Eligibility and application process

Working in partnership with the State Government as a community housing provider, Southern Cross Housing offers secure, supportive and affordable housing for low to moderate income earners aged over 55 years.

Eligibility and application process

To apply for Community Housing, individuals or couples need to lodge and application with the Department of Communities, ensuring they tick the community housing option. This can be done in person or online by visiting housing.wa.gov.au.

Once eligibility is confirmed, prospective tenants are placed on the joint waitlist which is managed by the Department and other community housing providers. When a property becomes available, a member of our Property Team will make contact to discuss options and any necessary paperwork.

For information about applying for community housing, visit the link below.

More on the Application process

How is rent paid?

All tenants must sign a Residential Tenancy Agreement and are required to pay a security bond, and pet bond if applicable. Tenants can also apply for bond assistance with the Department of Communities.

Rentals are calculated at 25-30 per cent of the household income, and most tenants are entitled to Commonwealth Rent Assistance (CRA). CRA is a Commonwealth payment made to individuals for income support payments to help pay their rent.

Both the tenant and lessor (Southern Cross Housing) must comply with laws set out in the Residential Tenancies Act 1987 and the Residential Tenancies Regulations 1989.

Rent payment methods

Tenants can choose the way their rent is paid.

Options include:

  • By Direct Debit or Direct Deposit directly to Southern Cross Housing. We will provide tenants with a customer number for easy reference for payments.
  • By Centrepay Deduction. This is where Centrepay pays a tenants rent directly from their pension to Southern Cross Housing. If tenants decide to use Centrepay we will ask that they complete an authorisation form to give consent and authority for Southern Cross Housing to access their Centrelink details and set up rental payments.

Want to know more?

How is rent calculated?

Rents are set in accordance with income and asset holdings of applicants who meet the eligibility criteria set by the Department of Communities.
Rent is usually calculated at 25 per cent of total household income. Additionally, many tenants are entitled to Commonwealth Rent Assistance. We work closely with the tenants, Centrelink and the Department of Communities to ensure our tenants get their correct entitlement.

How often is eligibility and rent reviewed?

Eligibility and rent are reviewed annually. As circumstances change, so can your eligibility for community housing. In some cases, rent may increase, in other cases it may go down depending on your income and assets.

When a tenant’s rent and eligibility is due for review, we will send them an Eligibility and Income Review form to complete. It is important to complete the form, sign it, and return it to Southern Cross Housing on the due date along with any required documents. If we do not receive the completed form and documents the rent will increase to the maximum we can charge for your tenancy.

If you no longer fit the eligibility criteria for community housing, we will provide 60 days notice and issue a Form 1C as per the Residential Tenancies Act (WA) 1987, s.71C.

Do community housing tenants need to pay a Bond?

Tenants who are offered rental accommodation with Southern Cross Housing will be required to pay a Bond and two weeks’ rent in advance. The Security Bond is four weeks’ rent and is held by the Bond Administrator not Southern Cross Housing. It is refundable to tenants at the end of their tenancy provided the property is in good condition upon vacating. If prospective tenants do not have the funds available to pay the bond upfront, they can apply for bond loan assistance through the Department of Communities

We’re here to help.

Please get in touch if you’d like to talk about our services or enquire about available properties.

Contact Us