Background

Introduction

Teacher Housing is a Government Public Trading Enterprise (PTE) constituted under the Teacher Housing Authority Act 1975 (the Act). It is subject to the control and direction of the Minister for Finance, Services and Property and is a non-controlled related entity of the NSW Department of Finance and Services and Innovation (The Department).

It has a governing board of seven members, of which four are appointed by the Governor, and meets quarterly. Under the Act members are responsible for determining Teacher Housing policies and ensuring its activities are carried out properly and efficiently. The General Manager controls and manages Teacher Housing’s activities.

Teacher Housing provides accommodation for teachers, where the private rental market is considered inadequate or partly inadequate. Suitable accommodation is an essential factor a teacher considers prior to accepting a teaching position in a rural and remote community. Teacher Housing provides accommodation in over 250 such communities.

Service Delivery

As a landlord, Teacher Housing lease residences in accordance with the Residential Tenancies Act 2010. This allows a teacher’s accommodation to be a separate agreement from their employment conditions, providing teachers and their families with a domestic environment that is removed from their employer.

Teachers pay a market rent for the residences they occupy. In some areas they receive a rental subsidy from the Department of Education (DEC) as an incentive to encourage them to teach at a particular school. The subsidy (50%, 70%, or 90% of the market rent) is aligned to the level of difficulty a school has in attracting and retaining teachers. The magnitude of the subsidy is a key factor Teacher Housing considers in its overall portfolio strategy.

Residences not required by teachers are placed on the private rental market.

Property management is outsourced to real estate agents. They receive a property management fee for each property, hold keys, meet newly arrived teachers, conduct property inspections, manage private tenants and arrange responsive maintenance.

Local Housing Representatives, a network of teachers elected by the other teachers in their community, recommend tenancy allocations, offer advice on local issues and support teachers who may be new to a rural community. They provide their time on a voluntary basis and play an important role in the overall service.

Tenancy Services allocates residences to teachers (under a needs based policy), administers salary deductions for rent from teachers’ salaries and liaises with agents, local housing representatives and schools to ensure teachers expectations are met or exceeded.

Asset Management ensures the portfolio is of a suitable standard, this involves managing responsive maintenance (in conjunction with agents), planned maintenance (refurbishment), new supply and asset disposal. Outsourced project managers provide design, documentation and supervision services on a contractual per project basis.

Finance and administration, supported by the Department, includes account processing, commercial analysis and administrative support which ensures legislative and compliance obligations are met.