​Housing and mental health are closely related. Having a safe and secure place to call home is a fundamental foundation for health and wellbeing. In turn, having good health and wellbeing helps people to sustain housing and access housing supports.

Last updated: 20 April 2022

​​The Housing and Mental Health Agreement 2022 (HMHA 22) is an agreement between NSW Health and the Department of Communities and Justice (DCJ). It outlines the important relationship between housing and mental health and commits the agencies to work together and engage key stakeholders to achieve a common vision that:

People who live with mental illness have timely access to safe, secure, appropriate housing; and mental health supports in place when needed, to sustain housing, live well in the community and lead their recovery.

One shared client group

HMHA 22 relates to the policy, commissioning and delivery of mental health, social housing and homelessness services by the signatories to a shared client group defined as:

People aged 16 years and over who:

  • are living in social housing, experiencing homelessness, or are at risk of experiencing homelessness, and
  • may require mental health services funded by NSW Health or be supported to access broader
    mental health services.

Two signatory partners, but a broad range of participants

Signatory partners - people with lived experience

  • DCJ districts
  • NSW local health districts and specialty health network
  • Community Housing Providers (from the Social Housing Management Transfer Program – SHMT)
  • Senior executives, policy and commissioning staff from the signatory agencies

Agreement particpants - people with lived experience

  • Specialist Homelessness Services Community Housing Providers (non-SHMT)
  • Mental Health Community Managed Organisations
  • Land and Housing Corporation (LAHC)
  • Aboriginal Housing Office (AHO)
  • Aboriginal Community Housing Providers (ACHPs)
  • Other service providers or funders, for example: 
    • Primary Health Networks, NDIA
    • Child Protection
    • Alcohol and Other Drug services
    • Justice
    • Local Government.
  • Private sector, for example: 
    • General Practitioners
    • private psychiatrists
    • landlords
    • real estate agents.

Three key objectives

NSW Health and DCJ have entered into this agreement to drive three key objectives:

  1. re-invigorate effective, accountable and sustainable governance at the interface of mental health,
    housing, and homelessness
  2. establish and deliver on a common agenda through shared goals in partnership with funded services
    and key stakeholders
  3. describe and embed agreed principles in policy, commissioning and service delivery.

 Seven guiding principles

  1. Empowering and respecting the rights of people with lived experience.
  2. Adopting a trauma-informed approach.
  3. Placing the person at the centre of services.
  4. Adopting a holistic approach.
  5. Respecting differences between and across signatory agencies.
  6. Involving people with lived experience.
  7. Sharing information.

Two frameworks to support implementation

HMHA 22 outlines the overarching aims, objectives and commitments for DCJ and NSW Health as the signatories to support the shared client group. A Service Delivery Framework and Governance Framework will be released to support the implementation of the agreement.

For further information about HMHA 22 please email: moh-housingandmentalhealthagreement2022@health.nsw.gov.au

Current as at: Wednesday 20 April 2022
Contact page owner: Mental Health