WA expands rental assistance scheme

Eligible renters can receive loans for bond assistance

WA expands rental assistance scheme

The Real Estate Institute of Western Australia has lauded the WA state government's recent decision to alleviate financial strain on tenants through the expansion of the Bond Assistance Loan Scheme's income and asset limits.

The initiative, offered by the Department of Communities, provides interest-free loans to eligible tenants for up to four weeks' rent as bond assistance and two weeks' rent in advance, aiding them in securing private rental accommodations.

The revised limits ensure that a larger number of individuals can borrow a higher percentage of the total bond required, offering relief in a rental market characterized by high demand and limited supply, REIWA said.

Rising rents have exacerbated the financial burden on tenants seeking private rentals, particularly when transitioning from one property to another.

High demand and low supply in the rental market is seeing rents rise and this means bonds also increase,” REIWA CEO Cath Hart said. “This puts extra financial pressure on tenants seeking a private rental.

“It can be even more challenging for tenants who are moving from one property to another and having to pay bond and two weeks rent in advance for their new home while potentially waiting for their previous bond to be released,” Hart said. “The changes to the scheme bring the limits in line with current market conditions and will give more people access to the funds they need to secure a rental property.”

Read next: REIWA lauds WA rental reforms

Under the revised scheme, weekly income limits have increased by 30% to just under 50% for all household types, REIWA said. The maximum bond loan amounts have risen by nearly 70%, varying according to household type and location. Additionally, asset limits for all household types—singles, single people with dependents, and couples with or without dependents—have seen a 100% increase.

Renters can assess their eligibility for the program by undertaking a Housing Option Assessment, REIWA said. Click here for more information on the scheme, including income and loan limits.

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