What is Commonwealth Rent Assistance?

Commonwealth Rent Assistance (CRA) is a non-taxable payment from the Australian Government to people in receipt of an eligible Centrelink payment who are living in community housing.

Am I Eligible for CRA?

Eligibility depends on your individual circumstances including your household income and the rent you are charged. 

You may be eligible for CRA if:

  • You receive an eligible payment from Centrelink or DVA; or
  • You receive more than the base rate of Family Tax Benefit Part A; and
  • You pay more than the minimum amount of rent set by Centrelink.

Did you know you don’t have to be listed on the lease agreement to be eligible for CRA? If you are sharing and are not a partner or dependent of the head tenant, and you contribute to rent, you may be eligible for CRA.

See examples overpage of who may be eligible.

How much CRA can I get?

The amount depends on how much rent you pay. There’s a minimum amount of rent you need to pay to get CRA. For every $1 of rent you pay above this amount, you’ll get 75c. You can’t get more than the maximum amount.

The amount of CRA you receive may be reduced due to the number of members in your household and the maximum rent payable for your property.  

CRA rates are updated on 20 March and 20 September each year. The new fortnightly rates from 20 March 2023 are listed below: 

Family Situation            

Max fortnightly payment



Single, 1-2 children


Single, 3+ children




Couple, 1-2 children


Couple, 3+ children


Single Sharer



 How is my rent calculated to include CRA? 

The assessment rates for income and CRA may vary according to your housing program and your individual circumstances.

Example: Age Pension Single

Income Type

Income Amount p/w


Weekly Rent

Age Pension




Energy Supp








Total Rent



What do I need to do when my rent changes or if my income changes? 

If your rent, income, or household composition changes, you will need to advise both Centrelink and Hume. Changes to your circumstances may affect both your rent and your CRA payments. 

You should tell Centrelink and Hume when:

  • the rent you pay increases or decreases; or
  • you move house; or
  • your income increases or decreases; or
  • your family circumstances change, for example you separate from your partner, or the number of children in your care changes.

If you are not receiving CRA or you don’t believe you are receiving the right amount of CRA, contact Centrelink to update your circumstances. Ensure you tell them you live in Community Housing.

What if I am eligible for CRA but choose not to apply for it?

You may find yourself out of pocket each fortnight. For eligible customers and household members who choose not to apply for CRA, their rent contribution will still include 100% of the CRA payment they are entitled to receive. 

Who can assist if I have further questions?

You can contact our Customer Service Centre on 1800 004 300.

Read more about CRA and how to get it at: www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/rent-assistance.