Docstoc

Allocations-manual-Chapter-1-Introduction-and-Overview_HiiPv3

Document Sample
Allocations-manual-Chapter-1-Introduction-and-Overview_HiiPv3 Powered By Docstoc
					                  1. Introduction and Overview




Allocations Manual - Introduction and Overview: Version 6.0 September 2010   Page 1-1
     Table of Contents




Table of Contents


1.      Introduction and Overview ......................................................................................... 1

  Table of Contents ........................................................................................................... 2

  1.1      Introduction and Overview ...................................................................................... 3

     1.1.1      Introduction ..................................................................................................... 3

        Allocations Policy Purpose Statement ........................................................................... 4

     1.1.2      Police Witness Protection Program ...................................................................... 6

     1.1.3      Victorian Emergency Management Procedures (VEMP) ........................................... 6

     1.1.4      Corrections Locational Transfers ......................................................................... 6

     1.1.5      Relocation Transfers .......................................................................................... 7

     1.1.6      Recurring Homelessness .................................................................................... 7

     1.1.7      Temporary Absence .......................................................................................... 7

     1.1.8      Supported Housing ........................................................................................... 8

     1.1.9      Special Housing Needs ...................................................................................... 8

     1.1.10       Property Management Transfers ....................................................................... 8

     1.1.11       HOLS Conversion Program .............................................................................. 9

     1.1.12       General Housing ............................................................................................ 9

     1.1.13       Eligibility Criteria ........................................................................................... 9

     1.1.14       Tenure Review ............................................................................................. 12

        „New„ Tenants ......................................................................................................... 12

        „Existing‟ Tenants .................................................................................................... 12

     1.1.15       Information Privacy ...................................................................................... 13

        Client Contact ......................................................................................................... 13

     1.1.16       Home Visits ................................................................................................. 14

     1.1.17       Referral of Applicants to Properties Managed by Housing Associations ................. 14

     1.1.18       Housing Appeals and Complaints Mechanisms.................................................. 15




Page 1-2                                                  Allocations Manual - Introduction and Overview: Version 6.0 September 2010
                                                                                     Introduction and
                                                                                         Overview




1.1 Introduction and Overview



1.1.1                                The provision of housing and homelessness services requires
                                     significant investment from both the Commonwealth and State
Introduction                         Governments.

                                     In November 2008, the Council of Australian Governments (COAG)
                                     agreed to a significant package of investment for housing under the
                                     National Affordable Housing Agreement (NAHA) and associated
                                     National Partnership payments.

                                     The NAHA consolidates existing housing Specific Purpose Payments
                                     (SPPs) and fund a range of measures including social housing,
                                     assistance to people in the private rental market, support and
                                     accommodation for people who are homeless or at risk of
                                     homelessness, and home purchase assistance.

                                     In June 1997, Commonwealth and State Housing Ministers agreed to
                                     reform the state public housing systems including segmentation of
                                     waiting lists. A segmented waiting list aims to target scarce housing
                                     resources to those most in need. It is a waiting list system which
                                     operates by targeting groups for early housing allocation on the
                                     basis of highest need and allocating housing which is appropriate to
                                     these needs.

                                     The Department of Human Services (“the department”) is
                                     established under the Public Administration Act 2004. The
                                     department has ultimate responsibility for overseeing the health and
                                     well being of the most vulnerable members of the Victorian
                                     community. The department, through the Director of Housing, also
                                     has the responsibility for the provision of public housing.

                                     Through its social policy action framework, A Fairer Victoria (AFV),
                                     addressing disadvantage and reducing inequality has been a key
                                     tenet of the way the Victorian Government operates. AFV has a focus
                                     on improving access to vital services; reducing barriers to
                                     opportunity; strengthening assistance for disadvantaged groups and
                                     places; and ensuring that people get the help they need at critical
                                     points in their lives.

                                     In addition to this broader social reform agenda, the Victorian
                                     Government has also placed significant effort and investment in both
                                     reducing homelessness, and improving responses to those who are
                                     homeless, at risk of homelessness, or escaping family violence.

                                     The Victorian response to homelessness incorporates wider program
                                     participation beyond the Supported Accommodation Assistance
                                     Program (SAAP) and includes amongst other initiatives, a strong
                                     emphasis on access to long-term housing outcomes through the
                                     Public Housing Segmented Waiting List.




Allocations Manual - Introduction and Overview: Version 6.0 September 2010                          Page 1-3
     Introduction and
         Overview




                        Allocations Policy Purpose Statement
                        The Department of Human Services supports Victorians most in need to
                        find and maintain safe, secure and affordable housing. The Division of
                        Housing and Community Building works with partners to provide a
                        range of programs and services to support those most in need. (A new
                        approach to public and social housing – Strategic Framework, June
                        2010)

                        The purpose of the Allocations Policy is to ensure that public housing
                        assistance is provided in an equitable and efficient manner and that
                        households most in need are assisted first. This means that over
                        recent years, housing assistance has been increasingly targeted to
                        people in greatest need.

                        In acknowledgment that Victoria‟s households have varying need for
                        access to affordable and appropriate public housing, the OOH makes
                        provision for early housing allocations for both new applicants and
                        current tenants in order to ensure that those most in need receive
                        the earliest response. The category that each household applies for
                        will depend on their personal circumstances and their relative need
                        for housing and support.

                        When assessing housing availability, the OOH assesses the
                        applicant‟s  housing    preferences,   including   their    particular
                        circumstances, against the relative demand for the size and waiting
                        list area nominated. The assessment is based on the demand for,
                        and turnover of stock within the nominated waiting list area.

                        The Allocations Policy:

                           sets the eligibility criteria for all of the waiting list categories to
                            ensure that people with the greatest need are assisted first, and

                           states the policies and procedures followed by the OOH to
                            manage applications for public housing, the waiting lists and the
                            allocation of properties.

                        Other than applicants approved for either relocation or property
                        management transfers, new and transfer applicants must meet the
                        General Housing eligibility criteria before being eligible to apply for
                        early housing via any other category.

                        The General Housing eligibility criteria comprise:

                           Australian citizenship or permanent residency

                           Ownership of real estate

                           Victorian residency

                           Receipt of an independent income

                           Minimum age requirements

                           No history of eviction for tenancy breaches, other than arrears,
                            within the past 12 months, as a public housing tenant or
                            resident.



Page 1-4                                Allocations Manual - Introduction and Overview: Version 6.0 September 2010
                                                                                                   Introduction and
                                                                                                       Overview



                                          Up-to-date documentation confirming the above criteria.

                                     The following eligibility criteria vary from category to category:

                                         Income and assets,

                                         Outstanding debt repayments.

                                     All categories, except General Housing, are generically referred to as
                                     „early housing‟ categories.

                                     Additionally, applicants who are eligible to be on the waiting list but
                                     are ineligible to be housed, e.g. those on Assurance of Support and
                                     temporary visa holders who are subject to the Centrelink two-year
                                     waiting period, cannot apply for early housing until they become
                                     eligible. This is because public housing is only allocated to people who
                                     can demonstrate that they have an independent income to ensure
                                     they can meet their obligation under the Residential Tenancies Act
                                     1997 to pay rent for their accommodation.
                                     A „no-income‟ status, as may be the case for asylum seekers and new
                                     migrants awaiting residency status, does not preclude access to
                                     transitional and crisis accommodation.

                                     The following table provides a summary of the various categories
                                     including the order that applicants will be made an offer of housing.

                                     Table 1.1 Order of Allocation

                                     Category                                New Applicants or Transfer Applicants

                                     Police Witness Protection               New and Transfer Applicants
                                     Program

                                     Victorian Emergency                     New and Transfer Applicants
                                     Management Procedures
                                     (VEMP)

                                     Corrections Locational                  Transfer Applicants Only
                                     Transfers

                                     Redevelopment Transfers                 Transfer Applicants Only

                                     Recurring Homelessness                  New Applicants Only

                                     Temporary Absence                       Transfer Applicants Only

                                     Supported Housing                       New and Transfer Applicants

                                     Special Housing Needs                   New and Transfer Applicants

                                     Property Management                     Transfer Applicants Only
                                     Transfers

                                     Home Ownership Loan                     New Applicants Only
                                     Scheme Conversion to
                                     Rental Housing (HOLS)

                                     General Housing                         New and Transfer Applicants




Allocations Manual - Introduction and Overview: Version 6.0 September 2010                                      Page 1-5
     Introduction and
         Overview




1.1.2 Police                   The OOH has formal agreements with the Victorian and Australian
                               Federal Police to provide direct tenure public housing to:
Witness
Protection                        new applicants who are eligible for public housing or current
                                   tenants, who are witnesses to major crimes, and
Program
                                  are placed in immediate life threatening circumstances by
                                   continuing to live in their current housing.
         Police Witness
Protection chapter in this     These arrangements are in place to protect low income Victorians,
manual                         who might otherwise not have the resources to relocate unassisted
                               to safe housing. Applicants approved for the Police Witness
                               Protection Program are housed before all other applicants on the
                               waiting list. Less than 0.2% of all allocations each year are made
                               from the Police Witness Protection Program.



1.1.3 Victorian                The OOH provides accommodation to those people whose housing is
                               no longer safe or habitable, due to a major disaster declared by the
Emergency                      State Government of Victoria, e.g. major bush fires or flooding.
Management
Procedures                     Access to public rental housing may take the form of:
(VEMP)                            Emergency housing: approximately one week period providing
                                   funding and/or emergency accommodation.

                                  Temporary housing: approximately 4 to 12 week period in OOH
       Victorian
Emergency Management               accommodation whilst alternative housing, e.g. private rental, is
Procedures chapter in this         arranged.
manual
                                  Short term housing: six to 12-month tenure in public rental
                                   housing, whilst the household‟s property is being repaired or
                                   rebuilt.

                                  Long term housing: long-term tenure in public housing for
                                   households who meet the eligibility criteria and who did not own
                                   or did not have insurance for the damaged property.

                               The OOH Manager for VEMP Recovery undertakes negotiations with
                               Regional Directors and/or Managers Housing, Primary and Complex
                               Care, the State Emergency Recovery Unit and the Community
                               Recovery Committee to develop a VEMP strategy for those
                               households affected by the disaster.



1.1.4                          The OOH has in place a Joint Protocol with the Department of Justice
                               (DOJ) for the management of sex offenders who enter and re-enter
Corrections                    public housing on release from custody.
Locational
Transfers                      The OOH relies on advice from DOJ regarding locational restrictions
                               that should be considered when a tenant‟s property would be
                               unsuitable to return to upon release from prison because of the
                               tenant‟s risk of re-offending in that location.
         Corrections
Locational Transfers chapter
in this manual                 In such cases, the OOH requests the tenant to lodge an application
                               for transfer prior to release, or to rescind their tenancy. A tenant



Page 1-6                                      Allocations Manual - Introduction and Overview: Version 6.0 September 2010
                                                                                     Introduction and
                                                                                         Overview


                                     who rescinds their tenancy may be eligible for early housing
                                     allocation under the Temporary Absence policy. A tenant who refuses
                                     to rescind their tenancy but who is otherwise eligible for release on
                                     parole may be remanded in custody if they do not have appropriate
                                     housing upon release.

                                     If a tenant who is eligible for straight release does not agree to
                                     rescind their tenancy, or agree to transfer, the OOH may serve a
                                     Notice to Vacate pursuant to section 263 of the RTA. The Director,
                                     Public Housing and Community Building must authorise any such
                                     notice.

                                     Regional Housing Managers are the designated liaison officers for the
                                     purposes of the Protocol, and for housing allocations made under
                                     this policy.



1.1.5 Relocation                     The Relocation program recognises that redevelopment of OOH stock
                                     is an important part of maintaining the condition and amenities of
Transfers                            public housing. Relocation transfers are arranged to facilitate major
                                     property and/or estate upgrades and redevelopments.

         Redevelopment
Manual




1.1.6 Recurring                      People who have a history of homelessness or those at risk of a
                                     sustained period of homelessness often require support and housing
Homelessness                         that is stable and secure.

                                     As well as helping to fast track these households with public housing
        Recurring                    assistance, this category also involves the requirement to identify
Homelessness chapter in              and meet the needs of people who have other factors in their lives
this manual
                                     that have contributed to their history or high risk of homelessness.

                                     Assessment under the Recurring Homelessness category takes into
                                     account the client‟s current housing circumstance, housing history
                                     and risk factors which affect the client‟s ability to obtain and/or
                                     maintain housing.

                                     Assessment of a client‟s entry into the Recurring Homelessness
                                     category is the responsibility of an OOH-accredited participating
                                     agency, such as a Transitional Housing Manager or Supported
                                     Accommodation Assistance Program agency.



1.1.7                                A person who was previously a sole tenant of an OOH property, and
                                     who vacated that property within six months of being approved to be
Temporary                            away from their property under the Temporary Absence policy, may
Absence                              apply to be re-housed up to two years after the date of vacating
                                     their OOH property.

        Temporary Absence            Assessment of entry into the Temporary Absence category is the
chapter in this manual               responsibility of the local Housing Office.




Allocations Manual - Introduction and Overview: Version 6.0 September 2010                          Page 1-7
     Introduction and
         Overview




1.1.8                       People who have disabilities or long-term health problems may need
                            physical alterations made to their accommodation and/or assistance
Supported                   of personal support services to be able to live independently. Often
Housing                     the private rental market does not provide suitable housing for
                            people who require modified housing or with significant personal
                            support needs.
        Supported Housing
chapter in this manual      This category recognises that successful housing for these clients
                            requires a coordinated approach, with links and advice from relevant
                            community agencies and support services.



1.1.9 Special               People who are living in housing that has become unsuitable are also
                            regarded as a high priority for the OOH. Both new applicants as well
Housing Needs               as current OOH tenants may apply under this category.

                            An applicant‟s current housing may be unsuitable for the following
                            reasons:

                               Insecure Housing
       Special Housing             The household is currently homeless and currently residing in
Needs chapter in this               transitional, emergency or crisis housing or temporarily with
manual                              friends or relatives, and is unable to access alternative
                                    accommodation, but does not have a history of, or is not at
                                    risk of recurring homelessness and therefore is not eligible for
                                    the Recurring Homelessness Category.

                               Inappropriate Housing
                                   Current housing results in severe overcrowding, or
                                   Current housing prevents reunification of parents and their
                                    children, or
                                   Current housing is unsuitable as it results in inappropriate
                                    sharing of bedrooms.
                               Unsafe Housing
                                   A member of the household is facing actual or a serious
                                    threat of physical danger or family violence.

                               Urgent Medical Need
                                   The household is living in housing which does not meet their
                                    needs due to serious and chronic mobility and/or health
                                    problems.

                            Applicants are required to demonstrate that their current housing
                            circumstances fall into one of the above categories.



1.1.10 Property             The OOH offers early housing transfers to current tenants who agree
                            to transfer from one OOH housing property to another, in special
Management                  circumstances related to property management.
Transfers
                            These circumstances are:




Page 1-8                                    Allocations Manual - Introduction and Overview: Version 6.0 September 2010
                                                                                                Introduction and
                                                                                                    Overview



                                         when there is a greater demand for the tenant's existing housing
                                          than the housing to which the tenant wishes to move, or
       Property
Management chapter in this
                                         to improve stock utilisation, e.g. a single person living in a three-
manual
                                          bedroom house is moved to a one-bedroom unit, or

                                         the OOH intends to sell their existing housing.



1.1.11 HOLS                          Home Finance clients, who have purchased their own home through
                                     the OOH Home Finance Assistance Schemes, can apply to have their
Conversion                           housing converted to OOH rental housing if changes in their
Program                              circumstances result in a permanent reduction in their income and
                                     (although not behind in their repayments) they cannot continue their
                                     mortgage repayments.
        Home Finance
Conversion to Public                 The OOH offers eligible clients the option to convert their housing to
Housing chapter in this              OOH rental housing after all other alternatives to continue as house
manual                               purchasers within the Home Finance Unit have been exhausted.



1.1.12 General                       Whilst the categories above aim to target assistance to those
                                     households in most need, or to respond to the OOH‟s requirement to
Housing                              most effectively utilise and manage stock, the General Housing
                                     category provides access to those households who are not in urgent
                                     housing need but may benefit from public housing.



1.1.13                               The eligibility criteria, as set out in Chapter 2, apply to all
                                     households, including new, transfers, mutual swaps and applicants
Eligibility                          who require a live-in carer. These criteria are referred to as the
Criteria                             General Housing eligibility criteria.

                                     Applicants who are assessed for an early housing allocation
           Applications and          category, e.g. Recurring Homelessness, must satisfy any eligibility
Eligibility chapter in this          criteria which apply to that category. These criteria may be different
manual                               from, or additional to, the General Housing eligibility requirements.

                                     For each of the early housing categories/s, new and transfer
                                     applicants are also required to meet specific criteria regarding their
                                     current housing circumstances.

                                     The following table summarises the differences in eligibility criteria
                                     between the various categories.



                                     Table 1.2        Summary of Eligibility Criteria
                                     Category           Income/Asset         Outstand-    Assessment of Need and/or
                                     and                                     ing Debt     Responsibility for Assessment
                                     Segment

                                     Police Witness     General Housing      Police       Request     and   recommendation
                                                        Eligibility Income   generally    received directly from Police.
                                                        and Asset Limits*    pay first    Tenancy Services assess eligibility
                                                                             $1000.       for public housing.

                                     VEMP               „Temporary and      No            The  VEMP   Manager   and/or
                                                        short term housing‟ requirement   Community Recovery Committee




Allocations Manual - Introduction and Overview: Version 6.0 September 2010                                         Page 1-9
     Introduction and
         Overview


                                        applicants are not      to repay        assess applicant‟s current housing
                                        required to meet        outstanding     circumstances     for  emergency,
                                        any income or           debt unless     temporary       and     short-term
                                        asset eligibility       applying for    housing. Eligibility for long-term
                                        criteria.               long-term       housing is assessed by local
                                                                housing.        Housing Office.
                                        „Long term
                                        housing‟ applicants
                                        must meet the
                                        General Housing
                                        income or asset
                                        eligibility criteria.

                        Corrections     General Housing         Agreement       Approved to category by Housing
                        Locational      Eligibility Income      made and        Manager following consultation
                        Transfers       and Asset Limits        maintained.     with DOJ.
                                                                Offer of
                                                                housing         Offer and allocation approved by
                                                                made as         Housing Manager.
                                                                soon as
                                                                possible.

                        Relocation      Generally no            No              Full assessment by local Housing
                        Transfers       requirement to          requirement     Office.
                                        meet any income         to repay
                                        or asset eligibility    outstanding
                                        criteria                debt prior to
                                                                transfer.

                        Recurring       Reduced Income          Agreement       Assessment        of    recurring
                        Homelessness    and Asset               made and        homelessness and inability to
                                        Limits**                maintained.     secure alternative private rental
                        Seg 1                                   Offer of        accommodation      made   by    a
                                                                housing         „Participating Agency‟.
                                                                made as
                                                                soon as         General     Housing      eligibility
                                                                possible.       confirmed by local housing office.
                                                                                Approved to category by Regional
                                                                                Panel.

                        Temporary       General Housing         Agreement       HSO to investigate eligibility based
                        Absence (Sole   Eligibility Income      made and        on previous tenancy and make
                        tenant who      and Asset Limits        maintained.     recommendation.
                        vacated OOH                             Offer of
                        property                                housing         Approved to category by local
                        during                                  made as         housing office panel.
                        Temporary                               soon as
                        Absence                                 possible.
                        approval
                        period)

                        Supported       General Housing         $200 lump       Referral    by support agency
                        Housing         Eligibility Income      sum             confirming new and transfer
                                        and Asset Limits*       payment and     applicants current housing is
                        Seg 2                                   3 month         unsuitable.
                                                                agreement
                                                                                If applicant requires significant
                                                                                personal support, person must be
                                                                                linked with a specific support
                                                                                program.
                                                                                Approved to category by local
                                                                                housing office panel.




Page 1-10                                 Allocations Manual - Introduction and Overview: Version 6.0 September 2010
                                                                                                  Introduction and
                                                                                                      Overview



                               Table 1.2       Summary of Eligibility Criteria (Contd)
                                     Category         Income/Asset           Outstand-      Assessment of Need and/or
                                                                             ing Debt       Responsibility for Assessment

                                     Special          Reduced Income         $200 lump      New and Transfer applicants are
                                     Housing          and Asset Limits**     sum            required to provide documentation
                                     Needs                                   payment and    confirming their current housing
                                                                             3 month        circumstances are unsuitable.
                                     Seg 3                                   agreement
                                                                                            Approved to category by local
                                                                                            housing office panel.

                                     Property         General Housing        Negotiated     Full assessment by local Housing
                                     Manage-          Eligibility Income     on a case by   Office.
                                     ment             and Asset Limits*,     case basis.
                                     Transfers        however HSM has
                                                      discretion to
                                                      approve non-
                                                      eligible households

                                     HOLS             General Housing        All            Referral and recommendation by
                                     Conversion       Eligibility Income     outstanding    Home        Finance    Branch.
                                                      and Asset Limits*      debt must      Assessment by local Housing
                                                                             be paid in     Office.
                                                                             full.

                                     General          General Housing        All            Full assessment by local Housing
                                     Housing          Eligibility Income     outstanding    Office.
                                     Category         and Asset Limits*      debt must
                                                                             be paid in
                                     Seg 4                                   full.

                                     * General Housing eligibility criteria - Income limits based on eligibility limits
                                     for Centrelink Rent Assistance. Asset Limits $30,000 or up to $60,000 if
                                     major or full modifications are required.

                                     ** Income limits based on eligibility for a Commonwealth Health Care Card
                                     from Centrelink.




Allocations Manual - Introduction and Overview: Version 6.0 September 2010                                        Page 1-11
     Introduction and
         Overview




1.1.14 Tenure           Generally, OOH tenants who were housed after 17 November 1997
                        may have their eligibility for on-going housing reviewed every five
Review                  years.

                        Section 262 of the Residential Tenancies Act 1997 authorises the
                        Director of Housing to issue a 90 day notice to vacate if a public
                        housing tenant ceases to meet one or more of the published public
                        housing eligibility criteria.

                        The criteria for eligibility for the provision of housing by the Director
                        of Housing have not yet been published in the Government Gazette,
                        as required under section 262(3) of the Act.

                        Note: Reviews are not expected to commence until the criteria for
                        eligibility have been published in the Government Gazette.

                        Tenants aged 65 and over are deemed to have on-going tenancies
                        and are not subject to a review period.


                        ‘New‘ Tenants

                        A „new‟ tenant is a tenant who enters into a tenancy agreement on or
                        after 17 November 1997. An „existing‟ tenant will become a new
                        tenant, if at any time after 17 November 1997:

                                the tenant transfers under a General Housing application, unless
                                 the transfer is recognised by the local Housing Office as achieving
                                 under-utilisation objectives,

                                the tenant transfers as part of a mutual swap, or

                                a new tenancy agreement is signed as a result of changes to
                                 household composition (except transfers of tenancy as listed from
                                 points f, g and h below).


                        ‘Existing’ Tenants

                        An „existing‟ tenant is a tenant in public housing prior to 17 November
                        1997. An existing tenant will retain this status in the following
                        circumstances:

                            a.     an Early Housing Transfer,

                            b.     a transfer under the Witness Protection Program,

                            c.     a transfer under Victorian Emergency Management Procedures,

                            d.     a transfer for       OOH      stock      management           purposes,       e.g.
                                   Redevelopment,

                            e.     a transfer to smaller accommodation which is recognised by the
                                   local Housing Office as achieving under-utilisation objectives,



Page 1-12                                   Allocations Manual - Introduction and Overview: Version 6.0 September 2010
                                                                                        Introduction and
                                                                                            Overview


                                             and approved by the Housing Services Manager,

                                       f.    a transfer to a spouse in circumstances where a couple
                                             commenced a tenancy together but only one of them originally
                                             signed the Residential Tenancy Agreement,

                                       g.    where a tenant leaves a household, and the existing tenants
                                             remain and sign a new Residential Tenancy Agreement,

                                       h.    a transfer is required because the tenant has been declared
                                             bankrupt and a new tenancy is created.



1.1.15                               The Information Privacy Principles (IPP) set out statutory obligations
                                     for handling personal information, which apply to all public sector
Information                          organisations including funded service providers and their staff (such
Privacy                              as Transitional Housing Managers). They cover all stages of the
                                     information cycle, from collection to use, release and disposal of
                                     personal information. These principles ensure that privacy is protected
       Information                   in a consistent manner across the department.
Privacy Principles –
Chapter 2 Business                   The IPPs are reflected in the Department‟s Privacy Policy statement,
Practice Manual                      which adopts the legislative principles as minimum standards.


                                     Client Contact

                                     Before any personal information or details regarding an application
                                     are discussed with a client or their representative, it is necessary for
                                     the OOH to confirm a client‟s identity to protect the client‟s privacy.
                                     The OOH requires confirmation of at least three of the following
                                     personal details:

                                        Service ID Number

                                        Full Name

                                        Date of Birth

                                        Telephone Number

                                        Names and date of birth information of family members (e.g.
                                         children/spouse).

                                     Applicants can also elect to be registered as a „sensitive client‟ in HiiP
                                     and provide a password and a security question and answer. Where
                                     the „sensitive client‟ indicator is flagged, the client must provide the
                                     password which they have previously registered with the OOH before
                                     any personal information can be discussed or given by the OOH.

                                     If the person gives an incorrect password or cannot recall it, the
                                     security question can be used to verify the person‟s identity.

                                     If they cannot recall their password or answer the security question,
                                     the OOH requires confirmation of at least three pieces of personal
                                     information mentioned previously.




Allocations Manual - Introduction and Overview: Version 6.0 September 2010                            Page 1-13
     Introduction and
         Overview



                        Where client contact occurs at the service counter, it is recommended
                        that an interview room is used to ensure the client‟s responses are not
                        overheard. Alternatively, the client should be asked to write down
                        their responses.

                        The tenancy or application file may also contain additional information
                        that can be used to further confirm the client‟s identity.

                        If, after following the above procedure, there are still doubts about
                        the identity of the person with whom the application is being
                        discussed, they are requested to attend the Housing Office with proof
                        of their identity (e.g. Drivers‟ licence, passport etc.)

                        If the client‟s representative contacts the OOH and there is
                        uncertainty about the identity of the caller, the OOH asks for their
                        details and phone number so that these may be verified against
                        information held in HiiP, and if necessary, the tenancy or application
                        file.

                        Where necessary, the telephone directory is used to confirm the
                        number given is that of the organisation or client‟s representative
                        before the call is returned.



1.1.16 Home             OOH staff may undertake home visits to a new or transfer applicant‟s
                        current property, to assist staff in the assessment of Early Housing
Visits                  Applications.

                        Furthermore, once tenants are housed they will be visited within a
                        six-week period to ensure they have understood their rights and
                        responsibilities as an OOH tenant, and to provide an opportunity to
                        resolve any outstanding matters. For example, that all maintenance
                        has been completed at their property.



1.1.17 Referral         Housing Associations are not-for-profit organisations that develop,
                        own and manage rental housing for people on low incomes. Many of
of Applicants to        the people who would be in the target group of tenants for Housing
Properties              Associations may also have applied for public housing.
Managed by
                        An objective of Housing Associations is to provide affordable housing
Housing                 to low-income people. To assist Housing Associations to meet this
Associations            objective, the OOH informs people on its waiting list of the alternative
                        accommodation options that the various Housing Associations may be
                        able to offer.

                        The OOH then refers clients on its waiting list who have expressed an
                        interest in receiving an offer of accommodation from a Housing
                        Association, and have actively consented to their details being passed
                        on to a Housing Association.

                        The referral process is centrally managed by the Project Manager,
                        Housing Outcomes within Public Housing Client Services.

                        The referral mechanism that has been agreed between the OOH and




Page 1-14                              Allocations Manual - Introduction and Overview: Version 6.0 September 2010
                                                                                        Introduction and
                                                                                            Overview


                                     Housing Associations is detailed in the Protocol for the referral of
                                     public housing applicants to Housing Associations. The protocol
                                     ensures:

                                          transparent arrangements and responsibilities in the referral
                                           process;
                                          a central point of contact for Housing Associations; and
                                          a consistent state-wide approach for referral of applicants.

                                     Referred applicants are notionally drawn from the General Housing
                                     segment of the public housing waiting list in effective date order,
                                     however the protocol allows for specific income eligibility levels and
                                     target groups to be targeted as new developments are progressed.

                                     The OOH will also target, for referral, specific long wait, General
                                     Housing applicants who have resided for lengthy periods in tenuous
                                     private rental accommodation. Such applicants may be well suited to
                                     properties developed under programs such as the National Rental
                                     Affordability Scheme because of their potential to convert from tenant
                                     to home owner within a reasonable time period.

                                     The target group of public housing applicants housed by Housing
                                     Associations is up to 50% against true vacancies.

                                     To maintain equity of access, over time applicants from all four
                                     segments of the waiting list will be referred to Housing Association
                                     vacancies.


1.1.18 Housing                       The requirement for all State Housing Authorities to establish and
                                     maintain a formal appeals system for clients was introduced by the
Appeals and                          Commonwealth State Housing Agreement.
Complaints
Mechanisms                           All OOH clients are able to access the appeals process. This includes
                                     applicants for public housing, applicants for bond assistance and
                                     current tenants of OOH properties, including occupants of Movable
                                     Units.
         Housing Appeals
Chapter in the Business
Practice Manual                      A separate appeals process applies to Home Finance clients.

                                     The appeals process has been developed as one method of ensuring
                                     that OOH policy and procedures are applied correctly. The aim of the
                                     process is to provide clients with a formal process of review of OOH
                                     decisions relating to the provision of housing services.

                                     The appeals process is not intended to replace existing local practices
                                     of negotiation and resolution.

                                     It is not appropriate for clients to use the appeals process to make
                                     complaints regarding staff or client services. Regional offices are
                                     encouraged to resolve complaints where possible at the local level. If
                                     a complainant is dissatisfied with the service provided by the regional
                                     office, they are able to access a centralised complaints system that
                                     can review whether the complaint was managed within the relevant
                                     policy parameters at the local level.




Allocations Manual - Introduction and Overview: Version 6.0 September 2010                            Page 1-15