​The Housing and Accommodation Support Initiative (HASI) and Community Living Supports (CLS) are state wide programs providing support to people who have a severe mental illness so that they can live and participate in the community, in the way that they want to.

Under the programs, the Ministry of Health funds specialist community managed organisations to deliver a full range of flexible psychosocial supports, in close partnership with local health district clinical mental health teams and the Department of Family and Community Services (FACS).

Program history

Ministry of Health funded psychosocial supports commenced in 2003 with HASI General, and the supports have expanded progressively in phases:

  • Phase 1: 2003 to 2006
    General HASI was progressively rolled-out across NSW in three stages.
  • Phase 2: 2007 to 2008
    HASI in the Home was implemented in two stages with a focus on supporting people with a severe mental illness who had stable accommodation.
  • Phase 3: 2009
    Aboriginal HASI commenced in 2009 with a service delivery model targeting culturally appropriate support to Aboriginal people with a mental illness to support them live successfully in community
  • Phase 4: early 2016
    Ministry of Health led a competitive tender process for the Community Living Supports program to enhance HASI type supports across NSW under the NSW Mental Health Reform investment
  • Phase 5: late 2016 and early 2017
    The Ministry of Health worked in partnership with local health districts to conduct a state-wide competitive tender process to:
    • implement a contemporary service support model which could more readily respond to individual need
    • consolidate the separate streams of the program
    • incorporate funding and more appropriately target support that had previously been delivered under the Resource and Recovery Support Program (RRSP), a separate very low needs support program.

HASI and CLS in the context of the NSW Mental Health Reform 2014 - 2024

The NSW Government is committed to a decade-long, whole-of-government transformation of mental health care.

The HASI and CLS programs are important foundations of the Government’s commitment for a greater focus on community care. Together they form a key part of the strategy in NSW to prevent avoidable hospitalisations and presentations to emergency departments due to mental illness.

The integrated partnership models of both programs are also well aligned with the NSW Strategic Framework and Workforce Plan three interconnected goals of:

  • safe and high quality care
  • connected and integrated care
  • holistic and person centred care.

Program investment

In 2018-19:

  • eight community managed organisations were funded approximately $48 million to provide HASI supports across NSW
  • seven community organisations were funded approximately $21 million to provide CLS supports across NSW.

Program evaluation

A comprehensive evaluation was conducted of the HASI program in 2012 by the Social Policy Research Centre (SPRC), University of New South Wales. It concluded that consumers receiving HASI support had:

  • fewer and shorter mental health hospital admissions which translated to a potential cost saving of $30 million per year (estimated in 2009/10 dollars) and/or an increased capacity for other patients
  • an improved capacity to maintain their tenancies and use relevant mental and physical health services
  • improved mental health outcomes, improved social contact with family and friends and increased participation in community activities, including engagement in work, education and training for some consumers.

The SPRC commenced a more recent evaluation of the HASI and CLS programs in 2018 and will report progressively until the evaluation is finished in 2020.

What sort of supports are provided and where can I find more information?

HASI and CLS support helps people to establish and work towards their own, unique goals. The types of support that people receive depends on their individual needs and what they want to achieve. Read more information about the HASI programs and Community Living Supports.​​​​

Page Updated: Wednesday 31 July 2019
Contact page owner: Mental Health Branch