Defence Home Ownership Assistance Scheme (DHOAS)

What is DHOAS?

The Scheme provides an incentive to members to stay in the ADF – the longer you serve, the more entitlements you accrue and the longer you can receive assistance.

How does DHOAS work?

Administrated by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) as the DHOAS Scheme administrator. You can apply to DVA for a Subsidy Certificate, which will confirm your eligibility to DHOAS

There are three Home Loan Providers (HLP) appointed by the ADF to provide DHOAS home loans.

Logos of three DHOAS lenders

The portion of your home loan that will attract a DHOAS subsidy and the amount of your monthly subsidy payment, will depend on which of the three subsidy tiers you are eligible under, and how much you borrow up to your subsidised loan limit.

Note: There are many variables that might need to be considered in relation to your DHOAS entitlement, such as breaks in service, transferring between Reserves and Permanent Force, separation from the ADF, medical separation, lateral (foreign) service and eligible partners. 

How do I qualify for DHOAS?

To be eligible to access DHOAS, you need to have served in the ADF within the last five years, completed a qualifying period of service (or in certain circumstances, foreign service) and accrued a Service Credit.

For Permanent members, the qualifying period is four consecutive years of service. For Reservists, it is eight consecutive years of “effective” Reserve service of at least 20 paid days per financial year. For all members, if you have a break in service you will need to start again. Continuous Full-time Service can fast-track Reservists’ qualifying period.

After you have completed this qualifying period, you then need to accrue an entitlement, known as a Service Credit, to access DHOAS subsidy assistance.
For Permanent members, you accrue entitlement monthly. For every month of service you complete after your four year qualifying period, you become eligible for one month of DHOAS subsidy. (Or, for every year of ADF service, you accrue one year of entitlement).

For Reservists, you accrue entitlement per financial year. You become entitled to one year of assistance after you complete at least 20 days of paid Reserve service within a financial year. This means you need to complete at least eight years of effective Reserve service and then another 20 days of paid service within a financial year before you can access DHOAS.

Generally, your DHOAS Service Credit is equal to your total years of ADF service minus your qualifying period (and minus any time you have already received DHOS, DSH or DHOAS subsidies). Warlike service extends your Service Credit. Breaks in service can impact on your entitlement.

What is my Entitlement?

Table showing DHOAS rates

How long can I receive DHOAS?

You can receive DHOAS for as long as you have a Service Credit and a DHOAS home loan into which your subsidy can be paid, and you meet the conditions of the Scheme. You can accrue and access entitlement as long as you serve in the ADF. After you separate, you can also access any remaining entitlement you have not used.

However, the maximum term available for DHOAS assistance (while in the ADF and after separation) is 20 years without warlike service. If you’ve completed warlike service, you may be eligible for up to 25 years of assistance.

How to apply for the Subsidy Certificate?

You need to attach your complete service records, specifically a long version of your ADO Service Record, to your application.

To apply, you can do it electronically via the website

Can I receive a Lump Sum Payment?

You may be able to receive a lump sum payment if you have accrued entitlement to DHOAS (that is, you have completed service after your qualifying period). You can convert up to four years of your Service Credit. For the purpose of calculating the lump sum, the Tier 1 subsidy amount is used (regardless of your eligible tier). Please note, your lump sum will not be paid on settlement and it can’t be used as an upfront deposit.

What are the Scheme Conditions?

You must live in the home for at least 12 months from when your subsidy starts. If you buy a home in good faith that you will be able to meet this condition, but then you receive a posting after you’ve moved into the house and your payments have started, you may be able to continue receiving your subsidy. To ensure your subsidy is not affected, you also need to apply for an occupancy reduction before you move out of the property. Please note, you are able to receive the payments if your family remains in the home while you are posted elsewhere. Another condition is that DHOAS loans can only be used for buying or building a home, buying land, or renovating.

Do I pay Fringe Benefits Tax?

FBT is reportable under the legislation for DHOAS. This means that Defence will pay a portion of the grossed up value of the benefit.

Reportable fringe benefits may be included in income tests for government benefits such as the Medicare levy, HECS, and child support obligations.

If you are unsure, please enquire with STRIKE and we will point you to a qualified professional. 

Separation from the ADF

After separating, you will have only one opportunity to apply for a Subsidy Certificate, and you need to do this within five years of discharging. It is important to note that if you separate from the ADF before completing 20 years of service, your subsidy payments will be paid at the Tier 1 level. If you complete 20 or more years, your payments will remain at the Tier 3 level.
If you are a Reservist, you need to be aware that if you do not complete at least 20 days of paid Reserve service within a financial year, you will be deemed to be separated from the ADF and this can impact on your DHOAS eligibility and entitlement.

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