What is community housing?
Community housing is managed and maintained by not-for-profit non-government organisations, usually community organisations, see COMMUNITY ORGANISATIONS.
It provides a wider range of choices for social housing tenants (some of whom have special needs that can be addressed with this housing) as well as simply an alternative to the mainstream public housing provider (i.e. Housing SA).
Community housing provides choice and diversity for tenants whilst encouraging self help, self management and volunteer community involvement in the provision, management and maintenance of housing.
How can I get into community housing?
A person who meets eligibility criteria (both basic and specific to each provider) can register their interest with a community housing provider. That provider will then enter their details onto a general register. The person will receive a letter confirming their eligibility and entry, if eligible, on the register. The register entry is then available to be considered by all providers.
The sa.gov.au website has a list of all community housing providers operating in South Australia, as well as information about the different types of housing providers, eligibility for each and how to register an interest.
Registration does not, of course, guarantee housing. This would depend on a number of factors such as the number of properties available, the demand and the category of need assigned to each entry on the register.
How is community housing regulated?
From 1 April 2014, the Community Housing Providers (National Law) (South Australia) Act 2013 (SA) ('Community Housing Providers National Law') applies in South Australia. It requires community housing providers to register and follow the code under the Act.
There are special provisions in the Residential Tenancies Act 1995 (SA) for registered community housing providers (registered under the Community Housing Providers National Law, covering things such as:
- periods of notice for rent increases [see s 55(2)(c)]
- how the rent is calculated or can be changed [see s 55(2)(c)]
- limiting responsibilty for the repair of certain items, such as airconditioners and light fittings, set out in the Residential Tenancies Regulations 2010 (SA) [see s 68(2)(b) of the Act and reg 11]
- consent for assignment or subletting of the property can be withheld [see s 74(2)(b)(i)]
- additional powers exist for ending a community housing tenancy with 28 days notice where the tenant is no longer a member or has breached an essential condition of the tenancy agreement [see s 82].
The content of the Law Handbook is made available as a public service for information purposes only and should not be relied upon as a substitute for legal advice. See Disclaimer for details. For free and confidential legal advice in South Australia call 1300 366 424.