Defence Home Ownership Assistance Scheme (DHOAS)

What is DHOAS

DHOAS is a recruitment and retention scheme employed by the ADF, offering a monthly supplement to the mortgage repayment on your Principal Place of Residence. It works by offering higher level of financial incentive based on the time your have been in the ADF – the longer you serve, the more ADF Housing entitlements you accrue and the longer you can receive assistance.

The scheme is administrated by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA), so it remains completely seperate from your Chain of Command. To gain access you need to apply to DVA for a Subsidy Certificate that confirms your eligibility. Your chosen DHOAS Home Loan provider (there are only three) will then hold a copy of the certificate and organise for the subsidy to be applied to your home loan. 

Recent Changes to DHOAS

On 29 November 2022 the Australian Government passed legislation to update the eligibility criteria of Defence Home Ownership Assistance Scheme (DHOAS). The changes take effect from February 2023 but have the potential to fundamentally change the effectiveness of the scheme and its effectiveness for current serving and (relatively) recently discharged veterans. 

  • The initial qualification period for Tier 1 has been halved. This means it is a reduction from four years down to two years. 
  • In June 2020, Parliament extended the timeframe for ADF members discharging to access their final DHOAS Subsidy Certificate from 2 years out to 5 years. Now they have gone a step further and removed the timeline, allowing veterans who served on or after 1 July 2008 to access the scheme at any stage after they have left the service.

DHOAS Subsidy Calculator

The amount of your monthly DHOAS subsidy payment will be based on two things: 

  • Your subsidy tier (based on years of effective service).
  • DHOAS Loan balance up to your subsidised loan limit that is aligned with tiers.

The monthly amount you receive as a subsidy varies based on the Average House Price (AHP) which adjusts annually in July; and the median interest rate as reported by CANSTAR Pty Ltd. The current monthly subsidy amounts can be found on the DHOAS website. 

DHOAS Tier Levels

With DHOAS Qualification rule changes to take effect in February 2023, you need to know how it affects you. For Permanent members, the qualifying period is now two years of service. For Reservists, it is four consecutive years of “effective” Reserve service of at least 20 paid days per financial year.

Tier
Original Rules
New Rules
Minimum Permanent Service
Minimum Reserve Service
Minimum Permanent Service
Minimum Reserve Service
1
4 Years
8 Years
2 Years
4 Years
2
8 Years
12 Years
4 Years
8 Years
3
12 Years
16 Years
8 Years
12 Years

Sometimes your DHOAS won’t be worthwhile if you are only at Tier 1. It can be hard to gauge whether it is the right time to start using your DHOAS – you don’t want to waste service credits on low rates of subsidy. If you need to discuss if it’s the right time to use your DHOAS, contact a DHOAS Investment Expert

DHOAS Service Credit

DHOAS Home Loan
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 initial qualifying period, you become eligible for one month of DHOAS subsidy. 

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. 

Monthly Subsidy Amount

The subsidised loan amount is based on the Average House Price (AHP) and is corrected annually. Your DHOAS Tier will dictate what percentage of the AHP is subsidised in your DHOAS Home Loan. 

Tier
% of AHP
Subsidised loan amount
Maximum monthly subsidy*
1
40%
$364,916
Up to $536
2
60%
$547,373
Up to $804
3
80%
$729,831
Up to $1,073

*Estimated monthly subsidy values based on the  January 2024 median interest rate. These monthly subsidy values fluctuate based on changes in the median interest rate.

DHOAS Lump Sum

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. If you are still saving your deposit and want to learn how to get into a property up to 12 months sooner, learn about our shortcuts to home ownership. 

Get twice as much DHOAS!

If you are buying a property with another serving member, you may qualify to double your DHOAS subsidy. To achieve this you would both need to have met the qualifying conditions and then had your subsidy apportioned to the DHOAS Home Loan. 

If two members have just qualified and are on Tier 1, they could be subsidised for up to an $804,318 loan and receive a subsidy of $908 per month towards their DHOAS Loan. 

DHOAS Loan Providers

DHOAS Loans are a completely seperate Home Loan product that are only available through three lenders. This is a result of the three lenders being selected during a Defence Home Loan Tender Process in 2016. 

Despite the restriction in number of lenders there remain a variety of options for your DHOAS Loan. If you are unsure of what Defence Home Loan is best for you, our DHOAS Investment Experts can assist.

NAB DHOAS Bank
DHOAS Home Loan Defence Bank
Australian Military Bank DHOAS

Don’t be confusing your DHOAS loan with the Defence Home Loan that is offered by Westpac. For those olds and bolds – you can also get a reduced interest rate on a $25,000 home loan. However, you will have to have first enlisted before 15 May 1985.

Getting the most from your ADF Entitlements

If you are a subscriber to any of the Defence websites or social media pages, you’ll see that EVERYONE has a different opinion on how to use their DHOAS Loan subsidy and when DHOAS should be used. And that is fair – everyone’s circumstances are different!

If you are here now – you’ve probably realised that it’s too good to waste and you can’t afford to stuff it up! Everyone has an opinion on how to invest in property, but most times a unqualified and uneducated opinion. Before you pull the trigger on your DHOAS or any other ADF Housing Entitlement make sure you discover the ADF Housing Essentials to maximise the funds available to you. 

Don't take our word for it...

 

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