Contract Certainty for Homelessness Sector
Homelessness services across NSW can plan well into the future to deliver expert support services to vulnerable women, men and young people following the Government’s decision to renew service contracts through to 2020.
Minister for Family and Community Services and Social Housing, Brad Hazzard, told a forum of more than 70 CEOs and leaders from homelessness services today that the Government appreciated the sector had undergone significant reform in recent years and needed more time to consolidate and integrate its services.
“The Government has listened to the very strong advocacy of Domestic Violence NSW, Homelessness NSW and Yfoundations that the sector needs certainty to deliver the best outcomes for the homeless in NSW,” Mr Hazzard said.
“As well as certainty, homelessness services need the best collaborative relationships and the Government will also evaluate the current Joint Working Agreements to see just how well they are working.”
Providers are currently contracted through to June 2017. The renewal to 2020 includes Government-funded homelessness services delivered through the Specialist Homelessness Services program, the Inner City Restoration Fund and the Service Support Fund (SSF). The SSF renewals are subject to a review of district priorities and the willingness of providers to vary their service delivery where required.
Under this approach:
- · Service scope and value of contracts may be amended via direct negotiation with providers to meet local service needs.
- · Extensions will only be offered to services which demonstrate they are meeting performance requirements.
- · Re tendering will be considered on a case by case basis only if a service package changes significantly or if a provider has not performed adequately.
Mr Hazzard said the new contracts will progressively link funding to outcome measures and consultation with the sector is needed in order to get this approach right.