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Division 2: Home becomes unsuitable

7.2.10 Purpose

This Division sets out when a member's suitable own home may cease to be suitable. This may create an eligibility for housing assistance under Part 4, 6 or 8 of this Chapter.

7.2.11 Member required to live in tied, appointment or assigned residence

  1. This section applies to a member who is required by their Service to occupy a particular Service residence.

    Example: A tied residence.

    See: Part 6 Division 6, Appointment, tied and assigned residences

  2. If the member owns a home at the posting location, it is not a suitable own home. The member may not live in it during the period they are required to occupy the particular Service residence.

  3. The CDF may approve a member's request to live in their own home at the posting location.

  4. For approval under subsection 3, the CDF must consider the following factors.

    1. Whether the residence is suitable for the member's representative duties.

    2. The location of the residence.

    3. The impact on any other members.

    4. Any additional cost to the Commonwealth.

  5. A home that is approved by the CDF under subsection 3 is taken to be the member's suitable own home.

    Related information: Members may also be granted permission to live in an equivalent Service residence. See Part 6 Division 5 section 7.6.26, Service residence alternative to tied or appointment residence.

7.2.12 CDF may decide a member's home is unsuitable

  1. The CDF may decide that a member's home is not a suitable own home for any of the following reasons.

    1. There are not enough bedrooms for the member's dependants.

      Examples:

      1. The member has more dependants than when they last lived in the home.

      2. The member needs an additional room to accommodate a recognised live-in carer.

    2. The member or a dependant has medical needs that the home cannot meet.

      Exception: It may be reasonably practical to modify the home to meet the member's or dependant's needs. In this case the CDF may decide that it remains a suitable own home.

      Examples:

      1. A child in a wheelchair may not be able to access a second-floor apartment if the only entrance is by a staircase. The member would not be expected to install a lift.

      2. A member owns a two story home. The member is undergoing rehabilitation and is unable to climb stairs. The member would not be expected to install a lift.

      3. A member's dependant has special needs and a qualified medical specialist has declared in writing that the dependant needs to live close to the hospital. The family home is further away than the specialist's requirement.

      Non-example: A child with severe allergy to dust mites may be able to live in a home if the member removes the carpet or gets a special vacuum cleaner.

    3. The member's marriage has broken down and all these conditions are met.

      1. The member's spouse or partner lives in the home.

      2. The member can show they are unable to live in the home.

      3. The member is not receiving rent for the home from their spouse.

      4. A final property settlement has not been made.

      Example: A member could show this using these documents.

      1. Statutory declarations from the member and spouse.

      2. Family Court orders (including consent orders).

      3. Letters from the Defence Community Organisation or a Defence Chaplain.

    4. The home was advertised for sale before the member was posted to the location but has not been sold by the time the posting commences.

    5. It is not reasonable for the member or their family to live in the home for reasons beyond the member's control, having regard to the following matters.

      1. Whether a qualified person has certified the home as uninhabitable, or recommended it not be lived in.

        Example: The member's home is damaged by fire and a qualified building assessor or structural engineer has certified it uninhabitable.

      2. The severity of any risk to the safety of the member or family members associated with living in the home.

        Example: The member buys a home not knowing that it is contaminated with loose-fill asbestos. The house is technically habitable but only if no cavities are disturbed and large parts of the property cannot be used or repaired. The home insurance policy excludes any claim for asbestos contamination.

      3. Whether there is an insurance policy or compensation scheme that could assist the member with replacement housing or remedy the problem.

    Related information: Chapter 6 Part 5
    Division 1 section 6.5.4, Members eligible for removal
    Division 4 section 6.5.29, Removal between residences in the posting location – Australia

  2. To avoid doubt, if CDF decides a home is unsuitable under this section, that decision displaces any previously applicable decision or rule that provided the home was a suitable own home for the purposes of eligibility for housing assistance.

  3. A decision under subsection 1 is subject to the following limitations.

    1. The CDF must not make a decision if satisfied that the primary reason that the member has applied for a decision under subsection 1. is that the member has arranged for work to be done on the home.

      Example: The member's suitable home continues to be suitable when the member decides to remove the carpet and install polished flooring instead.

    2. This paragraph applies if a member has demolished their residence before a decision under subclause 1 is made. The CDF must make the decision as if the residence had not been demolished.

      Exception: If the demolition was outside of the member's control this paragraph does not apply.

      Example: This paragraph does not apply if the member's home is destroyed in a bushfire.

  4. A decision under subsection 1 may be made for a specified period of time. It may be revoked or varied if there is a change in the circumstances it was made to address.

    Examples:

    1. A member's home has been flooded, and this has caused some structural problems. An appropriately qualified person has assessed it will take four weeks for the work to be done so that the home is fit to live in. The CDF decides that the home is unsuitable for four weeks.

    2. A structural engineer's report shows a member's home is so damaged it is unable to be repaired. The member plans to knock it down and build another home on the block. The CDF decides the member's home is unsuitable until the new home is built.

  5. The CDF may revoke a decision made under subsection 1.d. if satisfied that the member is not making reasonable attempts to sell the home.

  6. The Director Relocations and Housing may also decide that it is unreasonable for a member to live in a home if, after the member's written notice of their posting to the location is issued, the member decides to sell the home and it is advertised for sale.

  7. The Director Relocations and Housing must consider all of the following factors.

    1. Advice from the member's Service Director-General of Personnel about the service requirements of the member.

    2. The period of time between the date of the member's written notice of posting being issued and the following dates.

      1. The date when the posting order commences.

      2. The date the member's home is advertised for sale.

    3. The circumstances in which the member has decided to sell the home.

    4. Any other matter that the Director Relocations and Housing considers relevant.

  8. Decisions under subsection 6 are subject to the limits in subsections 3 and 5.

Persons who can make the decisions under subsection 7.2.12.1, paragraph 7.2.12.1.b, exeption, and subsection 7.2.12.5 on behalf of the CDF:
An employee of Defence Housing Australia who performs the duties of:

  • Team Leader in the Housing Contact Centre
  • Regional Housing Specialist in the Housing Management Centre
  • Housing Contact Centre Manager
  • Regional Director in a Housing Management Centre
  • National Housing Manager
Contract Manager Relocation Services
Assistant Contract Manager Services Agreement
Assistant Director Operations
Director Relocations and Housing

7.2.13 Member's home is outside the posting location

  1. Normally, a member's own home is not a suitable own home if it is outside the posting location. However, a member may own a home that is outside the normal posting location.

  2. If subsection 1 applies, then the CDF may approve the greater posting location for the member. The CDF must be satisfied that the extra travel time will not affect the member's attendance for duty.

    Exception: A home in a greater posting location that has been purchased with Defence assistance is a suitable own home.

    See:
    Chapter 1 Part 3 Division 1 section 1.3.55, Posting location - within Australia
    Part 1 Division 3 section 7.1.15, Posting location
    Division 1 section 7.2.6, Own home bought with Defence assistance

  3. If the CDF does not approve the greater posting location and the member's own home is outside the usual posting location, then the home will be unsuitable.

    See: Division 1 section 7.2.5, Suitable own home

  4. If a member's home is unsuitable because it is outside the posting location, then these conditions will apply.

    1. The member is not eligible for housing assistance for a Service residence that is the same or a greater distance from the place of duty as the member's own home.

    2. The member is not eligible for rent allowance for a property that is the same or a greater distance or travelling time away from the place of duty as the member's own home.

Persons who can make the decision under subsection 7.2.13.2 on behalf of the CDF:
Director/Commanding Officer/Officer Commanding not below MAJ(E)/APS 6 in the member's direct chain of command or supervision

Application to Reservists: Yes, on continuous full-time service.



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