How to apply for public housing

To apply for public housing, follow the steps on this page. 

Step 1: Talk to housing staff

You can talk to any of the following:

  • someone at your local housing office
  • the local community housing officer
  • the visiting Department of Housing and Community Development officer when they are in your community
  • your regional remote housing office. 

Housing staff may be able to help you find a translator or interpreter if you need one. 

Step 2: Read the application form  

Read the application form so you understand what you need to do.

Whether you live remotely or in a town area, you will use the same form.

Read the public housing application form.

Public housing form (205.6 kb)
Public housing form (364.9 kb)

To find out more about the supporting documents you need read the fact sheets on the Department of Housing and Community Development website.

Information you will need

Check you have all the information you need to complete the form.

You must provide information on all of the following:

  • where you currently live
  • names of all the people who will be living with you
  • photo identification for everyone 18 years old and over
  • 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 are married 
  • birth certificates for all children you listed in the application, or the child selection document from Centrelink.

Step 3: Talk to your household about your application

Show your household the application form.

You will need to explain that they will be named in the application form.

Step 4: Fill in your application form

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

Ask a housing officer if you need some help with the application. 

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, as well as the application form.

Additional applicant/household members form (42.4 kb)
Additional applicant/household members form (74.7 kb)

For each extra person 18 and over you will need to provide suitable proof of identity and income information. 

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

Ask a housing officer if you need help with this form. 

Step 5: Take your application form to a housing office

Take your form to your nearest local housing office, or visit a Department of Housing and Community Development officer.

Ask the housing officer to check your application form.  

It may take several weeks before you know whether your application has been approved or not.  

If your application is approved

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

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

If your application is not approved 

You will be sent a letter telling you why your application has not been been approved. 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 Housing and Community Development - 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 Housing and Community Development.

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 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 need to 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.

Print all pages in this section

Last updated: 27 June 2017