Housing Pathways

Private Rental Subsidy

Private Rental Subsidy

Aug 2017

Private Rental Subsidy

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.

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.

You will need to locate a suitable affordable property. Family and Community Services (FACS) has a number of fact sheets with advice on looking for a property. These are available from the Housing Pathways website or from your local FACS Housing office or participating community housing provider office.

FACS will advise you what locations (suburbs) you have been approved to look for a property in, and what is considered a ‘reasonable’ rent for these locations. FACS determines ‘reasonable’ rent 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’.

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 on whether the property is considered suitable.

You will only be approved to rent in suburbs where there are existing social housing properties.

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.

We will tell you why we haven’t approved the property and you will need to find another property.

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 FACS Housing tenant.

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 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

If the rent increases above the amount you have been approved for, you may be required to find another suitable property.

As the tenant you are bound by the terms of your lease agreement. FACS is not responsible for any maintenance or tenancy issues relating to the property.

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,

FACS may be able to assist you with a loan of up to 100 percent of your rental bond, which is repayable to FACS as an interest free loan.

For more information about Rentstart Bond Loans read the Rentstart Bond Loan fact sheet or visit the Housing Pathways website

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 FACS.

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.