Programs and Services handwritten 2

The Private Rental Brokerage Program helps to secure and sustain long term housing in the private rental market for young people from the Northern and Western Metropolitan regions who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.

The Private Rental Brokerage program was developed in response to concerns that young people who had experienced homelessness faced a range of barriers when trying to enter the private rental market including previous rental history, employment history and lack of bond funds.

The program was developed by VincentCare in conjunction with key agencies in the Northern and Western Metropolitan regions to offer a range of flexible financial brokerage packages via a case manager to help young people to secure and sustain long term housing in the private rental market.

Financial brokerage packages are available to young people for:

  • Budgeting incentive – for budgeting and financial management purposes, this contributes to young people’s weekly rental payments, with an agreed amount of brokerage support.
  • Tenancy setup costs – provision of material assistance for the purchase of essential goods, removalists and storage that are necessary to establish and maintain the tenancy.
  • Property Enhancement Grant (PEG) – grant to undertake agreed works to improve rental premises before or during the tenancy.

Changes to the Private Rental Program effective July 2016

All PRB Applications are assessed only on the first week of each month so all successful applicants will be notified after the this period.

There will be some stream lining changes that will be implemented in July 2016. It is expected to have minimum impact however the changes are listed below:

Changes to the Private Rental Program effective November 2016

  • All PRB packages will be approved within the first week of each month only – please allow 5 business days for processing
  • All PRB packages are for $1650. Should your applicant require additional PRB funds beyond this limit – please contact the PRB Coordinator. If there are three or more applicants approved for the same property, please contact the PRB Coordinator as funding limits may taper based on property costs
  • PRB Approval will be active for a 90 (3 months) day period. If private rental is not achieved in this period, the PRB package will be closed automatically and without further notice. Case managers can reapply however – priority will be given to applicants who have not applied before
  • Once Private Rental has been secured and expenditure has commenced, approved PRB Packages will be active for a further 3 months (6 months from the original approval date – these dates will be listed on the PRB approval letter). All PRB funds will need to be fully spent in this period – any unused funds will be inaccessible to the applicant and returned to PRB.

Changes to the application form

  • Contact details for the applicant – phone & email for auditing purposes
  • Applicants required to sign a VincentCare Victoria (VCV) Consent form – Housing only
  • Copy of VCV Consent/Privacy Brochure to give to applicants
  • Clear copies of photo ID for the applicant will need to accompany all PRB Applications
  • Table 7.2 Proposed expenditure Table needs to be completed with as much information as possible – thinking about what the young person needs to start their private rental tenancy.

The applicant contact details will allow VCV to contact the applicant directly in regards to their PRB experience and how we might improve the program. The inclusion of the ID also allows VCV to audit the appropriate use of PRB funds by services as required.

Please refer to the Case Managers Guidelines for further information.

Partners

  • MetroWest Housing
  • Berry Street
  • Melton Housing
  • Sunshine Youth Housing
  • Women’s Housing Limited
  • Crossroads – Salvation Army

Eligibility

Young people aged 18-25 years who are currently experiencing homelessness or are at risk of homelessness and are:

  • Receiving ongoing case management support by a participating support agency in the Northern and Western Metropolitan regions of Melbourne
  • Receiving a stable income through Centrelink benefits or wages
  • Committed to establishing private rental as a long term housing option
  • Aware of their rights and responsibilities as a private renter
  • Capable of sustaining a private rental agreement beyond the period of assistance from brokerage funding.

Referral

Applications for private rental brokerage (PRB) can be made by the case manager working with the young person wanting to secure private rental accommodation. Applications need to be submitted prior to securing private rental to avoid the disappointment of missing out and for ease of administration.

Contact

For any queries about the Private Rental Brokerage program contact:

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Phone: (03) 9304 0100
Address: 175 Glenroy Road, Glenroy 3046

Detailed Guide for Case Workers

Applications can be made by phoning (03) 9304 0100. The worker is required to complete the Private Rental Brokerage application form and budget template and these can be obtained in person, via mail or below.

The Private Rental Brokerage Program Coordinator will notify case workers of the outcome of the application for brokerage products and support will be offered around unsuccessful applications.

You can download the application form here

You can download the budget template here

You can download the VCV Housing Consent Form here

You can down load the VCV Consent / Privacy Brochure for you applicant from here

You can download the Case Managers Guidelnes from here

Program Guidelines - the program guidelines outline the eligibility criteria that must be met, an overview of the application process and the assistance available through the program. These include budgeting incentive, tenancy setup costs and Property Enhancement Grant, the allocation and management of financial packages, the acquittal process and the program learnings and evaluation process.

Case Manager Guide - the guide details the purpose and rationale for each of the questions being asked in the application form. It should be used alongside the application form to assist the applicant.

Roles and Responsibilities - this document outlines the key roles and responsibilities of each of the three key parties: the PRB Coordinator, the young person applying for a grant and their case manager.

Case Studies - outlines three different case study scenarios on how decisions may be made by the young person and the case worker with regards to applying for each of the three financial brokerage packages. In particular, it identifies how the Property Enhancement Grant (PEG) might be used in the application process.

Tools and Resources

The following are regularly updated key tools and resources that may be useful for young people and their case managers for planning and searching for private rental.

  • Office of Housing Rental Report – a useful resource for looking at how rentals compare in other parts of Melbourne and Victoria. The report provides a useful overview of how the market is performing each quarter including updated rental vacancy rates.
  • Guides from the Tenants Union from Victoria – these can be accessed online and printed copies can be requested for agencies to distribute. The Tenants Union is an excellent source of advice for potential tenants as well as an essential reference point once a tenancy has commenced. The Tenants Union can assist with any disputes between tenants and landlords but more importantly, help to resolve issues before disputes occur.
  • Victoria University Housing Guide – an excellent resource for people looking at their accommodation options. The VU Housing Guide includes information on things to consider before starting a share house agreement, responsibilities during a tenancy and steps to take when moving out. There is also information about online housing resources and a housing checklist is incorporated into the guide for comparing properties. While the Housing Guide is aimed specifically at VU students, it can also be readily used by others.
  • Fitted for Work - Provides women with free services include mentoring, interview preparation, personal outfitting, work experience and a range of transition to work and staying employed programs.
  • Wear for Success - An organisation that assists young men with clothing and advice for attending interviews with employers and real estate agents.
  • Dress for Success - This is an organisation that assists young women with clothing and advice for attending interviews with employers and real estate agents.

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