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This fact sheet explains:

  • Commonwealth Rent Assistance (CRA) for AHO tenancies
  • How to apply for CRA

What is Commonwealth Rent Assistance?

Commonwealth Rent Assistance (CRA) is a rent supplement provided by the Australian Government through Centrelink. It helps certain low-income earners meet the cost of renting accommodation.

People living in social housing properties owned by the Aboriginal Housing Office (AHO) and managed by DCJ Housing, may be eligible to receive CRA from Centrelink.

What is CRA rent?

CRA rent is the amount of rent you pay if you (and any other people in your household) are eligible for CRA. It is made up of:

  • The subsidised rent that would apply to an Aboriginal Housing Office property without CRA, plus
  • The amount of CRA assessed by DCJ Housing.
  • You will never pay more than the market rent of your property.

Example: Ada Smith's CRA rent

Ada Smith is an Aboriginal Housing Office tenant. Each week, she receives a Centrelink pension of $440  and is assessed to receive $70 per week CRA.

Ada’s rent is set at 25% of her Centrelink pension plus 100% of her assessed CRA. This is $110 plus CRA of $70 this means the CRA rent that Ada pays is $180 per week.

The CRA rent cannot be more than the market rent for that property. If the market rent for Ada’s property was $150 per week, her rent would be $150 per week.

How do I apply for CRA?

Once you have provided a Rent Subsidy Application form and documents, we calculate your new rent which includes the CRA amount for all eligible people in the household. You will receive your Rent Letter and CRA Rent Report. Everyone in your household must give this information to Centrelink so they can pay each person their correct amount of CRA:

  • Go online if you are a registered myGov user of Centrelink online services
  • Phone Centrelink’s Indigenous Contact Centre on 1800 136 380, or
  • Go to your nearest Centrelink service centre.

What happens if I do not apply for CRA?

Even if you don’t apply for CRA, your rent will still include the amount. So it is vitally important you and your household apply for CRA so you are not out of pocket.

What if Centrelink says I am not eligible for CRA or my CRA amount is different?

If you are not eligible for CRA, your rent will not usually include any CRA amount. You will need to provide evidence of Centrelink’s decision to DCJ.

If you feel the CRA Rent amount is not correct or the CRA payments received from Centrelink are different to the amounts on your CRA Rent Report, you must give us written proof of Centrelink’s decision.

Your Client Service Officer will arrange to check your CRA rent and will then contact you with the result.

What if I disagree with a DCJ decision about my CRA rent?

If you believe our decision is wrong, you should discuss your concerns with your Client Service Officer. They will arrange for a check of your CRA rent, then contact you with the result.

If you still believe your CRA rent is wrong, you can ask us to Review it..

To do this, fill in a Review of Decisions (first tier appeal) form, available on the DCJ website or from any DCJ Housing local office.

Further Information

Go to www.dcj.nsw.gov.au or contact your Client Service Team for information on how your AHO CRA rent is calculated.

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Last updated: 01 Jun 2020