Review of Housing ACT decisions
This policy describes the requirements for allocating public rental housing assistance to an eligible applicant. Its objectives are to:
- provide reasonable choice for those in need of social housing
- use resources effectively and efficiently
This policy is consistent with the Public Rental Housing Assistance Program (PRHAP).
Housing ACT maintains a register of applications (Applicants List) within which there are three categories of application - Priority Housing, High Needs Housing and Standard Housing. Applicants with the most critical/urgent needs are assigned to the Priority Housing or High Needs Housing categories. Applicants on incomes within the social housing eligibility criteria are assigned to the Standard Housing category.
As housing becomes available for allocation it is offered firstly to applicants within the Priority Housing category. Housing that does not appropriately meet the needs or requirements of applicants in the Priority Housing category is offered to those in the other categories.
The applicant's eligibility and housing needs are checked prior to making an offer. The applicant is required to complete a pre-allocation questionnaire to confirm that:
- the household meets the current eligibility criteria
- the nominated housing preferences are correct
- the household is eligible for its nominated preferences according to the Housing Size Guidelines (included in the Eligibility Policy)
- the applicant does not owe money to the Commissioner for Social Housing.
- Refer to the Eligibility Policy for additional information.
Applicant no longer eligible
Where an applicant no longer meets the eligibility criteria, the application is removed from the Applicant List.
Unless the Commissioner for Social Housing determines otherwise, an applicant is not eligible for housing assistance if, at the time assistance is to be provided:
- The applicant owes money to the Housing Commissioner for rent, excess water charges, maintenance costs or any other monies due relating to a Housing ACT residential property
- The applicant has breached a term or condition of a tenancy agreement to which the Housing Commissioner was a party.
Applicant no longer interested
Where an applicant advises in writing that he/she is no longer interested in social housing assistance and wishes to withdraw their application, the application is removed from the Applicant List.
An offer of housing is considered valid if the offer corresponds with:
- the applicant's reasonable housing preferences, including location
- the policy relating to Housing Size Guidelines
- any confirmed medical or special needs of the household that affect their housing requirements.
Applicants with disabilities
Where possible, an applicant with a disability, or a household member with a disability, requiring modified accommodation will be offered housing that has been appropriately modified. If on inspection the applicant can demonstrate that the property does not match his/her previously stated needs and preferences and refuses the offer, it may not be considered a valid offer. Where such a property is not available, Housing ACT will consider the possibility of modifying a standard property to suit the special needs of the person with a disability.
An applicant is given the opportunity to inspect a property prior to making a decision on the offer. However, an offer is valid regardless of whether or not the property is viewed.
Number of valid offers
A total of two valid offers can be made to an applicant on the standard allocation list. If two valid offers are refused, the application is cancelled and removed from the Applicant List (see Clause 17(1) of PRHAP). The application may be re-instated in certain circumstances (see Clause 17(3) of PRHAP).
Acceptance of valid offer
An applicant must enter into a tenancy agreement within two (2) working days of accepting an offer.
Valid offer refused
- First offer - If the applicant refuses the offer, the refusal is counted as one of two valid offers made to the applicant.
- Second offer - If the applicant refuses a second valid offer, the application is cancelled.
No response from applicant
If the applicant does not contact Housing ACT by the next working day after an offer has been made the application will be removed from the Applicant List. The applicant is advised of the outcome and reason.
Order of registration
Applications approved for early allocation are placed in approval date order on the list to:
- ensure that a client with urgent housing needs is offered housing before other applicants on the Applicants List
Consideration also needs to be given to Housing ACT's objectives in relation to redevelopment projects, stock management, Applicants List management and other program commitments.
Number of early offers
An applicant can receive two (2) early offers of a property. The overriding consideration is to provide accommodation that meets his/her immediate needs for basic housing. The availability of stock is therefore the primary basis of the offers. Factors such as the applicant's preferences with regard to location (apart from the region), the level and quality of amenity provided are secondary to this principle.
Both early offers refused
Where an applicant refuses both early offers, his/her application is removed from the list.
Review of Housing ACT decisions
An applicant may seek a review of a reviewable decision (see Clause 28(1) of PRHAP).
There is an established review protocol that includes an initial internal review by Housing ACT and where appropriate, access to external review mechanisms.
Refer to Appeals for additional information.
An applicant who has accepted an offer of accommodation must, prior to occupying the accommodation, enter into a tenancy agreement with the Commissioner for Social Housing Standard Tenancy Agreement.
For copies of fact sheets contact Housing ACT.
Go to Policy information