Rent Choice Youth is a program that helps young people aged 16 to 24 years to:

  • find a place to live (in a private rental unit, flat or home)
  • get approved for a lease
  • pay the rent for up to 3 years
  • stay in a current rental if it’s affordable and help is needed to pay the rent

You will also be linked with a support worker who will help you work towards study or job goals. This will eventually help you to afford the rent on your own.


You can apply if you:

  • are aged 16 to 24 years old,
  • don’t have your own place to live (you might be sleeping on a couch at a friend’s place, in a shelter or boarding house or at risk of homelessness),
  • are an Australian Citizen or Australian permanent resident, and
  • are motivated to work or complete study or training to help obtain a job, and
  • are willing to engage with a support provider, who will help you engage in training, education and employment
  • are on a low income or studying.

Speak to your support provider to see if Rent Choice Youth is right for you.


You can submit an Application for Housing Assistance over the phone by calling 1800 422 322 or online at Housing Pathways NSW website. Your support service will then need to submit a referral to the Rent Choice Youth program which will then be assessed to determine your eligibility.


For the first 12 months, you pay 25% of your weekly income plus 100% of any Commonwealth Rent Assistance you may be entitled to get. Once you have paid your part of the rent, we pay the rest directly to the landlord or real estate agent.

Your support provider will help you reach your work and study goal throughout the program. The aim of the program is for you to gain employment and increase your income so you can afford to rent privately without any assistance. The amount you pay will go up gradually after 12 months, but we’ll chat to you about that closer to the time.

To access Rent Choice Youth you must be case managed by a participating support agency.


Start Safely is for clients escaping domestic and family violence who are homeless or at risk of homelessness and are eligible for social housing.

The Start Safely Private Rental subsidy supports people escaping domestic and family violence with short- to medium-term (up to three years) financial assistance to find affordable housing in the private rental market. Start Safely provides time-limited financial relief while the client’s situation is stabilised. The subsidy is linked to an integrated support program and other existing private rent assistance products.

Rent Choice Start Safely clients with a moderate income may receive a Start Safely subsidy if they’re experiencing a serious threat of violence and were referred through a Safer Pathway Safety Action Meeting (SAM).


Clients must:

  • be eligible for social housing
  • be escaping domestic or family violence
  • be homeless or at risk of homelessness
  • express commitment to sustaining a tenancy while receiving Rent Choice and sustaining their independence after Rent Choice ends
  • commit to engaging with the review process and working towards support plan goals
  • be willing to continue to receive support services

Clients will need to complete an application for Housing Assistance. If Start Safely is approved the next step is to find an affordable rental property. Subsidised rents will be available to approved clients for up to 36 months if required.

The subsidy is calculated according to income. An applicant receiving Start Safely pays all of their Commonwealth Rent Assistance entitlement and 25 percent of the rest of their income as rent. The balance is paid as a subsidy directly to the real estate agent or landlord.

For more information please contact Southern Cross Housing

Couple Shaking Hands with Real Estate Agent