HOW ARE TENANTS CHOSEN?
Common Ground Tasmania offers permanent rental housing for working, low wage earners seeking affordable accommodation and people who have experienced chronic homelessness[i] and require support to sustain their tenancy.
Tenants must be able to live independently and be at least 18 years of age and tenancy agreements are based on the provisions of the Residential Tenancy Act. The tenant mix includes at least 50% working, low wage earners and up to 50% of people with a history of homelessness.
Eligibility criteria include the ability to pay rent and the desire to live within a supportive housing environment. The selection of tenants is a collaborative process between Common Ground Tasmania (CGT), the CGT supportive service provider, and CGT’s tenancy manager.
A minimum of 50% (and a maximum of 60%) of the units at each site are made available to working, low waged tenants. People earning less than $44 835 p/a (or a couple earning less than $61 985) are eligible to apply.
As they become available, the apartments are advertised on the Common Ground website and in The Mercury newspaper.
Up to 50% (and a minimum of 40%) of the 97 Common Ground units of housing are offered to people who have experienced chronic homelessness and require support to sustain their housing.
CGT prioritises offers of accommodation to chronically homeless people who have been identified as vulnerable using the Vulnerability Index (VI) survey[ii] as the first point of reference for eligibility. For that reason, vacancies are not open for direct referral or application.
The information from the survey data provides a targeted approach for offers of Common Ground housing to be made that ensures the most vulnerable people are prioritised for appropriate housing and that support services can be matched with their needs.
Further information in relation to the Vulnerability Index survey is available from the Common Ground website.
Other factors taken into account in making an offer of tenancy to a chronically homeless person are:
WHAT ACCOMODATION IS AVAILABLE & HOW MUCH RENT IS CHARGED?
Common Ground offers 97 units of housing at Goulburn St, Liverpool St and Campbell St.
There is a range of studio and 1 bedroom apartments and 16 units have enhanced access facilities.
Rent for affordable housing tenants is set at 74.9% (or less) of assessed market rental. Rents range from $175-$290 per week.
Rent for tenants who have been homeless is based on a percentage of income for the studio apartments and at $180 per week for a one bedroom unit.
CAN LOW WAGE TENANTS ACCESS SUPPORT SERVICES?
If low waged tenants request support, the onsite support team will generally talk with them to assess their needs to assist them access appropriate external services.
A POSITIVE SOCIAL MIX
Common Ground properties offer attractive, quality, affordable housing in a fantastic central location. The focus is on inclusiveness and community and a social mix of tenant backgrounds including people who have experienced homelessness and low waged tenants in need of affordable housing.
Having a vibrant social mix reduces stigma for tenants and promotes community through the diversity of interests and backgrounds. It creates positive role models and fosters a belief in the possibility of change.
Tenants are mixed throughout the building to create a regular community – the intention is to provide great quality housing that is not seen as a building for marginalised people, or people who have problems.
SAFETY & SECURITY
Safety and security are hallmarks of Common Ground sites. Access to the building is restricted to tenants using a swipe card system and there is CCTV and security lighting throughout the building.
A 24/7 concierge service controls access to the site and monitors security within the building. The concierge also provides an on-site response service and a point of contact for tenants.
For further information
[i] Chronic homelessness is defined as a period of homelessness for 6 months or more, or multiple episodes of homelessness.
2013 Homelessness Survey
Click here for the 2013 Homelessness Survey conducted by the Salvation Army & Common Ground Tasmania.