Guide to applying for housing assistance

After you apply

How we assess housing needs

We assess applications for housing against the eligibility criteria for public housing and community housing. This helps us provide housing to people with the highest needs who can’t access safe and stable housing.

We consider your eligibility and housing needs and any exceptional circumstances:

  • We look at whether you meet the eligibility criteria of Australian citizenship and residency, and Queensland residency. Each person who will sign the tenancy agreement must meet this test.
  • We assess the assets you and your household have against the assets limit for your household size. If someone on the application owns or part-owns property, we will assess this using the evidence you gave us. We may contact you about why you can’t use this property as your home or dispose of these assets and use the funds to access housing.
  • We consider your housing needs against the wellbeing criteria which helps us gain a broader understanding of your circumstances and needs. You must have at least:
    • 1 reason to move from your current home
    • at least 2 wellbeing factors and 1 financial need which show that you can’t get stable housing through other options.
  • We look at whether the total assessable income of you and the people who will live with you is below the income limit for your household type or size. This helps us determine whether your income is a barrier to accessing housing in the private market.
  • We will also check whether you have an independent income and can pay rent and financially manage a tenancy. At least one applicant must meet this test.

After we’ve assessed your eligibility, we’ll look at your needs to see whether public and community housing or other products and services provide an appropriate outcome. Before making a decision, we will also consider the impacts of the decision on you and your circumstances and human rights.

If you’re not eligible for public and community housing

If you aren’t eligible, we will send you a letter about our decision, including information about your review rights if you don’t agree with our decision.

There are other ways we can help you with your housing needs. We will work with you and other service providers to get you the support you need.

If you're eligible for public and community housing

If you're eligible for public and community housing, you will be placed on the housing register. If you can accept an offer of housing, your application will be made active and if you are not in a position to accept an offer of housing, your application will be made inactive. You will receive a letter to confirm this.

The housing register is a record of eligible applications for public and community housing.

You will be on the housing register for reasons including:

  • your level of housing need
  • the preferred locations where you want to live
  • the type of housing (e.g. apartment, house) you want to live in
  • the number of bedrooms you’re eligible for
  • the date of your eligible application.

Depending on your circumstances, you may not receive an offer of housing for a long time, or at all. People with more urgent and complex needs are offered housing assistance ahead of people with less complex needs. This includes when a person’s safety and wellbeing is at risk or the person is homeless or living in unsafe housing.

We can’t predict if or when offers of public or community housing will be made. Offers of housing are affected by:

  • the level of your housing needs compared to other people with higher and more urgent needs
  • the number of properties in the areas you want to live in
  • the number of vacant properties that become available (due to people moving out of public and community housing)
  • your circumstances and needs being a good match to an available property
  • the number of people who have the same or higher housing need in the same area as you, and whose applications were eligible before yours, and are a good match to the available property.

If we don't offer you housing, we can still help you—you can talk with us about other housing options while you are on the housing register.

While you’re on the housing register


It’s important you respond to us when we contact you. You must keep your contact details with us up to date.

We may contact you by phone, email, SMS or by sending you a letter to check:

  • if your housing needs have changed
  • that you’re still eligible for public and community housing
  • that your information is still current
  • if you are ready to accept an offer of housing, should an offer be made to you.

We understand that you may not be ready to be considered for an offer due to unplanned circumstances. We can talk to you about your circumstances and can make your application inactive on the housing register until you are ready.

If you don’t respond to our phone calls or letters within the timeframe we give you, we may remove your application from the housing register.

Changes in your household may affect your eligibility and need for public and community housing. It is important to keep your information with us up to date. You must tell us within 28 days about any changes to:

  • your address—we may cancel your application if we do not have your current address and cannot contact you
  • your name—for example if you marry, divorce, separate or change your name
  • your income or the income of the people on your application
  • the number of people on your application—for example, you have another child, you and your partner separate, you add or remove a household member from your application
  • your circumstances that affect your ability to find suitable housing in the private market
  • your household circumstances, and if you no longer need housing assistance
  • the areas you want to live in
  • your health or a household member's health—for example, if a household member cannot climb stairs or needs specific housing features because of a medical condition or disability. You will need to provide a letter from your doctor explaining how the change in health affects your housing needs
  • your circumstances that affect your readiness to be considered for an offer of housing.

Contact your nearest Housing Service Centre to talk about your circumstances and housing needs.

Note: It is an offence under the Housing Act 2003 to knowingly provide false or misleading information that may influence decisions about your eligibility for housing services.

We will review your eligibility and circumstances while you’re on the housing register so we can work with you to find the right housing options.

It’s important that you respond to any contact we make, otherwise we may remove your application from the housing register.

If your circumstances change, you may no longer be eligible for public and community housing. If you are no longer eligible, we will remove your application from the housing register and work with you to find other housing products and services which may help meet your needs.

Tell us if you’re going away for more than 28 days. This is so we don’t remove your housing application from the housing register if you don’t respond to our letters or phone calls during the time you’re away.

In this guide:

  1. Understanding your need
  2. Housing assistance options
  3. Check your eligibility
  4. How to apply
  5. After you apply

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