Communities and Justice

CHIF programs request for tender 2023/24 frequently asked questions

What programs are being tendered?

Three programs are being tendered through the one procurement process as follows.

Community Housing Innovation Fund (CHIF- Round 2) $27 million over 3 years

Funding of $27 million over financial years 2022/23, 2023/24 and 2024/25 is being tendered. The key objective is to deliver social housing. There is no specific target group.

Community Housing Innovation Fund – Domestic and Family Violence (CHIF-DFV- Round 2) $19 million over 3 years

CHIF-DFV is a part of the Attorney-General announced a Domestic and Family Violence (DFV) funding package of $484.3 million that includes building around 75 new crisis women’s refuges as well as developing or acquiring up to 200 properties.

Funding of $19.5 million over financial years 2022/23, 2023/24 and 2024/25 is being tendered. The key objective is to deliver social housing dwellings for women and children experiencing DFV.

Together Home Transition Program (THTP – Tranche 3) 2023/24

The Together Home Transition Program supports the exit of Together Home Program clients into fit-for-purpose longer-term social housing, thereby safeguarding previous Government investment in the Program.

Funding of $10 million for the financial year 2023/24 is being tendered.

Only CHPs delivering the Together Home Program are eligible to apply.

CHIF co-contribution model

What is the CHIF?

The Community Housing Innovation Fund (CHIF) Programs comprise $225 million to deliver more social and affordable housing in collaboration with Community Housing Providers (CHPs) across NSW.

The four objectives of CHIF approach are to:

  • Increase the supply of housing leveraging Government funds with CHPs’ access to a range of financial and non-financial resources.
  • Encourage innovative tenancy and property proposals that enhance tenants’ social housing outcomes using the strong partnerships that CHPs have within their communities and networks.
  • Ensure community housing sector diversity by encouraging regional and smaller scale CHPs to participate in the program.
  • Secure the long-term viability of the community-housing sector by increasing the size and value of the CHP owned portfolio.

How does the CHIF work?

The CHIF is based on a co-contribution model where Government funds are combined with CHPs’ contributions of capital, debt, land, tax concessions, philanthropy, etc. to increase housing supply. CHPs also bring their community networks, partnerships and local connections that can support tenants who will eventually live in these properties.

What can the grant be used for?

The CHIF Grant must be used for the social housing proportion of a project. A CHP’s co-contribution can be used for delivering affordable housing to enhance the project’s financial viability as well as to support integrated communities in a project.

Tenderers must contribute financial resources (equity, debt, land) and may also commit non-financial resources (concession values, and donations) to the project.

Are there particular target groups?

Yes.  CHIF social housing funding is targeted for three groups:

  • General Social Housing – no specific target.
  • Women and children experiencing Domestic and Family Violence
  • Together Home program tenants

(See Community Housing Innovation Fund Programs)

How much funding can we apply for?

Grant funding limits are set between $500,000 and $5,000,000 to encourage a range of CHPs to apply. DCJ reserves the right to vary the limits up or down to ensure the program objectives are achieved.

Who owns the property?

The CHP will own the property and will be responsible for all expenses – including, but not limited to responsive and planned maintenance, structural works, insurance, rates, etc.

DCJ will register an Interest on the title (See Properties and Land section) with any future dealings to be agreed by DCJ. You should get independent legal advice to check if there are any impediments to DCJ registering an Interest on land your organisation owns.

How many projects can we bid for?

A Tenderer can submit a maximum of three projects using the following variations and indicating the financial year the funds will be needed:

  • 3 projects for a maximum grant of $5 million for one or more of the CHIF Programs.
  • Maximum 3 project worth $5 million each and list in priority order as only one project can be supported

Our Project is not ready now, can we tender through this RFT?

A Tenderer can submit a project that is not “shovel ready” and due to commence in the future financial years i.e. 2023/24 and 2024/25. Evidence should be provided that the project will come to fruition (e.g. DA lodged, site ownership secured, debt facility in place, planning / activities commenced, etc.)


Who can apply for funding through the RFT?

All Community Housing Providers registered in NSW can apply in line with the Community Housing Providers (Adoption of National Law) Act 2012.

Tier 3 CHP’s are encouraged to apply and must demonstrate experience or have the capacity to manage and deliver a construction / acquisition at the required scale. DCJ wishes to encourage Aboriginal Community Housing Providers to apply as per Priority Reform Two – Building the Community-Controlled Sector of the National Agreement on Closing the Gap.

We are thinking about or are in the process of community housing registration. Can we still apply?

Yes and you will need to provide the following information:

  • any registration or compliance assessment reports from other related regulatory systems (e.g., Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission, PARS Aboriginal CHP registration);
  • a Registration Plan on the proposed approach to obtain registration as a CHP under the NRSCH prior to the date the last party signs the Community Housing Assistance Agreement; and
  • A timeline as part of the Registration Plan nominating any steps already taken towards CHP registration.

Funds will only be released to registered CHP at the time of signing a Community Housing Assistance Agreement.

Can we form a partnership or consortium with other organisations?

Yes. Partnership details will be required in the tender and in the CHAA.


What is a CHAA?

A Community Housing Assistance Agreement (CHAA) is the standard contract used by DCJ and a CHP for programs such as this. It is not subject to amendment unless there are specific and valid reasons. A CHAA template can be found at

Properties and land

The asset needs to be owned by the CHP.  A key driver of the CHIF is to maximise the CHP’s financial contribution to deliver housing now and in the future as well as increase CHP’s ownership of capital stock.

Can we sell or re-develop the properties in the future?

Yes. If the CHP decides to sell or re-develop, i.e. to deal with a property, it must advise DCJ and seek approval. DCJ cannot unreasonably withhold consent. DCJ’s interest will be recorded on the next property.

The CHAA says ‘DCJ will register an interest on the title of Funded Property”. What does this mean?

In brief, in order to protect the Government’s investment in the property, a reference is made to DCJ’s interest on the title of the property. It means that the CHP must consult with DCJ if it wants to deal in the property. A dealing could be selling it, taking out a mortgage, redeveloping it.

This operates as a gateway consent provision (that is - it is neither a mortgage nor a caveat) and the Housing Agency cannot unreasonably withhold consent – as set out in section 18.2 of the Community Housing Providers (Adoption of National Law) Act 2012.

Effectively this means a notation is put on the relevant title which simply states:

“Land is held subject to the provisions of section 18 Community Housing Providers (Adoption of National Law) Act 2012. Consent of the Secretary of the Department of Communities and Justice is required for plans and dealings inconsistent with the interests of the Secretary of the Department of Communities and Justice."

Tenderers are strongly encouraged to seek their own legal advice to check if there are any impediments to DCJ registering an Interest on land your organisation owns.

Funding and Finances

How will the grant be paid?

A grant will be paid in lump sum at an agreed timeline. Tenderers must specify the financial year that they will need the funds.

How are the respective contributions to the projects reflected in the contract?

The contributions to the project value are reflected as a percentage in the contract:

  • DCJ Contribution: The Grant at X% (% of the total project value)
  • CHP Contribution: Including land, debit, equity and other financial resources at Y% (% of the total project value)

How are CHPs’ contributions defined?

The following items contribute to the CHP’s ownership percentage of the project.



Land value

The land must be owned by the CHP by the time of submitting response to RFT attaching the latest valuation


Actual or potential loan

Tax concessions

If the CHP is a charity, it may be eligible for tax concessions, reductions in council fees, etc.

Philanthropic resources / donations

Includes pro-bono legal, architect, developer fees that the CHP would have paid for but have been donated, waived or reduced. Accurate and realistic costings are required.

Tenderers are strongly encouraged to investigate their eligibility for tax concessions.

Is funding available for operational costs?

No. DCJ funding can only be used for the acquisition and/or development of social housing dwellings proposed under the project.

Can we add a property to a previously DCJ funded capital project?

CHIF funds may be granted if they are adding extra properties to the site. Funds cannot be used to fund additional costs for an existing project. The tender will ask you to explain how the additional funds will work.

Advance Notice

What is ‘advance notice’ and how does it work?

Advance Notice allows your organisation to start planning for the future tender opening date. It gives you time consider your project plans, work out your financial arrangements, do initial research on sites and their potential usage and talk to possible partners.

How long is the Advance Notice period?

The period is from the date of announcement to the date of the Industry Briefing currently planned for the end of January 2023.

Can I ask DCJ any questions during the advance notice period?

No. Due to probity limitations, DCJ will not respond to any questions until the RFT is opened in January 2023. This FAQ is intended to answer as many questions as possible. However, you may send questions to which will be collated and used to inform the Industry Briefing if needed.

Responding to Requests for Tender (RFT)

When does the RFT start?

The RFT will commence with an Industry Briefing at the end of January / beginning of February 2023. The tender will run for around 25 business days. DCJ will be advertising the tender as widely as possible to allow people to register for the Industry Briefing.

What is an Industry Briefing?

An Industry Briefing provides specific information on the RFT and allows participants to ask general questions. Specific questions about a particular project idea will not be answered. These types of questions can be lodged in the data room for a response from DCJ.

What is a data room?

A data room is an on-line secure location where tender documentation will be placed, questions of a general or specific nature can be asked and answered, and where all final tenders are lodged. You will be given access via a registration process in late January 2023.

Last updated:

20 Feb 2024