Access to affordable housing

PARAMEDICS, teachers, police officers and childcare workers will be able to bypass the traditional rental market and take advantage of HousingPlus’ affordable housing units when they open in Bowen in June.

Although means tested, unlike social housing tenants, householders in these properties can be on low to moderate incomes.

Single people can earn $45,956 a year to be eligible and are able to remain in the property even if their income rises to a maximum of $57,445 over the next two years, while a sole parent with one child is deemed eligible if they earn between $63,579 and $79,474 a year.

HousingPlus chief executive officer Karen Andrew said the more people living in a household, the higher the household income was allowed to be.

Other factors considered when assessing the eligibility of a tenant include Australian citizenship or permanent residency, whether the household would be able to secure adequate housing in the private rental market and whether the household owns any assets they could use to solve their housing problem.

Mrs Andrew said affordable housing was managed like a private rental property, however, when there was a vacancy for an affordable housing property, the next tenant would usually be selected from the affordable housing waiting list.

However, Housing Plus may decide to advertise and seek applications in a similar way to the private rental market. 

“Affordable housing can be accessed by any client grouping including singles, couples and families as long as the eligibility criteria is met and the housing available is conducive to the size of household complement,” Mrs Andrew said.

“We have not opened the waiting list for affordable housing yet, but will do so at about the mid-construction point,” she said.

“We will market the properties and advertise them for lease to persons eligible under the guidelines. 

“We believe that demand will be strong as these properties will be high-quality, well-managed and leased at 20 per cent below their market value, making them a good option for potential tenants.”

Ten one- and two-bedroom single-storey brick units with a single garage each are proposed for a 3085 square metre block in Icely Road, backing on to the Canobolas Rural Technology High School.

An extra 10 units and a four-bedroom home are proposed for a 5257 square-metre site in Bletchington Street.

tracey.prisk@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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