This policy relates to NSW Affordable Housing Guidelines and Division 2 of the NSW Residential Tenancies Act 2010.



I. Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to outline the process for the calculation of rent payable by tenants of Southern Cross Housing’s (SCH) affordable housing properties.

II. Definitions
  • Affordable housing is housing that is managed under the NSW Government Affordable Housing guidelines.
  • Market rent is rent paid for similar properties within the local rental market.
  • Rebated rent is the amount a tenant must pay when we calculate rent as a percentage of the tenant’s assessable household income.
III. Coverage

This policy applies to all SCH affordable housing properties.

IV. Principles

The maximum amount payable for an affordable housing property by any tenant will be 80 per cent of market rent, as varied by annual rent reviews. These amounts are set, and not subject to change unless during a rent review or with the express approval of Executive Manager, Operations. However, tenants may be eligible to pay a lower rent, based on their household income. For detailed information, refer to the NSW Affordable Housing guidelines.

Rent payable by tenants for affordable housing will be reviewed annually and continuing eligibility for housing is dependent on the gross household income remaining within affordable housing income limits. SCH is committed to delivering a mixture of Very Low, Low and Moderate income household types in its affordable housing portfolio. This will be facilitated by offering 2 housing outcomes where the applicant’s earning are lower, as per the NSW Affordable Housing Ministerial Guidelines, refer to:

  • Shoalhaven: Minimum of 1 Very Low and 1 Low, remaining Moderate
  • Eurobodalla: Minimum of 1 Very Low and 1 Low, remaining Moderate

Maximum income limits for affordable housing are published on the Commonwealth Department of Communities and Justice website. There is no minimum income for affordable housing; ideally, tenants should not pay significantly more than 30% of their income on rent. Where a tenant’s circumstances change and they are eligible, the tenant will be offered assistance to complete an Application for Housing Assistance (social housing). A tenant must demonstrate affordability if rent exceeds 30% of their income. Factors taken into consideration are CRA (rental assistance) as it is calculated in social housing, private rental affordability ranges and future employment opportunity.

Tenants will be informed of any changes to their rent in a letter.

V. Responsibilities

The Access and Demand team are responsible for reviewing rebated rent and notifying tenants of any changes to market rent or rebated rent. The Finance team are responsible for reviewing market rent and final review of income eligibility.