Rental stress is the painful reality for many workers across the country. Affordable Housing is one solution for alleviating their financial hardship.
Understanding Affordable Housing
What is Affordable Housing?
Affordable Housing is a product available to low to moderate income earners, who are working but may find it difficult to afford housing in the private rental market. It aims to relieve rental stress and support households that have the potential for income growth or home ownership in the medium-term.
Why does Affordable Housing exist?
Affordable Housing is designed to fill the gap in the market between Social Housing and the private housing market. It is there to relieve the rental stress of key workers who do not earn enough to pay market rent in the area in which they work, but earn too much to qualify for Social Housing. The average age of SGCH’s Affordable Housing tenants is between 30 and 60. Many of these people are employed in the administrative, clerical, hospitality or community services industries.
There are many reasons why people may need Affordable Housing – a household member may have lost their job or no longer be able to work full time, or a family may experience a change of circumstances which leads to it becoming a single income household (such as a separation, divorce or death).
Affordable Housing is not offered as a long term housing solution but is designed to meet short or medium-term needs. The eligibility of Affordable Housing tenants is assessed on an annual basis.
Who is eligible for Affordable Housing?
Affordable Housing programs have different eligibility criteria. The majority of SGCH’s Affordable Housing dwellings have incentives applied to them under the National Rental Affordability Scheme (NRAS). This scheme is administered by the Federal Government and aims to increase the supply of Affordable Housing properties available to low or moderate income households.
Other housing programs may have eligibility criteria determined by state or local governments. In general, Affordable Housing applicants must be employed and meet certain income eligibility limits.
There are a number of eligibility criteria you need to meet to apply for Affordable Housing. The full application is very detailed – save time and take this quick quiz to check if you might be eligible.
If you meet the basic eligibility criteria, use our full online form to apply.
How do people apply for Affordable Housing?
Go to our application page to find out how to apply and what information you will need to provide when filling out your application.
Are there waiting lists associated with Affordable Housing?
Yes, SGCH maintains a waiting list of eligible applicants for each area of Affordable Housing supply. After applying, those who are found to be eligible are placed on the waiting list. Waiting lists are managed in accordance with individual program agreements, their respective polices and guidelines.
What types of accommodation are available to Affordable Housing tenants?
SGCH’s Affordable Housing stock is mainly made up of new one, two or three bedroom units. These properties are located within the following Local Government Areas:
- City of Sydney
How is rent calculated for Affordable Housing tenants?
Rent is charged and reviewed in line with the relevant program agreements, policies and guidelines. In general terms Affordable Housing tenants pay rent set at 75% of the market rent of their property, and no less than 25% of their gross household income.
What extra support is available to Affordable Housing tenants?
Our partnerships with support and specialist services mean that we are able to help individuals with special or complex needs to maintain their tenancy by linking them with appropriate, professional support.
Some of the people we support include:
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
- Women and families escaping domestic violence
- People with physical disabilities or health conditions
- Individuals with mental health issues
- Young people at risk of homelessness
SGCH works to identify tenants with support needs where appropriate. We have a number of Support Coordinators employed to work with customers by linking them with appropriate support services, intervention, advocacy and case coordination to facilitate improved quality of life and sustained tenancies.
At times we all face circumstances that we can’t manage on our own. If you or someone you know is struggling at home (whether it be physically, mentally or financially), please let us know. Support services are available to all SGCH customers if required. Our aim is to help you to sustain your tenancy.