The Private Rental Aboriginal Assistance Loan (PRAAL) provides financial assistance through a loan scheme to Aboriginal people in private rental accommodation who are within the Department of Communities' income limits, are at risk of eviction as a result of rent arrears and experiencing financial hardship.
If the applicant meets the eligibility criteria, PRAAL will grant an interest-free loan designed to secure the tenancy by covering a maximum of six weeks' rent arrears.
The loan is paid directly to the landlord who must provide confirmation that the eviction will not proceed. The tenant is responsible for repaying the loan to the Department at a predetermined rate.
You need to complete a Housing Options Assessment at any Housing Office to find out whether you are eligible to apply for a PRAAL loan. The assessment will also provide you with information about other housing products and services you may be eligible for based on your circumstances.
To qualify for PRAAL you must meet the following criteria:
- Meet the Department's income eligibility requirements
- Have an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Island Heritage
- Must reside in the household “at risk” of eviction
- Have a minimum of two weeks and a maximum of six weeks rent arrears owed on the tenancy
- Experiencing financial hardship
- Must contribute to the weekly household rent but you do not need to be on the tenancy agreement
- Not be a tenant of community or public housing.
How to apply
If you would like to apply for PRAAL, complete a Housing Options Assessment at any Housing Office with the following information:
- Income statement from Centrelink or employer
- Proof of rental arrears – letter from landlord/agent
- A copy of the Notice of Breach or Termination Notice
- Advise reason for rental arrears
- Provide evidence of financial hardship
- Have the landlord complete the required field on the back of the brochure.
If you are successful with your application the rental arrears will be paid on your behalf by the Department to your landlord.
An applicant who receives a Centrelink payment can complete an Income Confirmation Scheme Consent form that authorises the Department to obtain your income details electronically from Centrelink. This is a free service saving you time and money by not having to phone or go to a Centrelink office for an income statement.
Common reasons for financial hardship and why you haven’t paid your rent
- Cultural reasons
- Contributing to family funeral expenses
- Loss of financial contribution to the household
- Accommodation – family visiting for short term stay for medical or cultural reasons which has put pressure on the financial household
- Medical reasons - ambulance bill or child/family member hospitalised.
How to pay the loan back?
The minimum loan repayment is $25 per fortnight starting from the date of approval.
Payment can be made by direct deduction from your Centrelink payment, direct debit from your bank account or by using a Department of Communities card at any post office.
The applicant is responsible for repayment of the debt. Any arrangement for the household to share the debt is a private matter between the applicant and members of the household.
If you would like to find out whether you are eligible for Shared Home Ownership or other housing assistance products and services, please visit a local Housing Office to complete a Housing Options Assessment.