Allocation Policy

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Allocation
Purpose
Bridge Housing Limited (Bridge Housing) is responsible for managing the allocation of tenancies across a variety of
housing products and programs including social housing, affordable housing, supported housing and fee for service
arrangements. This document outlines Bridge Housing’s policy in relation to the prioritisation and allocation of
tenancies across all product and program types.
Scope
This policy applies to all applicants who will be housed by Bridge Housing.
Policy
Bridge Housing is responsible for managing a range of housing products and programs in line with NSW Government
contractual and regulatory requirements. This document outlines the policy framework that will be used to match
eligible applicants with properties currently under management. This includes:
•
•
General social housing properties – properties leased or owned by Bridge Housing for the purposes of social
housing, and
Affordable housing – including NSW Government programs and fee for service arrangements. For further
information please see Bridge Housing’s Affordable Housing Policy.
General social housing
This policy aligns with the Housing Pathways Eligibility for Social Housing Policy and Social Housing Eligibility and
Allocations Policy Supplement. Only those eligibility criteria and entitlements that are specific to Bridge Housing are
included in this policy.
Bridge Housing will prioritise the allocation of properties within its general social housing portfolio as follows:
1.
Management initiated transfer – where Bridge Housing is required to relocate a tenant to another property
for management purposes. Refer to Bridge Housing Management Transfer Policy for further information.
2.
Commitments under formal Housing & Support Partnerships – reflecting our formal contracts with
Government and community organisations to house priority needs clients.
3.
Priority approved transfer applicants - this will enable all social housing providers to better manage their
responsibilities to existing tenants and ensure that available social housing can better meet the needs of new
applicants.
4.
Priority approved applicants – reflecting the fact that the priority needs of applicants require these
applicants to be housed earlier.
5.
General wait turn and transfer applicants.
Management initiated transfers
Management initiated transfers are undertaken where Bridge Housing is required to relocate a tenant to another
property for management purposes. These allocations are undertaken outside the NSW Housing Register. For further
information please see the Bridge Housing Management Transfer Policy.
Document Number: HCPol001 – 07/2016
Version: 2.
Date Reviewed: July 2016
Housing & Support Partnerships
Bridge Housing has taken an active role in housing vulnerable people who require support to sustain their tenancy.
We work in partnerships under a formal agreement between Bridge Housing and the relevant Government or nongovernment organisation providing support services.
The housing and support partnerships cover long term housing and transitional housing arrangements for particular
client cohorts such as rough sleepers, people with mental health issues, young people and women and children who
have experienced family violence.
Some of these arrangements are for long term social housing, however, the majority provide transitional housing
opportunities. Transitional housing is medium term housing usually for a period of between 6 -18 months. Unlike long
term social housing, tenants will be expected to move to more appropriate long term housing options.
In most cases the support organisation is responsible for nominating eligible clients. Applicants must be eligible for
social housing and be priority approved on the NSW Housing Register in order to be allocated to Bridge Housing
properties used for support partnerships.
All tenants will be required to have a formal support plan in place and must be actively engaged in support unless
mutually agreed between the tenant, Bridge Housing and the support provider. In the case of transitional housing, a
formal exit plan that is mutually agreed between Bridge Housing, the tenant and support provider is required to
support exit to longer term housing options at the end of the tenancy term.
General social housing - housing pathways
1.
2.
3.
Priority approved transfer applicants - this will enable all social housing providers to better manage their
responsibilities to existing tenants and ensure that available social housing can better meet the needs of new
applicants.
Priority approved applicants – reflecting the fact that the priority needs of applicants require these applicants to
be housed earlier.
General wait turn and transfer applicants.
Additional considerations
Where possible Bridge Housing seeks to maximise the allocation of properties to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
applicants in recognition of the higher levels of disadvantage facing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander applicants.
We regularly monitor our allocations to ensure that a minimum of 10% of all allocations or at least one in every 10
applicants offered housing will be of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander origin. Bridge Housing has adopted this this
policy in recognition of
When allocating a property or properties, Bridge Housing needs to consider the need to support the peace and
enjoyment of existing tenants and communities as well as any particular requirements of a property, for example
whether it is disability accessible or is hard to let. For this reason not all allocations will be made in accordance with
the categories outlined above and staff will need to consider the property configuration and community needs prior
to allocation.
Affordable housing
Affordable housing properties are targeted to applicants on very low, low and moderate incomes, some of which are
not eligible for social housing. The particular eligibility criteria and entitlements for affordable housing managed by
Bridge Housing vary according to the funding program.
For allocations to affordable housing properties owned or managed by Bridge Housing to very low income
households, applicants will be drawn from the NSW Housing Register in accordance with the allocation policy for
General social housing outlined above.
Applicants will be required to submit their application and will be assessed in date order in accordance with the NSW
Affordable Housing Guidelines and any local planning conditions.
For those on low or moderate incomes, application management and allocations will be made in accordance with the
particular program guidelines. For further information please see Bridge Housing’s Affordable Housing Policy.Bridge
Housing - entitlements
While Bridge Housing is subject to the Housing Pathways Eligibility for Social Housing Policy and Social Housing
Eligibility and Allocations Policy Supplement, there are some differences in policy between community housing and
public housing providers.
Tenure
Bridge Housing has continuous tenure for general social housing. Tenants will be expected to sign a Residential
Tenancy Agreement and provided they comply with this agreement they will be able to maintain their tenancy in the
longer term.
Bedroom categories
The tables below outline the standard bedroom entitlements for Bridge Housing, bedroom entitlements relating to
the need to accommodate children and the evidence required to substantiate these entitlements. These apply to all
Bridge Housing properties including general social housing, affordable housing and transitional supported.
Table 1: Standard bedroom entitlements for Bridge Housing
Household Type
Standard Bedroom Entitlement
Single people
Studio or one bedroom
Couples
One bedroom
Single people or couples with
one other household member
Two bedrooms
Single people or couples with
two other household
members
Two bedrooms
Single people or couples with
three other household
members
Three bedrooms
Single people or couples with
four other household
members
Three bedrooms
Single people or couples with
five or more other household
members
Four bedrooms or, if available, five or more bedrooms. Applicants who have a
five bedroom household complement will generally be offered a four bedroom
property unless a five bedroom property is vacant when the applicant’s turn is
reached. This is because of the limited availability of five bedroom
accommodation.
Table 2: Bedroom entitlements related to accommodating children
Situation
Bridge Housing Response
Child is over 18 years of age
The person is considered to be an adult when calculating the minimum
bedroom entitlement
Shared bedrooms
Same sex children up to 18 years of age are expected to share a bedroom
Male and female children are expected to share a bedroom until one of the
children reaches 10 years of age.
Children can’t share a bedroom
Bridge Housing will allocate an additional bedroom where the applicant has
demonstrated a need for same sex children, or children under 10 years of
age, to have separate bedrooms.
Examples of situations where an extra bedroom could be appropriate
include where there is a large age gap between the children or behavioural
factors.
Shared custody
The child/children are considered to be part of the household if the
applicant has shared custody of children for three days and three nights per
week or more. Normal bedroom entitlements apply.
Access visits from children
The children are not considered to be part of the household if they visit for
less than three days and three nights per week.
The applicant must demonstrate a need for an extra bedroom to
accommodate access visits.
Future needs of children who
may need separate bedrooms in
two or three years time
Bridge Housing will take this into account when matching the applicant to a
property if it can. Bridge Housing will make this decision on a case by case
basis according to the size and type of housing that is available in the area.
Table 3: Information required to substantiate the need for an extra bedroom
If an applicant has a requirement for an extra bedroom for medical or family reasons, they must substantiate this
need.
Situation
Information Required
Extra bedroom due to medical condition or disability.
Documentation from the applicant’s health care
professional (e.g. specialist, physiotherapist,
occupational therapist or psychiatrist) that supports the
need for an extra bedroom.
For example, extra space for storage of medical
equipment, room for family member or carer to stay
when providing short term support, separate room
for a partner if a disability (or routines associated
with a disability) require the couple to sleep
separately.
Type of housing offered to applicants
In general, a new applicant for Bridge Housing cannot specify the type of housing that they would prefer unless they
have documentation to support a specific need.
Applicants may specify a preference to be housed in a Senior Communities property with Bridge Housing where they
are:
•
55 years of age or over, or Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander applicants who are 45 years of age or over.
•
Two person adult households where at least one person is Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander who is over 45
years of age, or one person who is 55 years or over who is not Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander.
When allocating properties, Bridge Housing will consider the needs of a household subject to availability. Where
applicants have special needs, they must substantiate their need for certain entitlements. An applicant may have
special requirements for their accommodation based on medical, social or other factors. If an applicant wishes to be
housed with social housing and can substantiate these needs, a provider may approve them for the following specific
types of accommodation:
•
•
•
•
Ground floor
Modified property
Property with wheelchair access
Property with a certain number of steps
If an applicant has other needs that require a specific type of accommodation or accommodation in a specific location
they must substantiate this need. For example, they may need to be close to medical practitioners, or they may need
to be housed in an area because of cultural needs and support, or they may have a child that needs to attend a special
school.
Table 1: Information required to substantiate housing needs
The table outlines the information required by Bridge Housing to substantiate specific housing needs.
Situation
Information Required
Location within allocation area – need for a property
located within a specific part of an allocation area.
Documentation substantiating the need for the specific
location.
For example, for access to cultural supports, a specific
medical practitioner, a special school or
neighbourhood supports for people with a disability
etc.
Shared custody – need for a larger property to
accommodate children. Minimum stay of three days
and three nights.
Substantiation of the shared custody arrangement
through information such as one or more of the
following:
•
•
•
•
A studio unit is unsuitable due to:
• Medical condition or disability
• Requires a carer
• Family Complement including households with
more than one person, pregnancy, shared
custody, access visits or child restoration
A high-rise unit is unsuitable due to:
• Medical condition or disability
• A child or young person at risk
Documentation from the Family Court.
Statutory Declaration from the applicant.
Centrelink payment information.
Bank account details.
Documentation that demonstrates that this type of
property will adversely affect the applicant’s health
(e.g. due to claustrophobia) including:
• Medical Assessment from the applicant’s health
care professional
• Report or letter from a health care worker or a
support agency
• Only single person households will be offered a
studio unit. An applicant with family reasons or
carer requirements needs to provide
documentation to demonstrate their need for
additional bedrooms as outlined above.
Documentation that demonstrates that this type of
property will adversely affect the applicant’s health
(e.g. due to claustrophobia) including:
• Medical Assessment from the applicant’s health
care professional
• Report or letter from a health care worker or a
support agency
Documentation that demonstrates that the applicant
has special housing requirements due to risk to a child
or young person including:
• Current report or letter from a health care
professional, health care worker, support agency,
Police or justice systems officers (e.g. advising that
the applicant cannot reside in a high density area).
• Current report or letter from a school Principal or
counsellor, or a community support provider (e.g.
from a refuge or community centre supporting the
young person).
Matching and offering a property to an applicant
Table 1: Bridge Housing property types
Property Type
Applicant
General properties
• Applicants with needs that can be met by the
type, size and location of the particular property.
Social housing property owned by Bridge Housing or
headleased from the private rental market.
Bridge Housing senior communities
The properties in these Bridge Housing complexes are
specifically for older people.
Modified property
Properties modified to cater for applicants with a
disability (in allocation areas where these properties are
not readily available).
Ground floor property
Properties located on the ground floor of a unit complex
(in allocation areas where these properties are not
readily available).
Level access
Properties with level access to an entry way (in
allocation areas where these properties are not readily
available).
Properties with yards
Properties with backyards (in allocation areas where
these properties are not readily available).
Studio and high-rise
Properties that are studio units (i.e., where the lounge
room and bedroom are combined in one room) or are
units in a high rise apartment building.
• Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander applicants who
are 45 years of age or over.
• Applicants aged 55 years or over who are not
Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander.
• Two person adult households where at least one
person is Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander who
is over 45 years of age, or one person who is 55
years or over who is not Aboriginal or Torres Strait
Islander.
• Applicants who have demonstrated a need for a
modified property.
• Applicants who have demonstrated a need for a
ground floor property.
• Applicants who have demonstrated a need for a
property with level access.
• Applicants who have demonstrated a need for a
backyard.
• Applicants whose needs are met by the size of the
particular property, except where they have
demonstrated that a studio or high-rise unit is
unsuitable.
Criteria for matching applicant to properties
The criteria used to match applicants to properties are outlined in the table below. Bridge Housing will
match applicants to housing where an applicant has selected community housing as one of their preferred
providers.
Table 1: Criteria for matching applicants to properties
Property
Attribute
Basic Criteria
Public, Aboriginal
Housing Office or
community
housing
properties
Location of
property
Community housing providers will match
the applicant to community housing.
Housing NSW will match the applicant to
public or Aboriginal housing.
Where the applicant is required to
undertake a Locational Needs Assessment,
Bridge Housing will match to the allocation
area the applicant has been approved for.
Community housing providers will match
the applicant to one of the applicant’s
preferred allocation areas.
Type of property
Additional Criteria that is Considered when
Relevant
Applicants on the NSW Housing Register,
Bridge Housing will match to a house,
cottage, terrace, townhouse, villa, boarding
house, shared accommodation or a unit
according to availability.
Bridge Housing will:
• Match within an allocation area when the
applicant has demonstrated a need for this
allocation area.
• Take into consideration any geographical
boundaries/restrictions agreed to in an
Operating Agreement for an Accord
Partnership.
Bridge Housing will:
• Match an applicant to a specific type of
property if the applicant has demonstrated a
need for this type of property.
• Match an applicant to properties with specific
features (such as ground floor, level access,
modifications, maximum number of stairs any
person can manage) if the applicant has
demonstrated a need for this type of
property.
• Not match an applicant to properties that
have specific features if the applicant has
demonstrated that these features would
make the property unsuitable for them.
• Include matches to high-rise units, except
where the applicant has demonstrated that a
high-rise is unsuitable.
Number of
bedrooms
Applicants on the NSW housing register,
Bridge Housing will match to a bedroom
allocation based on the size of the
applicant’s household.
Bridge Housing will:
• Match Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander
applicants to a property that has one more
bedroom than the minimum bedroom
entitlement for the household, if the applicant
has requested this. Bridge Housing has this
policy in recognition of the family
responsibilities of Aboriginal and Torres Strait
Islander applicants. These applicants can ask
for an extra bedroom on their application for
housing assistance or at any time while they
are on the NSW housing register.
• Match to a bedroom allocation above the
minimum entitlement if the applicant has
demonstrated a need for a property of this
size. For example, Bridge Housing will allocate
an additional room for a family member or
carer to stay in if the applicant has
demonstrated a need for this.
• Where possible, consider the future
accommodation needs of children in the
household.
• Include matches to studio units for a single
person households, except where the
applicant has demonstrated that a studio is
unsuitable.
Number of offers provided
Bridge Housing in most cases will provide two offers of alternative accommodation under the Housing Pathways
system.
Bridge Housing tenants who are being relocated for management purposes will receive one offer of alternative
accommodation. Bridge Housing has decided that the tenant is to only receive one reasonable offer of alternative
housing, due to achieve Bridge Housing’s broader strategic or operational outcomes, which includes:
•
Bridge Housing has a compelling financial or operational need to achieve the relocation within a specific
timeframe and this timeframe is not reasonably achievable if the tenant is entitled to two reasonable offers of
alternative accommodation.
•
Seeking to end a situation of anti-social behaviour or disruption in the neighbourhood associated with a
particular tenant or tenancy.
•
A documented history of the tenant failing to respond to communications from Bridge Housing within a
reasonable period of time.
•
A compelling external reason.
Extension of offer timeframes
The table below provides information on when timeframes for Bridge Housing offers will be extended.
Table 1: Extension of timeframes for Bridge Housing offers
Situation
Evidence
Applicant not able to inspect the offered
property within two working days of
receiving the offer
Information that substantiates the applicant’s reasons for not
being able to inspect the property within the required timeframe.
Applicant not able to sign a tenancy
agreement within one week of accepting
the offer due to:
Information that substantiates the applicant’s reasons for not
being able to sign the tenancy agreement within the required
timeframe, such as:
• Serious health reasons or disability or
• Family crisis or emergency or
• Have a current rental lease in the
private market.
• A doctor’s certificate.
• A letter from a support provider.
• Evidence of the family crisis or emergency and its impact on
the applicant’s ability to sign the tenancy agreement.
• Current rental lease.
Accepting, rejecting and withdrawing offers and suspending applications for social
housing
The table below sets out the criteria for making decisions about when an offer of Bridge Housing is accepted, rejected
or withdrawn, and/or when an application is suspended.
Table 1: Criteria for accepting, rejecting and withdrawing Housing Bridge offers and suspending applications
Situation
Evidence
Offer
accepted
The applicant has accepted a property offered by Bridge Housing, Housing NSW or another community
housing provider and signs a tenancy agreement.
Offer rejected
The offer of housing meets the matching requirements and:
• There are no grounds for suspending the applicant’s NSW housing register application, and
• The applicant did not provide any new, substantiated information to Housing NSW about their needs
within the required timeframe, or
The offer of housing meets the matching requirements and:
• The applicant has declined the offer for a reason that Housing NSW considers to be a personal
preference because it does not directly impact on the applicant’s housing needs. Common examples
include:
• Wanting a property made out of brick.
• Wanting gas rather than electricity.
• Not liking the neighbourhood.
• Not liking the cladding, internal or external layout, design, or colour scheme of the property.
• Wanting a bath rather than a shower.
• Wanting a different suburb (where locational need for a particular suburb has not been established).
• Wanting a specific street.
• Wanting to live near shops, family, school (where locational need has not been established).
• Wanting a different type of property (house, townhouse, villa or unit).
• Wanting to live on a specific floor of a block of units.
• Wanting a senior communities property only.
• Wanting Bridge Housing to match them to a property on the basis of the needs of their pet
The offer of housing meets the matching requirements and the applicant has declined the offer due to
not liking, or being unwilling to accept, the specific requirements of the housing provider, for example:
• The type or length of lease offered, or
• Payment of bond for a community housing property.
Offer
withdrawn
Application
suspended
• Bridge Housing offered the property but now needs it for an applicant with more urgent needs, or
• Bridge Housing matched the applicant to the property but did not provide the details to the
applicant because the applicant’s needs or circumstances had changed, or
• Bridge Housing matched the applicant to the property but did not provide the details to the
applicant because they did not meet the eligibility criteria, or
• The applicant decided not to accept an offer of a senior communities property. Bridge Housing will
change its records to show that the applicant should not be offered this type of property again, or
• The applicant did not accept the property and Bridge Housing has decided that the applicant’s
decision is valid because, based on information provided by the applicant, the property did not meet
their needs. Such information may include a letter and other information provided by the applicant
explaining their reasons for declining an offer and supplying relevant supporting documentation such
as:
a) A Medical Assessment Form.
b) A letter from their doctor or health care provider.
c) A letter from their support provider.
d) A letter from their employer.
Information from the applicant demonstrating that they are temporarily in a situation where they are
unable to accept an offer due to circumstances beyond their control. These circumstances include, but
are not limited to, situations where the applicant:
•
•
•
•
Is experiencing illness or hospitalisation.
Is overseas or on holidays.
Cannot terminate a residential tenancy agreement.
Is in prison.
Complaints and appeals
This is an appealable policy.
If a tenant is not satisfied with a service provided by Bridge 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 either an I want to complain form or an I want
to appeal form, details of which appear in the Bridge Housing Complaints and Appeals Policy. This policy, and
information leaflet, is available from Bridge Housing's office or downloaded from our website
www.bridgehousing.org.au.
If a tenant is unhappy with the outcome of an appeal to Bridge Housing, they can lodge a second level appeal with the
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.
Related documents
Documents supporting this policy:
•
•
•
•
•
Eligibility for Social Housing Policy
Social Housing Eligibility and Allocations Policy Supplement
Management Transfer Policy
Managing the NSW Housing Register Policy
Matching and Offering a Property to a Client Policy

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