Amélie Housing will allocate social and affordable housing properties requirements to eligible applicants in a way that is transparent and fair. All properties will be allocated in accordance with regulatory guidelines for each state and territory.
This policy applies to all tenants, staff and applicants of Amélie Housing.
Amélie Housing will be guided by Housing NSW’s Housing Pathways policies in determining eligibility for general social housing properties.
General eligibility can be assessed against Housing Pathways policies for eligibility on the Social Housing Register in NSW.
Eligibility Criteria – NSW
To be eligible for the NSW social housing register, an applicant must:
- Be a citizen or have permanent residency in Australia
- Be resident in NSW
- Have a household income within the income eligibility limit
- Not own any assets or property which could reasonably be expected to resolve the housing need
- Be able to sustain a successful tenancy with or without support
- Be making repayments of any former debts to a social housing provider
- Be at least 18 years of age, or be between 16 and 18 where this complies with relevant legislation and legal advice is provided at the time.
- Eligibility for properties funded under other programs will be determined by the relevant funding program’s guidelines.
Eligibility Criteria – South Australia
To be eligible for the South Australian community housing register, an applicant must:
- Be a current resident of South Australia
- Have an independent income
- Not own, or part own a home
- Meet income test requirements
- Meet an assets test requirement
- Meet a needs test requirement – that is demonstrate a need for community housing, or where the income or assets test has not been met but there is still an urgent need for safe and affordable housing.
- Amélie Housing will integrate applicants with specific support needs into our direct application process wherever possible.
- Amélie Housing accepts referrals at any time from any organisation.
Formal Support Agreements
The organisation has formal referral agreements in place to allow easy move on from supported housing and continued support for the period of transition. Agreements are determined on an organisational basis and, can be related to a specific quota of applicants, or a specific property.
Examples include: discharge from hospital, leaving prison, exiting homeless services.
Applications (NSW and SA)
In NSW Applicants for social housing will apply through Housing Pathways, to be placed on the NSW Social Housing register. This can take place at Amélie Housing, any Housing NSW office or any other participating community housing provider.
In South Australia, applicants will apply through the South Australian Community Housing Register through St Vincent de Paul Housing, or through another Community Housing provider, or SA Housing Authority offices state-wide.
Eligible applicants will be logged on the NSW Housing Register or the SA Community Housing register.
Amélie Housing will offer assistance to applicants, if required, to complete, change or update their application. Amélie Housing will interview applicants in person or by phone, depending on applicant choice.
Providing applicants with information to meet their housing and support needs Amélie Housing will ensure that potential tenants are informed about the organisation and the services it offers.
In any case where applicants are not eligible for the NSW Housing Register, St housing staff will offer support and referral to relevant services, including but not limited to Alcohol and other Drugs services, domestic and family violence services, financial counselling, or homelessness services.
In addition, Amélie Housing staff will refer eligible applicants to other FaCS Housing NSW products that may meet their needs.
Amélie Housing will:
- Ensure information about the organisation is available in places readily accessible to people in housing need
- Provide information in various languages when required
- Build links with other relevant services for referrals and nominations
- Inform applicants of other options to meet any immediate or specific housing needs.
- Provide access to translators here required.
When a general social housing property becomes available, Amélie Housing will seek to allocate the property to the highest ranked applicant on the NSW Housing Register or the SA Community Housing register where the property best matches their needs.
Amélie Housing will make allocation decisions based on information about the applicant’s needs and preferences and information about the property and the neighbourhood. In matching applicants to properties, Amélie Housing will:
- Ensure fairness, transparency and consistency in housing allocations and how those decisions are made
- Ensure all properties are used effectively matching requirements to the number of bedrooms, living areas and any special facilities or modifications for each property
- Match tenants to suitable properties, according to choose and demonstrated housing need
- Make sure the location of the property is suitable to demonstrated applicant requirements, including access to services, transport and assistance as required
- Ensure the quality of housing meets required standards, and the applicant is given every opportunity to participate in the physical, social, economic and financial aspect of the community leading to social housing outcomes and greater quality of life
- Create sustainable and balanced communities, through effective allocation of housing properties and supportive tenancy services, promoting “good neighbour” tenancies that reduce disputes and minimise anti-social behaviour
- Support successful tenancies and social housing outcomes through balancing the needs and interests of the tenant, the community and the organisation.
- This approach to allocations is implemented to minimise neighbourhood concerns and maximise tenant satisfaction
- Prioritise existing Amélie Housing tenants approved for transfers.
Reasonable offers of Housing
For a general social housing applicant from the NSW Social Housing Register, two reasonable offers of properties will be made. A reasonable offer includes:
- The number of bedrooms the household requires;
- The area requested
- Any other property features the client has been assessed as Demonstrated housing needs for example: requirements relating to level access, stairs or steps; distance from support services or medical facilities
In some circumstances where a tenant is relocating for management purposes, or when a client has been approved for emergency temporary accommodation, they may receive only one reasonable offer.
Amélie Housing follows the guidelines set out by Housing Pathways policies in matching clients to properties – reasonable offers.
Local Allocation Plans
Amélie Housing will develop and implement Local Allocation Plans for specific groups of properties where appropriate. Local Allocations Plans will be aligned with St Vincent De Paul Amélie Housing community needs analysis, social housing outcomes framework and social inclusion principles.
Local Allocation Plans will be considered where:
- There is a higher concentration of social housing properties to private market properties in the neighbourhood
- There are higher number of tenants experiencing or at risk of social exclusion,
- There are higher number of tenants who may have unmet needs in mental health, health, or multiple and sustained barriers to employment due to a combination of unmet needs
- There are existing tenancy management problems, antisocial behaviour or the potential for them to develop
- There are shared common facilities leading to difficulties in tenant interactions or use of shared space
- There is a history of antisocial behaviour, higher crime in the neighbourhood or lower tenant satisfaction levels of for a range of reasons
- Properties are hard to let, resulting in high vacancy rates and higher turnover.
For properties where support partners or other agencies have nomination rights, Amélie Housing will seek to allocate vacancies to applicants nominated by the relevant agency. In making allocation decisions, Amélie Housing will:
- Ensure that the applicant is eligible
- Ensure that the allocation is consistent with the agreed ranking criteria
- Ensure that the applicant agrees with the offer.
Complaints and Appeals
If a tenant is not satisfied with a service provided by Amélie Housing or does not agree with a decision it has made, they can ask for a formal review. To do this, the tenant can complete a review of decision form.
Details on how to make a complaint, provide feedback or lodge an appeal are found in Amélie Housing Complaints and Appeals policy.
If a tenant is unhappy with the outcome of an appeal to Amélie Housing, they can lodge an appeal Housing Appeals Committee. The Housing Appeals Committee is an independent agency that reviews certain decisions made by staff of Community Housing organisations and Housing NSW. For information on the Housing Appeals Committee call 1800 629 794 or go to www.hac.nsw.gov.au.