Frequently Asked Questions
Southern Cross Housing
We believe that delivering quality, safe and affordable housing and ongoing stable rental agreements are essential to our tenants knowing that they are valued members of the community and part of the Southern Cross Housing family.
Who is eligible?
Our housing portfolio offers secure, supportive and affordable housing for seniors (over 55’s), people with disabilities and individuals with a persistent mental health disorder who meet the eligibility requirements. We will ask you to complete an Application for Rental Housing form so that we can get to know something about you, and if you are eligible.
Having somewhere affordable to live opens the door to many opportunities. SCH works in partnership with the Department of Communities to provide a home for those Western Australians who are on fixed, low and middle incomes, have completed a Department of Communities application form, and be on the joint waitlist (JWL). SCH finds the best fit for people on the JWL and properties available as set down by the Department of Communities.
Our target group are those over 55 who are on Benefits or low incomes. We do assist some younger tenants if they are on a Disability Support Pension, for example people who have a persistent mental health condition, or are physically or intellectually disabled, but able to live in the community with support from other agencies. Our tenancies are mostly in the Metro area of Perth.
All tenants are asked to 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.
Give us a call on 1300 669 189 and ask to speak to a Property Manager for further information, or email us on Housing@scrosswa.org.au.
Eligibility and Rent Review
How do we calculate your rent?
Rents are set in accordance with income and asset holdings of applicants who meet the eligibility criteria set by the Department of Communities. There are two ‘Bands’ A and B and as long as you fit the requirements, you will be eligible for community housing.
Rentals are calculated at 25% of income for Band A, and 30% of income for Band B, additionally, the majority of 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.
Here is an example of how rent is calculated for a single Tenant in a 1 Bed property (Band A):
Base Rent = $215 per fortnight (= 25% of before tax income based on Pension of $860.60) + $116.55 Commonwealth Rent Assistance (CRA) = $343.80 rent payable per fortnight (maximum that can be charged is $280.00pf)
(Example updated 01/07/2020 with current rates)
Commonwealth Rent Assistance (CRA) is a Commonwealth payment made to you for income support payments to assist in the payment of rent. CRA is counted as the maximum amount for which each applicant of a household is entitled. Go to humanservices.gov.au/Centrepay for more information about your CRA entitlement or call your local Centrelink Office.
Income and asset limits for those on a Disability pension, for both Band A and Band B, are slightly higher, ask to speak to a Property Manager if you need to know more.
What about a Bond?
If you are offered rental accommodation with SCH you will be asked to pay a Bond and two weeks’ rent in advance.. This is a Security Bond of four weeks’ rent that is held by the Bond Administrator and not SCH, and is refundable to you at the end of the tenancy. Sometimes the tenancy is not returned in good condition in which case only part of the Bond is returned and an amount returned to SCH to pay for any works required.
If you do not have the funds available for a Bond, you can apply directly to the Department of Housing for bond loan assistance and for the two weeks’ rent in advance. We will need a copy of your Bond Loan approval letter before we can sign you up.
We do allow pets in our tenancies, but some breeds of dog are not allowed so please check with a Property Manager. A Pet Bond is payable of $260 and this is again held with the Bond Administrator and not SCH, and is refundable to you at the end of the tenancy or if you no longer have a pet.
We are very happy to help and answer any questions you have about renting with Southern Cross Housing. Please call us on 1300 669 189 Monday to Friday and ask to speak to a Property Manager.