Housing transfer FAQ’s

Housing NSW Transfer Tenants – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

General transfer

What is changing?

The Department of Family and Community Services (FACS) is transferring the tenancy management of your home to Homes North, a community housing provider.

What is a Community Housing Provider?

Registered community housing providers (CHPs) are generally not for profit organisations managed by a Board of Directors. They manage the properties that they own as well as other properties that are owned by the government or that are rented from private landlords with government funding.  The community housing sector is independently regulated under the National Regulatory Scheme for Community Housing and FACS also monitors community housing providers to make sure they provide the best possible service to their tenants.

What does this change from FACS to Homes North mean for me?
  • The management of your tenancy will automatically transfer from FACS to Homes North on May 6, 2019.
  • The length of your tenancy and your rights as a tenant will stay the same.
  • You will pay your rent to Homes North from May 6 2019.

Bond

Do I have to pay a Bond?
  • No, you will not have to pay a Bond when your FACS Housing tenancy transfers to Homes North.
  • However, if you move to another property at a later date with Homes North you will need to pay a Bond.

Rent

I don’t want to use/can’t use Centrepay.

You can pay your rent through direct debit.

How do I pay my rent out of business hours?

You can pay your rent through direct debit.

Will my rent be reviewed?
  • Homes North will review your rent every 6 months.
  • Your first review will be before the end of 2019.
Will I still be charged bed room tax by Homes North if I am paying it now with FACS Housing?

Yes, your rent stays the same except you will be charged your Commonwealth Rent Assistance (CRA).

Tenancy Management

I have problems with my neighbours will Homes North do something about this?
  • If the problem relates to your tenancy, e.g. your right to quiet enjoyment, lodge your complaint with Homes North and we will investigate.
  • Depending on the nature of the complaint and the persons/s about whom the complaint is being made, it may be referred to another body e.g. police, the landlord etc
I have pets, is this a problem?
  • Each pet situation will be assessed differently and will depend on where you live and the circumstances.
  • You will need to sign a Pet Agreement with Homes North.
Am I allowed to smoke in the premises (Housing NSW = yes)?
  • Homes North encourages you not to smoke inside as over time this may result in damage to the paint work that you will be responsible to pay for.
  • Homes North also encourages tenants to care for their health and the health of children.
Can I request my own Housing Manager (officer)?
  • Homes North will assign a Housing Officer to your tenancy.
  • However, if there is a conflict of interest between yourself and your Housing Officer another Housing Officer can be assigned to you .
I am deaf, do you have an Auslan service?

Yes, Homes North has an Auslan service.

I am deaf. Do you provide me with a strobe smoke detector?

Yes, Homes North will continue to provide you with a strobe smoke detector.

If I go to gaol how long can I keep my tenancy?
  • You can keep your tenancy for a period of up to 3 months if you go to gaol.
  • Any extensions beyond 3 months are for exceptional circumstances.
Can I ask for a security upgrade? I am experiencing Domestic and Family Violence.
  • Yes, you can speak to your Housing Officer to request a security upgrade if you are experiencing Domestic and Family Violence.
  • We can also refer you to support services.
  • You will need to provide evidence.
Will Homes North have access to an interpreting service? I don’t speak English.
  • Yes, Homes North can provide you with access to an interpreting service.
  • Please speak to your Housing Officer to request this.
Do you have a succession policy?

Homes North’s Succession of Tenancy policy says that if household members meet the eligibility criteria for a succession to the tenancy, Homes North will assess and approve them to be a tenant. Household members could be partners or children. You can find our Succession of Tenancy Policy on our website.

I have an approved transfer; will I have to apply again?

If you already have an approved transfer you will not have to apply again.

Living in Wee Waa, will a Housing worker be available in person on a set day in Wee Waa?

Yes, Summit will be visiting Wee Waa one day per week after May 6, 2019.

If I refuse to sign any paperwork, what are you going to do?

If you currently pay your rent through Centrelink and you do not sign the Centrepay form you will stop paying rent and fall into rent arrears.

I don’t want to come to Homes North, what are my options? What if I refuse?

You can relinquish your tenancy and find alternative accommodation in the private rental market.

What if I work and don’t pay through Centrepay?

You don’t need to fill in the CRA form. You can pay your rent through direct debit.

I am happy with Housing and I don’t want to change over.
  • All FACS Housing properties are being transferred to Homes North in the New England North West on 6thMay, 2019.
  • We are welcoming you as a Homes North tenant, however if you do not wish to transfer to Homes North you can seek alternative accommodation in the private rental market.

CRA

What is Commonwealth Rent Assistance?

As a community housing tenant, you may be eligible to receive a subsidy called Commonwealth Rent Assistance (CRA) from Centrelink. If you are eligible for this subsidy, it will be included in your rent subsidy assessment. Your transfer mail out pack will include information about how to apply for CRA.

What if I don’t want to claim the Commonwealth Rent Assistance (CRA)?
  • It is to your advantage to claim the CRA from the Government. CRA is allowance to low income earners that goes toward paying rent.
  • If you don’t want to claim the CRA you will be required to pay more rent than you are paying as a FACS Housing tenant and you will be disadvantaged. The way rent is charged in Community Housing is set by the NSW Government.
Why do you take all the CRA?

CRA is an allowance that assists you to pay rent. It is NSW Government policy that Community Housing charge 100% CRA in rent.

Does everyone in my household get CRA?

Any household member on a low income is usually eligible for CRA.

Repairs and Maintenance

Will Homes North be doing the repairs on my house that FACS Housing have declined to do?
  • All repairs on FACS Housing properties will continue to be done by Land & Housing Corporation (LAHC) until 2021.
  • However you can speak to your Homes North Housing Officer if you would like the decision, to decline to do repairs, reviewed.
  • There is no change to how you request repairs.
How do I get repairs done?
  • Call the FACS Maintenance line on: 1800 422 322
  • There is no change to how you request repairs.
Does Homes North look after Common Areas (Unit dwellers)?

Common areas for unit dwellers will be looked after by Land & Housing Corporation (LAHC) until 2021.

Water charges

How do I pay my water?

The easiest way you can pay for your household water usage is through CPay or through Direct Debit.

Will I have to pay for water?
  • Yes, you will have to pay for the water the household uses.
  • Where there is no water meter your water charge will be estimated.
How does water get charged?
  • You are charged for the amount of water your household uses.
  • The amount of water used is recorded on the properties water meter.
  • Each local Council sets the per kilolitre unit amount and reads the water meter.
  • Homes North charges you the actual amount metered.
  • Where there is no water meter your water charge will be estimated.

Lease

Will I have to sign a new lease?
  • No, you will not have to sign a new lease.
  • You will not need to sign a new lease as your current lease will be automatically transferred to Homes North on 6 May 2019.
My fixed term Lease expires this year, what happens to me then?
  • When a fixed tem lease expires it will become a continuous lease, unless there are special circumstances.
  • Your Homes North Housing Officer will make all the arrangements for your lease to roll over to a continuous lease when your fixed term lease expires.
What term Lease will I be on? How often will it be reviewed?

The term of your lease will remain the same as it is with your FACS tenancy.

Aboriginal Housing

If I am living in Aboriginal Housing and I am not Aboriginal will I have to move from this property?

Homes North won’t be managing Aboriginal Housing properties.

I am living in an Aboriginal Housing Office property. Will I be moving over to Homes North?

Tenancy management for Aboriginal Housing Office properties remains with FACS Housing. You won’t be transferring to Homes North.

Modifications

I have an OT report and Housing NSW has agreed to modify my property, if it is not done by May will I have to submit a new OT report to Homes North?

No. All modifications will continue to be done by Land & Housing Corporation (LAHC) until 2021. Homes North will work with you to follow up with LAHC.

I would like my property modified. What is the process?

You should put in an application with your OT report to Homes North for processing, and we will contact Land & Housing Corporation (LAHC), as all requests for property modifications will continue to be done by Land & Housing Corporation until 2021.

Previous Tenancy

Does my tenancy history come to Homes North?

Yes, your tenancy history and details will come across to Homes North from FACS Housing.

I have debts with Housing NSW, do I still have to pay these/how do I pay these?

Yes, you will still need to pay any FACS Housing debts.  Your Homes North Housing Officer will set up a repayment plan for payment of these debts.