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Teacher housing policy

Version number 2.1 | Version effective 13 September 2022
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Teacher housing policy

Audience

All teachers employed by the Department of Education and all stakeholders involved in the teacher housing process.

Purpose

This policy supports the department’s commitment to provide subsidised teacher housing to eligible teachers when they are appointed or transferred to a rural or remote school.

Policy statement

The department is committed to ensuring we attract and retain capable and confident teachers delivering responsive services in our rural and remote schools. To support this commitment, the department will enable access to subsidised teacher housing to eligible teachers. This policy is supported by the Teacher housing procedure.

Principles

The department’s teacher housing principles reflect our commitment to teachers and our continued engagement with stakeholders involved in the teacher housing process.

Principle

What this means for the department

Accessibility

  • The department will facilitate access to subsidised teacher housing in rural and remote locations
  • Principals (including Heads of Campus) and Deputy Principals are entitled, where available, to a unit of sole tenancy accommodation in the rural or remote location to which they have been appointed
  • The department will continue, at its discretion, to enable access to subsidised teacher housing in any location to meet a government service or need.

Transparency and equity

  • The department will consistently apply eligibility criteria to subsidised teacher housing
  • The department will communicate decisions about eligibility to subsidised teacher housing with stakeholders relevant to eligibility decision
  • The department will make every effort to provide subsidised teacher housing within a reasonable period of an eligible teacher being appointed or transferred to a rural or remote school.
  • The department will consider human rights and act and make decisions in a way that respects, protects and promotes human rights as defined by the Human Rights Act 2019 (Qld).

Governance and monitoring

  • The department commits to facilitating engagement with stakeholders at local, regional and state-wide levels in providing teacher housing
  • Grievances against eligibility and allocation decisions are acknowledged and responded to fairly, reasonably and in a timely manner
  • The Teacher Housing Committee (THC) regularly reviews the effectiveness of teacher housing
  • Local management of teacher housing is managed through a Local Accommodation Committee (LAC) chaired by a Local Accommodation Officer (LAO)
  • Employees involved in the teacher housing process will have access to training and support.

Requirements

The department manages the provision of teacher housing by:

  • determining eligibility for teacher housing;
  • managing the appeals process determining eligibility for teacher housing, including exceptional; circumstances, such as employees affected by domestic and family violence;
  • prioritising and allocating teacher housing; 
  • managing demand for teacher housing and forecasting future teacher housing need;
  • managing tenancy and leases of teacher housing;
  • managing teacher housing stock, equipment assets and maintenance.

Eligibility, ineligibility, and allocation criteria for teacher housing

Eligibility

The department determines teachers’ eligibility for teacher housing at a subsidised rate when all the following criteria are met:

  • the teacher is an employee of the department (including a school principal, head of campus, deputy principal or senior guidance officer) who is a public service officer or a temporary employee engaged under Teaching in State Education Award – State 2016
  • the teacher has been transferred or appointed into a location with a transfer rating of TR4 - TR7 or a special consideration area to meet a government service; 
  • the teacher and/or related household member does not own a private dwelling that they could reasonably occupy within 50 minutes by road of their place of employment at any time during their period of employment in that location; and
  • the teacher has not become ineligible for teacher housing - please refer to the 'ineligibility conditions' section of the policy.

These criteria must continue to be met for continued access to teacher housing entitlements. Teachers are required to enter into a State Tenancy Agreement (STA) with the department that sets out rights and obligations as a tenant in teacher housing.

Preservice teachers are eligible to occupy departmental housing, at subsidised rental rates, only if space is available and only when all eligible employees have been accommodated. Casual employees are not eligible for subsidised housing.

Ineligibility conditions

  1. Tenants on paid or unpaid leave for over 12 months

Tenants occupying subsidised housing are eligible to retain subsidised rental rates whilst on leave (paid or unpaid) for up to 12 months. In special circumstances, discretion may be applied to allow a teacher to remain in housing after the 12 months of leave.

For any extension of tenancy beyond the 12 months of continuous leave, tenants will no longer be eligible for subsidised rent and will be required to pay the market rate if they wish to remain in teacher housing. In these circumstances, tenants will only be allowed to remain in the property at full market rate where:

  • There is no requirement for the property to be allocated to support an incoming eligible teacher or other government employee (where housing stock is owned or held by another government agency); and
  • The property is still available for lease (i.e. housing leased from the private rental market may be subject to sale or renovation).
  1. Tenant breach of STA

Tenants may become ineligible for teacher housing (whether subsidised or at market rates) in the following circumstances:

  • Where there has been a material breach of the STA by the tenant (including acts or omissions of related household members) and the breach remains unremedied within the allowed remedy period given to the tenant resulting in termination of the agreement; or
  • Where there have been repeated breaches of the STA, pertaining to the same or similar issue(s) by the tenant (including acts or omissions of related household members), resulting in termination of the agreement; or
  • Where the department reasonably believes that the tenant (or a person allowed on the premises by the tenant) has used the premises for the purposes set out in section 290A of the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008 (Qld). For example, illegal activities, intentional or reckless destruction of premises or endangering others, resulting in termination of the agreement.

In the instance of a tenant breaching the STA in the circumstances described above, resulting in termination, the department reserves the right to revoke eligibility and access from further housing (whether subsidised or at market rates).

  1. A person who is not employed by the Department is not eligible for teacher housing.

Allocation

The LAC allocates teacher housing to eligible teachers. The following criteria are considered by the LAC when determining allocation of teacher housing:

  • existing household circumstances of the applicant (e.g. household size, personal security, disability and household member’s health)
  • optimum use of available dwellings
  • any other factors considered relevant by the LAC.

Eligibility for teacher housing is not linked to a particular residence. In order to make the best use of available housing in a particular location, and in order to provide housing best suited to the circumstances of all tenants, existing tenants may be asked to move to alternative accommodation.

Grievances and Disputes

Teachers may submit a grievance or dispute regarding eligibility and/or allocation of teacher housing through their LAC or Principal following the process outlined in Step 6 of the Teacher housing procedure, which aligns to the Individual employee grievances policy. Matters unable to be resolved by the LAC or Principal may be referred to regional human resources for resolution.

Provision of teacher housing to meet housing demands

The department provides teacher housing through the following sources:

  • department-owned housing stock
  • Government Employee Housing stock administered by the Department of Energy and Public Works
  • housing leased from the private rental market
  • other government agencies housing stock (e.g. council housing stock).

All department-owned housing stock must be fully allocated before other housing is sourced.

The department monitors and forecasts future demands for housing and manages surplus housing stock. Future housing demand is informed by workforce planning teacher forecasts and advice about newly appointed teachers, or transfer applications for teachers where this is likely to create additional housing demand.

Manage tenancy and leasing of teacher housing

Tenancies and vacant accommodation are managed by the LAC in accordance with the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008 (Qld).

Attraction and retention incentives (Directive 7/14), provides for a rental subsidy for eligible teachers. The rental subsidy for eligible teachers in departmental accommodation is based on whether the accommodation is sole or multi-tenancy, the size and standard of the residence, and transfer rating.

The Infrastructure Services Division (ISD) manages the residential leases of other housing sources, when there is no department-owned stock available for allocation.

Maintenance of teacher housing stock and equipment assets

The department provides teacher housing of a standard and fit out commensurate, with appropriate housing conditions across agencies and across Queensland. The LAC acts as the manager for teacher housing and addresses maintenance requests and lawful entry. Furniture may be provided in departmental accommodation at the discretion of the department, upon the request from the LAC for multi-tenancies.

The department coordinates an annual maintenance program and minor works program for department-owned stock and liaises with the Government Employee Housing (GEH) about the annual maintenance and upgrade program of GEH owned stock.

Reporting and review

The THC reviews teacher housing management and reports to the Deputy Director-General, Infrastructure Services as required.

Definitions

Term

Definition

Appointment and transfer

The relocation of a teacher, either temporarily or permanently, to a rural and remote school whether by appointment, promotion, transfer or placement.

Government Employee Housing (GEH)

GEH owns and manages Queensland Government’s employee housing portfolio, enabling government agencies to deliver essential services supported by suitable, cost efficient employee accommodation across the State, and particularly in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and remote locations, where there is minimal private rental opportunities.

Local Accommodation Committee (LAC)

A committee comprising of departmental school-based staff that manages teacher housing for the local area on behalf of the department. In locations where there is no requirement for a LAC to be established, then the incumbent Principal fulfils the role.

Local Accommodation Officer (LAO)

The elected chairperson and administrator of the LAC.

Rural and remote school

A school with a transfer rating 4 – 7.  Transfer ratings can be viewed at Teacher transfer information and guidelines (DoE employees only).

Stakeholder

Individuals or groups of people who have an interest in the teacher housing process, that is, they are involved in enabling access to, or affected by, subsidised housing. Stakeholders may include department staff involved in the teacher housing process, GEH, LAC, THC and teachers eligible for subsidised housing.

Subsidised teacher housing

Dwellings made available to accommodate teachers at a subsidised rate.

Teacher

In the context of this policy, a teacher is taken to mean an employee engaged under the Teaching in State Education Award – State 2016. This is also taken to include Principals, Heads of Campus, Deputy Principals and Senior Guidance Officers.

Teacher Housing Committee (THC)

A Committee established to provide teacher housing advice to the Deputy Director-General, Infrastructure Services.

Tenant

Has the meaning given in section 13 of the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008 (Qld).

Legislation

Delegations/Authorisations

  • Nil

Other resources

Superseded versions

Previous seven years shown. Minor version updates not included.

1.0 Teacher housing

Review date

13 May 2027
Attribution CC BY

Policies and procedures in this group

Teacher housing policy (current page)
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