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Herbert Smith Freehills has advised Department of Family and Community Services (FACS) on tranche 2 of the Social Housing Management Transfer Program (SHMT), which will transfer management of around 14,000 social housing properties to community housing providers across nine separate geographical areas. This involves the establishment of community housing assistance agreements with nine different community housing providers across NSW.

Herbert Smith Freehills was appointed by FACS in February 2017 and advised on the request for tender process, interactive workshops, contract documentation, regulatory parameters and parallel negotiations with the multiple shortlisted parties.

Partner Nicholas Carney led a cross-practice team including fellow partner Drew Pearson, senior associates Nicholas Lazarou and Sophie Beaman, and solicitors Nick Middleton, Laura Ferraro and Marlowe Mitchell.

"We are delighted to have been part of this landmark project. It required an understanding of complex social housing procurements and we are pleased to deliver ‘tenant-first’ outcomes through sustainable collaborations between the government and the not-for-profit sector. To complete not just one, but nine of these service packages in a very short time period is an incredible achievement for all those involved in the SHMT,” Nicholas Carney said.

The SHMT is a key enabler of the Future Directions for Social Housing in NSW reform program which is underpinned by three strategic priorities: more social housing, more opportunities, support and incentives to avoid and/or leave social housing and a better social housing experience. The strategy will drive better outcomes for tenants and looks at the whole continuum of housing – from homelessness to the private market – and focuses on the importance of appropriate service provision rather than simply asset availability. A fundamental goal of the SHMT is the commitment to build community housing provider capacity – to foster a more ‘diverse’ social housing system.

This deal is another example of Herbert Smith Freehills’ market-leading work in the social and affordable housing sector. Other recent examples include our role advising NSW Treasury and FACS on the Social and Affordable Housing Fund and the Premier’s Innovation Initiative on Social Housing Assets.

Key contacts

Nicholas Carney photo

Nicholas Carney

Global Co-Head of Infrastructure, Sydney

Nicholas Carney
Drew Pearson photo

Drew Pearson

Partner, Sydney

Drew Pearson