Apply for public housing

Who can apply for public housing

If you want to apply for public housing, there are conditions you must meet.

You must have an independent source of income and one of the following:

  • Australian citizenship
  • permanent residency status
  • special category visa that apply to New Zealanders
  • temporary protection visa.

If you own or partly own a residential property

You can't apply for public housing if you own or partly own a house or unit in Australia.

There may be an exception if you owned a home before and it was part of a settlement due to a relationship breakdown.

If you are under 16

You generally need to be 16 years of age or over to apply for public housing.

Sometimes an exception may be made if you under the age of 16. You can discuss this with your local housing office.


If you are on the public housing list, you must live in the Northern Territory (NT).

You can travel for holidays or to receive medical treatment.

You must tell your local housing office each time you travel and why.

If you have a debt

If you owe money to the department your application will be accepted.

If you have breached a previous tenancy agreement

You are not eligible to live in or apply for public housing for a period of two years if:

  • you have had your tenancy agreement terminated by the department for a breach
  • you voluntarily gave up your public housing due to a breach.

This does not apply if your termination was due to a debt that has now been repaid, or arranged to be repaid.

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Last updated: 03 June 2019

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