On 28 March 2016, the Department of Communities (formerly the Housing Authority) updated the way public housing rent is calculated to make rent charges more equitable for all public housing tenants. Households were previously paying different percentages of their overall income as rent due to excluded and discounted payments which were separate from the rent calculation.
Nearly three quarters of public housing tenancies are already paying 25 per cent of their assessable household income as rent and will not receive any further rent increases connected with the changes. Remaining tenants will be moved to 25 per cent rent in small increments.
How the changes may affect your rent?
It depends on when you moved into your property.
Tenancies that commenced before 28 March 2016
From February 2018, if your household is not already paying 25 per cent, your rent may increase up to $6 per week at the next annual rent review.
From February 2019 and each following year, if your household is not paying 25 per cent, your rent may have additional increases up to $6 per week as part of the annual rent review.
Tenancies that commenced from 28 March 2016
Your household is already paying 25 per cent and will not receive any rent increases connected with the rent calculation changes.
What counts as assessable income?
The following incomes are examples of payments that are assessable when calculating rent:
- Salary and wages
- Centrelink benefits and pensions
- Family Tax Benefit Part A and B
Non-assessable incomes are excluded from rent calculations. The following incomes are examples of payments that are non-assessable:
- Bereavement Payment
- Crisis Payment
- Ex-Gratia Payment
- Mobility Allowance
- Newborn Supplement
How much rent will I pay?
You can use this Weekly Rent Estimator Tool which will show you how much rent you may pay as a result of the rent calculation changes. Before you use the tool, you will need to have your most recent income payment details for all household members.
For more information:
*Tenancies who are do not return required income information, are over the income eligibility limits, illegally sublet the property to another party, or who abandon the property will be charged the market rent of the property which may exceed 25 percent of assessable household income.