What is social housing?
Social housing is secure, affordable housing for people on low to moderate incomes who meet certain eligibility requirements and who have a housing need. Social housing includes public housing and Aboriginal housing properties managed by Housing NSW, Housing ACT and community housing properties managed by not-for-profit community housing organisations such as Argyle Community Housing Ltd.
What is the difference between public housing and community housing?
Public housing and community housing are very similar. Both types of housing are secure, affordable rental housing for people on a low income who need a home. The main difference is that public housing is provided by a government organisation and community housing is provided by not-for-profit community housing organisations.
Can I choose what type of social housing I want?
Yes. Whenever you apply for social housing, you can choose to receive offers from either Housing NSW/Housing ACT or from a Community Housing Provider or both. You will be asked to make this choice when you fill in the application form although by selecting both providers you will have more opportunities to find accommodation that suits you. If you are Aboriginal or someone in your household is Aboriginal you can also choose to be listed for Aboriginal Housing Office properties as well as for the other forms of social housing. You can change your choice of provider type at any time before you receive an offer for housing.
Are the eligibility criteria the same for all types of social housing?
The general eligibility criteria are the same for all types of social housing. However some social housing providers may have different policies about things such as payment of bond, length of lease and whether you can keep pets. Also some community housing providers like Argyle may provide specialist help to their tenants and to their local community.
How do I find out about the social housing providers in my area?
There will be one or more community and/or public housing providers offering social housing in most town centres.
Argyle Community Housing Limited manages a diverse portfolio of properties in regional NSW, South West Sydney, and the ACT. Local Government Areas across NSW include; Campbelltown, Wollondilly, Camden, Wollongong, Goulburn Mulwaree, Yass, Boorowa, Harden, Queanbeyan, Young, Upper Lachlan, Wagga Wagga, Tumut, Griffith, Leeton, and Albury. Areas in the ACT include the suburbs of Ainslie, Conder and Gungahlin.
How do I apply for Housing Assistance?
You can apply for various types of housing assistance including Rentstart, Tenancy Guarantee and Temporary Accommodation. For more information on housing assistance you can contact us or contact your local Housing NSW or Housing ACT Office.
How do I know if I am eligible for Community Housing?
To be eligible for community housing, you must as a general rule;
- Be an Australian Citizen
- Live in NSW (if you applying for accommodation in NSW)
- Live in ACT (if you are applying for accommodation in ACT)
- Have a household income within the income eligibility limits
- Not own any assets or property that you could live in
- Be able to keep up a successful tenancy, with or without support
- Be at least 18 years of age
You will also need to prove your identity and if you have any debts with a social housing provider from a previous tenancy, you must be making regular repayments. For more information on eligibility requirements in NSW please click here or for information on ACT requirements please click here.
Can I choose where I want to live?
When you apply for social housing you can choose an area or town where you would prefer to live. Areas where social housing is available are grouped into allocation zones. We will check which allocation zone your selection is in, and if you are eligible for housing, we will list you for offers of housing in this allocation zone.
If you include community housing as one of your preferred housing providers, you can select up to five additional allocation zones.
We try to house people where they would prefer to live but we can’t guarantee specific locations. The location of the property we offer you when it’s your turn to be housed will depend on where the next vacancy that matches the type of housing you need is located within the allocation zone you are listed in. This means that we might offer you housing in ANY of the suburbs that are grouped into the allocation zone you are approved for.
You also need to be aware that the waiting times are much longer in some areas than in others. Some allocation zones are called ‘high-demand’ zones because the demand for housing in these zones is greater than the number of properties that become available. If you select a high-demand zone, and you are being assessed for priority housing, we will review whether it is essential for you to live in this area or if your needs can be met in another location. This is called a locational needs assessment.
If you select a high-demand zone, and you do not have a locational need to live there, you may be asked to select another zone or else be prepared to wait a very long time for an offer of housing.
What type of housing does Argyle offer?
Argyle has houses, townhouses, villas, units and bed-sitter style accommodation in most of our areas. This allows us to cater for the different needs of our tenants who may be single or part of a large family.
Can I apply for priority assistance?
You cannot apply for priority housing assistance directly. If, however, when you apply for housing assistance your application shows that you have urgent and ongoing housing needs that you are unable to resolve for yourself in the private rental market, you may be assessed for priority housing.
If you are assessed as eligible for priority housing, you will be listed on the housing register on a priority basis.
What if I have special housing requirements, access to children, foster care etc?
The application form and social housing supplement will ask you questions about your circumstances that should identify any special requirements you may have. There is also space for you to include additional details if your circumstances are not covered.
You will need to provide any evidence that is requested to support your application and explain your situation. Your requirements will be considered when we assess your application.
What happens after I lodge my application?
An initial assessment of your application will be made by the social housing provider you lodge your form with. This will help us to understand what kind of help you might need and how urgent and/or complex your situation is.
If you are a tenant of community housing and you want to apply for succession of tenancy or mutual exchange, you will need to check whether your community housing provider offers this option.
Once you have completed the application process and provided all the necessary evidence required to support your application, we will conduct a detailed assessment of your application.
You will be notified of the outcome of your application in writing.
What if I want to know where my application is up to?
Your application will be managed by the social housing provider where you lodged it. They will process your application, verify your supporting documentation and will complete the assessment of your application. You can contact them at any time.
You can also contact other housing providers to ask about your application. Your application is recorded on a common system that all participating social housing providers can access so participating social housing providers will be able to tell you where your application is up to.
How long will it take before I know the outcome of my application?
The outcome of your application will depend on your circumstances and whether you have provided all the evidence we have requested. Each provider type sets time frames for processing applications for social housing in a timely manner.
We aim for the following time frames for private rental assistance:
- If you are homeless, you will receive immediate assistance.
- If all your documents are complete and you have applied for Rentstart, your application will be assessed within one working day.
If I am listed on a waiting list, when will I get housed?
The waiting times for both priority assistance and wait-turn housing will vary depending on the number of other people waiting, the amount of social housing in the area you have chosen, and your specific housing needs. Tenants approved for priority housing will be housed ahead of most other applicants on the housing register. Tenants approved for wait-turn housing will be offered housing in their chosen location when:
- suitable property becomes available
- other applicants ahead of them on the waiting list have been offered housing.