I know that many in our community, and right across Queensland, are facing significant difficulties when it comes to securing affordable housing.
While the Palaszczuk Government has made significant and record increases in investment for more social and public housing options for vulnerable Queenslanders, I want our community to know that we also provide a number of supports for tenants in the private rental market as well.
Below you can find a number of programs and resources which may help you if you are struggling with housing issues – whether you are a private tenant or a homeowner yourself, we provide a range of assistance to Queenslanders in need.
These programs are administered and delivered through the Department of Housing’s Housing Service Centres (HSC). The below information is an overview and indication of what you may be able to access – you should reach out to your local HSC to discuss any of the below programs you think you may be eligible for to determine what may be available to you.
Please feel free to contact my office on 07 3638 7100 if you need additional support.
Leanne Linard MP
Financial Assistance for Tenants
Rental Security Subsidy
Provides financial support to overcome unexpected, short-term life events (illness, relationship breakdown) to maintain a private rental market tenancy.
You can have your rent subsidised for a maximum of 12 months. The level of rent subsidy is based on factors such as total household income and your circumstances.
Staff at your local Housing Service Centre will work with you to understand your circumstances and determine whether a Rental Security Subsidy is right for you.
You may be able to apply for a Rental Security Subsidy if you need need temporary help to stabilise your current or new private housing tenancy.
The subsidy can support you if you’re experiencing financial barriers to maintaining your tenancy, such as:
- Additional bills
- Health issues
- The sudden loss of employment
- Unforeseen caring responsibilities.
Bond Loans & Rental Grants
The Queensland Government provides a range of financial packets to assist with the initial costs of moving into a new rental, such as Bond Loans and Bond Loans Plus, as well as Rental Grants, which is a one-off grant of 2 weeks rent for eligible Queenslanders in housing crisis.
For more information on these loans, visit https://www.qld.gov.au/housing/renting/rent-assistance/financial/bond-loan/bond-loan-rental-grant-guide or contact your local HSC.
No Interest Loan Scheme (NILS)
The Set-Up and Sustainment Loans provide an interest and fee free loan to cover the costs of removalists, key deposits, essential home furnishings, rent arrears and other expenses associated with obtaining or maintaining a private tenancy.
NILS provides up to $2000 which is interest free and fee free to be repaid over 18 months.
You may be eligible if you are a health care/pension cardholder, or if you meet income eligibility criteria. For more information, visit https://www.qld.gov.au/housing/renting/rent-assistance/financial/no-interest-scheme-loans or contact your local HSC.
General Assistance for Tenants
Assists Queenslanders to find, secure, and sustain a home to rent in the private market, including advisory services, Tenancy Assistance (TA) and Tenancy Guarantee (TG).
RentConnect officers work closely with eligible customers to identify tenancy issues, develop tenancy plans and improve their ability to maintain their tenancy in the future. In special circumstances RentConnect officers may offer customers limited financial support to assist them.
Tenancy Assistance helps capable tenants overcome short-term tenancy problems and strengthen their skills to maintain their private rental tenancy.
Tenancy Guarantee offers the owner of a rental property (the lessor) additional financial security over a tenancy, above the rental bond amount, up to a maximum value of $2,000. The Tenancy Guarantee lasts for the term of the residential tenancy agreement (up to 12 months), or until the tenancy is terminated. It covers unpaid rent, property damage or other costs resulting from a breach of the tenancy agreement. The maximum amount of financial assistance provided over a two-year period cannot exceed this amount, and is provided directly to the lessor only.
Various eligibility requirements apply to financial assistance through RentConnect. Contact your local HSC for more information.
Queensland State-Wide Tenants Advisory and Referral Service (QSTARS)
Tenants Queensland is funded to provide advice and referral services to all Queensland tenants including in people in social housing.
QSTARS aims to provide all Queensland renters with high quality, free, independent tenant advisory services that assist tenants to manage and sustain their tenancy.
QSTARS aims to:
- Increase Queensland renters’ understanding of tenancy issues, and their ability to understand and exercise their tenancy rights and responsibilities;
- Empower and build the capacity of Queensland renters’ to take action on their own to resolve issues relating to their tenancy;
- Increase tenants’ capacity to maintain their tenancies and reduce their risk of homelessness;
- Provide the minimum amount of intervention to facilitate the most positive outcome achievable for the Eligible person regarding their tenancy matters;
- Reserve the highest level of resources and assistance for vulnerable and disadvantaged renters who require more intensive support to achieve the most positive outcome in regard to their tenancy matters;
- Provide a well-integrated network of QSTARS service providers through which high quality and consistent services are delivered.
Contact QSTARS for assistance on 1300 744 263. For more information visit https://qstars.org.au/
Assistance for Victims of Domestic Violence
Domestic, Family and Sexual Violence Helping Hand Headleases
Domestic, Family and Sexual Violence Helping Hand Headleases recognise the significant additional barriers that people experiencing domestic, family or sexual violence face in securing safe and affordable housing.
This program provides support to those who are:
- Experiencing domestic, family or sexual violence
- Needing an interim social housing response
- Facing non-financial barriers to accessing a property in the private rental market
Further eligibility criteria apply. For more information, contact your local HSC.
Flexible Assistance Package
Flexible Assistance Packages are delivered in coordination with specialist domestic, family and sexual violence and other specialist services.
Short term, practical assistance of up to $5000 per household for people experiencing domestic, family or sexual violence for essential goods and services needed to maintain or access safe housing that is not readily available through existing community and government supports and services.
Eligibility criteria apply. For more information, contact your local HSC.
Escaping Violence Payment
Up to $5000 in financial assistance for people who are looking to leave a violent partner, or have recently left and are struggling with the finances to live in safety.
Up to $1500 in cash (or cash equivalent based on a customer’s needs and preferences) for:
- Goods and services such as removalists, bonds or basics for a new home
- Wrap around support including case work from an EVP provider
This is available through Uniting Care, and further eligibility criteria apply. For more information, contact Uniting Care on 3253 4000.
Assistance for Homeowners
Home Lending Financial Assistance Mortgage Relief
The Mortgage Relief product is available to eligible people who have suffered an unexpected change in their circumstances and are having difficulty meeting their home mortgage repayments.
The loan provides short-term help to people who are having difficulties with their home loan repayments due to unemployment, accident, illness, or some other unexpected or unforeseen crisis.
The loan is interest free with no application fees or ongoing charges.
You can borrow a maximum of $20,000, which is repayable over 10 years (in addition to your home loan repayments). Repayments start 12 months after you get the loan.
We secure the loan by taking a registered mortgage over your home. This is a legal document that gives a lender enforcement rights against a property to recover a loan.
A wide range of eligibility criteria apply. For more information, visit https://www.qld.gov.au/housing/buying-owning-home/financial-help-concessions/mortgage-relief-loan or contact the loan hotline on 1300 654 322.
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