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Related links for boarding house operators  

Here is a list of contacts and information about government requirements and assistance that may apply to you.

Where can I get more information about assisted boarding houses? 

Assisted boarding houses are licensed by Ageing Disability & Home Care (ADHC) to provide accommodation to two or more residents with additional needs as defined by the Act.

Not all people with a disability have additional needs, and you must not discriminate against persons with disabilities by not providing them with accommodation. ADHC is able to provide assistance to boarding houses in identifying whether someone has additional needs, and, if necessary, in finding suitable accommodation for them.

For more information go to the Boarding houses page on the ADHC website or email

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Are there additional requirements if a resident is under 16? 

If you provide residential accommodation to a person who you reasonably believe to be a child aged under 16 years living away from home without parental permission, you must immediately inform Community Services.

Call the Child Protection Helpline on 132 111 to make a report. For more information, refer to the Department of Family and Community Services website.

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What assistance is available for people with a mental illness?  

Mental Health Services at Health NSW provide specialist mental health assessment, inpatient and community treatment, and rehabilitation. The contact details for information and referrals can be found on the NSW Health website or by calling the Mental Health Line on 1800 011 511.

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What assistance can I get if I am building or extending a boarding house?  

Housing NSW operates a range of financial incentive schemes to encourage the building, extending and upgrading of boarding houses. For information go to the Centre for Affordable Housing website.

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What other Government assistance is available? 

Revenue NSW

Revenue NSW operates a land tax exemption program which includes certain boarding houses. The exemption for boarding houses is available where land is used and occupied primarily as a boarding house, and meets guidelines approved by the Treasurer. For more information go to the Land tax page on the Revenue NSW website or email

The Centre for Affordable Housing

The Centre for Affordable Housing, within Housing NSW, co-ordinates NSW Government policies to improve housing affordability. The Centre can be contacted by email at or by going to the Centre for affordable housing webpage on the Housing NSW website.

The Centre manages a number of programs which can assist boarding house proprietors. Contact the Centre directly for more information on the following programs.

The Boarding House Financial Assistance Program - New supply grants makes grants available to assist with the construction of new, self-contained boarding house accommodation.

The Boarding House Financial Assistance Program - Fire safety upgrade grants help owners and operators of boarding houses undertake essential fire safety works. These grants improve fire safety for boarding house residents, and help retain boarding houses that provide long term, low cost housing.

National Rental Affordability Scheme (NRAS) is a joint initiative of Commonwealth and State and Territory governments. NRAS aims to increase private investment in affordable housing by providing an annual tax incentive or grant for the construction of new properties that are rented at below market rent. Not for-profit community housing providers are also eligible to apply. Boarding houses are an eligible form of accommodation under NRAS.

Community information services

Boarding House Outreach Project (BHOP) is based at the Newtown Neighbourhood Centre in Sydney’s Inner West. BHOP provides support to boarding house owners to integrate the reforms of the Boarding Houses Act into their operations including: registration, occupancy rights, and safety and privacy of residents.

BHOP publishes a Guide for Operators of Boarding Houses and a poster which displays useful contact numbers for residents. Access to these resources and information about BHOP is available from the ‘Boarding House Services’ section of the Newtown Neighbourhood Centre website.

Local Councils

Some local councils offer incentives, such as rate rebates, to operators of boarding houses and other low cost accommodation. Contact your local council to see if there are any incentive programs for which you are eligible.

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When should I seek independent legal advice?  

Fair Trading cannot provide legal advice about your responsibilities or liabilities as the operator of a boarding house. If you need legal advice about such matters, you should seek your own legal advice. More information is available from the Find a lawyer page of the Law Society of NSW website.

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