Victorian Property Fund grant application guide

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Introduction

This page provides information for applicants seeking grant funding from the Victorian Property Fund (VPF).

Section 76(3)(g) of the Estate Agents Act 1980 (the Act) enables the Minister for Consumer Affairs, Gaming & Liquor Regulation (the Minister) to make grants from the VPF for a wide range of property related community purposes.

We are responsible for administering the VPF grants program, which includes evaluating applications, making recommendations regarding proposals to the Minister, and managing the grants awarded.

If you have any questions on how to complete an application or need more information on the grant process, contact us on 03 8684 6408 or email vpf.grant.enquiries@justice.vic.gov.au.

On this page and the related application form, "Project" means the project or program for which you are seeking the grant.

Who can apply for a grant?

Anybody can apply for a grant from the VPF. This includes individuals, incorporated bodies such as companies and incorporated associations, government and semi-government bodies.

However, given the purposes for which grants may be made and current application evaluation criteria, it is unlikely that grants will be awarded to individuals or commercial organisations. Successful past applicants include not-for-profit community organisations and government departments.

Grants of $20,000 (GST exclusive) or more to organisations can only be made to incorporated bodies and government and semi-government bodies.

How to apply for a grant

The VPF grants program has a limited budget, both in aggregate and for specific grant purposes. Before preparing an application, contact us on 03 8684 6408 to discuss the nature of your proposal, current VPF priorities and funding capacity.

An application for a grant from the VPF can be lodged at any time.

You will need to apply for a grant in sufficient time so the application can be processed before your Project commences.

The length of time it takes to process the application varies depending on the amount of funding sought, and the complexity of the proposal. In most instances, a simple proposal for a grant of less than $100,000 will take three or four months. A larger and more complex application can take six months or longer.

Grant applications should be printed or typed. The application form is produced in Microsoft Word. You can request a copy of the form by emailing vpf.grant.enquiries@justice.vic.gov.au or calling 03 8684 6408.

For instructions on how to lodge an application, view the application form or our Victorian Property Fund grants page.

Note: Incomplete or incorrect applications may be delayed or cancelled. Before submitting a signed formal application, you can email a draft copy of your application for feedback to vpf.grant.enquiries@justice.vic.gov.au.

Purposes for which grants may be provided

Under the Estate Agents Act 1980 (the Act), grants from the VPF may only be given for the purposes specified in sections 76(3)(a) to (h) of the Act.

Section 76(3):

(a) community education, advice or information services regarding:

(i) the sale, purchase, lease or transfer of interests in real estate or businesses

(ii) the provision of finance or credit for the purpose of the sale, purchase or lease of real estate or businesses

(iii) the provision of finance or credit for the acquisition of any right to reside on land

(iv) owners corporations

(iva) company title corporations and service companies

(v) retirement villages

(vi) residential tenancy rights and any other rights to reside on land

(vii) other consumer protection matters relating to interests in land.

(b) programs that promote the ownership of real estate

(c) the training of estate agents and agents' representatives

(d) dispute resolution and advocacy services in relation to disputes involving:

(i) the sale, purchase, lease or transfer of interests in real estate or businesses

(ii) the provision of finance or credit for the purpose of sale, purchase or lease of real estate or businesses

(iii) a resident, or proposed or former resident, of a retirement village regarding his or her residence right in that retirement village

(iv) an owners corporation or a member of an owners corporation or an occupier of a lot arising in relation to the operation of an owners corporation

(v) the provision of estate agency services or owners corporation management services

(vi) other consumer protection matters relating to interests in land.

(da) dispute resolution and advocacy services in relation to neighbourhood disputes involving company title corporations and service companies

(e) reviewing, reforming or researching the law and procedures or reviewing and researching the markets for real estate regarding:

(i) the sale, purchase, lease or transfer of interests in real estate or businesses

(ii) the provision of finance or credit for the purpose of sale, purchase or lease of real estate or businesses

(iii) owners corporations

(iiia) company title corporations and service companies

(iv) retirement villages

(v) other consumer protection matters relating to interests in land.

(f) projects facilitating:

(i) the registration of interests in land

(ii) the compilation of other information relating to the ownership or use of land.

(g) projects providing or facilitating housing assistance for low income or disadvantaged Victorians. Note: If you are planning to make a grant application for a housing project under S76(3)(g), view our Guidelines for Housing Assistance Grants page.

(h) projects regarding:

(i) the development of environmentally sustainable housing

(ii) the protection of Victoria's natural and architectural heritage.

Other factors that are taken into consideration

Programs submitted for a grant must not restrict trade, result in a market or competitive advantage for the applicant or any other individual or group, or have any other anti competitive result.

Grant applications:

  • should identify all funding that will be applied to the Project for which funding is sought, and to identify how the activity would be funded if funds are not made available from the Victorian Property Fund; and
  • will not normally be approved for Projects that are designed for commercial gain for an individual or organisation.

In addition to being eligible under section 76(3) of the Act, each application will be evaluated in terms of the following criteria:

  • the limitations of the total funds available in the Victorian Property Fund
  • merits of the project including:
    • the extent to which it:
      • contributes to desired government outcomes
      • will benefit the broad community.
    • whether the project provides a value for money use of VPF funds, including:
      • an assessment of the cost effectiveness of the project
      • whether there is unnecessary duplication.
    • whether the project is capable of being evaluated against a set of agreed performance indicators
    • whether the application clearly establishes that there are demonstrated and substantial project outputs.
  • whether you satisfactorily demonstrate that the proposal is feasible and that you have the capacity to competently deliver the proposed outputs, for example:
    • evidence of adequate financial planning for the proposal, considering the nature of the project proposed
    • evidence that the applicant has the skills, knowledge, experience and resources necessary to deliver the project, and
    • the capability to establish appropriate procedures for monitoring the progress of projects, including accounting and auditing procedures acceptable to the Victorian Auditor-General.
  • your record of achievement as a provider of services or products relevant to the project
  • your performance as a recipient of previous grants from the Victorian Property Fund (if applicable).

How the application is processed

Under section 76(3) of the Act the Minister for Consumer Affairs awards grants from the VPF after consultation with the Estate Agents Council and Consumer Affairs Victoria, and with any industry associations, Government departments and other bodies the Minister thinks appropriate before making a decision.

  1. Grant applications are submitted to us for processing.
  2. The application processing time varies depending on the value of funding sought, and the complexity of the proposal. Your application cannot be considered if your Project is due to start before the application can be processed (e.g. in two months).
  3. Applications are reviewed separately by the Estate Agents Council. We may also seek input from other Government Departments with specific expertise in relation to the subject area of the proposal. For example, the Department of Health and Human Services may be consulted about housing assistance grant applications made under s.76(3)(g). Note: For more information, view our Guidelines for Housing Assistance Grants page.
  4. You may be required to provide additional information. This may involve meeting with us or the Estate Agents Council to discuss the application. We will notify you if this is necessary.
  5. When all necessary information has been received, Consumer Affairs Victoria and the Estate Agents Council will evaluate both the eligibility and merit of the proposed Project.
  6. After evaluation, Consumer Affairs Victoria and the Estate Agents Council will each make a recommendation to the Minister.
  7. When the Minister has made a decision, you will be advised in writing of the outcome of your application.

Funding agreement

We administer grants from the VPF on behalf of the Minister.

If your grant has been approved, you will be required to enter into a funding agreement before the grant money will be provided.

We will prepare and coordinate signature of the funding agreement, and administer the funding agreement until all obligations are met.

The funding agreement form to be used will depend on whether your organisation is a not-for-profit community organisation or a government department or agency.

For grants to not-for-profit community organisations, use the Victorian Common Funding Agreement. The terms and conditions of this funding agreement are not negotiable. To view the terms, visit the Victorian Common Funding Agreement page on the Department of Health and Human Services website.

For grants to government departments or commercial organisations, the form of agreement to be used is our standard funding agreement. Download the sample Victorian Property Fund funding agreement (Word, 55KB).

The applicable funding agreement will contain a Schedule that will be tailored to suit the requirements of each funded project.

You should read and understand the terms and conditions of the applicable funding agreement before submitting your application.

Should your application be successful, your funding agreement will be based on the then current version of the applicable funding agreement adapted to suit the requirements and circumstances of your Project. Because of the passage of time between your commencement of your application and receipt of the offer of funding, the applicable funding agreement used may differ slightly in some aspects from the version provided on the Department of Health and Human Services website or our sample agreement.

How the grant money will be paid

Payments will vary according to the value of the grant, the nature of the funded program and the characteristics of the funded organisation.

The financial accountability standards applying to grants are determined by Department of Treasury and Finance guidelines and are not negotiable.

You should be aware that a portion of the approved funds will be retained until all obligations under the funding agreement have been satisfied. This amount (the “acquittal amount”) will usually be the lesser of $100,000 or 5% of the grant.

Depending on the size of the grant, the balance of the approved funds may be paid on the following or similar basis:

  • an initial amount, for example 40% of the approved funds, upon signature of the funding agreement
  • an amount for progress payments, for example 55% of the approved funds, made upon achieving milestones; and
  • the acquittal amount payable once all obligations under the funding agreement have been satisfied.

For grants of more than $20,000 (GST exclusive), we may require that the financial records submitted by the funded organisation be audited by a qualified independent auditor. Contact us to discuss the applicability of this requirement and consider requesting the cost of obtaining an audited report in your Project budget.

Surplus grant moneys must be returned upon completion of the Project.

If capital assets of a value of $5,000 (GST exclusive) or more are purchased with grant monies, the funded organisation will be required to submit an asset register extract disclosing details of these assets.

Insurance

Funded organisations are required to have adequate insurance cover as appropriate to the nature of the Project. For example, a funded organisation that is delivering training seminars would require at least WorkCover and public liability insurance.

If your Project requires additional insurance to your organisation's normal requirements, the additional cost can be requested in your Project budget.

We reserve the right to request copies of insurance certificates of currency, including details of limits on cover, during the evaluation of the application and the course of the Project.

Copyright and acknowledgement

The terms of the funding agreement require the funded organisation to warrant that it is entitled to use any intellectual property used by it in connection with the provision of the Project. The funded organisation is also required to indemnify the Director against any action, claim, suit or demand, in respect of any breach of any third party’s intellectual property rights relating to the provision of the Project.

The intellectual property in respect of any materials developed or produced with the funding provided under the grant will vest in the funded organisation. The organisation will be required to grant to the State of Victoria a royalty-free, non-exclusive, irrevocable and perpetual licence to use, reproduce, modify and publish any materials developed or produced with the funding.

Grant recipients will be required to comply with the department’s approved Acknowledgement and publicity guidelines - government funding support, as amended from time to time.

Any promotion of a Project funded from the Victorian Property Fund will be required to acknowledge the financial support provided by the Minister from the Victorian Property Fund.

Where a grant is used to develop products of any kind, the products will be required to include an agreed form of acknowledgment of the financial support provided by the Minister from the Victorian Property Fund.

Treatment of GST

Applicants registered for GST

Grant applications are required to indicate the value of all relevant inputs, the GST payable and the invoiced amount, i.e., consistent with the requirements of a tax invoice, but on an input-by-input basis

Where an applicant is registered for GST, any GST payable on inputs to the Project being funded can be recovered via input credits. Therefore no funding will be provided to cover the GST paid on inputs.

It is recognised that any applicant registered for GST will need to remit GST on the value of the supply for which the funding is provided. The grant will be increased to recognise this additional outgoing, thus leaving sufficient funds to cover the Project for which the grant is made.

The funding agreement provides for Recipient Created Tax Invoices to be issued by us for each grant payment.

Sample GST calculation for a grant paid to a grant recipient registered for GST

Item

A. Cost (GST incl.) B. Input credit available Net cost (A-B)
Salary $18,000 $0 $18,000
Printing $11,000 $1,000 $10,000
Total $29,000 $1,000 $28,000
Plus GST @10%

$2,800
Total Grant Sought

$30,800

Applications not registered for GST

Where an applicant is not registered for GST, input credits cannot be claimed by it. The grant paid will be for the full cost of inputs.

An applicant not registered for GST is not required to remit any GST payments to the Australian Taxation Office, and therefore no funding is required for this purpose.

Sample GST calculation for a grant paid to a grant recipient not registered for GST

Item

A. Cost (GST incl.) B. Input credit available Net cost (A-B)
Salary  $18,000  $0  $18,000
Printing $11,000 $0 $11,000
Total $29,000 $0 $29,000

Items to include in the budget

You will need to provide a detailed Project budget which should detail all expenses associated with the Project that you want met by the grant accompanied by supporting information as follows:

  • provide a clear indication of how the money will be applied including compliance costs such as:
    • audit of accounts for grants in excess of $20,000 (GST exclusive) where such audit is required by CAV, and
    • cost of additional insurance costs required by CAV in order to receive the grant
  • provide a unit cost for each product or service produced with the grant
  • differentiate between fixed costs (those will not vary for the life of the Project such as building occupation costs) and variable costs (those that will be incurred from time to time during the life of the Project such as fees to instructors or contractors)
  • detail amounts of funding for the Project from your organisation
  • detail the amounts and names of any other contributors, sponsors etc. who will provide income or funding and specify any conditions or obligations for the provision of that funding
  • detail any fees that you will charge for participation in the Project (i.e. how much and what they are for); and
  • detail any proposed parts of the Project that will be sub-contracted to other persons or organisations.

Privacy

We are bound by laws that protect your privacy concerning the collection, use and disclosure of your personal information. We may need to disclose your personal information to other State and Commonwealth agencies. You can request access to your personal information by contacting us. For more information, view our Privacy statement page.