Social housing

What is it?

Social housing is housing available for people on very low to moderate incomes who have a housing need. Social housing includes public housing properties managed by Housing NSW and some community housing properties managed by registered community housing organisations, such as BlueCHP.

Applying for social housing

You can apply for social housing by completing an application form which can be lodged in person or by mail at all Housing NSW offices as well as at the offices of registered community housing providers. 

► Download application form (xxmb)

Assessment of application

After you lodge your application the social housing provider who receives it will conduct an assessment. If it appears that you may be eligible for social housing you will be contacted and requested to fill in a Social Housing Supplement form.  

► Download supplement form (xxmb)

Sometimes further information is required. If this is the case you will be contacted and asked to attend an interview.

Can I choose where I will be living?

If you are eligible for social housing, you can select an allocation zone. Allocation zones are areas where social housing is available. You will be listed to receive offers of housing in the allocation zone you selected.

While we try to house people where they want to live, specific locations cannot be guaranteed.  You may be offered housing in any of the suburbs in the allocation zone you have selected, which may not be the exact suburb you want to live in.

Some areas are also ‘high-demand’ areas. This means that there might be a large demand for housing in the particular area. If you select a ‘high-demand’ area you may have to wait a very long time for a suitable house to become available, or select a different area.


To be eligible to rent a social housing property from Housing NSW or a registered Community Housing Provider you must meet the following criteria:

  • Be an Australian citizen or have permanent residency
  • Be a resident of NSW
  • Not own any assets or property which could be used to solve your housing need
  • Be able to sustain a tenancy, with or without support
  • Meet the household income eligibility limits.

This information can be found in detail on the Housing Pathways website.

If you are assessed as being eligible for social housing, you will be placed on the NSW Housing Register. Housing NSW and Community Housing Providers all use this same register to allocate their social housing properties. It is important to note that you will have to select that you would like offers from Housing NSW and Community Housing Providers if you would like offers from all housing providers in the allocation zone you selected.  Alternatively you can select to receive offers from only Housing NSW or only Community Housing Providers, as long as both work in the zone you have selected.

How long will it take for me to be housed?

The amount of time you will need to wait for a house depends on a number of factors:

  • Whether you have been assessed as requiring priority assistance or wait-turn housing
  • How many other people are waiting for both housing assessed as requiring priority assistance or wait-turn housing in the same zone you have selected
  • The number of social housing properties in the area you have selected
  • Your specific housing needs

People approved for priority assistance will be housed ahead of most other people who have been approved as being eligible for social housing.

What if I have an urgent housing need?

If you have an urgent housing need, before you are offered a social housing property, you may be eligible for Emergency Temporary Accommodation (only available for up to 3 months). To find out if you are eligible for emergency accommodation, contact the Homeless Persons line:

1800 234 566 during business hours, or
1800 152 152 after hours