Towradgi will be a trial area for an initiative that encourages public housing applicants to maintain a job or education so they can move up the waitlist for social housing.
The state government says social housing tenants and applicants will soon be able to access “life-changing” education and employment opportunities via its $42.6 million ‘Opportunity Pathways’ welfare program.
The program includes the government trialling time-limited leases for 20 tenancies which link engagement with the program with earlier access to social housing for those on the waitlist.
We also want to set to a clear expectation that social housing is not for life.
This initiative will be trialled in Punchbowl and Towradgi, across a total of 20 properties.
Participants will initially sign a six-month lease.
Participants will also be required to initially secure a job or enrol in a course, and maintain it for up to three years during the trial.
The Mercury understands that Towradgi was chosen as a location for the trial as the properties being utilised in the trial needed to be vacant at the time it will take place.
The trial is due to start in February.
Minister for Social Housing Pru Goward said Opportunity Pathways aims to improve the independence of social housing clients by providing them with support to boost their ability to find and maintain a job.
“The program will help break the cycle of disadvantage and increase the number of tenants positively exiting the social housing system,” Ms Goward said on Friday.
“This is about equipping tenants with the skills they need to not only obtain a job, but keep it over the longer term and achieve their full potential.
“We also want to set to a clear expectation that social housing is not for life and for those who can work, social housing should be used as a stepping stone to moving into the private rental market.”
Opportunity Pathways will be available to public, community and Aboriginal housing tenants, people on the NSW Housing Register and people in private rental accommodation who receive a subsidy under Rent Choice.