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Social Housing v Affordable Housing: What’s the difference?

Social Housing v Affordable Housing: What’s the difference?

At Link Wentworth, we understand that many people are struggling to afford rent prices in Sydney. We also believe that everyone deserves a home, so we provide a range of housing assistance services to help. This includes social housing and affordable housing.

Both types of housing have the same goal—to provide safe, good quality and affordable homes. But they also have key differences that are important to know. So what’s the difference between social housing and affordable housing?

Social Housing

Social housing is available to people on very low to low household incomes. This includes those who are struggling to afford rent and are often on the brink of homelessness. Link Wentworth provides social housing in partnership with the Department of Communities and Justice (previously FACS) through Housing Pathways.

Find out if you could be eligible for social housing here.

Affordable Housing

Affordable housing is available to those on low incomes like social housing, but it’s also open to people on moderate incomes who are struggling to afford basic living costs. This may include people who work full- or part-time in lower paid jobs, where their household income is not high enough to pay market rent in the area in which they live and/or work. This is sometimes the case for ‘key workers’—people working full-time in an essential service such as a police officer, a nurse or a child care worker. Affordable housing rents are often set as a discount of the market rent, and is usually priced between 20 to 25% below market rental prices in the area.

Find out if you could be eligible for affordable housing here.

How to apply for social housing

If you want to apply for social housing, you need to go through NSW’s Housing Pathways. This is the way all housing assistance applications are managed in NSW. You can apply:

  • Online via Housing Pathways
  • By phone on 1800 422 322 to the House Contact Centre, open 24/7. Have your Medicare and Centrelink details with you when you call.

The Evidence Requirements Sheet shows you the documents required to support your application. The two main forms you must fill in are the Application for Housing Assistance and the Social Housing Supplement forms.

How to apply for affordable housing

If you want to apply for Affordable Housing, you can apply directly with Link Wentworth.

If you have any questions, or need help completing the form please call us on 9412 5111 (Chatswood Hub) or 4777 8000 (Penrith Hub) or email enquiries@linkwentworth.org.au.

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