Reforming social housing strategy in NSW: Future Directions

CEI is part of a consortium, led by Melbourne Institute: Applied Economic & Social Research and including the Cultural and Indigenous Research Centre Australia, RMIT and Monash University, appointed by the NSW Government to undertake a high-quality evaluation of the strategy and programs of Future Directions for Social Housing in NSW (Future Directions).

Future Directions is a major reform to the social housing system in NSW, with the priorities of providing more social housing; more opportunities, support and incentives to avoid and/or leave social housing; and a better social housing experience. The complex project will evaluate the Future Directions strategy as a whole, as well as three individual programs - Communities Plus, Social Housing Management Transfers and the Social and Affordable Housing Fund.

The aim of the evaluation is to answer two main questions: (i) has the Future Directions strategy achieved its objectives; and (ii) which Future Direction’s programs work well, for whom, and under which circumstances. The findings from the evaluation will be used to inform NSW social housing policy and practice decisions, ultimately improving the lives of vulnerable populations across NSW into the future.

In addition, the NSW Department of Family and Community Services is seeking to use this project to change the evaluation landscape in NSW by raising expectations in terms of methodological rigour, with a view to improving the quality of evidence used to inform policy and practice decisions within the NSW Government.

The consortium is using an effectiveness-implementation hybrid study for this evaluation, with an integrated, dual focus on assessing effectiveness and implementation. CEI is project managing the evaluation on behalf of the consortium, as well as using its extensive experience in incorporating a strong implementation outcomes focus in evaluations to lead the implementation evaluation component.