Rent, water and other charges

Rent in public housing

Rent is charged every Saturday. You’re responsible for paying rent at least one week in advance. Unpaid rent becomes a debt you owe to Housing SA.

Housing SA tells you if your rent changes.

For public and Aboriginal housing, you will pay either market rent or subsidised rent.

Market rent

Market rent is the maximum amount of rent you can be charged. It’s based on the State Valuer-General’s assessment of the property you rent and takes into account its size, nature and location.

Subsidised rent

Subsidised rent is based on your household’s total assessable income before tax. If you’re eligible for a subsidised rent, your rent is no more than 25% of your household’s total assessable income before tax.

Apply for subsidised rent

Eligibility

You’re eligible for a subsidised rent if you meet both of these conditions:

  • the market rent is more than 25% of your household’s total assessable income before tax
  • no one in the household owns or partly owns any residential property.

You need to:

How to apply

  1. Fill in the form to request a rent review or contact Housing SA.
  2. Provide either proof of income or a completed Centrelink Income Confirmation Service (ICS) consent form (46.5 KB DOC) for everyone in the household 16 and over who doesn’t already have ICS in place.
  3. Provide any other information needed, for instance, proof of a caring arrangement.
  4. Return all documentation to Housing SA.

Caring arrangements

If another occupant living in your household is providing you with constant care, and they’re not your partner, their income isn’t included when calculating rent.

You need to provide proof of the caring arrangement. You can either:

  • provide a letter from a health professional clearly stating who’s providing the care and who’s receiving the care, and the level of care provided
  • complete a Care provider authority form and a Care receiver authority form, if you both receive an income from Centrelink, to give Housing SA ongoing consent to verify the caring arrangement with Centrelink.

Rent reviews

Market rents are reviewed once a year.

Subsidised rents are reviewed twice a year or whenever the people in your household or your household income changes.

You may need to provide proof of your household’s income.

2018-19 State Budget rent changes

The 2018-19 State Budget introduced changes to rent in public, Aboriginal and community housing that affect households who:

  • pay subsidised rent in cottage flats
  • have a moderate or higher income.

The changes also affect you if you live in a public housing property that’s been transferred to a community housing provider since 2015.

You’re not affected by these changes if you live in a remote Aboriginal Community.

Changes will happen gradually over several years. Your household income will be used to calculate your rent.

You’ll continue to pay subsidised rent, if you’re eligible.

You don’t need to do anything now. Housing SA will write to you about any changes to your rent.

Contact Housing SA if you have questions.

Subsidised rent in cottage flats

Before the changes in 2018, subsidised rents in cottage flats were:

  • 19% of your household’s total assessable income before tax for cottage flats with no separate bedroom
  • 21% of your household’s total assessable income before tax for one bedroom cottage flats.

From late 2018, subsidised rents in cottage flats will increase in stages until they reach 25% of your household’s total assessable income before tax. This brings subsidised rent in cottage flats into line with subsidised rent for other public and Aboriginal housing properties.

Rents will increase in stages by:

  • 1.5% of your household’s total assessable income before tax, in both November 2018 and November 2019
  • 1% of your household’s total assessable income before tax in line with subsidised rent reviews from late 2020 to late 2021.

Rent increases as a result of the changes won’t be more than $10 per week at each stage, unless there is a change in your household income.

Households with a moderate income

Households with a moderate income will pay up to 30% of their household’s total assessable income before tax from late 2021.

More detail about moderate income levels will be made available closer to 2021.

Most people living in public, Aboriginal and community housing have low incomes and won’t be affected by this change.


Related information

On this site

Having difficulty paying a Housing SA account

Other websites

Rent policy


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Page last updated 21 December 2018

Provided by:
South Australian Housing Authority
URL:
https://www.sa.gov.au/topics/housing/public-and-community-housing/tenants/rent-water-and-other-charges/how-rent-is-set-for-public-housing
Last Updated:
21/12/18
Printed on:
19/08/19
Copyright statement:
SA.GOV.AU is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Licence. © Copyright 2019
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