Background to the Project

Originally developed in the late 1990s as an industry-led and industry-owned precursor to the introduction of formal regulation, the National Community Housing Standards (NCHS) was part of an early pitch to expand the capacity of the not-for-profit housing sector. The NCHS aimed to promote operational excellence, tenant-centred, inclusive practice and sound governance. Through three editions, the most recent dating from 2010, the NCHS served as a unifying set of good practice aspirations for the sector. The standards played an important role in influencing performance expectations incorporated within formal regulatory systems introduced across Australia since the mid-2000s. Unlike regulatory performance criteria, however, the Standards aim to define and inspire excellent practice rather than simply to assure minimum acceptable practice.

The NCHS concept therefore remains relevant today and this project will ensure the standards are revitalised and expanded to reflect contemporary best practice in priority service areas and functions.


Find useful resources and more information about the NCHS project here.

Advisory Group

CHIA National established an Advisory Group for the Revitalisation of the National Community Housing Standards project. The Advisory Group is a valuable source of information and expert advice to the CHIAs and its consultants. It will also provide an opportunity for discussion and debate between policy makers and practitioners and draw out the implications for other government and industry initiatives including the National Regulatory System for Community Housing (NRSCH).

Overall its purpose will be to provide a wide range of expert opinion in order to inform the development of both the standards and any assessment mechanism and to ensure the finished product complements other parts of the regulatory system. The industry members of the reference group will also act as ‘champions’ for the project at relevant forums.

The members of the initial Advisory Group were:

  • Wendy Hayhurst, CHIA National
  • Lesley Dredge, CHIA Vic
  • Adam West, CHIA NSW
  • Adrian Pisarski, National Shelter
  • Nick Proud, Powerhousing
  • Chris Martin, UNSW
  • Mark Francis, Qld Registrar
  • Veronica Westacott, DSS
  • Humair Ahmad, NSW Department of Communities and Justice
  • David Fisher, Housing Plus
  • Mike Myers, National Affordable Housing Consortium
  • Melissa Palframan, Housing First
  • Brett Wake, CHL