This policy relates to the Community Housing Complaints, Issues and Appeals Management Framework.
The purpose of this policy is to guide tenants on the process for appealing any decisions or outcomes determined by Southern Cross Housing (SCH) and details the assessment process.
An appeal is a request for a review of a decision to provide or not provide a housing service.
A complaint is a request to address dissatisfaction with the quality or type of services provided by SCH.
A service request is a request to resolve a dispute or address a problem on behalf of a tenant or other party.
This policy applies to all SCH tenants and applicants.
SCH makes decisions based on a set of policies and procedures that are designed to meet agreed standards of service for community housing providers that comply with the law.
SCH staff apply these policies fairly and transparently, so that tenants and applicants receive services for which they are eligible for. However, tenants and applicants may not always agree with a decision SCH makes. If a tenant or applicant disagrees with a decision made by SCH, they have a right to appeal the decision.
SCH encourages anyone who believes that an incorrect decision has been made, to firstly speak to the staff member (or their manager) who made the initial decision or outcome. If a formal appeal is made, a more senior SCH staff member who was not involved in the original decision will consider the appeal made. If SCH cannot resolve a tenant or applicants concerns, or they are unsatisfied with the appeal outcome, they then have the right to appeal to the NSW Housing Appeals Committee (HAC).
Tenants or applicants can lodge an initial appeal by completing the Appeals form on our website and submit it to SCH by email, post or hand delivering it to any office. If tenants require assistance to complete the form, SCH staff can be made available to assist.
If concerns relate to the quality of SCH service, rather than a decision SCH has made, tenants or applicants can lodge a complaint instead. Complaints can be lodged in writing using the Complaints form or in person at any SCH office.
Generally, appeals must be lodged within three months from the date a decision is communicated to a tenant or applicant. However, SCH may extend this timeframe if the tenant or applicant advises within 30 days of the decision that they require additional time to collect evidence to support their appeal.
All SCH staff are responsible for advising tenants and applicants of their appeal rights and assisting them with the appeal process if required.