Ageing, Disability & Home Care

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New era dawns for boarding house reform in NSW

1 July 2013

Minister for Disability Services Andrew Constance has announced the full commencement of boarding house reforms in NSW with the Boarding Houses Regulation 2013 finalised and the remaining provisions of the Boarding Houses Act 2012 commencing today.

“Today marks the launch date of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) in the Hunter, but it’s also an important milestone day in the O’Farrell Government’s efforts to deliver greater protections to some of the state’s most vulnerable residents living in boarding houses,” Mr Constance said.

“The Boarding Houses Act 2012 was passed by Parliament in October last year, with parts of the Act that deal with general boarding houses only coming into effect in January 2013

“This gave us greater time to consult on the standards that will be used in boarding houses that accommodate people with additional needs, with the Draft Boarding Houses Regulation 2013 and Regulatory Impact Statement released in March this year for public consultation.

“The Draft Regulations proposed arrangements for ensuring appropriate standards are in place for assisted boarding houses - boarding houses for people with additional needs. Following intensive consultations with key stakeholders, the NSW Government has listened to the feedback and incorporated this into the final Regulations.”

Mr Constance said the Act and Regulation establish a stronger framework for the delivery of quality services in boarding houses and for the protection of the wellbeing of residents.

“Our aim has always been about getting the balance right in terms of maintaining the viability of the industry, while ensuring safeguards are in place for residents to live in clean, safe and well run accommodation,” Mr Constance said.

“The reforms will also bring standards in assisted boarding houses into line with contemporary affordable accommodation, with a limit on the number of residents living in assisted boarding houses and the right to a single room rather than shared. 

“The aim is to transition away from large scale, dormitory style institutionalised settings to living environments which provide residents with greater independence and choice.

“The sustainability of the sector remains a priority for the NSW Government, and over the next 18 months the impact of the reforms will be closely monitored in consultation with stakeholders.”

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