Private Rental Subsidy
Last published 22 Oct 2018
A Private Rental Subsidy assists people to access affordable accommodation in the private rental market.
When you apply for housing assistance, a social housing provider will assess your application and may also determine whether you are eligible for a Private Rental Subsidy.
To be eligible for Private Rental Subsidy you must:
- meet social housing eligibility criteria
- be approved for priority status on the NSW Housing Register
- have a disability
- be at risk in your current accommodation.
If you access any support services, you must show that these services will still be available when you move into your social housing property. If not, you will be responsible for arranging suitable services in your new area.
You must also provide evidence of your circumstances.
What is the purpose of a Private Rental Subsidy?
A Private Rental Subsidy provides eligible clients with medium-term accommodation until an offer of social housing can be made. If you refuse a reasonable offer of social housing accommodation your subsidy may be terminated.
What happens if I am approved for a Private Rental Subsidy?
You will need to locate a suitable affordable property. DCJ has a number of factsheets online with advice on looking for a property. These are also available from your local DCJ Housing office or participating community housing provider office.
You will be advised what locations (suburbs) you have been approved to look for a property in, and what is considered a ‘reasonable’ rent for these locations. A rent is determined ‘reasonable’ based on the average rent data provided by NSW Fair Trading for specific sizes and types of accommodation in an area. We refer to this as ‘benchmark rent’.
What kind of property should I look for?
When you are looking for a suitable property there are some specific things to remember. You should look at properties at or below the benchmark rent amount advised in your approval letter. The benchmark rent is determined by the type of property (unit, house), number of bedrooms and the geographical location of the property. Benchmark rents are capped at a median rent of the middle ring of the Sydney suburbs. Middle ring Sydney suburbs include areas such as Auburn, Hunters Hill, Kogarah, Manly, Parramatta, Ryde and Strathfield.
You will only be approved for a rental property that is similar to a property you are likely to be allocated in social housing. Additional features which are not required for medical purposes and are not standard on social housing properties, may impact whether the property is considered suitable.
You will only be approved to rent in suburbs where there are existing social housing properties.
What do I do when I find a property?
You need to complete the property information form we give you when you are approved for a Private Rental Subsidy.
We will then assess the suitability of the property and let you know our decision.
What happens if the property I have found is not approved?
We will tell you why we haven’t approved the property and you will need to find another property.
What happens when the property I have found is approved?
We will ask you to provide a copy of the lease, which confirms the rent for the property.
We will then process the subsidy and advise you how much we will contribute towards your rent. Receiving a Private Rental Subsidy means that the rent you will pay for your property will be similar to the amount you would pay as a social housing tenant.
How is the landlord or real estate agent paid?
You pay your portion of the rent directly to your landlord or real estate agent.
We will pay the subsidy directly to your landlord or real estate agent. We will make these payments either by:
- electronic funds transfer (EFT) directly into the landlord’s or real estate agent’s bank account
- cheque made payable and sent directly to your landlord or real estate agent.
Payments are made in advance.
What happens if the rent goes up?
If the rent increases above the amount you have been approved for, you may be required to find another suitable property.
Who is responsible for the property I am approved for?
As the tenant, you are bound by the terms of your lease agreement. Your social housing provider is not responsible for any maintenance or tenancy issues relating to the property.
What happens if I receive an offer of social housing, but I reject it because I don’t want to move?
If you reject a reasonable offer of social housing while you are receiving a Private Rental Subsidy, your subsidy will be stopped. In this case, you may still be eligible to receive another offer of social housing.
Can I get help paying the bond?
DCJ may be able to assist you with a loan of up to 100% of your rental bond, which is repayable to DCJ as an interest free loan.
For more information about Rentstart Bond Loans read the Rentstart Bond Loan factsheet.
Changes in your circumstances
While you are receiving a Private Rental Subsidy you must tell us about any changes to your household circumstances within 28 days.
For example, you must tell us about changes in household members, household income, market rent, your address, or your landlord or real estate agent.
A review of your subsidy will be conducted on a regular basis. Failure to tell us about any change in your circumstances could result in you repaying money to your social housing provider.