Apply for public housing

How to apply for public housing

To apply for public housing, you must follow the below steps:

Step 1. Talk to housing staff

You can talk to:

  • someone at your local housing office
  • the local community housing officer
  • a Department of Territory Families, Housing and Community Development officer when they're in your community.

If you need an interpreter or translator, housing staff can help organise one.

Step 2. Read the application

Read the application for public housing so you understand what you need to do.

Whether you live remote or in a town area, you must use the same form.

Application for public housing DOCX (146.1 KB)
Application for public housing PDF (824.3 KB)

Information you will need

Check you have all the information you need to complete your application.

You must provide all of the following:

  • where you currently live
  • names of all the people who will be living with you
  • photo identification for everyone over 18 years old
  • household income such as your pay, the name of your employer or how much you get from Centrelink
  • anything you own such as another house or money in the bank (you must provide bank statements for the last three months for all of your accounts)
  • marriage certificate if you're married
  • birth certificates for all children listed in the application or the child selection document from Centrelink.

To find out more about the supporting documents you need, read the fact sheets on the Department of Territory Families, Housing and Communities website.

Step 3. Talk to your household about your application

Show your application to your household and explain that they will be named in the form.

Step 4. Fill in your application

Fill in all sections of your application and have all applicants read and sign the declaration section.

If you need some help with the application, contact your local housing office.

If you have more than five people in your household

If you have more than five people in your household, fill in the additional applicant/household members form for each extra person with your application.

Additional applicant/household members form DOCX (72.9 KB)
Additional applicant/household members form PDF (482.7 KB)

For each extra person over 18 years old, you must provide suitable proof of identity and income information.

You can only use this form when you first apply for public housing. You can't use it to add people to your tenancy after you have got a house.

If you need some help with this form, contact your local housing office.

Step 5. Submit your application

Submit our application at your local housing office or to a housing officer when they're in your community.

You can also ask the housing officer to check your form.

It may take several weeks to find out if your application has been approved or not.

If your application is approved

You will receive a letter confirming approval and your application will be placed on the wait list.

Wait times are different for each region and remote community. You can speak to the housing officer about waiting times.

If your application is not approved

You will receive a letter telling you why your application has not been been approved.

You can speak to your housing officer for more information.

Allocation of a home

Before you can move into your house, all of the following must happen:

  • your weekly rent will be worked out
  • how you pay your rent will be agreed on
  • you will have to sign an agreement with the Department of Territory Families, Housing and Communities - this is either a tenancy agreement or occupancy agreement.

Read your agreement

You must read your tenancy or occupancy agreement before you sign it.

It includes your rights and responsibilities like how much rent you will have to pay.

It also includes the responsibilities of the Department of Territory Families, Housing and Communities.

You should keep a copy of your agreement.

Read more about paying your rent and looking after your house.

If you don't understand your agreement

Talk to your housing office if you don't understand the agreement.

Ask for an interpreter or translator if you need one.

Read the condition report

You must read the condition report before you sign it.

This condition report includes a description of your home when you move in including any damage.

You will have time to go through the house and make sure the condition report matches the condition of each room.

If anything doesn't match, you must let the housing officer know within five business days of receiving the condition report.

You should ask for a copy of this report once you have signed it.

For more information, contact your local housing office.

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Last updated: 24 September 2020

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