Owning a home is a significant milestone for many, and for members of the military, the Defence Home Ownership Assistance Scheme (DHOAS) offers substantial support in achieving this goal. Administered by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs for Defence personnel, this initiative provides a monthly subsidy towards the interest on a member’s home loan, making the dream of homeownership more attainable.
Let’s take a closer look at the key aspects and conditions of the DHOAS to understand how it operates and benefits eligible individuals.
Qualifying for the Assistance Scheme:
To access the benefits of DHOAS, members must fulfill a specific service period known as the qualifying service period. For Permanent Forces members, this period comprises two consecutive years of effective service. Meanwhile, Reservists need to complete four consecutive years of effective service. The calculation of effective service is detailed in the Defence Home Ownership Assistance Scheme Regulations of 2008.
When Subsidy is Payable:
The subsidy becomes payable once certain conditions are met. This includes the loan being secured by a declared loan provider and meeting eligibility criteria related to ownership, location, and occupancy of the property. Additionally, a 12-month occupancy requirement must be fulfilled for the subsidy to be payable.
Determining Subsidy Amount:
The subsidy granted to a member is contingent upon both the loan amount and the length of their service tenure. The variability in subsidy allocation ensures that members receive a proportional benefit based on these two critical factors. Additionally, certain members may have the flexibility to convert the subsidy they have accumulated into a single, lump sum payment.
This nuanced approach recognises the diverse circumstances and needs of individuals within the program, aligning the subsidy disbursement with the specific parameters of each member’s loan and service duration. The dynamic nature of this subsidy structure allows for tailored financial assistance scheme, acknowledging that different members may have distinct requirements arising from variations in their loan amounts and lengths of service.
Moreover, the provision enabling members to convert their accrued subsidy into a lump sum payment adds an element of choice and flexibility. This option empowers members to align their financial benefits with their unique preferences or immediate financial goals, showcasing a responsive and adaptable system designed to cater to the individualized needs of program participants.
Ceasing of Subsidy Payments:
Several circumstances can lead to the cessation of subsidy payments. This includes changes in ownership or occupancy arrangements, cancellation by the Secretary, or failure to disclose changes in circumstances.
Members eligible for DHOAS need to complete an application form available on the Department of Veterans’ Affairs website. Upon approval, a subsidy certificate is issued, which must be provided to the declared loan provider.
Impact on Other Services:
It’s important to note that while DHOAS offers significant support, it does not replace other conditions of service, such as the Home Purchase or Sale Expenses Allowance (HPSEA) or the Home Purchase Assistance Scheme (HPAS).
Having a subsidised loan on a home at their posting location might affect a member’s eligibility for rent allowance or a service residence. However, a home purchased through DHOAS remains a suitable own home for subsequent postings to that location.
In the unfortunate event of a member’s passing, their surviving partner can apply for the benefits accrued under the DHOAS scheme.
For more detailed information, including specific rules and regulations, individuals can refer to the Defence Home Ownership Assistance Scheme Act of 2008 or visit the Department of Veterans’ Affairs website. Additionally, inquiries about the scheme can be made directly to the Department of Veterans’ Affairs at 1300 4 DHOAS (1300 434 627).
The Defence Home Ownership Assistance Scheme stands as a valuable support system, empowering military personnel on their path to homeownership and financial security.