Housing Pathways

Child Protection Caseworker Factsheet

Child Protection Caseworker Factsheet

Dec 2016

Child Protection Caseworker Factsheet

Priority Social Housing Assistance

This fact sheet provides information for caseworkers who assist clients with priority housing needs involving Domestic and Family Violence (DFV) or the restoration of children from out of home care (OOHC). These clients are eligible for priority assistance under existing policy where they meet the social housing eligibility criteria and have provided supporting evidence of the grounds for their urgent housing need.

Applying for Housing Pathways assistance

Applications for one or more type of social housing (public, community and Aboriginal housing) can be lodged online at www.housingpathways.nsw.gov.au, by phone on 1800 422 322 or by attending your local Family and Community Services (FACS) office, Customer Service Centre or participating community housing provider through a single system, Housing Pathways. The social housing provider the form is lodged with will conduct an initial assessment of the application and can be contacted by clients with existing applications who wish to update their details or check their application status.

To be eligible for social housing:

  • a client must meet the residency requirements,
  • have income and assets within the eligibility limits
  • and be able to sustain a tenancy with or without supports.

Applicants nominate a preferred area or town in an ‘allocation zone’. Offers may be made in any of the suburbs in the allocation zone and standard bedroom entitlements apply depending on the household type and size.

If the client appears to be eligible for social housing, they will be asked to complete a Social Housing Supplement and if more information is required, as in the case of urgent housing needs, the client may also be asked to attend an interview. The application questions requiring supporting evidence are marked on the form with details of the information required on the Evidence Requirements Information Sheet.

Priority access to social housing and evidence requirements

Once an applicant is accepted as eligible for social housing, they are placed on the NSW Housing Register. FACS maintains the Register (wait list) for public and community housing.  This wait list is segmented into ‘priority’ and ‘general’ categories, which determines the order of housing allocation.  The ‘general’ category is for anyone who is eligible for social housing, while the ‘priority’ category applies to people who are eligible for social housing, in urgent need of housing and are unable to address their housing needs in the private rental market due to their complex life circumstances.

Clients cannot apply for priority housing assistance directly however an assessment for priority housing status is conducted when the evidence of urgent housing need is presented with a client’s application. Clients identifying DFV or restoration of children from OOHC need to provide evidence which demonstrates the current risk to themselves or a house hold member, the risk of homelessness, that the lack of appropriate accommodation is impacting their ability to have children restored, associated medical assessments, referrals from support providers and/or supporting legal documentation such as Family Court papers, a Warrant of Possession or Apprehended Violence Order.

One of the requirements for a client seeking to be granted priority status on the Housing Register is the need for them to demonstrate their inability to resolve their housing need in the private market. This can be demonstrated in a number of ways such as by providing evidence of the number of persons to be housed (for large families); a letter from a support worker, advocate or health professional, or evidence of any unsuccessful attempts to obtain private rental accommodation. FACS encourages clients to provide comprehensive details of their circumstances so that their needs can be fully assessed. Clients being assessed for priority assistance that have requested a high demand zone will also be assessed for locational need.

Private rental alternatives to social housing

For some clients private rental accommodation may provide a better housing solution than social housing.

FACS can assist clients with a range of private rental options including:

  • Rentstart Bond Loan
  • Start Safely Private Rental Subsidy
  • Tenancy Facilitation
  • Tenancy Guarantee
  • Private Rental Brokerage Service

Clients with urgent housing need who are not eligible for social housing

Clients who are not eligible for social housing may be eligible for short-term temporary housing for up to three months. This assistance is available to Australian citizens or permanent residents with an urgent housing need because of natural disaster, DFV which is placing a family member at risk or homelessness with custody of children. For all clients who have nowhere safe to stay phone Link2home on free call 1800 152 152.

Community Services caseworkers are encouraged to make use of Patchwork NSW to facilitate a collaborative approach with FACS Housing or Community Housing Provider staff members when assisting shared clients who are accessing Housing Pathways. To contact the Access and Demand Coordinator for your area please call the local FACS office http://www.housing.nsw.gov.au/contact-us/list-of-offices.

Are all your questions answered?

For more information call the Housing Contact Centre on 1800 422 322, visit www.housing.nsw.gov.au, or visit your local FACS office.

Translation service

If you need help with interpreting or translation because English is not your first language, phone the All Graduates Translating and Interpreting Service on 1300 652 488. They will phone the housing organisation and interpret for you for free.

إذا كنت بحاجة للمساعدة في الترجمة الشفهية أو الترجمة لأن اللغة الإنجليزية ليست لغتك الأولى، اتصل بشركة "أول جراديويتس" All Graduates على الرقم 1300 652 488.

如果你的母語不是英語,需要口譯或筆譯幫助,請致電All Graduates,電話號碼:1300 652 488。

Nếu quý vị cần hỗ trợ biên dịch hoặc phiên dịch vì tiếng Anh không phải là ngôn ngữ chính của quý vị, vui lòng gọi All Graduates theo số 1300 652 488.