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Positioning Statements

Policies and Statements

The following statements and policies have been adopted by the Federation Board over a number of years.  Together with our Strategic Plan, they guide the choices we make and the way we work. 

Acknowledegment of Traditional Owners and Statement of Apology


Housing Affordability Industry Strategy

Values & Ethics

Risk Policy Statement

Privacy Policy

Acknowledement of traditional owners of this area

The NSW Federation of Housing Associations acknowledges the Gadigal Clan of the Eora Nation who are the traditional owners of the land on which the Federation is located.

Statement of apology and commitment to Aboriginal Peoples and Torres Strait Islanders

The undersigned members of the National Community Housing Forum, as organisations committed to strengthening communities through improving housing outcomes, believe it is vital that we build constructive working relationships with Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islanders based on the recognition of and respect for the Indigenous cultures of this country.

We understand that recognition of and respect for the Indigenous cultures of this country must include coming to terms with a history marked by dispossession of Aboriginal Peoples and Torres Strait Islanders from their land and the forced removal of their children.

We believe that the dispossession of Aboriginal Peoples and Torres Strait Islanders must be addressed as a matter of justice and we support all efforts that aim to meaningfully resolve rights to the land of Aboriginal Peoples and Torres Strait Islanders.

We recognise that the policy of forced removal sought to assimilate the children of Aboriginal People and Torres Strait Islanders so that they would cease to exist as the Indigenous people of this country with their own distinct culture and history. We agree that assimilation policies are wrong and all people have the right to be proud of their cultural heritage and to continue their cultural practices and beliefs.

We acknowledge the finding of Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission report, Bringing Them Home, that the forced removal of children permanently traumatised individuals and families.

We acknowledge the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission and the National Report of the Royal Commission Into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody finding that childhood separation of those deceased was largely a result of ‘care and protection’ orders made in response to housing conditions. The National Report makes it clear that the lack of facilities available to Aboriginal Peoples and Torres Strait Islanders in the places where they live has been both a direct and indirect cause of ill health and that this, in turn, has been used to justify racially discriminatory policies of assimilation.

We recognise that inappropriate housing and infrastructure policies and programs have significantly contributed to the severe disadvantages suffered by Aboriginal Peoples and Torres Strait Islanders today.

We believe that all government and non-government organisations must commit themselves to a reconciliation process that ensures a united Australia.

We agree to commit ourselves to the reconciliation process by seeking advice from and working with Indigenous organisations in their struggle for better health and housing outcomes. We agree with the principles of empowerment, self-determination and self-management by Aboriginal Peoples and Torres Strait Islanders and to their fundamental right to appropriate housing and better health outcomes under terms within their control.

We agree that to address the present we must actively and sincerely commit ourselves to addressing our collective past and its ongoing impact. We cannot move forward unless the wounds of the past are healed. We recognise that meeting the housing and other needs of the Stolen Generation is essential to repairing some of the consequences of that past.

We therefore unreservedly and with open hearts apologise to Aboriginal Peoples and Torres Strait Islanders for the pain and suffering caused and we look forward to working with Aboriginal Peoples and Torres Strait Islanders and collectively contributing to a united Australia where justice and equity prevails for all peoples.

  • Association to Resource Co-operative Housing
  • Centacare Australia
  • Churches Community Housing Inc.
  • Community Housing Coalition of Western Australia
  • Community Housing Council of South Australia
  • Community Housing Federation of Australia
  • Community Housing Federation Victoria
  • Ecumenical Housing Inc.
  • National Shelter
  • National Youth Coalition for Housing
  • NSW Federation of Housing Associations Inc.
  • Queensland Community Housing Coalition
  • Tasmania Co-operative Housing Development Society

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Our Mission
The Federation’s mission is to support the
development of a not-for-profit rental housing
sector that compares to any around the world, and
makes a difference to the lives of lower income and
disadvantaged households across the state.

Our Vision
We see housing associations being present in all
housing markets, providing a full range of housing
products to ensure that such households are not
excluded and that those with specific needs can be
housed appropriately and responsively.

Our Approach
We aim to provide leadership to the housing
association sector in NSW by drawing on the
talents of the sector, its leading edge practice, and
on evidence from research and examples around
the word.

The Federation will represent the aspirations
and interests of housing associations to all other
stakeholders – government, industry and the wider

We will provide advice to members, government
and potential partners on the best ways to
expand the sector’s activities and meet the highest
standards of service to tenants, applicants and

We will support and resource individual members
to manage at the highest standard and the industry
to build the capacities needed to continue to

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Housing Affordability Industry Strategy

The NSW Federation of Housing Associations released its Homes for all: A plan for housing affordability in NSW. The Strategy covers how the housing affordability crisis in NSW should be addressed through the state planning system. The changes required include setting out clear affordable housing planning targets of 30% as well as amendments to NSW housing policy. Also outlined were other strategies for sector advocacy, alliances and collaboration.

The complete Industry Strategy report is available here and a summary is available here.

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Values Statement

The Federation values and will seek to ensure:

Social justice
The ultimate outcome of Federation activities is to support and enhance social justice

Through the elected members of the Board of Directors, the Federation provides leadership to the sector

Membership driven
The Federation aims to fulfil the sector’s aspirations through the membership.
We are responsive to our core members’ needs.

Professionalism and quality
Support high quality, professional housing services

The Federation supports its members to achieve the highest standards for accountability, efficiency and community service, and aspires to these in its own work

Enhancing opportunities
That there is no discrimination in employment and the delivery of all services.
That we provide equality of opportunity in employment
That we ensure a flexible and safe working and business environment so that all staff, Federation members and service users can participate in, and access all relevant services and opportunities.
That we implement active strategies to overcome historical disadvantages experienced by groups such as women, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, people from racial, ethnic and ethno-religious groups and people with a disability

Cultural appropriateness and responsive – particularly to the needs of Aboriginal communities, agencies and employees
We will work with Aboriginal community housing providers and the Aboriginal Housing Office.
Our products will be culturally appropriate and able to be adapted by Aboriginal housing organisations at their request

The well-being of our staff
That we ensure a safe working environment
That we provide an industrial relations environment that is fair to both the organisation and staff
That consistent with fairness to both parties, we seek to provide adequate remuneration and a employment practices that enable staff to balance work, family and personal life

The ongoing development of the organisation – the Federation is a learning organisation
We actively encourage the participation of all staff in continuing education, training and development activities that will enhance personal and professional knowledge and skills.
We seek to adopt best practice in governance and business practices

That we meet ethical standards in all aspects of our work:

All Federation staff and Board members will:

  • Behave honestly
  • Treat people fairly
  • Act within the law
  • Act in the interests of the Federation and all its members
  • Work diligently
  • Treat people and communities with respect.


Endorsed by Board of Directors – August 2003

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Risk Policy statement

The Federation’s role is to advance the interests of its members.  It is therefore prepared to be proactive in identifying and pursuing new opportunities for the sector and to manage the risks that may arise. 

It is prepared to take considerable political risks in the pursuit and protection of its members needs and interests, but will always seek to minimise these if possible. 

The Federation represents its members and so places a premium on the sector’s reputation and will be very reluctant to expose the sector’s reputation to risk. 

The Federation has been established to support its members.  It will take on business risks to the extent that they can be prudently managed, but only to the extent that the these activities support or enhance its capacity to support its members.

(Endorsed by Board of Directors and members at the February 2004 Housing Associations Meeting)

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Privacy Policy

The Federation will ensure that any personal information collected from individuals for the purposes of training, workshops or memberships will only be used for the purpose for which it is collected. The Federation will notify individuals if their personal information is being collected and for what purpose it is being collected. Personal information will not be shared with any other agency or organisation, unless prior permission from the individual is obtained. Personal information will not be held longer than necessary and will be disposed of appropriately. The Federation will ensure its policies and procedures for handling personal information are transparent.

Related Definitions & Legislation

Definitions: The Federation's privacy policy relates to the handling of personal information collected by the Federation in its roles as a Peak organisation servicing its members and as a Registered Training Organisation. 

Personal information refers to any information or opinion about an individual which can reasonably identify the individual.

- Federal Privacy Act 1988
- NSW Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998


The Federation will include its privacy policy on the website, or by request, and with all requests for personal information including its training application forms and individual membership applications.

Individuals will be requested to provide their consent for sharing their personal information in relation to any qualifications obtained through the Federation.

Personal information relating to the qualifications gained will be held the requisite period as determined by the Australian National Training Authority.

The Federation’s policy will be clearly displayed in the Federation’s Office

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