All Australian states and territories offer a number of different Rent Assistance schemes to help low-income households in the private rental market. This assistance may help with affordability directly, such as through relocation assistance, or with helping households to find, apply for, move into and maintain a rental tenancy.
Programs to assist eligible tenants to secure a private rental tenancy include:
Bond loan and advance rent are interest-free loans for part or full rental bond and advance rent. Some states require fortnightly repayments starting immediately,others only require that the bond be repaid at the end of the tenancy.
Tenancy guarantees help eligible tenants into private rental. State housing authorities provide private landlords or real estate agents with a formal guarantee to cover potential future rent arrears or property damage over and above the rental bond.
Relocation assistance provides a loan to assist eligible tenants to cover the costs of establishing a new private rental tenancy, such as removalist expenses and electricity/gas connection.
Private tenancy facilitation is short-term assistance to help people understand private renting, including property searches, collecting appropriate documentation and dealing with landlords and real estate agents.
Programs to assist tenants to maintain their current private rental tenancies include:
Private rental subsidies are ongoing or time-limited, and are targeted at priority applicants (such as women escaping family/domestic violence) who are waiting for a suitable social housing vacancy.
Private rental brokerage is assistance to access and sustain private rental tenancies, including monitoring of tenancies, through a mix of supports tailored to individual needs.
Arrears assistance is an interest-free loan or grant provided to eligible tenants at risk of eviction due to rent arrears.
In 2020–21, 62,900 households received some form of rent assistance from a state or territory government (the lowest number of households since 2013–14 (94,000 households).