Social Housing

 

Statewide advice number

1300 744 263

What is social housing?

Social housing programs include public housing and community managed housing.

Information on government social housing programs is available on the Queensland Department of Housing website, including information about eligibility guidelines and how to apply for social housing.

You can also visit your local Housing Services Centre for more information or to lodge an application.

The Queensland Department of Housing provides a range of programs to assist people looking for rental housing, renting in government or community managed housing (social housing), or renting in the private market

Private rental assistance programs include bond loans and Rent Connect

The Queensland government also funds the Queensland Statewide Tenant Advice and Referral Service (QSTARS), which provides a free statewide advice service for Queensland renters.

The QSTARS service is managed by Tenants Queensland and delivered by Tenants Queensland in collaboration with other community services.

The Queensland government website includes contact details for homelessness, housing and tenancy services.

The Queensland government also provides services to assist people who are homeless.

If you are homeless and need assistance you contact the Homeless Persons Information Queensland (HPIQ) freecall 1800 4747 53.

For information on government housing and support services call 13 QGov on (13 74 68) or contact your local Housing Services Centre

Social housing tenants

If you are a tenant in social housing, whether you rent in public housing managed by Housing Services, or community housing managed by a community organisation, your tenancy is still covered under the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008 (the Act).

Exemptions from the Act

Social housing  is exempt from some parts of the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008 (the Act).

Exemptions include:

No need to give 2 months notice of a rent increase in public housing – in social housing tenancies your rent is calculated as a percentage of tenant household income, so rent can change if your income changes. In public housing you are not entitled to 2 months notice of a rent increase. However community housing providers, who calculate rent in a similar way, must still give you 2 months written notice of any rent increase.

Unqualified discretion regarding permission to transfer or sub-let premises – In public and community managed housing you do not have the right to transfer your tenancy to someone else or sub-let the premises. You must get written permission from your lessor. Public and community housing providers have unqualified discretion to decide who can live in the premises.

Housing providers have strict policies about who is eligible to live in social housing, including policies covering succession of tenancies if tenants pass away and friends or family members living in the premises want to take over the tenancy.

Disputes in social housing

If you are a tenant in social housing and have a tenancy dispute with your lessor you can use the dispute procedures under the Act to resolve the  dispute.

The tenancy dispute process includes giving a Notice to Remedy Breach to your lessor, applying to the RTA free Dispute Resolution Service, or applying to QCAT for an order about a dispute.  See Solving disputes.

However you cannot use the dispute process under the Act to dispute a policy decision; such as decisions about your eligibility for housing, or disputes over the way your rent has been calculated.

Social housing policies

The  government or community organisation you rent from will have policies that cover how they manage your rental housing.

If you are having a dispute about how a policy decision affects your tenancy, you can ask your social housing provider to give you a copy of the relevant policy.

Ask for information on their dispute process

Public and community housing providers must have a dispute process that you can follow if you want to dispute a policy or management decision. You can request a copy of the dispute procedure from your housing provider.

In most cases you will need to write to your provider to request a review of the decision, explain the issue, and state why you disagree with their decision. Your letter may need to include evidence to support your case.

If the dispute is in relation to how a policy has been implemented, you may want to request a copy of the relevant policy.

Department of Housing Appeal Process

The Department of Housing has a process that you can use to appeal a decision.

Information about the Department of Housing appeal process, including a fact sheet and appeal application form, is available on their website.

Time limits may apply

When seeking a review of a decision, or appealing a decision, be aware that time limits may apply to lodge your application.

If appealing a decision by Housing Services, you must lodge your appeal application within 28 days of being notified of the original decision.