The Department of Communities is scheduled to release the new Co-resident Carer rent setting policy for social housing on 7 December 2020.
Under the new policy for rent calculation purposes, where a co-resident carer has assessable income that exceeds the full rate of the Carer Payment (including the Pension Supplement and the Energy Supplement), they will be treated as only receiving the full rate of the Carer Payment (including supplements).
This means that the amount of rent that needs to be paid for the property is reduced, as the income of a co-resident carer, including any above the Carer Payment, will not be included in the rental assessment for the household.
Hence, the policy is reducing the amount of rent that needs to be paid for the property as rent to the lesser of:
- 25 per cent of weekly assessable household income (with the co-resident carer being treated as earning the full rate of the Carer Payment if their actual income exceeds this amount); or
- The market rent of the property.
To support the implementation of this policy, the Department of Communities will be undertaking the the following actions by 7 December 2020:
- A Co-resident Carer Fact Sheet will be available on the Housing Authority website.
- Each Housing Region will receive information on the new policy to help them to identify potential households and to use any interactions that they have with a relevant client as an opportunity to identify potential households.
- Developing a list of potential public housing households that may have a co-resident carer arrangement in place and those will be approached about their tenancies and the impact of the new policy.
Shelter WA welcomes the new Co-resident Carer rent setting policy as it provides people with disabilities with more opportunities and choice through increasing the affordability of the carer arrangement.
In addition to this, it is an incentive for people to become or remain unpaid carers for people with disability so they can live independently, as well as for tenants with disability to seek a co-resident carer.