How Much Is Housing Commission Rent in NSW?

September 2, 2022
How Much Is Housing Commission Rent in NSW?

Why is rent in Sydney so expensive? This is a question thrown around a lot these days. Major regions across the world are in a housing crisis, and New South Wales isn’t an exception. Properties for rent in Sydney are generally costly (one of the old myths about rental property in Sydney that’s hard to debunk nowadays), while the affordable ones are off the market at lightning speed. 

Luckily, the government has social housing, a program designed to assist low-income households who need housing to put a roof over their head without the financial pressures of the current real estate market.

You still have to pay rent if you’re in social housing; the amount is based on market rent, which would be the maximum price.

But if you’re eligible for a rent subsidy, you may only have to pay 25% to 30% of your household income, making it cheaper than renting regular property. Some truly income-deprived households can even pay as low as $5 a week in rent.

What Is Social Housing?

Social housing is a government program that provides secure and affordable rental housing to people on low incomes with housing needs. Properties are owned or managed by the Department of Communities and Justice (DCJ), community housing providers, and the Aboriginal Housing Office.

How Much Is Housing Commission Rent in NSW

Who’s Eligible for Social Housing?

To be eligible for social housing, you must:

  • Be at least eighteen years old
  • Be a resident in NSW
  • Be a citizen or have permanent residency in Australia
  • Have a household income within the income eligibility limits
  • Not own any assets or property which could resolve your housing need
  • Be able to sustain a successful tenancy (pay rent) without support or with appropriate support
  • Have no former debts, or must be able to repay these, to a social housing provider (if applicable)
  • Not have a history of having committable registrable offences, nor be likely to cause harm or risk to neighbours

There may also be other eligibility criteria set by participating community housing providers. For example, some providers may only offer housing to single women.

Applying for Social Housing

You can apply for social housing assistance online, by phone, or by accessing a local DCJ office or community housing provider. To apply, you must submit proof that your household meets the program’s eligibility criteria. These include evidence of your:

  • Identity
  • Sources of income and assets
  • NSW residency (or an established need to live in NSW)
  • Citizenship or permanent residency in Australia
  • Land or property you or anyone on your application own, or partly own
  • Ability to sustain a successful tenancy, without support or with appropriate support
  • Having no former debts, or having the capacity to repay these, to a social housing provider (if applicable)
  • Ongoing medical condition or disability that impacts the type of housing your household needs (and evidence to support this)

These are the minimum requirements; if you can’t meet all, your application won’t be accepted or assessed. Supporting evidence may also be requested if further proof is required.

How Much Is Social Housing Rent?

How Much Is Housing Commission Rent in NSW

Market rent, which refers to the amount of rent that a real estate or landlord would charge each week for the same property in the private market, is the maximum amount a social housing tenant can be charged.

DCJ calculates market rent based on what a tenant is likely to pay for a property in a similar geographic location, with a similar size, and with similar features in the private rental market. This is qualified using several sources such as property valuations, rental bonds, and current market trends, and each year the Audit Office of NSW checks DCJ’s process of setting this amount.

Some tenants can get a subsidy, which allows them to pay only 25% to 30% of their household income as rent (deducted from the market rent; not given directly to the tenant). Eligibility for this is based on the household’s income and rent assessment rules.

If a tenant is not eligible for Centrelink benefits (e.g. because they are in custody) or enters a nursing home, rehabilitation centre, respite care, refuge, or other safe place and is required to pay for that accommodation, then they may pay only the minimum amount of rent of $5 per week.

Check Your Housing Options in Soho

Social housing provides much-needed accommodation opportunities for low-income households. However, with the government’s missed construction targets and the growing demand for housing, getting into the program has become difficult–more than 50,000 people are on the social housing waitlist in the state. If you need affordable housing ASAP, search Soho or download the app to find the best property for you!

Soho is your expert team in Australian real estate, offering an innovative platform for effortless property searches. With deep insights into buying, renting, and market trends, we guide you to make informed decisions, whether it's your first home or exploring new suburbs.
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