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Public housing wait times

Wait times for public housing vary, depending on each applicant's circumstances.

They are affected by a number of factors such as:

  • the general demand for public housing
  • number of approved priority applications
  • availability and turnover of suitable homes in each location.

Below are the estimated waiting times for urban public housing as of 30 June 2021.

Estimated wait times for public housing (years)
Region General wait times Priority wait times
1 bedroom 2 bedroom ≥3 bedroom 1 bedroom 2 bedroom ≥3 bedroom
Darwin/Casuarina 6-8 2-4 2-4 4-6 2-4 2-4
Palmerston 6-8 2-4 2-4 4-6 2-4 2-4
Katherine 6-8 4-6 6-8 4-6 2-4 4-6
Nhulunbuy 6-8 4-6 4-6 4-6 4-6 2-4
Tennant Creek 6-8 6-8 6-8 4-6 2-4 2-4
Alice Springs 6-8 4-6 6-8  6-8 4-6 6-8

Applications for public housing

If your application is successful, you will go on a wait list.

The wait list is produced in date order from when your application is received.

It includes general, priority and transfer applicants.

Below is the total number of current applications for urban public housing as of 30 June 2021.

Applications for Public Housing
Region General Applications Priority Applications
1 bedroom 2 bedroom ≥3 bedroomTotal 1 bedroom 2 bedroom ≥3 bedroomTotal
Darwin Region  808  132  120 1,060  572  123  144 839
Palmerston  328  62  50 440  210  53  37 300
Katherine  202  63  64 329  79  35  40 154
Nhulunbuy  38  27  53 118  7  7  18 32
Tennant Creek  75  33  40 148  25  9  37 71
Alice Springs  449  215  233 897  167  113  154 434
Total 1,900 532 560 2,992 1,060 340 430 1,830

Public housing allocations

Allocations from the wait list are dependent on the availability of housing stock, which is generally linked to the number of tenancies leaving public housing or transferring within public housing.

The number of urban public housing allocations from 1 July 2020 to 30 June 2021 is as shown below.

Allocations for public housing
Region General allocations Priority allocations
1 bedroom 2 bedroom ≥3 bedroomTotal 1 bedroom 2 bedroom ≥3 bedroomTotal
Darwin Region  20  15  44 79  24  23  31 78
Palmerston  21  17  17 55  13  12  17 42
Katherine  7  9  7 23  6  2  10 18
Nhulunbuy    1  1 2     1 1
Tennant Creek  1    1 2  1    1 2
Alice Springs  15  10  14 39  6  3  10 19
Total 64 52 84 200 50 40 70 160

Applications for public housing compared to vacant public housing homes

Below is the total number of applications (general, priority and transfer) for public housing compared to vacant public housing homes as of 30 June 2021.

Vacant homes includes dwellings undergoing vacancy assessments, maintenance, major upgrade and that are available to allocate.

Region 1 bedroom 2 bedroom ≥ 3 bedroomTotal
Waitlist Vacant homesWaitlist Vacant homesWaitlist Vacant homesWaitlist Vacant homes
Darwin Region 1,516 5 370 13 371 8 2,257 26
Palmerston 604 10 148 12 143 11 895 33
Katherine 296 1 110 5 111 10 517 16
Nhulunbuy 45   34 1 74 1 153 2
Tennant Creek 102   44   84 2 230 2
Alice Springs 635 12 352 12 444 18 1,431 42
Total 3,198 28 1,058 43 1,227 50 5,483 121

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Last updated: 07 October 2021

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