20 August 2020 5 min read

We understand how important financial freedom and stability is for our residents in their retirement.

The Federal Government’s Rent Assistance scheme makes living at selected Stockland retirement villages more affordable.

The subsidy is a non-taxable supplement that provides eligible recipients with financial support to meet their rental payments. 

Many eligible recipients are not aware of the support available so we have put together some key facts on the subsidy to help you understand your options and eligibility. 

A small level of financial assistance could make the world of difference to your retirement allowing you more freedom to spend or save your money as you wish! 

 
What is rent assistance?

Rent assistance is a non-taxable allowance payable by the Federal Government to help meet the cost of private rented accommodation.

Who is eligible for rent assistance?

If you are a Stockland Retirement Living resident, you may be eligible if you: 

  • Receive or are eligible to receive the age pension;
  • Pay ongoing fees that are over the rent threshold amount (see below for amount);
  • Your incoming contract price is lower than $214,500.

Stockland offer a range of retirement living options across selected villages that fall under the incoming contract price threshold. These can range from independent living units or apartments, to serviced apartments which include additional services like daily meals and weekly cleaning. We encourage you to speak to a Stockland Sales Professional to understand which homes may meet the rent assistance threshold. 

 
How does rent assistance work and how is it calculated?

A minimum amount of rent must be paid before you can receive rent assistance. This minimum amount is called the rent threshold. For every $1 of rent that you pay in excess of the rent threshold, you will receive $0.75 of rent assistance, up to a maximum amount of $139.60 for singles and $131.60 for couples (combined) fortnightly.
 
The rent thresholds depend on whether you are single or a member of a couple and are shown below as fortnightly figures.

Singles rate - $124.60
Couples rate - $201.80

Rent thresholds are adjusted twice-yearly, in March and September, in line with movements in the cost of living.

For example, Mary is a widower living at Stockland Latrobe Retirement Village who meets the eligibility criteria and pays $160 per fortnight in ongoing maintenance fees. These fees cover things like building insurance, village staff wages, maintenance of common areas, gardening and shared facilities. 

As Mary is paying $35.40 per fortnight over the rent threshold she will receive $26.55 in rental assistance.
$160 - $124.60 = $35.40
$35.40 * $0.75 = $26.55

Refer to the Services Australia webpage – People without dependent children for more information, including how the rent assistance amount is calculated.  

 

How can this help me?

If you are eligible for Rent Assistance, you may be able to put this additional financial support towards some of the ongoing fees associated with living in a Stockland retirement village. 

The subsidy is welcome financial aid for many Stockland retirement village residents. 

How is it paid?

The payment is administered by Centrelink as an additional payment on top of any other payment you may already receive e.g. an age pension payment. 

The funds are paid directly to you into your nominated bank account. The intention of the payment is to help assist you with rental payments, so if you are living in a Stockland retirement village this would be your ongoing fees. 

Does Centrelink review or adjust the Rent Assistance?

Centrelink may review your case at any given time.

It is also a requirement that you must inform them of changes in your circumstances to ensure they are paying you the correct amount. Changes may include:

  • The ongoing fees you pay increases/decreases/stops
  • You change address including moving within the same village
  • You start/cease sharing your accommodation
  • Your income increases or decreases
  • You travel overseas
  • Your family circumstances change, for example you separate from your partner.
     
How to find out more or apply for rental assistance?

Contact Centrelink via:

  • Online through the myGov portal
  • Phone 136 240
  • In person. Find your local Centrelink office here

What do I do now?

Our friendly sales team are available to chat through your retirement living options. Once you’ve decided on your village location, contact us by submitting an enquiry form or calling 1800 72 71 70 to  book a private one on one appointment.

 

Disclaimer:
The information in this article is provided to aid you in understanding the assistance you may receive under the Commonwealth Rent Assistance scheme.  While every effort is made to provide accurate information, Stockland does not warrant or represent that the information in this article is free from errors or omissions. Subject to any terms implied by law and which cannot be excluded, Stockland accepts no responsibility for any loss, damage, cost or expense incurred by you as a result of any error, omission or misrepresentation in information.  Stockland recommends you seek independent financial advice before applying for rent assistance. The Commonwealth Rental Assistance program is administered by Centrelink. For full details, visit servicesaustralia.gov.au/individuals/services/centrelink/rent-assistance.

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