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Guide to applying for housing assistance

How to apply

To apply for public housing and community housing, contact your nearest Housing Service Centre to discuss your eligibility and housing needs.

You can:

We will talk to you about:

  • your housing needs
  • products and services that may better meet your housing needs
  • whether you’re eligible for public and community housing.

If you’re eligible:

You can seek advice and support from the Housing Service Centre to help you with your application.

What you need to include

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Income from Centrelink

If you receive a pension or allowance from Services Australia (Centrelink) and are at least 15 years old, you can use the Income Confirmation Service.

This free service lets us access your income and assets information directly from Centrelink. This means you won’t have to provide proof of your Centrelink income each time we assess your eligibility.

If you or a household member earns other income, such as wages, you still need to provide evidence of this income to us before we can assess your application.

To join the service:

  1. complete the Income confirmation service consent authority form (PDF, 119 KB)
  2. return the form to your nearest Housing Service CentreDo not return the form to Centrelink.

You can also get the form from your nearest Housing Service Centre.

When you join the service, we send your details to Centrelink electronically. Centrelink send us information that’s on your Centrelink income and asset statement:

  • your current or past payment details
  • any dependents
  • Centrelink deductions
  • income details
  • assets details.

We use the information Centrelink sends us only to assess your eligibility for housing assistance.

We may ask you for information about other income if required.

You can withdraw from the service any time by contacting your nearest Housing Service Centre.

If you decide not to use this service, you’ll need to provide your income and assets information each time we request it.

Failing to provide this information will affect your eligibility for social housing.

Proof of other income

Income support payments:

  • Income and Assets Statement from Services Australia (Centrelink) or from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs.

Earned income (wages, salaries, casual, overtime, bonuses and fringe benefits):

Self employed:

  • The previous year’s Notice of Assessment from the Australian Tax Office.

Other income types:

  • A Workcover payment advice letter or payment slip to verify worker’s compensation income.
  • A written statement from your superannuation company to verify payments from super funds or investments when you have retired.
  • A letter or advice verifying the payment and frequency of any overseas pensions if you don’t also receive payment from Centrelink.
  • A recent quarterly bank statement showing interest earned from a personal or business financial institution for example bank, credit union or building society account.

Property ownership

If you or a household member own or part own any of the following property either in Australia or overseas, you must provide evidence of the ownership with your application for housing assistance:

  • residential property—including a house, flat, unit, townhouse
  • vacant land—including rural
  • manufactured or transportable home
  • improved or unimproved commercial or industrial property
  • property held in a trust.

Evidence of property ownership includes:

  • mortgage documents
  • contract of sale
  • title documents.

The evidence of ownership must include:

  • details of the type of property owned or part-owned—for example, house, land, commercial
  • address of the property
  • whether the property is fully owned or part-owned, including inherited properties
  • details of the share of the property owned or part-owned (e.g. 30%)
  • the estimated value of the property
  • the legal names of the people who own or part-own the property
  • the date the property was purchased
  • if mortgaged, debt owing on the property.

Liquid assets

Liquid assets include:

  • money
  • shares, bonds, debentures or managed investments
  • property trusts
  • superannuation payouts (if the person has reached the preservation age)
  • the value of caravans, mobile homes and live-aboard boats.

You must provide evidence of all liquid assets owned by you and your household. This may include:

  • your most recent quarterly bank statement
  • Centrelink Income Statement
  • written advice showing the amount and frequency of any overseas pension
  • Workcover payment advice letter or payment slip to verify a compensation payout
  • letter from solicitor verifying any lump sum payout
  • for people over preservation age, a written statement from a superannuation fund showing total sum of super account or investment
  • written statement from financial institution showing total sum held in shares, bonds, debentures or managed investments
  • for assets held in trust, a copy of the ‘trust deed’ or similar legal document which identifies all assets owned by the trust, who the beneficiaries are and percentage of share.
  • current document stating the value of the caravan, mobile home, cabin, donga or live-aboard boat, for example, receipt of sale, valuation less than 1 year old, value listed on insurance documents.

For further information and help on providing evidence to support your application, please contact your Housing Service Centre.

You must lodge 2 original and valid (not expired) proof of identification documents with your application.

At least 1 document must be a primary identification document.

Primary documents

  • Full Birth Certificate or Extract of Birth Certificate or Birth Card as provided by other state registries
  • Drivers Licence with photo or Industry Authority ID
  • Queensland Weapons Licence with photo
  • Naturalisation or Citizenship Certificate
  • Passport
  • 18 Plus Card with photo
  • Keypass with photo
  • Immigration papers or other documents issued by the Commonwealth Department of Home Affairs
  • Corrective Services—Proof of Identity Form. This may only be accepted if you are applying for assistance while living in a correctional facility.
  • Permanent Resident Evidence (PRE) ImmiCard issued by the Department of Home Affairs for Protection Visa holders.

If you can't provide any primary form of identification, please provide 2 forms of secondary identification.

Secondary documents

  • Apprenticeship indenture papers
  • Australian Marriage Certificate
  • Australian Taxation Notice of Assessment
  • Bank, credit or ATM card with signature
  • Documents from Services Australia (Centrelink) showing your name and Customer Reference Number (CRN), including:
    • Letters
    • a current and valid Pension Card or Health Care Card
    • Pensioner Concession Card
    • Low Income Health Care Card or Commonwealth Seniors Health Card
      You can provide either the original documents or digital copies available through the Services Australia Express Plus app.
  • Divorce papers
  • Green Medicare card
  • Life insurance policies
  • Occupational registration documents
  • Other recognised photographic ID (security identification, Cash Converters Card)
  • Recent bank statements, bankbook, Credit Union or Building Society statement showing recent transactions
  • Student card with photo
  • Referrals or reports from incorporated organisations. Some examples include:
    • social welfare bodies
    • trade unions
    • employers
    • schools
    • Letter of Identification issued by the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Service
    • Proof of Identity form or card issued by a Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Local Government Authority.

Note: an 'incorporated' organisation is an organisation that is set up as a legal entity (also referred to as a 'corporation' or 'company'). An incorporated organisation can be a private or public business, a non-profit organisation, sports club or a government organisation.

If you have a medical condition or disability that affects your housing needs, you will need to provide information about this with your application. This will help us to work with you to find a housing option that is appropriate for you and your household’s disability and medical needs.

We need information about:

  • the nature of the disability and/or medical condition
  • your household’s specific requirements
  • why your current housing is inappropriate.

If the physical amenity of your current housing does not meet your needs, you can provide:

  • a letter from NDIS Support Provider or Local Area Co-ordinator
  • a medical report from your doctor (PDF, 722 KB) indicating the seriousness of the disability/medical condition and why your current housing is inappropriate. A form is available here
  • written verification from an occupational therapist, health or support provider about the nature of the disability or medical condition and why your current housing is inappropriate and how it restricts you or your household from undertaking activities of daily living
  • a Support Statement (PDF, 790 KB) can be completed by you or your advocate, and/or each support worker/health professional separately to help communicate your situation and needs.

If your current housing lacks essential facilities/shared facilities, you can provide:

  • information from a relevant community or support agency confirming living conditions are inappropriate due to a lack of essential facilities, e.g. cooking, bathroom, water supply, electricity to service essential items such as a hot water system, lighting and batteries in smoke detectors.

Health and safety issues—structural condition or size of property, you can provide:

  • Documentation from the Residential Tenancies Authority (RTA) of any action taken to have the situation rectified under the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008.
  • Report/s from qualified tradesperson and/or building inspector detailing the specific structural condition/issues of the housing and verifying that it does not meet legislative health and safety standards.

If you need to move, you must provide evidence of the reason.

Current housing is not near essential services/transport

Information stating the nature of the medical condition or disability and indicating the specific health or support requirements, why the current location is inappropriate, including distance from health or support services and the ability to travel to other locations to access/receive these services.

Information should be provided by:

  • NDIS Support Provider or Local Area Coordinator
  • occupational therapist
  • health or support provider.

Access to/custody of child, shared care of child or foster care arrangements

If your current housing does not enable access to/custody of child, shared care of child or foster care arrangements, you should provide:

  • information from the Department of Children, Youth Justice and Multicultural Affairs confirming the conditions for the return of a child to your care or a member of your household
  • copy of Court Order or information from Legal Aid
  • information from Legal Aid confirming the return of the child to your care of a member of your household
  • copy of a court order outlining access visit arrangements for the child/children
  • any other relevant legal documents or an Affidavit/Statutory Declaration completed by both care givers outlining access visit arrangements for the child/children.

Proximity to domestic and family violence or sexual violence perpetrator

If you have safety concerns, please talk to us by contacting a Housing Service Centre in-person or we can talk to you over the phone.

Family, social and community connections

If your current housing is far from family, social and community connections, you should provide information such as an Affidavit or Statutory Declaration from your family member/informal support provider confirming:

  • the need for the support
  • information on current location’s distance from required location
  • household’s ability to travel to receive required family, social and community connections.

Education/training services

If your current housing is far from education or training you’re undertaking, you should provide details from registered education/training provider confirming:

  • details of enrolment
  • period of course/enrolment
  • location of educational/training facility or service.

Employment

If the location of your current housing means you can’t accept an offer of employment, or if your job needs you to transfer to another location, you should provide:

  • information from the employer, recruitment agency or government agency about the need to move. Note: the employment must be at least 20 hours per week.
  • information from your employer verifying that you need to transfer to another work location to maintain your current employment.

Moving closer to family

If your family is currently split across more than one location and you need to obtain appropriate housing, you should provide:

  • information from a community support agency or emergency care provider verifying your circumstances
  • information from your landlord, family or friends verifying the circumstances and why the current housing arrangement is inappropriate.

Cultural reasons

If you need to move for cultural reasons, you should provide information that tells us about the circumstances. This information may be from:

  • an Elder of the Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander community
  • community health or support agency
  • Police.

Rent is unaffordable

If you pay 30% or more of your income into rent, you will need to provide evidence of the rent you are currently paying. This can include:

  • rent/board receipts
  • copy of your current tenancy agreement
  • information from your landlord or real estate agent confirming the weekly rent/board amount.

If you or a household member is experiencing domestic and family or sexual violence, talk to us about your circumstances and let us know if you have an immediate need to leave your current housing and we can connect you to support services.

You don’t need to provide evidence of your safety needs. However, if you have any of the following documents please let us know as this helps us to understand your needs:

  • Information from a domestic and family or sexual violence support service, hospital, community support agency or emergency care provider verifying the circumstances.
  • Information from a third party verifying the customer circumstances.
  • Information from housing or community workers verifying the circumstances.
  • Domestic Violence Protection Order.
  • Protection Order.
  • Family Court order.
  • Verification from Child Safety verifying the applicant or family is at risk.
  • Peace and Good Behaviour Order.
  • Supporting evidence from Police verifying the applicant is currently at risk.

Once we have all the income and asset information for you and your household, your proof of ID, and the other evidence we need about your circumstances, we complete the assessment. We will tell you in writing whether you’re eligible for public and community housing.

If you’re eligible, we will ask you for information about the kind of home you need as part of your application.

Type of housing

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You can choose which of the following types of housing you want to apply for. The type of housing you may be offered, if you’re eligible, depends on what is available in your chosen areas, and the number of bedrooms your household is entitled to.

Detached house

A house with 2 or more bedrooms on 1 block of land.

Duplex

Usually 2 units, with 1–3 bedrooms in each, divided by a common wall, located on 1 block of land.

Dual occupancy

2 properties located on one block of land.

Cluster house

A number of attached or separate homes, with 2–4 bedrooms in each, located within a housing development.

Townhouse

3 or more units next to each other, with 1–4 bedrooms in each, divided by common walls.

Apartment / flat / unit

Usually a complex of 2 or more storeys, with 1–3 bedrooms in each.

Seniors’ unit

For people over the age of 55, usually in a complex of 1–2 storeys, with 1–2 bedrooms in each.

We will determine the number of bedrooms your household is entitled to. This will be based on:

  • the number of people in your household
  • the gender of the people in your household
  • the age of the people in your household.

The usual bedroom entitlements are:

Bedrooms

People

1 bedroom

  • A single person
  • A couple

2 bedrooms

  • 2 single people sharing
  • Single or a couple with 1–2 children

3 bedrooms

  • 3 single people sharing
  • Single or a couple with 2–4 children

4 bedrooms

  • 4 single people sharing
  • Single or a couple with 3–6 children

5 bedrooms (reviewable property)

  • 5 single people sharing
  • Single or a couple with 4–8 children

6 bedrooms (reviewable property)

  • 6 single people sharing
  • Single or a couple with 5–10 children

7 bedrooms (reviewable property)

  • 7 single people sharing
  • Single or a couple with 6–12 children

Seniors’ unit

  • Single person over 55 years
  • A couple over 55 years

If we agree that serious overcrowding will not happen, you can ask for housing with fewer bedrooms to help increase your chance of getting a property sooner. You will need to complete an Acceptance of smaller housing form (PDF, 774 KB) (PDF, 774 KB) and take this to your nearest Housing Service Centre.

If you request and get smaller housing, transferring to larger housing will not be allowed unless there are special circumstances.

How bedroom entitlements are assessed

  • Usually no more than 2 children of the same gender will share a bedroom. If the bedroom is big enough, 3 children of the same gender can share.
  • If there is an age gap of 7 years or more between children of the same gender, each child will get their own bedroom.
  • If someone in the property is 3 months or more pregnant (confirmed with a doctor’s certificate), enough bedrooms will be provided to allow for a baby of either gender.
  • Couples are given 1 bedroom only.
  • Single people over the age of 18 at the time of application and being housed will receive a separate bedroom.
  • If someone in the property has regular and ongoing custody of children, these children will be included when determining your bedroom entitlements. You will need to show us evidence of the custody arrangements.

You must tell us if there are any changes to your household or housing need. Your eligibility and housing need will be reviewed again while you are on the housing register and before we offer you housing.

You should also talk to your nearest Housing Service Centre if someone in the household needs an extra bedroom for:

  • health, medical or disability related equipment
  • support needs
  • a live-in carer.

Note: Offers of housing will depend on the availability of housing in the areas you have listed and the number of people ahead of you on the housing register with a higher need.

Help with your application

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You can have your guardian, administrator or informal guardian, administrator or support person help you with your application.

  • Guardians are people who manage the daily affairs of an adult with impaired decision-making capacity. They make personal and lifestyle decisions about things like medical treatment, housing, employment and support services.
  • Administrators are people who manage the financial, legal and property affairs of an adult with impaired decision-making capacity.
  • Informal guardians or administrators provide support to people with impaired decision-making through a private arrangement. They are often a close relative or friend. You will need to tell us if there is a close family member or friend helping make decisions about your personal or financial matters.

The Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) make decisions about the personal, health or financial affairs of an adult with impaired decision-making capacity. QCAT may appoint a formal guardian or administrator to help the adult with decisions. The adult can have more than one guardian or administrator making decisions on their behalf. QCAT will explain the types of decision-making powers the guardian or administrator has. Guardians and administrators may also have been appointed by the former Guardianship and Administration Tribunal (GAAT).

A guardian or administrator:

  • must be over 18 years of age
  • must not be a paid carer or health provider for the adult.

Formal guardians or administrators must complete a formal guardian and/or administrator details form (PDF, 900 KB) and attach a copy of QCAT’s order. If we need to contact your guardian or administrator, it is important that we have their contact details and know what decisions they can make. We will not contact a guardian or administrator about your decisions unless this form is completed.

Informal guardians or administrators must complete an Informal Decision-maker Details form (PDF, 851 KB) and return it to the nearest Housing Service Centre. We will not contact your informal guardian or administrator about your decisions unless this form is completed.

Your nearest Housing Service Centre will also have these forms.

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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