Renting affordable housing Fact sheet What is affordable rental

Fact sheet
For more information or to apply
5 May 2014
Contact affordable housing
managers directly using contact
details on page 3 of this Fact
Renting affordable housing
What is affordable rental
Affordable rental housing is housing
that meets the needs of people on
very low to moderate incomes and
is priced so that they can afford
other basic living costs such as food,
clothing, transport, medical care and
Affordable housing may include
a range of accommodation types
and sizes, including single or multibedroom units, houses and studio
apartments. It is only available in
some locations and people must
meet eligibility criteria to apply.
Affordable rental housing in NSW is
usually managed by not-for-profit
community housing providers, and/or
by private organisations.
Many people need affordable rental
housing for lots of different reasons
including people who work full- or
part-time in lower paying jobs. In
addition it can include people who are
going through a change in their lives
which effects their financial situation
- such as having a baby, getting a
divorce or leaving home for the first
time, as well as people receiving a
government pension or benefit.
Table 1: Affordable rental housing income eligibility limits 2013/14
(for NRAS properties)*
Examples of household types
Single (first adult)
Single + 1 child
Single + 2 children
Single + 3 children
Couple + 1 child
Couple + 2 children
Couple + 3 children
Maximum initial household income
* Many affordable housing properties available in NSW have been funded
under the National Rental Affordability Scheme (NRAS), which is an Australian
Government initiative delivered in partnership with the NSW Government, so
the NRAS income limits are used here as a guide. However, some affordable
housing properties are funded under other programs and have different income
limits, particularly when the properties are in the Sydney region. The amount
of income your household can earn and still be eligible for affordable housing
might vary depending on the property that you would like to rent, so you will
need to check with the property manager.
Phone 1300 HOUSING
Am I eligible for affordable
rental housing?
Eligibility for affordable housing
mostly depends on your household
income, which must be within the
maximum limits set by the NSW and/
or Australian Governments.
Table 1 below is a guide to the
maximum income you can receive
to be eligible for an affordable rental
property that is funded by the
National Rental Affordability Scheme
(NRAS). You will notice that the more
people you have in your household,
the higher your household income is
allowed to be.
Other factors may also be
considered for eligibility
Other factors which may be
considered when assessing eligibility
• whether you are a citizen or
permanent resident of Australia
• whether your household would be
able to secure suitable or adequate
housing in the private rental market
• whether you own any assets (eg.
a property) which you could use to
solve your housing need
• whether you can show that you
are able to maintain a successful
Specific criteria may vary between
providers, so you will need to check
when you contact an affordable
housing manager.
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Fact sheet
5 May 2014
Renting affordable housing
How much rent will I pay?
Rents for affordable housing are set in
one of two ways.
The first is to set the rent as a
discount of the current market rent,
this means the rent is usually between
20 and 25 percent below the market
rent. Where rent is set this way, the
amount you pay will depend on the
market rent for a similar property in
the same area.
The second is to set the rent as a
proportion of a household’s before tax
income. Where rent is set this way,
households may be charged between
25 and 30 percent of their before tax
income for rent.
Different affordable housing managers
set the rent differently, and sometimes
they use both methods across the
properties they manage. It usually
depends on how the property was
funded and the circumstances of the
How long can I stay?
Generally, tenants of affordable
housing enter into a lease for a fixed
term and you will need to continue to
meet the eligibility criteria during the
As long as you remain eligible for
affordable housing the lease can
generally be renewed or continued.
How is affordable
housing different to social
Affordable housing is not the same
as social housing. You do not have to
be eligible for social housing to apply
for affordable housing, though people
who are eligible for social housing
may also be eligible for affordable
housing properties.
Affordable housing is open to a
broader range of household incomes
than social housing, so you can earn
more income and still be eligible. Rent
is also calculated differently and there
are different tenancy arrangements.
Some affordable housing properties
may be available to some applicants
on the NSW Housing Register, and
also to people who are leaving social
To apply
To apply for affordable housing,
contact the manager/s of the
properties directly. A list of managers
of affordable housing in NSW is
on page three of this fact sheet.
Affordable housing is only available in
some locations and this contact list
outlines these areas. However there is
no guarantee that a suitable property
will be available so please contact
the managers directly for further
You will need to apply separately to
each manager in the location/s you
are interested in, just like you would
if you were applying for a private
rental property. You can apply to
as many managers as you like and
each application will be assessed
separately according to the criteria.
Most managers ask you to complete
an application form and provide
documents which support your
submission. You will usually be
asked to provide proof of Australian
residency, identity, income, medical
documents indicating any disabilities
or serious health problems, rental
history, personal references and other
relevant information.
Your application will then be
assessed for eligibility based on your
information. The manager will let
you know the outcome and if your
application is successful whether
there is a vacancy. It’s important to
note that completing an application
Phone 1300 HOUSING
form, or even being assessed as
eligible, does not guarantee you an
affordable housing property.
If there is no vacancy, you may be
able to go on a waiting list, but these
are not kept by all managers. If the
manager you have applied to keeps
a waiting list, it is important to keep
them up-to-date with any changes to
your contact details or circumstances,
so they can contact you if a property
becomes available.
For more information
For more information about
affordable housing, including details
about eligibility, setting rent, lease
arrangements and vacancies, please
contact the affordable housing
managers directly using the list on
page three of this fact sheet. Start
with the managers located in the
areas in which you want to live.
Some questions you might ask
managers include:
• Am I eligible?
• How much rent will I pay?
• Are there any vacancies at the
• Do you keep a waiting list?
• How long can I stay in an affordable
housing property?
• What happens if my income
• What happens to my place on the
NSW Housing Register for social
housing if I enter an affordable
housing tenancy?
For more information about residential
tenancies in NSW, go to: www.
For information about social
housing assistance, go to www.
Page 2 of 3
Contact list for managers of affordable housing
To contact managers of affordable housing, call the office phone numbers in this table.
Community Housing Providers
Argyle Community Housing Inc.
Baptist Community Services NSW & ACT
Bridge Housing Ltd
Community Housing Limited
Office contact details Operating regions
Phone: 02 4861 2753
Phone: 02 9023 2500
Phone: 02 9699 6055
Phone: 02 9891 7600
Uniting Care
Phone: 02 8584 7500
Phone: 02 4929 5537
East Maitland
Phone: 02 4933 5063
Phone: 02 9890 7455
Phone: 02 8622 1500
Phone: 02 6766 6897
Phone: 02 6772 5133
Phone: 02 6360 3300
Phone: 02 9724 0554
Phone: 02 4227 1166
Phone: 1800 024 915
Phone: 02 9412 5111
Phone: 1800 269 672
Phone: 02 4421 5145
Phone: 02 9585 1499
Phone: 02 4777 8000
Surry Hills
Phone: 02 9281 1764
Phone: 02 9376 1400
Private tenancy managers
Office contact details
City West Housing
Compass Housing Services Co Ltd
Ecclesia Housing
Evolve Housing (new trading name for
Affordable Community Housing Limited)
Homes North Community Housing Co Ltd
Housing Plus
Hume Community Housing
Illawarra Community Housing Trust
Illawarra Retirement Trust
Link Housing (formerly North Shore
Community Housing)
Mission Australia Housing
Southern Cross Community Housing
St George Community Housing Limited
Wentworth Area Community Housing
Women’s Housing Company Ltd
South West Sydney
NSW South East, NSW Far North Coast
Southern Sydney
Western Sydney, Eastern Sydney, NSW
Mid North Coast, Central Coast, NSW
South East, NSW Mid North Coast
Inner Sydney
Hunter, Central Coast
South West Sydney
South West Sydney, Western Sydney,
Southern Sydney
New England
NSW Central West
South West Sydney, Western Sydney,
North West Sydney
Illawarra, South West Sydney
Northern Sydney
Western Sydney, Southern Sydney, Mid
North Coast NSW
Illawarra, South Coast
South West Sydney, Inner Western
Western Sydney
Southern Sydney, Western Sydney
(Housing for women and children only)
Northern Sydney, Central Coast,
Illawarra, NSW Far North Coast,
NSW North
Operating regions
The Claireleigh Joint Venture
Ian Hashman
Central Coast
Phone: 0411 386 722
Queensland Affordable Housing Consortium Eureka Group Margaret Hill NSW North
Phone: 02 6772 6166
McKenzie Bond
Jock Campbell
Phone: 1800 033 314
Phone 1300 HOUSING
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