WAiS, together with organisations such as People with Disabilities WA, have been working with the WA Department of Communities, Housing, over a number of years, seeking a workable and positive Rent Setting Policy for Co-residents who are supporting people with disability living in a social housing rental property. In March, a media release by Ministers Dawson and Tinley announced a policy change that was due to take effect July 2020.
Under the new policy, for rent calculation purposes, where a co-resident has an assessable income that is more than the full rate of the Carer Payment (including the Pension Supplement and the Energy Supplement), they will instead be treated as if their income is only the full rate of the Carer Payment (including supplements).
This policy reduces the amount of rent that then needs to be paid for the property as social housing rent is the lesser of:
a) 25 percent of weekly assessable household income (with the co-resident carer being treated as earning the full rate of the Carer Payment if their actual income exceeds this amount) ; or
b) the market rent of the property.
Unfortunately, due to COVID this policy did not take effect in July as anticipated. We have now been advised that Ministers Dawson and Tinley have signed off for this policy change to go live from 7 December 2020.
More information is to be released shortly on the Housing Authority website.