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Locational needs

1. Priority assistance clients

Priority assistance clients include:

  • Clients assessed as eligible for priority housing assistance, or
  • Emergency temporary accommodation clients, or
  • Priority transfer clients when they:
  • Request a high demand area other than the area they currently live in, or
  • Currently live in a high demand area and request a specific suburb in that area, or
  • Request a specific suburb within an allocation area.
  • Private rental subsidy clients.

Additionally, a locational needs assessment will be applied to existing social housing tenants being relocated for management purposes when seeking relocation to a public housing property in a high demand area, unless they already live in the same high demand area that they seek relocation within.

2. Ongoing medical condition or disability

A person is considered to have an ongoing medical condition or disability if their ability to function is impaired or they have a medical condition that:

  • Is due to an intellectual, psychiatric, sensory or physical condition or combination of conditions, and
  • Is permanent or likely to be permanent, and
  • Results in:
    • A substantially reduced capacity of the person for communication, learning or mobility, and
    • The need for ongoing support services, or
    • An inability to obtain housing from the private rental market.

An ongoing medical condition or disability may interfere with a person’s capacity to undertake everyday tasks. The person may need to access a range of services and supports that they would have difficulty travelling to because of their particular medical condition or disability.

Depending on their individual circumstances and requirements, a client may need to live in close proximity to one or more of the following:

  • A hospital specialising in the treatment of a particular medical condition or disability.
  • Special schools for children with an intellectual, psychiatric or physical disability.
  • A specialist who has continuously treated the client’s condition or disability.
  • Culturally appropriate services.
  • Disability support services.
  • Home support services.
  • Mental health services.
  • Social supports.
  • Employment.

The client must show that the requested area will have a direct benefit in terms of the health or wellbeing of themselves or other members of their household. As part of the assessment process, the housing provider will consider:

  • The severity of the person’s medical condition or disability, and
  • Whether the medical condition is permanent or likely to be permanent, and
  • The mobility of the person affected, and
  • What living skills the person has, and
  • The impact of an alternative location on the person’s health or wellbeing, and
  • How often the person needs to visit medical services or specialists, and
  • The type of care or support received from family or friends, and
  • If, and how easily, the person can travel to these services and supports, and
  • If, and how easily, these services can be accessed in other areas.

3. Evidence to support request to live in a high demand area

A client must provide adequate evidence to support their request to live in a high demand area. The documentation will vary according to the nature of the client’s disability or medical condition, for more information on the type of documents required see item 22 on the Evidence Requirements Information Sheet.

Letters or reports from health professionals and support services should include:

  • The length of time the client has been utilising the service or receiving treatment from a specific doctor, support agency, health service or hospital, and
  • How often the client utilises these services, and
  • How long the client will need to continue to access these services, and
  • The possible impact on the client if they were required to access similar services in an alternative area.

Support letters from family or friends should include:

  • Contact details, and
  • A description of the type of care or support provided, and
  • The length of time the care or support has been provided, and
  • The frequency of care or support, and
  • The length of time the family member or friend has been continuously living in the area.

Affinity with an area

A client with an ongoing medical condition or disability may have lived in the requested area for at least ten years and developed an extensive range of social and support networks. In this situation, locational need is demonstrated by the client’s affinity with the area.

An Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander client who has an affinity with a particular area satisfies locational need. In this case, affinity with an area is demonstrated by applicant’s kinship group residing in the requested area or the area is the traditional homeland of their tribe.

Geographical Requirements

Some partnerships have geographical requirements or restrictions which have been agreed to through an Operating Agreement or other approved Agreements (such as a Memorandum of Understanding or an NDIS participant requirement).

Agreements should clearly outline any specific locational areas and list the areas where a client is required to be housed. This negates the need for a further locational needs assessment.

If there are no specific geographical requirements/restrictions outlined in the Operating Agreement, and a client wishes to be housed in social housing in a high demand area, a locational needs assessment must be undertaken.

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Last updated: 13 Sep 2019