The purpose of this document is to explain the Community Housing Eligibility policy.
Housing Plus will manage Community Housing Eligibility in accordance with:
Term: The NSW Housing Register
Definition: When a client is eligible for social housing or transfer, the social housing provider will place them on the NSW Housing Register. FACS and participating community housing organisations including Housing Plus will then use this register to offer housing when a suitable property in the social housing sector is available.
FACS and community housing providers are able to provide housing assistance in accordance with the Housing Act 2001.
To ensure that community housing assists clients who are most in need, the eligibility criteria for community housing concentrates on assisting:
Housing Plus will assess eligibility and priority for clients seeking social housing.
To be eligible for social housing, clients must:
Notwithstanding anything in this policy, a client may be ineligible for housing assistance if:
To determine whether a household meets the income eligibility for social housing, Housing Plus will:
Clients applying for social housing must provide proof of income. For more information go to Proof of income and assets.
There are no minimum income criteria. Permanent residents with no income are able to apply. Where a client declines to apply for a Centrelink income, the social housing provider will assess the client as receiving a basic Centrelink income support payment, for example, Newstart Allowance
If the client or their partner owns or has a share in property (including land) that could provide a viable alternative to social housing, they are not eligible for social housing if they are able to:
Housing Plus may waive the property ownership rule in certain cases such as:
Generally, an applicant must be at least 18 years of age before a provider can consider them for social housing. However, Housing Plus will consider applicants under 18 if:
Under the Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act 1998:
A child is not eligible for social housing. In these situations, Housing Plus will make a referral to Community Services for alternative accommodation and support services for the child.
Priority housing aims to meet the urgent housing needs of applicants who require long-term housing assistance.
To be eligible for priority housing, applicants must meet all three of the following criteria:
To be eligible for priority housing, an applicant must meet the general eligibility criteria for social housing, as outlined above.
An applicant may demonstrate that they have an urgent housing need if they are experiencing one or more of the following:
Housing Plus will assess a client’s ability to resolve their urgent housing need in the private rental market by looking at the following factors, which may make it difficult to rent privately:
The client’s ability to afford private rental accommodation is determined by assessing all forms of income received by the household. Housing providers will consider that rent is affordable if it does not exceed 50% of the household’s total gross weekly income, plus 100% of Commonwealth Rent Assistance.
A client’s ability to afford private rental accommodation is based on their gross household income. For priority housing assessment purposes, housing providers cannot take personal debts of any kind into consideration. Clients who are experiencing serious hardship due to debt should contact the Office of Fair Trading for information on financial counselling groups and services.
For more information, go to Eligibility for priority housing – urgent housing needs.
Where a former social housing tenant has left the premises with an unsatisfactory tenancy record due to rental arrears or significant tenant damage, the tenant will be admitted to the waiting list, but will not be made an offer until the cost of arrears/damage less than $500, or a satisfactory record of payment for longer than 6 months has been established.
Where a tenancy has been deemed to be unsatisfactory for other reasons, such as;
If a former tenant stops repaying their debt they will become ineligible for allocation of housing with Housing Plus.
It is the policy of Housing Plus not to enter into share accommodation arrangements for unrelated persons other than those involving a joint arrangement between the organisation and another support service.
Last updated – November 2018
Housing Plus is a progressive social enterprise that re-invests ALL profits back into improving social outcomes for individuals and communities in regional NSW. Housing Plus is a registered not-for-profit company limited by guarantee, and is a Tier 1 accredited community housing provider.
Suite 8, Level 2, 113 Byng Street
Orange NSW 2800
PO Box 968 ORANGE NSW 2800
Phone: 1800 603 300
Fax: (02) 6361 1609