Access Housing
is part of the
Housing Choices Australia
Group of Companies
Access Housing is part of the Housing Choices Australia Group of Companies

Access Housing postpones rent increases

20 Apr 2020

We understand that our tenants may be experiencing financial hardship and anxiety during the coronavirus pandemic, so Access Housing has postponed rent increases until the first rent due date on or after Thursday 1 October 2020. This date will be continually reviewed in line with Government advice and may be extended.

Annual Eligibility and Rent Reviews
We are still doing annual eligibility and rent reviews as they become due and we will still ask you to complete the Eligibility and Rent Review form and return it to us as usual. However, as we are postponing rent increases during the coronavirus pandemic, any rent reviews completed that result in an increase to rent payable will not become effective until the first rent due date on or after Thursday 1 October 2020.

If your rent has decreased, we will apply the decrease from the date we are advised of your change of circumstances, as usual.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) payments from Centrelink
Centrelink coronavirus payments such as the Coronavirus Supplement and the Economic Support Payment will not be used as household income when we review your eligibility and rent. However, you should still include these payments in your proof of household income.

JobKeeper Payment
If you receive the JobKeeper Payment, we will assess your rent on either your income before you started receiving this payment or after, whichever is the lowest amount.

If your household income has changed
If your household income has gone up or down, you will still need to let us know within 14 days so we can review your rent.

If family members return to live with you temporarily
If family members return home temporarily, or if someone moves in with you to care for you during the coronavirus pandemic, we will not include their income in your eligibility and rent assessment. We will, however, still need to know who is living with you, so please tell us within 14 days as usual.

We will let you know how much rent you will pay when the rent increase postponement period is over, if they remain living with you on a permanent basis.

Eligibility
Staying eligible for Affordable Housing is part of the conditions of your tenancy. If, during the coronavirus pandemic, your household becomes ineligible, we will not be taking any immediate action. We will advise you that you are ineligible and reassess your situation when things return to normal.

Who to contact for more information
Please contact:
• Our Rent Review Team on 9534 0409 for Eligibility and Rent Review queries.
• Our Debt Recovery Team on 9534 0425 for rent payments and arrears.
• Your Tenancy Officer on 9430 0900 for general advice on financial resources and supports.

For up-to-date information about our services and resources available to you, please continue to visit the Access Housing website regularly.

Access Housing COVID-19 Tenant Hardship Fund
If you are experiencing difficulty accessing essential services such as food and other household goods and/or need help accessing affordable internet or mobile phone plans during this period, you might also be eligible to access the new Access Housing COVID-19 Tenant Hardship Fund. Please text Access Housing’s Tenant Engagement and Capacity Building Officer Alex Kepes on 0437 887 675 to express your interest and she will ring you.

Let us know how we are going
Your feedback about any of the changes that we are putting in place during the COVID-19 pandemic is always welcome. Please note that the Access Housing Advisory Committee of Tenants (ACT) is still operating during this time and you can raise issues for the ACT to consider by emailing act@accesshousing.org.au.

RELATED COVID-19 SERVICE DELIVERY INFORMATION FOR TENANTS

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Access Housing COVID-19 Statement: Wednesday 25 March