Delivered by Department of Communities and Justice (DCJ) Housing, the Rent Choice Start Safely Program (Start Safely) provides support to women and children who are homeless, or at risk of homelessness, due to domestic and family violence. The program facilitates access to safe and affordable housing in the private rental market by providing financial assistance, in the form of a rental subsidy, for up to three years.
SAHSSI has been partnering with DCJ Housing for a number of years and enjoys the considerable benefits of having unlimited access to DCJ Housing Private Rental Brokerage Specialists, who are located in our head office.
Who can get Start Safely?
Start Safely may be able to help if you:
are escaping domestic or family violence
are homeless or at risk of homelessness
are income eligible
are willing to engage with support services (if recommended)
can work towards financial independence
If you are on a moderate income and are assessed as a serious threat you may also be eligible for Start Safely (Moderate).
How does Start Safely work?
For the first 12 months, you pay 25% of your weekly income plus 100% of any Commonwealth Rent Assistance you may be entitled to get. Once you have paid your part of the rent, DCJ pay the rest directly to the landlord or real estate agent. The amount you pay will go up gradually after 12 months.
How you pay your rent can include wages, government allowances, benefits and child support payments. Your income can increase and you can still continue to receive Start Safely.