The purpose of this policy is to provide guidance to residents and prospective residents as to how St Kilda Community Housing (SCH) allocates housing across its properties.
This policy applies to all properties managed or owned by SCH
SCH is committed to the allocation of its housing in a fair and transparent manner with regard to the legal and regulatory framework within which we operate.
This policy outlines the principles underpinning the allocations process and the process itself.
The principles underpinning the policy are:
- Openness – to provide an open and transparent allocation system in accordance with SCH’s legal and regulatory obligations.
- Equality –applicants will not be discriminated against on the grounds of race, gender and gender identity, sexual orientation, ethnicity, religious belief, disability or age.
- Consistency – all applicants with similar characteristics will be treated in a similar manner to achieve similar outcomes and in accordance with established eligibility criteria.
- Responsiveness – SCH will take account of the needs of individual applicants, including an appeals process.
- Co-operation – SCH will work closely with local support agencies to develop protocols that ensure eligible disadvantaged single adults can gain appropriate housing and support.
Eligibility for Housing
SCH participates in the Victorian Housing Register (VHR). The VHR is a common register for all applicants seeking public and community housing in Victoria.
SCH will allocate and offer properties from the register. The Department of Families, Fairness and Housing (DFFH) has established common eligibility criteria for the VHR that are set out in the Eligibility Criteria Operational Guidelines developed by DFFH. The VHR’s eligibility criteria apply to all long-term housing owned, managed or controlled by SCH in Victoria.
All applicants with a current VHR application are taken by SCH to meet the VHR eligibility criteria.
Applicants without a current VHR application can provide evidence to SCH that establishes they meet the eligibility criteria. SCH will then assist such applicants to make a VHR application either through referral to an appropriate service or by assisting the applicant to lodge a VHR application.
Additional Requirements for Eligibility for Long Term Housing
In addition to meeting the VHR eligibility criteria, to be eligible for long-term housing with SCH, the following criteria apply:
- Prospective residents must agree to a repayment plan if they have a previous debt with SCH, subject to the discretion of the CEO;
- Only adults over the age of 18 will be housed.
- No children will be housed.
Additional eligibility criteria may also include:
- A prior connection to St Kilda/City of Port Phillip.
- A prior successful tenancy with SCH.
Approach to Allocation
Allocations Target – Victorian Housing Register
Under the VHR’s allocations framework, SCH is required to meet an annual Priority Allocations Target. This requires SCH to allocate 75% of vacancies in Targeted Social Housing to Priority Access applicants in each financial year. As not all of SCH’s properties are Targeted Social Housing, this Target is adjusted so that SCH can make allocations across its portfolio in order to meet the Target.
SCH will implement procedures to monitor its performance against the Priority Allocations Target regularly to ensure that SCH complies with its obligations.
SCH will at first instance seek suitable applicants from the VHR. Where a suitable applicant being considered for a vacancy does not have a current VHR application but is eligible for social housing under the VHR and suitable for that vacancy, then SCH will ensure that such applicants complete a VHR application at the time of making an offer of housing.
Where nomination rights apply, SCH will:
- establish appropriate arrangements in protocol agreements with referral agencies who have responsibility for nominating applicants for vacancies, to ensure timely and appropriate referrals; and
- require that referral agencies nominate applicants who have a current VHR Priority Access application.
Other Legal Requirements
SCH will ensure in making any allocation that it complies with any other legal requirements concerning eligibility for housing or allocation of housing.
Promoting Successful and Sustainable Tenancies
SCH is committed to treating all applicants fairly and will not unlawfully discriminate against any potential applicant or applicant.
SCH will assess all applicants before making an offer of housing to determine suitability for a particular vacancy (and eligibility if the applicant does not currently have a VHR application). If SCH declines to offer an applicant housing, it will inform the applicant accordingly.
Matching Households to the Right House
SCH will match applicants to properties so that an allocation:
- is in an area consistent with the applicant’s needs;
- assists the applicant to access employment or any support services they may need;
- makes the best use of housing stock managed or owned by SCH;
- encourages a sustainable tenancy; and
- meets any particular expressed needs of the applicant so far as they are known, such as modifications for people with a physical disability or mobility impairment, availability of car parking or room for carers.
SCH will ask applicants to provide reasonable evidence to substantiate any particular requirements, if this is not contained in a VHR application.