Rent in community housing

This section explains how your rent is calculated in community housing.

Your housing provider can also explain how your rent is calculated and discuss any concerns or questions you have. Let them know if you have queries about your rent.

How rent is calculated

In community housing, tenants pay a rent amount that is either:

  • a percentage of the assessable household income plus the Commonwealth Rent Assistance that the household is entitled to
  • the property’s market rent (i.e. the rent charged for a similar property in the private rental market).

They pay whichever amount is lower.

Rent amounts

Rent amounts may vary, depending on the type of community housing program:

  • Long Term Community Housing, Community Rent Scheme or Same House Different Landlord: You pay 25% of the assessable household income plus any Commonwealth Rent Assistance you are entitled to.
  • Community-Managed Housing – Studio Units: You pay 25% of the assessable household income and possibly a 3% surcharge for furnishings, plus any Commonwealth Rent Assistance you are entitled to.
  • Affordable Housing – You pay up to 30% of the gross household income plus any Commonwealth Rent Assistance youare entitled to.
  • Crisis Accommodation – You may pay rent or service fees, depending on the accommodation type, how long you need it and the household’s circumstances, including ability to pay.

Read more about community housing programs.

Types of income used

Your household’s total assessable income is used to calculate the amount of rent you will pay.

Assessable income includes:

  • most pensions, benefits and allowances paid by Centrelink and the Department of Veterans' Affairs
  • Family Tax Benefit
  • wages, salaries, and work allowances, such as overtime, bonuses, shift allowances and penalty rates
  • regular superannuation, compensation, interest from savings, maintenance, and lump sum payments
  • the average of your previous 4 weeks of earnings from
    • casual earnings
    • overtime
    • bonuses
    • allowances
    • other income that varies.

Rent Assistance

Rent Assistance is a special payment from the Australian Government to help eligible people pay their rent.

If you are eligible, your provider calculates the amount of rent assistance you are entitled to and incorporates it into your rent calculation.

To apply for Rent Assistance, you need to give Centrelink a rent statement. Contact Services Australia for more information.

Note: You are not eligible for this payment if you are a public housing tenant living in a property that the Queensland Government owns and manages.

If you have no income

If you have zero or a very low income, or you can’t prove your income, you’re assessed as having an income based on the equivalent Centrelink payment (i.e. the payment that most closely aligns with your circumstances, even if you don’t qualify for payments).

If your income changes

Let your provider know if:

  • there is a change in your household circumstances that affects your household’s income
  • your income regularly changes because of casual work
  • you have other income changes.

Your rent may need to be changed.

Your provider reviews your rent each year to account for Centrelink rate increases and changes in work circumstances.

You can also request a review at any time if your circumstances change or you do not agree with the rent calculation.

If you disagree

Your provider determines the market rent for your property. You have a right to appeal the market rent for the property that you are renting. Make this appeal to your community housing provider.