Car parking in public housing operational guidelines

Effective date: 21 September 2015

Policy statement

Car parking in public housing

The Department of Health and Human Services (the Department) manages the allocation of car parks on public housing estates.

The objectives in managing car parks in public housing estates are to ensure:

  • the allocation of car parks is done in a transparent and equitable manner, prioritising tenants with identified needs for parking, and
  • the effective use and efficient allocation of car parks on public housing estates.

The term ‘car park’ refers to both the allocation of either a specific car parking bay or a car parking area or zone.

In some areas, there are more tenants requiring a car park than there are available spaces. This policy statement also provides details on the management of the car parking waiting list where the demand for car parks exceeds availability.

Only authorised vehicles which have been approved and provided with current parking stickers are allowed to park in the public housing car parking areas.

Director of Housing

Under clause 2 (1) of schedule 5: Parking of Vehicles on land of the Director of the Housing Act (1983), the Director of Housing can allocate any portion of the Director of Housing's land as a car parking area, and with respect to the parking of vehicles in that area:

  • determine the number of vehicles that may be parked within the car parking area
  • determine the class of persons entitled to have their vehicles listed as ‘listed vehicles’, limit (where necessary or expedient) from that class the number of persons entitled to list their vehicles and determine the method by which those persons may be selected
  • prohibit the parking of any vehicle within the parking area unless the vehicle is listed (i.e. assigned) to that parking area
  • prohibit the parking of any vehicle or of vehicles of any class or size unsuitable for parking within the parking area, and
  • determine any other matters which in the opinion of the Director of Housing are necessary to effectively and efficiently manage the parking of vehicles within the allocated parking area
  • issue infringement notices (requiring the payment of a penalty of up to $25) where there is reason to believe a parking a offence has been committed.

Eligible applicants

The following groups are eligible to apply for a car park in priority of order:

1. Tenants and household members with a vehicle

2. Tenants and household members with a temporary vehicle

3. Support workers for tenants and household members who do not own a car

4. A household with more than one vehicle requesting to share a car park

5. Tenants and households with vehicles not registered under their name

6. Other personnel such as contractors and security service personnel

7. Visitors.

Applying for a car park

Applicants for a car park must complete a Request for a car parking bay form and include all relevant supporting documentation.

Tenants must also provide one of the following as proof of ownership:

  • a current registration certificate indicating proof of ownership of the vehicle
  • a Notice of Disposal and Acquisition
  • documentation showing transfer of ownership of a vehicle to the applicant
  • a statutory declaration from the owner, confirming that they allow the household member use of the car or have bought it for them, and/or
  • documentation showing evidence of a leasing arrangement of at least one month.

Vehicle insurance documents are not sufficient proof of ownership.

Any other documentation required for any special allocation considerations, such as relevant medical documentation from a doctor or a health professional confirming the need for on-going support must be provided if the application is for a car park for a support worker.

Evidence requirements and considerations

All applicants for a car park must provide a copy of their current driver’s licence to be eligible for a car park.

1. Tenants and household members with a vehicle

Public housing tenants and household members are eligible to apply for a car park on public housing estates if:

  • the applicant owns a car, or
  • the applicant leases a car under a leasing arrangement of at least one month.

Car parks are only issued if the car is registered under the name of the tenant or household member.

Generally, one car park is allocated per household. In some circumstances, a tenant may apply for a second car park. The allocation of the second car park will be subject to an annual review.

Where the tenant or household member is leasing a vehicle, appropriate documentation showing the leasing arrangement for at least one month is required. The car park is issued for the period of the leasing arrangement only.

2. Tenants and household members with a temporary vehicle

Tenants who have the occasional overnight use of a work car (e.g. a courier van, taxi, company car) or a courtesy car (e.g. from a mechanic), may park the vehicle in their allocated car park.

The tenant must provide a letter and contact number of the owner of the vehicle to the Department for verification.

3. Tenants and household members who do not own a car and require regular support

Tenants who do not own a car and require a support worker to care for them on a regular and ongoing basis can apply for a car park for their support worker.

Proof of ownership of a vehicle is not required for vehicles used by support workers as they may use fleet or different vehicles as part of the support provision.

4. A household with more than one vehicle requesting to share a car park

Evidence requirements are the same for tenants and household members with a vehicle. Generally, only one car park is allocated per household on public housing estates. However, a car park allocated to a tenant can be used for more than one vehicle owned by the tenant or household.

Only one vehicle can park in the car park area at any one time. If the car park is occupied, other vehicles approved to use that car park must be parked off the public housing estate and in accordance with council regulations and other applicable laws.

5. Tenants and households with vehicles not registered under their name

Applicants must provide the following supporting documentation:

  • a copy of the registration certificate
  • a statutory declaration from the owner, confirming that they allow the tenant or household member use of the car or have bought it for them, and
  • vehicle insurance documents showing that the tenant or the household member has been nominated as a driver.

6. Other personnel

If the parking area designated to contractors and security service personnel is not large enough to accommodate all listed and approved vehicles, the Tenancy and Property Manager or equivalent may approve the allocation of car parks outside the designated area if applicable.

Owners of a retail business located on a public housing estate, for example, a milk bar, can also be allocated with a car park under this category.

Car parks can be allocated to workers of tenant and community groups where the facility or office is located on the public housing estate. Staff and the personnel applying for the car park will discuss and agree the requirements for using the car park prior to allocation. These users are not charged for the use of a car park.

7. Visitors

Car parks may be allocated to visitors where:

  • there is an excess of car parks on the estate, and
  • in exceptional circumstances.

The tenant is issued with a visitor's parking sticker. Tenants must reapply for a car park before the expiry date has lapsed.

Vehicle requirements

Vehicles that are not allowed to be parked on estates include:

  • semi-trailers
  • trucks
  • caravans
  • boats, or
  • trailers.

Tenants will not be allocated a car park when:

  • they require a car park for a vehicle that is not allowed to be parked on estates as specified above
  • their vehicle poses risks for public safety
  • the vehicle is not registered, or
  • the vehicle is larger than the physical dimensions of the car parking space.

An exemption may be made for the vehicles of contractors where the vehicle is required to support completion of the work they have been engaged to complete (category 6 for eligible applicants).

Finalising the application

Once an application for a car park has been assessed and meets the eligibility criteria, the Department will finalise the application and allocate a car park if there are any available.

If there are not any car parking spaces available at the time, the application will be put on the waiting list for a car park.

If the application is placed on the waiting list for a car park, the Department will notify the applicant advising:

  • their application for a car park has been approved, however no car parks are currently available
  • their eligibility will be reassessed before they are offered and allocated a car park, and
  • the applicant must contact the local office if there is a change in vehicle details.

If the application does not meet the eligibility criteria, the Department will notify the applicant advising the request for a car park has been assessed and found ineligible, the reason it is considered ineligible, and that the applicant can reapply if there is a change in their circumstances.

Allocating a car park

An application for a car park is assessed for eligibility before a car park is allocated in accordance with the identified priority of needs.

Car parks are offered in the priority order listed below:

1.  Tenants and household members with a vehicle

2.  Tenants and household members with a temporary vehicle

3.  Support workers for tenants and household members who do not own a car

4.  A household with more than one vehicle requesting to share a car park

5.  Tenants and households with vehicles not registered under their name

6.  Other personnel such as contractors and security service personnel

7.  Visitors.

Within the categories relating to tenants and household members (categories 1-5), staff will allocate in the priority order listed below:

1.1.  a tenant or household member with a medical condition or disability who owns a car

1.2.  a tenant or household member who wishes to swap their car park for another with a valid reason, then

1.3.  a tenant or household member who owns a car and has not been allocated a car park.

As car parks become available, staff will allocate the categories relating to tenants and household members, in the priority in the mentioned previously.

Where possible, tenants should be allocated a car park close to their property. Tenants with a disability will be given priority to be allocated a car park close to their property or access to marked disabled parking (as applicable to each site).

All offers of a car park must be confirmed in writing. All offers of a car park must be responded to by the applicant within five working days.

Signing the car parking agreement and charges for the car park

The car parking agreement outlines the conditions of accessing and using the car park. The car parking agreement must be signed by the tenant and by staff. The tenant must sign the agreement even if they do not own the listed vehicle. These conditions include:

  • tenants or household members park their vehicle at their own risk on the estate
  • tenants or household members must park the vehicle within the allocated car park
  • only approved vehicles can be parked in the allocated car park
  • the vehicle must be registered with VicRoads at all times
  • the vehicle must be in a reasonable condition and not present any risks to public safety
  • the car park must not be used for storage of personal goods such as vehicle parts, drums of flammable liquid or furniture
  • engine oil waste must be disposed of in the correct manner, that is, not in the car parking area or on the estate, unless provision has been made by the local office. For example, some estates have oil bins provided in parking areas, and
  • the car park must be kept free of oil and grease.

Tenants will be charged a minimal amount for the use of a car park unless special circumstances exist. The charge is added to the weekly payments.

Parking stickers and vehicle identification

Parking stickers are issued when car parks are allocated to enable the staff to clearly identify valid car park holders and prevent unauthorised vehicle parking on Director of Housing land.

Staff will provide an identifying sticker indicating the particular location where the vehicle should be parked.  The sticker must be affixed to the inside rear window of the vehicle, or where the vehicle has no rear window (for example a motorbike), to some other conspicuous part of the vehicle.

The parking sticker should include:

  • the car park number and/or parking area where the vehicle may be parked
  • registration number of the vehicle, and
  • an expiry date (where applicable). An expiry date of 31 December of the current year should be written on parking stickers issued to contractors, security personnel, visitors and support workers and households that are applying for an additional car park.

Renewing access to the car park

It is the responsibility of the person accessing the car park to renew their time-limited car parking sticker, for example, contractors, security personnel, visitors and support workers and households that are applying for an additional car park.

The process to request renewal is the same process for assessing eligibility for individual’s and vehicles for new applications; applicants must be able to demonstrate ongoing compliance with eligibility requirements for individuals and vehicles.

The process to request renewal must be initiated before the expiry of the car parking sticker. If the process to renew the parking sticker commences after this point, the request will be considered a new application and their previous access may be reallocated as required by any applications on the waiting list with earlier effective dates.

Changing car parking and vehicle details

The tenant or household member is responsible for notifying the local office if there are changes to the vehicle ownership/leases.

If the tenant purchases a new car, the tenant must advise the local office of the specific details and registration number of the new vehicle. The tenant must provide documentation showing proof of ownership or new leasing arrangements.

If the tenant does not notify the local office of the changes within 14 days, any parking infringement notices received after the 14-day period will not be waived.

Cancelling the access to the car park

The tenant’s access to the car park will be cancelled as a result of the:

  • tenant terminating their public housing lease at that property or of transferring to another public housing property which does not have access to the same car park facilities
  • local office identifying that the tenant is not using the car park as agreed, for example, the tenant is sub-letting their car park or they have erected or installed a device to restrict access to a car park
  • tenant arranging to move to another public housing property by mutual swap. Both tenants in a mutual swap have to apply for a car park as they do not automatically receive the newly vacated car park, or
  • tenant or household member advising they wish to cancel their car park on the estate.

Parking infringements

Authorised officers (staff members) or police officers may issue infringement notices (requiring the payment of a penalty of up to $25) where they have reason to believe a parking offence has been committed with respect to a vehicle.

Where a person with an infringement notice requests a payment plan before the due date for payment, a 28 day extension may be given.

A parking infringement may be waived under the following circumstances:

  • where a tenant or resident has a car park but was forced to park in another car park as theirs was occupied
  • the contractor parked in an unauthorised area as the designated area was full
  • a visitor needed emergency parking due to a tenant’s poor health
  • the notice was issued to a stolen or abandoned vehicle, and/or
  • the property is being looked after on a temporary basis by another occupant in line with the Temporary absence operational guidelines and the local office has been notified of the situation.

Any request to have a parking infringement notice waived must be in writing.  The person also needs to provide clear evidence to support their request such as:

  • a copy of the parking infringement notice
  • a statutory declaration stating why the notice should be waived, and
  • other evidence to support the request, for example, a police report.

Staff will advise the person their request will be considered and they will be notified in writing of the decision within 14 days of receipt of the request.

If the infringement is not waived and is not paid within the agreed timeframe, the Director of Housing maintains the right to pursue the matter via legal action through the courts.

Appeals process and complaints

If tenants do not agree with a decision made by the local office in relation to car parking or their access to parking they may seek to have the decision reviewed by the Housing Appeals Office. Tenants can contact the Housing Appeals Office on 1800 807 702 (free call).

Tenants may also report misuse of a car park, abandoned or unauthorised vehicles to their local office for further investigation and follow up.

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