Social Housing Policy

1.0    Purpose

This policy covers the requirements for managing the social housing units, including applications for units, rentals and maintenance.

2.0    Background

Council currently owns 236 units.  Units are either one bedroom or bed-sit.  They are for single tenants or couples only.  All applicants are required to complete application forms and their needs assessed prior to being considered for a unit.

3.0    Key Definitions

  • Tenancy Agreement – Agreement between Council and tenant is subject to the Residential Tenancies Act 1986.

4.0    Policy

1. Criteria

The criteria for an applicant to be eligible to apply is as follows:

  • Application must be made on a Council Rental Unit Application form which must be completed in full, including signing of the Privacy Act Declaration and Consent to Credit Check.
  • Applicant must be receiving a national superannuation, war, widows, 55 plus, invalids for sickness (long-term) benefit, or current equivalent benefit.
  • Applicants on limited income may be considered with the application judged on individual basis and accommodation offered on temporary basis only, that is if a more suitable applicant wishes to be placed in the unit that a limited income tenant is in, then the limited income tenant will be given 42 days notice to leave.  This clause is included in the limited income person’s Tenancy Agreement.  Council reserves the right to decline any application.
  • Applicant must have a housing need (in that the applicant’s current accommodation is unsuitable for various reasons, which the applicant may list in the application form).
  • If an applicant owns property and decides to accept a Council unit, the property MUST BE SOLD or placed on the market for sale within 1 month of accepting the unit, and Council advised of the listing.  The applicant may not collect rent from a property once they have become a tenant of a Social Housing Unit.
  • An application must include a Doctors letter recommending the applicant for a Council unit, stating that the applicant is capable of caring for themselves and listing any physical or mental disabilities which may make some of our units unsuitable.
  • Applicants are asked to agree to Council undertaking a credit check to asses whether they are suitable for further consideration for a unit.
  • An application must also include a letter of reference from the applicant’s current landlord, or if the applicant owns their own home, a character reference

2.  Once the application is received, Council’s Environmental Health Officer will contact the applicant to discuss their application in order to assess their circumstances.  The assessment shall take account of the applicant’s age and level of assets.  This assessment is based on the interview, application, Doctor’s letter and any other relevant circumstances.  The assessment, in the form of a score is then placed next to the applicant’s name on the Council Unit Waiting List. Once the assessment is completed, the applicant is contacted by mail and advised of their assessment and position on the Waiting List.

3.  Should an applicant decline two opportunities to occupy a unit which suits the applicants requirements, that applicant may be removed from the waiting list.

4.  A bond of maximum 3 weeks and rent in advance of minimum 2 weeks will be required to commence a new tenancy.

5.  Rentals shall be reviewed annually.


Adopted Policy & Development Committee 13 October 2015