This policy relates to Section 143 of the NSW Residential Tenancies Act 2010.
To guide Southern Cross Housing (SCH) tenancy staff on the conduct of eligibility reviews for existing tenants and management of tenancies found to be ineligible for social housing.
Eligibility for social housing is defined in accordance with the Family and Community Services Social Housing Eligibility and Allocations Policy.
This policy applies to all SCH managed social housing tenancies.
To ensure that social housing is available to assist people most in need, eligibility is targeted to clients on low income that are unable to find affordable housing in the private market. However, a tenant’s financial situation may improve over time, so that they no longer require assistance. If this happens, the social housing property should be reallocated to a family who have a greater need.
To remain eligible for social housing, a tenant’s assessable household income must remain below the threshold determined by NSW Family and Community Services for that type and composition of household. If a tenant’s assessable household income is calculated to be above this threshold, they will be asked to provide reasons why they continue to require assistance with housing.
Reasons for a continued need for assistance may include, but are not limited to:
An impending change to the household composition,
Unreliable or variable income, or
Excessive medical, therapeutic or other non-discretionary costs of the household that reduce disposable income below the eligibility limit.
If a tenant does not provide reasons for a continued need, or the reasons are not approved by the delegate, no further action will be taken until their income remains above the threshold for a minimum of 2 successive rent reviews (or 12 months, whichever is greater). If their income remains above the threshold for that period, the tenant will be sent a second letter advising that they are ineligible for social housing and given the opportunity to lodge a request for a review of the decision. If a request for review is not received, or the decision is upheld, the tenant will be given 12 months’ notice to vacate the social housing property under Section 143 of the NSW Residential Tenancies Act 2010.
SCH will work with tenants who are no longer eligible for social housing to identify appropriate pathways out of social housing. These may include:
Assisting them to take on the tenancy in their own name if it is a leasehold property,
Encouraging tenants to submit an application for Affordable Housing and transferring them if they are eligible, or
Providing a reference to assist tenants to obtain private rental housing.
If the tenant is not satisfied with the outcome of the review, they may also appeal to the Housing Appeals Committee.
Access and Demand Housing Officers are responsible for identifying tenants who may no longer be eligible for social housing and referring them to Housing Officers. Regional Managers are responsible for assessing a tenant’s continuing need for social housing.