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You can get Rent Assistance if you pay rent and you're getting:
- Age Pension, Carer Payment or Disability Support Pension
- ABSTUDY Living Allowance, Austudy or Youth Allowance
- Special Benefit
- Family Tax Benefit – Part A at more than the base rate
- Parenting Payment partnered and single
- JobSeeker Payment or Farm Household Allowance.
You must also pay 1 of the following:
- fees in a retirement village
- board and lodging
- site or mooring fees if your main home is a caravan, relocatable home or a boat.
You must pay more than a certain amount of rent each fortnight. How much Rent Assistance you can get depends on how much rent you pay.
If you live in community housing
If you have a lease agreement with a community housing organisation, you may be able to get Rent Assistance.
Community housing provides services such as:
- accommodation for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples
- disability accommodation
- a refuge or rehabilitation centre
- student accommodation
- some special needs housing - state and territory housing authorities assess these needs.
If you live in defence housing
If you’re a Defence Housing Australia tenant, we work out your Rent Assistance based on the rent you pay to Defence Housing Australia.
If you get Temporary Rental Allowance we calculate Rent Assistance on the amount of rent you pay, minus the Temporary Rental Allowance subsidy.
Special rules for people living in a retirement village
Using the amount you paid when you entered the retirement village we assess if you’re either, a:
- home owner
- non-home owner.
If you’re assessed as a non-home owner you may get Rent Assistance. We base the assistance on your ongoing fees in the retirement village.
Special rules for young people
Special rules apply for some young people to get Rent Assistance with some payments.
These depend on both:
- your payment type
- if you live with a parent or guardian.
We consider that you live with a parent or guardian if you live in the same home with them.
We don’t consider that you live with them if you live in an investment property or self-contained area without them. Fully self-contained areas may include things like granny flats and caravans. Your fully self-contained area may be on the same block of land that their home is on. Read more about special rules to get Rent Assistance with:
Who can’t get it
You won’t get Rent Assistance if:
- you own or are buying the home you live in, except relocatable homes
- you’re travelling away from the home you own for less than 12 months
- the Australian Government pays a subsidy to the approved residential aged care facility where you live
- your partner gets Rent Assistance with Family Tax Benefit
- you get an allowance and your partner gets Rent Assistance with their pension.
You also can’t get Rent Assistance if you’re leasing from a state or territory housing authority. These include the following:
|State or territory||Government housing authority|
|Australian Capital Territory||Housing and Community Services|
|New South Wales||The NSW Department of Communities and Justice|
|Northern Territory||Department of Territory Families, Housing and Communities|
|Queensland||Department of Communities, Housing and Digital Economy|
|South Australia||SA Housing Authority|
|Tasmania||Department of Communities Tasmania|
|Victoria||Department of Health and Human Services|
|Western Australia||Department of Communities and Housing|
Special rules if you get ABSTUDY Living Allowance
To get Rent Assistance with ABSTUDY Living Allowance, you must meet some special rules.
Special rules if you get Disability Support Pension
To get Rent Assistance with DSP, you must meet some special rules.
Special rules if you get JobSeeker Payment
To get Rent Assistance with JobSeeker Payment, you must meet some special rules.