Aboriginal Community Owned & Managed

News & Events

Learn About SEARMS: Who We Are and What We Do

Posted on 13 Jan 2022

Who We Are

SEARMS is an Aboriginal Community Controlled and  Tier 3 National Regulatory System Community Housing (NRSCH) registered provider.  We provide housing and tenancy management services to the AHO and other Aboriginal organisations across seven local government areas in the far-south coast and capital region.

Originally established in 2003 to improve efficiencies and services under the Regional Management Model of the AHO, we started as a co-operative between six Aboriginal housing providers:

  1. Batemans Bay Local Aboriginal Land Council
  2. Bodalla Local Aboriginal Land Council
  3. Budawang Aboriginal Corporation
  4. Cobowra Local Aboriginal Land Council
  5. Mogo Local Aboriginal Land Council
  6. Ulladulla Local Aboriginal Land Council

On 29 January 2020 we achieved registration as a Tier 3 Community Housing Provider (CHP) under NRSCH. In March 2020 we were selected by NSW AHO as one of NSW’s first Aboriginal Community Housing Growth Providers.

We are a registered charity under the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) with Public Benevolent Institution and Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) status with the Australian Tax Office. In 2011 we transitioned into an Aboriginal Corporation under the Corporations Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (CATSI) Act, under which the Office of the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations (ORIC) is the governance regulator.


What We Do

Our current property management portfolio consists of around 400 properties in townships and communities from Nowra down the coast to Wallaga Lake, and across to Queanbeyan, Canberra, Yass, Young and Goulburn.

SEARMS acts as managing agent for a number of  owners, including owning and managing our own stock.

Each property owner has different eligibility criteria and housing policies. This will be set out in the terms of your lease, and will determine the rent you pay.

You can find out which program you’re renting under by looking at your residential tenancy agreement.

Working closely with the communities in these areas, our services include:

  • Tenancy management
    Managing a range of rebated rent housing programs as per Owner housing policies
  • Asset management
    Advising on and scheduling compliance works
  • Housing policy recommendations (where applicable)
    This includes rent setting and arrears management options for owner organisations.
  • Project management (where applicable)
    Procurement, management of asset capital works programs

A core part of our service delivery is to ensure that our tenants have access to supports that assist them in sustaining their tenancies. In order to achieve this, we work closely with tenant advocacy provider Murra Mia and other locally-based health and employment services.

Education and consultation with our stakeholders is also important to us. From our members through to local service providers, tenants, client organisation boards and beyond, education and consultation is an essential part for SEARMS to be able to meet our respective responsibilities and obligations to ensure culturally appropriate and sustainable housing outcomes. Where possible we use and promote Aboriginal employment in our procurement of contractors and services.