What is your organisation’s reaction to the idea of compulsorily deducting rent payments from your tenants’ welfare payments?
The idea was first announced by the Federal Government in the 2016 Budget but legislation enabling public housing and community housing providers to automatically deduct rent from income support and Family Tax Benefit payments is expected to be introduced this year. The exact circumstances that would trigger compulsory withholding of rent payments have not yet been revealed, but tenants with a poor record of paying their rent will obviously be in scope.
How much impact this measure would have is unknown. After all, many tenants already use Centrepay to make their rent payments.
CHIA is aware that this could be a divisive issue for our members, with some welcoming the security of certain cashflow and prevention of homelessness, others believing it denies tenants the opportunity to be responsible for their own finances.
We expect that this legislation will be considered by a Parliamentary committee and to help us prepare a submission on behalf of community housing providers, CHIA is seeking your input on this issue. Please click on the link to take part in our first online survey.