Pension increase should not trigger rent rise

An increase in pension rates announced by the Federal Government is likely to also see an increase in rental payments through Housing SA.

“A pension increase is great news, but it should not automatically result in HousingSA tenants having their rent increased, especially in our current climate,” Member for Frome Geoff Brock MP said.

Whenever the Aged Pension or other welfare benefits increase, so does the amount of subsidised rent applied by HousingSA who set a rental payment figure of 25% of the total assessable household income before tax (20% in a remote Aboriginal community).

Tenants are required to advise HousingSA about any change to their household income, in writing, within 14 days of a change.

“The fortnightly pension rate increase of $14.80 for a single person and $22.40 for couples will effectively be reduced by almost one third for HousingSA tenants with subsidised rental agreements,” Mr Brock said.

“Prices for some consumables have increased due to the pandemic and there have been other financial burdens because of our current climate.

“I don’t believe pensioners paying subsidised rent to HousingSA should be burdened by another increase in rent, as the pension increase will not provide any real benefit to them.”

Mr Brock said he had written to Human Services Minister Michelle Lensink outlining his views on the automatic increase in HousingSA subsidised rent and was hoping for a positive discussion on the issue.