What is community housing?
Community housing is secure, affordable, long term, rental housing managed by not-for-profit organisations for people on low income or people with special needs.
Community housing and homelessness services are jointly funded by the Commonwealth and State Governments through partnership agreements.
Rents are broadly based on 25% of income, plus rent assistance where a tenant is in receipt of a Government pension or benefit. Where apartments are not separately metered, rent includes a charge for electricity, gas and water.
Community housing tenants have the same rights under the Victorian Residential Tenancies Act 1997 as public housing tenants and private tenants.
Community housing organisations rely on rent collected to fund most of their operational costs. Many target their housing to people with special needs.
People are commonly confused about the difference between community housing and public housing.
- Community housing and public housing both provide long term, secure housing at an affordable rent based on individual tenant income.
- Community housing has more options for single person households.
- Community housing organisations are generally able to provide more individual support to tenants.
- Community housing tenants on Pensions or Benefits, unlike public housing tenants, are eligible for Commonwealth Rent Assistance. But they pay a correspondingly higher rent.
- Any surplus income generated in community housing is used to build or purchase new community housing.
‘The community housing sector is highly regulated by government, with 10 Housing Associations and 30 Housing Providers currently registered under the Housing Act 1983.’
Victorian Housing Registrar Public Register, 2021
South Port’s community housing
HOUSING PEOPLE MOST IN NEED
Housing managed by South Port Community Housing Group is targeted to single people on low income facing difficulties in obtaining housing in the private rental market: generally people who are homeless or in a period of crisis in their lives where they do not have a safe or reliable place to sleep at night.
Most of our housing is in blocks of studio apartments and one-bedroom apartments in South Melbourne, Port Melbourne and Albert Park- for single person households.
We take referrals from key local and inner Melbourne homelessness agencies but an equally important part of what we do is to assist local people to stay in the local area.
We are registered as a Housing Provider with the Victorian Housing Registrar and are annually assessed against State Government Performance Standards.
MAKING THE BEST OF ALL THIS AMAZING LOCATION OFFERS
Our location allows access by foot or by tram, to the best things about the South Port area and the city: the markets, the beach, Albert Park, MSAC, Gasworks Art Park, sports and entertainment venues, and a comprehensive range of health and community services.
Through newsletters, new tenant kits, word of mouth, resident meetings, and the website we provide people with information to assist them to connect to community services and facilities.
Other features of South Port
- We obtain the support of different funders and regularly resource and run group activities and events
- We encourage tenants to participate on our committees.
HELPING PEOPLE FACING DISADVANTAGE TO SUSTAIN LONG TERM TENANCIES
Our tenancy management workers are community workers and social workers, not just administrators. We work closely with our tenants to help when issues or problems arise and to help them access other relevant services.
When new tenants come to us following a period of crisis in their lives, and don’t own household equipment, we provide a ‘starter kit’: cooking equipment, crockery, bedding, toiletries, and a voucher to get some basic food supplies.
How to apply
To be eligible for social housing in Victoria you need to meet current income and asset limits established by the Department of Families, Fairness and Housing.
To apply you need to complete an application to the Victorian Housing Register.
If you need assistance, contact our office on 9696 1128.