Information for tenants
As a Community Housing Provider, Home in Place ensures that residents have their own safe space to live, for as long as they need and that their accommodation requirements are fully supported.
Social housing is made up of two types of housing, public housing (government) and community housing (not-for-profit agencies such as Home in Place).
It is for people on low incomes who need housing, especially those who have recently experienced homelessness, family violence or have other special needs.
Social housing is available to people on low incomes who cannot afford to own or rent in the private market.
In NSW, Home in Place participates in Housing Pathways, a shared access system used by public and community housing providers together, to assess clients for housing assistance and to make offers of housing.
This shared system avoids the duplication of separate waiting lists, and makes it easier, simpler and fairer to apply for housing.
The general eligibility criteria for social housing are:
- Be 18 years of age
- Be a citizen or permanent resident of Australia
- Be a current resident of NSW
- Meet the gross income threshold based on your household.
More information about eligibility can be found here.
In Queensland, Home in Place offers the following programs to those who are eligible:
- Community Rent Scheme (CRS) Program
The CRS program is a transitional housing program and offers a housing option for up to 18 months, while you build your capacity to enter back into the private rental market.
The Department of Housing and Public Works have funded Compass Housing Qld to rent privately owned properties to be leased to those who are eligible for 25% of the household income plus rent assistance.
- Community Managed Studio Units (CMSU) Program
The CMSU program is also a transitional housing program and offers a housing option for up to 18 months, while you build your capacity to enter back into the private rental market.
The CMSU program offers a studio unit that is furnished and leased to tenants at 28% of their household income plus rent assistance.
- QLD Long Term Community Housing
Long Term Community Housing is only available to tenants with significant barriers to the private rental market and who are high or very high need on the housing register.
For more information on this, and the above programs, please go to the Types of Community Housing section on the Queensland Governmnt website.
There are several ways you can apply for social housing in NSW:
- Online via the Department of Communities and Justice (DCJ) Housing pathways website HERE
- In person via your nearest housing provider. Find a list of housing providers near you HERE
- Using the NSW Government’s MyHousing app. You can download the MyHousing app to your smart phone from the Apple App Store on on Google Play.
In QLD, please contact your nearest Department of Housing and Public Works Housing Service Centre for information on applying for admittance to the QLD Housing Register.
You will not generally be eligible for social housing if you own property. There are however a few, very specific exceptions to this rule. Details can be found here.
Affordable housing products are an alternative for low-income workers experiencing housing stress in the private rental market at a rebated rent.
The transitional aspect of affordable housing encourages tenants to pursue real property ownership while paying reasonable rent in their present circumstances. Affordable housing represents approximately 11% of Home in Place’s total housing portfolio, funded by federal and state governments under various programs including the:
- National Rental Affordability Scheme
- Building Better Cities
- Debt Equity Funding
- Social Housing Growth Fund
- NSW Government’s Social and Affordable Housing Fund (SAHF) initiative
The portfolio receives additional funding directly from Home in Place through debt finance and leveraging from our asset portfolio.
To be eligible for Affordable Housing:
- You must be an Australian citizen, a permanent resident or have a valid visa to reside in Australia.
- You must have a connection with the area that you are applying for housing in. This could be through work, education, family or long term residency.
- You are a low-moderate income earner.
- There is no outstanding debt to Home in Place, Housing NSW, or any other Community Housing provider.
- You must be earning below the tenant income level relevant to your household type. An up-to-date and extensive list of example household income limits set by the NSW Government can be found here. Income eligibility limits on properties receiving National Rental Affordability Scheme (NRAS) funding are outlined on the DSS website here.
Household income limits are indexed annually on 1 May in accordance with the NRAS tenant income index.
Some Affordable Housing Programs have specific eligibility criteria. You will be advised of any additional criteria on enquiry.
Affordable housing is available to households within very low, low and moderate income bands.
Income eligibility limits, or thresholds, are determined by household size and total income.
In NSW, two median income measures are used to set the eligibility limits:
- One is for people living in the Sydney and surrounding regions including Central Coast LGA to the north, Blue Mountains LGA to the west and Wollondilly to the south.
- The other is for people living in the rest of NSW
The NSW Ministerial Affordable Housing Guidelines, which can be downloaded here, set out the Household Income Eligibility Limits by household composition, income and region.
Some Affordable Housing Programs have specific eligibility criteria.
Income eligibility limits on properties receiving National Rental Affordability Scheme (NRAS) funding are outlined on the Australian Government Department of Social Services website here.
All Home in Place Affordable Housing vacancies are advertised on realestate.com under the relevant locations.
- Sydney and surrounds
- Newcastle and Lake Macquarie
- Maitland and the Lower Hunter
- Central Coast
- South East Queensland
Prospective applicants are encouraged to register their interest in available dwellings via the online enquiry form within each listing.
Once the property has been viewed, you can download the Housing Application Form below. Completed application forms, together with required supporting documentation should be forwarded to [email protected].
- NRAS Application Form – Download here
*NEW* My Place PortalTop
The My Place Portal will allow Home in Place tenants and residents to view tenancy details, rent balances, utilities balances and maintenance requests.
If we have a valid personal email address on file for you, you will be invited to set up an account in the coming months. Stay tuned, we will be in touch.
Frequently Asked QuestionsTop
Commonwealth Rent Assistance (CRA) is a regular extra payment from Centrelink which you may be eligible for if you already receive certain payments and pay rent. The amount you receive is dependent on the amount of rent you pay.
You can get Commonwealth Rent Assistance (CRA) if you pay rent and you’re getting:
- Age Pension, Carer Paymentor Disability Support Pension
- ABSTUDY Living Allowance, Austudy or Youth Allowance
- Special Benefit
- Family Tax Benefit– Part A at more than the base rate
- Parenting Paymentpartnered and single
- JobSeeker Payment or Farm Household Allowance
You must also pay 1 of the following:
- fees in a retirement village
- board and lodging
- site or mooring fees if your main home is a caravan, relocatable home or a boat.
You must pay more than a certain amount of rent each fortnight. How much Rent Assistance you can get depends on how much rent you pay.
More information on rent assistance eligibility is available here.
You don’t need to apply for Commonwealth Rent Assistance (CRA), as Centrelink will assess your eligibility when you claim a payment from them. Centrelink will ask you to complete a Rent Certificate in order to calculate how much CRA you can claim.
A rent certificate is a form you may be asked to complete in order to assess your eligibility for Commonwealth Rent Assistance.
In affordable housing rents are set on a percentage of the market rent – usually between 75%-80%. The amount you pay will depend on the market rent for a similar property in the same area.
In social housing, tenants can be charged between 25% and 30% of their gross assessable income in rent, plus 100% of the household’s maximum entitlement to Commonwealth Rent Assistance.
In NSW, the Department of Communities and Justice may be able to assist you with a loan of up to 100% of rental bond. The loan is interest free and repayable to the department.
For further details please refer to the DCJ Housing website.
Advance Rent is provided to the client as a grant by DCJ Housing and is not repaid. However, it is not available unless the client is also receiving a Rentstart Bond Loan or is moving into accommodation where a Bond Loan is not applicable.
For further details please refer to the DCJ Housing website here.
Contact our Housing Access team on 1300 333 733 for more information.
Centrepay is a Centrelink service used to pay bills such as your rent as deductions from your Centrelink payments. The amount is deducted from your payment before it gets to you, and sends it to the organisation you’ve nominated instead. It’s free and voluntary.
You can use Centrepay to pay your rent directly to Home in Place before your Centrelink payment lands in your account.
The National Rental Affordability Scheme (NRAS) was a commitment by the Australian Government to invest in affordable rental housing.
The Scheme’s purpose was to address the shortage of affordable rental housing by offering financial incentives to the business sector and community organisations to build and rent dwellings to low- and moderate-income households at 20 per cent below-market rates for 10 years.
The aims of NRAS are to:
- Increase the supply of new affordable rental housing;
- Reduce rental costs for low- and moderate-income households; and
- Encourage large scale investment and innovative delivery of affordable housing.
The Social and Affordable Housing Fund (SAHF) is a NSW Government fund developed to support affordable housing. The SAHF provides funding for the delivery of accommodation services through organisations like Home in Place.
Tenants are required to pay rent towards social housing, however typically at a much lower rate than they would pay in the private market. Community Housing is primarily self-funded, however organisations like Home In Place can access government grants and funding to provide more services and increased access to housing supply through development and headleasing programs.
There is a waiting list for social housing unfortunately, it’s a long list. For NSW, estimated waiting times are updated each year, and can fall in to four categories: less than 2 years, 2-5 years, 5-10 years, and more than 10 years.
The time that you can expect to wait for social housing depends on:
- The volume of appropriate vacancies and number of properties in the area
- How many people are needing the same type of property in the area
- Whether offers of public housing, community housing, or Aboriginal housing (for eligible applicants) are accepted
- How many “priority” applicants are on the list above non-priority applicants.
N.B. A priority applicant is someone with complex needs who have been assessed to ascertain the urgency of their situation. Certain criteria must be met to be approved for priority access.
Market rent is the rent someone would likely pay for a similar property in the private market.
This is based on properties which are:
- a similar location
- a similar size
- with similar features
And determined by sources such as property valuations, rental bonds, and current private market trends.
Home In Place participates in the Community Housing Leasehold Program. You can contact your closest Home In Place office to discuss this program and the long term benefits to you as a landlord – such as guaranteed monthly rent payments and reduced vacancy risks!
During a nominated Tenant Amnesty period, tenants have the opportunity to come forward and tell us about any changes in their household, income, assets and property ownership, knowing that they will not have their rent backdated and will not be evicted as a result of any information provided during the amnesty period
The Tenant Amnesty provides protection from penalties for not declaring income such as Centrelink support, wages, shares or assets, as well as having unauthorised occupants in social housing.
During the amnesty, information can also be received from members of the community, about tenants who may not be doing the right thing. In these cases, the tenant will be notified in writing about the allegation and given the opportunity to discuss this with Home in Place and disclose any necessary information. If they do so, they will also be protected by the amnesty.
Tenants who do not advise Home in Place of changes to their household, income or assets, during the amnesty period may:
- have their rent subsidy cancelled;
- have a large debt to repay; and/or
- face more serious actions such as termination of their tenancy
However, any of these actions can be stopped by simply contacting Home in Place during the amnesty period on 1300 333 733 and asking to speak with a rent officer, or by email to [email protected]