Your Income and Rent in 2021- COVID-19 FAQs for tenants – UPDATED

December 31, 2020

“The safety and well-being of our staff and tenants are at the forefront of our thinking and planning. Link Housing continues to deliver our essential housing services and is committed to providing on-going support to our staff, tenants, applicants, partners and the community during this challenging time.”

Andrew McAnulty
Chief Executive Officer, Link Housing

Link Housing wants to ensure our tenants remain in their homes, and are safe and secure.

We are closely monitoring Government advice and directives to adapt our services to meet your needs.

With the recent changes to the COVID-19 supplement payments and JobKeeper payments, please see an update to our COVID-19 Income and Rent FAQs below.

We are doing our best to keep this content up to date and responsive to government decisions and announcements. We ask that you continue to read our emails, text messages and contact us on 9412 5111 with any questions.

FAQs about your income and rent

What government financial support is available?

The Government has been providing support for individuals and businesses affected by COVID-19 through the establishment of new, time‑limited Coronavirus supplements to be paid to eligible residents.

From 1 January 2021 to 31 March 2021 the COVID-19 supplement reduces from $250 per fortnight to $150.

Find out about the payments by visiting the Service NSW website or calling them 24/7 on 13 77 88. Also visit: treasury.gov.au/coronavirus/households

Will additional COVID-19 payments impact your rent payments to Link Housing?

As promised by our CEO in March 2020, for our Social Housing and Disability Housing tenants, Link Housing will not include the following Coronavirus supplements paid by the Government directly to you, in your rent calculations.

  • COVID-19 Supplements and Special Payments for individuals
  • The one off Government Stimulus Payment of $750.

These actions are to support our community during this challenging time.

What about JobKeeper payments?

If you are getting JobKeeper payments, please contact Link Housing as soon as possible. When calculating your rental subsidy we only assess a portion of your JobKeeper payment to calculate your rent.

From 4 January to 28 March 2021, JobKeeper payments reduce as follows:

  • For those who are working 20 hours or more a week, the payment rate reduces from $1,200 per fortnight to $1,000 per fortnight.
  • For those who are working less than 20 hours, the payment reduces from $750 to $650.

To assist tenants and ensure equity for those who have lost their jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic, Link Housing will not assess $150 of these reduced JobKeeper payments.

If you have any questions, please contact us on 9412 5111.

When will Income Reviews start again?

For our Social Housing and Disability Housing tenants, Link Housing’s rent policy sets out that all tenancies have two income (rent) reviews each year. For 2020, as stated in our communications throughout 2020, Link Housing made the decision to forgo these two reviews.

As we are now in 2021, we have restarted our twice yearly income reviews for our Social Housing tenants. The first income review has begun with our Income Review team contacting tenants and collecting the needed documentation. Any adjustments to your rent as a result of this first income review for 2021, will take effect 1 February 2021.

For our Disability Housing clients, the next rent review will be in March 2021. The team will be in touch with participants and guardians at this time and notify you of any changes to your rent. Increases will take effect 28 days (plus 4 working days for mail postage and handling) after communications are sent.

Please contact us if you have any questions by calling 9412 5111.

What about for Link Housing tenants in Affordable Housing?

Link Housing tenants living in our Affordable Housing properties can contact their Property Manager for more information about how we might be able to help you if you have lost your job or your income has reduced due to COVID-19. Call us on 9412 5111 or email your Property Manager.

What to do if you’re a social housing tenant and your household circumstances have changed?

If you are a Social Housing resident and your household circumstances have changed causing your household income to go up or down, please complete our Income Review print and post form or web form, or contact us on 9412 5111 if you require a form to be posted to you.  

Tenants are required to tell Link Housing of any change to their household circumstances and income within 28 days.

As part of our commitment to helping tenants sustain their tenancy, we ask tenants who are making payments via Centrepay to continue to do so. Please note Centrepay is a voluntary bill-paying service which is free for Centrelink customers. Use Centrepay to arrange regular deductions from your Centrelink payment.

Do you have to provide documentation?

If you receive Centrelink payments, you can talk to us about how to complete a Centrelink consent form over the phone. Providing this consent allows us to adjust your rent without you having to send us documentation.

You can also talk to us about how to make your rent payments via Centrepay if you don’t already do so. Please note Centrepay is a voluntary bill-paying service which is free for Centrelink customers. Use Centrepay to arrange regular deductions from your Centrelink payment.

How can you find out more?

If you have questions or need help with understanding Link Housing’s services at this time, please call our Client Services Team on 9412 5111 or email enquiries@linkhousing.org.au. Our offices are only open by appointment.