.