Allocation of long-term housing Policy

Purpose

 

This policy establishes the approach of Inner East Social Housing Group Limited to:

  • eligibility for its long-term rental housing programs;

  • the prioritisation and allocation of vacant properties in its long-term rental housing portfolio; and

  • successful and sustainable tenancies and communities through the matching applicants to properties.

 

Scope

This policy applies to all long-term rental properties owned or managed by Inner East Social Housing Group Limited.

 

Policy statement

Guiding principles

Eligibility for housing

 

Inner East Social Housing Group Limited establishes eligibility criteria for long-term housing to fulfill its social mission and to ensure that its housing is made available to relieve households from housing stress.

 

Accordingly, Inner East Social Housing Group Limited will:

  • only allocate long-term housing to eligible applicants;

  • communicate clearly to applicants and the community as to who is eligible for long-term housing with Inner East Social Housing Group Limited; and

  • comply with its contractual, legal and regulatory obligations relating to eligibility for long-term housing.

 

Approach to allocation

Inner East Social Housing Group Limited will allocate long-term housing to eligible applicants and in a manner which:

  • is fair, transparent and equitable;

  • relieves households from housing stress;

  • is in accordance with its contractual, legal and regulatory obligations; and

  • supports the financial viability of Inner East Social Housing Group Limited’s long term housing programs.

 

Inner East Social Housing Group Limited is committed to promoting a successful and sustainable tenancy when matching applicants to its properties. This means that Inner East Social Housing Group Limited will allocate housing in a way that:

  • gives appropriate priority to households in need of housing assistance;

  • considers the health, safety and support needs of applicants;

  • matches individual housing needs with available properties; and

  • supports sustainable and harmonious communities.

 

Eligibility for housing

Inner East Social Housing Group Limited participates in the Victorian Housing Register (VHR).  The VHR is a common register for all applicants seeking public and community housing in Victoria. 

 

DHHS has established common eligibility criteria for the VHR that are set out in the Eligibility Criteria Operational Guidelines. The VHR’s eligibility criteria apply to all long-term housing owned, managed or controlled by Inner East Social Housing Group Limited in Victoria.

 

All applicants with a current VHR application are taken by Inner East Social Housing Group Limited to meet the VHR eligibility criteria. 

 

Applicants without a current VHR application can provide evidence to Inner East Social Housing Group Limited that establishes they meet the VHR eligibility criteria. Inner East Social Housing Group Limited will then assist such applicants to make a VHR application either through referral to a suitable service or by assisting the applicant to lodge a VHR application.

 

Additional requirements for eligibility for long-term housing

In addition to meeting the VHR eligibility criteria, to be eligible for long-term housing with Inner East Social Housing Group Limited, an applicant must:

  • have no previous debt with Inner East Social Housing Group Limited, the Director of Housing or another registered housing agency that remains unpaid.

 

Specific requirements for particular long-term housing programs

Inner East Social Housing Group Limited has some particular long-term rental housing programs where additional eligibility criteria to the general eligibility criteria apply.  This can include, people with a disability or elderly applicants over 60 years of age.

 

Inner East Social Housing Group Limited will communicate clearly with applicants and stakeholders as to the particular eligibility criteria that apply to that program.

 

Approach to allocation

Allocations Target - Victorian Housing Register

Under the VHR’s allocations framework, Inner East Social Housing Group Limited is required to meet an annual Priority Allocations Target. This requires Inner East Social Housing Group Limited to allocate 75% of vacancies in Targeted Social Housing to Priority Access applicants in each financial year. As not all of Inner East Social Housing Group Limited’s properties are Targeted Social Housing, this Target is adjusted so that Inner East Social Housing Group Limited can make allocations across its portfolio in order to meet the Target.

 

Inner East Social Housing Group Limited will implement procedures to monitor its performance against the Priority Allocations Target regularly to ensure that Inner East Social Housing Group Limited complies with its obligations.

 

Sourcing applicants

Inner East Social Housing Group Limited will at first instance seek suitable applicants from the VHR.  Where a suitable applicant being considered for a vacancy does not have a current VHR application but is eligible for social housing under the VHR and suitable for that vacancy, then Inner East Social Housing Group Limited will ensure that such applicants complete a VHR application at the time of making an offer of housing.

 

Nomination rights

Where nomination rights apply, Inner East Social Housing Group Limited will:

  • establish appropriate arrangements in protocol agreements with referral agencies who have responsibility for nominating applicants for vacancies, to ensure timely and appropriate referrals; and

  • require that referral agencies nominate applicants who have a current VHR Priority Access application.

 

Other legal requirements

Inner East Social Housing Group Limited will ensure in making any allocation that it complies any other legal requirements concerning eligibility for housing or allocation of housing. 

 

Promoting successful and sustainable tenancies

Inner East Social Housing Group Limited is committed to treating all applicants fairly and will not unlawfully discriminate against any potential applicant or applicant.

 

Inner East Social Housing Group Limited will assess all applicants before making an offer of housing to determine suitability for a particular vacancy (and eligibility if the applicant does not currently have a VHR application).  If Inner East Social Housing Group Limited declines to offer an applicant housing, it will inform the applicant accordingly.

 

Matching households to the right house

In allocating housing, Inner East Social Housing Group Limited will also have regard to the VHR operational guideline, Clients with Special Accommodation Requirements.

 

Inner East Social Housing Group Limited will match applicants to properties so that an allocation:

  • is the right size for the applicant’s household;

  • is in an area consistent with the applicant’s needs;

  • assists the applicant to access employment or any support services that they need;

  • makes the best use of housing stock owned or managed by Inner East Social Housing Group Limited;

  • encourages a sustainable tenancy; and

  • meets any particular expressed needs of the applicant so far as they are known, such as modifications for people with a physical disability or mobility impairment, availability of car parking or room for carers.

 

Inner East Social Housing Group Limited aims to make sure that properties with specific features that are in high demand and short supply are only allocated to those applicants who need them, including:

  • properties that are suitable for older people

  • properties that have been built or modified to meet the needs of people with a disability;

  • properties on the ground floor,

  • properties with level access; or

  • properties with a yard/garden.

 

Inner East Social Housing Group Limited will ask applicants to provide reasonable evidence to substantiate any particular requirements, if this is not contained in a VHR application.

 

Supporting sustainable and harmonious communities

Inner East Social Housing Group Limited may, to the extent necessary, adopt different strategies in allocation in response to:

  • a high concentration of public and community housing stock in a particular area;

  • a high concentration of tenants with multiple health, social or economic issues in a particular area or building;

  • existing tenancy management issues (or a potential for them to develop);

  • existing neighborhood tensions or disputes which may be exacerbated if allocations are not sensitively handled; and

  • a mismatch of supply and demand making the property hard to let.

 

Definitions

In this policy:

Applicant

means a person who has applied for housing via the VHR or, where permitted by this policy, directly to Inner East Social Housing Group Limited

 

DHHS

means the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services

 

Director of Housing

means the Victorian government statutory authority that owns all public housing land in Victoria and which is the principal funding body for community housing

 

Nomination rights

means arrangements between Inner East Social Housing Group Limited and third party support providers where the support provider nominates applicants for certain vacant properties

 

Priority Access

Applicants on the VHR who have been assessed as having a priority housing need.  The Priority Access Categories are:

Emergency Management Housing

Priority Transfers

Homeless with Support

Supported Housing

Temporary Absence

Special Housing Needs

Special Housing Needs (Aged 55 years and over)

 

Public housing

Housing owned and managed by DHHS

Targeted Social Housing

The properties that are considered Targeted Social Housing under agreements between Inner East Social Housing Group Limited and the Director of Housing.

Transitional Housing

means the Victorian Government program to provide housing on a short-term basis to people at risk of homelessness seeking long term housing options

 

VHR

The Victorian Housing Register, the statewide common application for people seeking public housing and community housing

 

Related policies

 

Eligibility for long-term housing policy

Complaint and appeals policy

 

Legislation and standards

This policy implements IESHG’s obligations under:

  • Housing Act 1983 (Vic)

  • Performance Standards for Registered Housing Agencies

  • Legal agreements between Inner East Social Housing Group Limited and the Director of Housing relating to the VHR

  • DHHS Victorian Housing Register Operational Guidelines

 

Transparency and accessibility

This policy will be available on the Inner East Social Housing Group Limited website www.ieshg.com.au

Tenant Allocations Policy

ABN: 92 882 272 807

            Phone: (03) 9853 7501                                                    Address: 1 Civic Drive, Kew, Vic, 3101

            Fax: (03) 9853 7501                                                         Postal Address: P.O.Box 526, Kew, Vic, 3101

            Email: ieshg@optusnet.com.au