The maximum grant is $1,500, but not everyone will receive the full amount. The grant is designed to reduce your rent to 30% of your income where possible. The most that will be paid, within the $1500 limit, is up to the point where you are paying no more than 30% of your income on rent.
Example 1 – less than maximum grant is paid
Sally had a weekly income of $1000, which was reduced to $750 because of COVID-19. Her rent was $320 a week, but the rental provider agreed to reduce it to $270.
The government expects Sally to pay up to 30% of her income towards rent: 30% of the $750 she earns each week is $225.
However, her rent is $45 more than that – $270 a week. She is therefore eligible for a grant of $45 × 19.5 weeks (the current length of the grant period), which equals $877.50. This amount will reduce her rent to 30% of her income, so she is not eligible for the maximum $1500 grant. The $877.50 will be paid to the rental provider.
Keep in mind that you do not need to do these calculations yourself before you apply. The Department of Families, Fairness and Housing, which is operating the rent relief grants, will do the arithmetic if you are eligible.
Example 2 – maximum grant is paid
Like Sally, Alex had his income reduced from $1,000 a week to $750 due to COVID-19. His rent was $380 a week, and the rental provider agreed to reduce it to $305.
Again, the government expects Alex to pay up to 30% of his income towards rent: 30% of the $750 he is earning per week is $225.
However, his rent is $305, $80 more; $80 × 19.5 weeks (current length of the grant period), which equals $1,560. Alex is therefore eligible for the maximum grant of $1,500, which will be paid directly to the rental provider. He will need to pay the remainder himself.