Page 1429 - Week 04 - Thursday, 5 May 2022

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(1) Is there an income threshold for new Housing ACT applicants; if so, what is this threshold.

(2) Is there a threshold for tenants already residing in Housing ACT properties; if so,
(a) what is this threshold, (b) what options are there for people who exceed this threshold, (c) what happens if tenants exceed the income threshold and (d) how are the threshold rules enforced.

Ms Vassarotti: The answer to the member’s question is as follows:

(1) Income is one of the eligibility criteria when applying for public housing and the guidelines are published on the Community Services website at lity_for_public_housing

(2) The Community Services Directorate’s social housing Rental Rebate Policy is available online at #Purpose

While there is no income threshold for existing tenants of Housing ACT properties, tenants are requested to submit an “Application for a Rental Rebate” to assess the amount of the ACT Government subsidy which helps eligible clients meet the cost of renting their public housing property. The rental rebate calculated through this assessment is the difference between full market rent and the maximum rent a tenant is required to pay; tenants pay no more than 25 per cent of their income in rent.

If the income is such that when the rebate is calculated the rent payable is more than the market rent of the property, the tenant will be required to pay market rent.

Housing ACT periodically undertakes a Sustainable Income Review which targets those tenants paying full market rent who may have the capacity to sustain a private rental tenancy or to purchase their own home.

The Sustainable Income Review is conducted under the authority of Section 29B of the ‘Housing Assistance Public Rental Housing Assistance Program 2013 (No 1)’.

The income threshold for the Sustainable Income Review is determined based on several considerations, including average market rent and cost of living. The income threshold for review is set by Notifiable Instrument.

In addition to considering the household income, the review process also considers other factors, such as whether the household may be entitled to a rent rebate; the combined value of assets; whether the tenant has an interest in other real estate properties in Australia; or whether their current financial situation is likely to be reasonably sustainable for the foreseeable future.

Other details including age, general health, disability, carer responsibilities and employment; the appropriateness of the existing property for their needs; and their capacity to obtain appropriate affordable and suitable accommodation are also considered during the review.

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