Together Home: High Needs Packages

High Needs packages are intended to assist individuals across NSW aged 18 years plus who are being supported through the Together Home program.

These packages aim to provide services with the additional resource required to support people with complex, co-occurring issues who require intensive support.

The aim of high needs packages is to promote personal recovery and social inclusion. This may involve the provision of additional case management and specialist services such as:

  • life skills support
  • advancing connection to community, family or country
  • accessing specialist assessments to support transition to mainstream service provision (such as the NDIS or HASI)
  • provision of specialist clinical support
  • any additional practical help that is needed to maintain a tenancy.

Please note that the allocations of HNPs for participants in Tranches 1, 2 and 3 of the Together Home program have been exhausted.

Unspent funds from closed HNPs will be reallocated to Together Home participants with unmet high needs when they become available. In this process, individuals will not be receiving access to a full package of $78,000 over the 2 years but will be approved for one-off funding grant for individual supports as requested.  Services will be advised if and how much funding is available for reallocation in the notification for each HNP round.

How are High Needs Packages assessed and granted?

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Homelessness NSW is facilitating the application process for high need support packages through the High Needs panel.

The High Needs panel includes representatives from The Department of Communities and Justice (DCJ), Health, National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA), Aboriginal representatives and individuals with lived expertise. The role of panel members is the prioritisation and allocation of funding.

The panel reviews referrals to ensure:

  • Referrals evidence the existence of complex needs that can only be met by through a high needs support package
  • There is equitable distribution of packages across the state
  • Identified groups are prioritised, including people who identify as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander, people over 55yrs (or 45yrs if a person identifies as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander), individuals under 24 years, females, persons who identify as LQBTQI+A and individuals from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) background.

The panel meet every month and will operate a rolling process of referrals.

Please note, where an individual has a VI-SPDAT score of 15 + this indicates the existence of multiple and complex factors that suggest an individual may benefit from a high needs package. The VI-SPAT score is not a sole deciding factor, referrals can be considered where an individual has a smaller number of acute needs that seriously impact their housing stability.

Individuals who identify as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander will be prioritised for high needs packages and will receive at least a third of the overall total of packages and one-off funding grants allocated.

Key dates for panel meetings

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Round 22: November 2022

  • 27 October: High Needs Packages referrals and reviews due
  • 3 November: HNP panel meeting

Round 23: December 2022

  • 16 November: High Needs Packages referrals and reviews due
  • 1 December: HNP panel meeting

Homelessness NSW aims to provide acknowledgment that a referral has been received 5 days prior to every panel meeting. Referring agencies are provided details of decisions within 5 working days of a panel meeting taking place.

How do I make a referral?

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If it becomes evident that a current support package is not meeting the needs of an individual and additional support is required, it may be appropriate to consider making a referral.

It is essential that all individuals referred to the panel have provided informed consent and that a VI-SPDAT has been completed. Referrals will be accepted from Community Housing Providers funded for the Together Home program or contracted support services.  

The referral process is designed to capture all the key information that is required by the panel to assist decision making and should include:

  • A copy of the Client engagement and nomination form used to refer the individual to the Together Home program
  • The High Needs Package referral form, with all sections completed
  • A High Needs Package budget template
  • Any other supporting documentation

All of the forms and templates are below in our ‘Resources’ Section. You can also view our sample case study, which gives you an example of a clients journey through the high needs package process.

What happens after I make a referral?

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Homelessness NSW will contact you within 5 days of the panel meeting.

If a Package is not approved:

  • You will be provided with the reason/s for the panel’s decision and will be provided with a recommendation about how the individual’s needs may be met through other services
  • Please note that this does not prevent you making a further referral for the same individual if their needs change and additional resources are required.

If a Package is approved:

  • You will be provided with details of what has been approved
  • The panel may provide provisional approval for certain expenditure and provide a recommendation/s regarding what action/ information is required before funding can be approved.

All funding allocated to a High Needs Package is managed via the existing contract management arrangements in place between the Community Housing Provider and DCJ.

What happens after my Package is approved?

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  • All High Needs Packages are reviewed at 6 monthly intervals. The purpose of the review is for the panel to understand how the package is meeting the individuals needs and to identify whether any systemic barriers have been encountered
  • Homelessness NSW will contact you before the review to request relevant information
  • Where an allocated package has not exceeded the total funding available to an individual, further funding may be available – subject to the panel’s assessment of an individuals need during the review process.

How many packages have been allocated?

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To view an overview of 2020-21 click here

To view an overview of Quarter 1 of 2021-22 click here

To view an overview of Quarter 2 of 2021-22 click here


High Needs Packages Resources

Case Study: Tanya’s Referral


About the Together Home Program

The Together Home program uses Housing First principles to provide stability for people who are sleeping rough with the aim of building individual capacity and capabilities.

Key objectives of the program include:

  • Rapidly rehousing people sleeping rough during the COVID-19 pandemic and facilitate pathways into longer term housing;
  • Providing access to culturally appropriate health, mental health and wellbeing services;
  • Building connections including with family, community and culture;
  • Supporting daily living and self-management skills; and
  • Providing structured activities including social groups, education or employment.

More info


Other Projects

Sydney Women’s Homelessness Alliance

The Sydney Women’s Homelessness Alliance (SWHA) has been established to assist cross agency sector collaboration and improve a woman’s journey through the complexities of the homelessness system.

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