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Division 1: Initial home purchase

7.3.8 Purpose

A member may be eligible for assistance for purchase of a home. The home must be in their posting location and they must live in it. This payment is made under the home purchase assistance scheme (HPAS). It is payable once only during a member's ADF service. This Division describes the conditions of eligibility and when the assistance must be repaid to the Commonwealth.

7.3.9 Members eligible

A member is eligible for assistance with initial home purchase if they meet the conditions set out in this Part and has had no previous benefit.

7.3.10 Purchase of land only

A member is not eligible for assistance with purchasing land.

7.3.11 Purchase of home – definition

An eligible person has purchased a home when they do any one of the following.

  1. They sign a contract to purchase it.

  2. They sign an agreement for it to be built.

  3. They begin to build it, if they are an owner-builder.

7.3.12 Conditions of eligibility

  1. For a member to qualify for HPAS, all of these criteria must be met.

    1. They must not have had a previous benefit.

    2. The home is at their current or new posting location.

      Exception 1: A member with dependants (unaccompanied) may be eligible for assistance with purchase of a home where their dependants live. To qualify, their dependants must be expected to stay there for at least 12 months after the member takes up duty in the new posting location. If the family has moved to another location they must be expected to remain in that location for at least 12 months from date of purchase. When the member's dependants join them at the new posting location, HPAS benefit transfers to the new location.

      Exception 2: The member may be eligible for HPAS at the location where the member's dependants live, if the member meets all the following conditions.

      1. The member is a member with dependants.

      2. The member is posted to a seagoing ship.

      3. The member purchases a home at the location where the member's dependants live.

      4. The member's dependants are expected to remain at that location for 12 months from the date the contract for purchase is signed.

    3. On the day the contract for purchase is signed, they are expected to serve at the location where they purchase the home for 12 months after that purchase. For the avoidance of doubt, a member on leave without pay (flexible service determination) may be considered to be serving in a posting location if they have chosen to live outside the posting location during their non working period.

      Non-example: A member buys a home. When the contract for purchase is signed, the member has a posting order to take place in six months. Because the member is to be posted elsewhere they are not expected to serve in the location for 12 months. The member does not meet the condition in this paragraph.

    4. A member with dependants (unaccompanied) is expected to keep that category for the 12-month period.

    5. An eligible person will live in the home within the period defined in section 7.3.13, When the home must be occupied.

  2. If a member's adult dependant is also a member, only one of them is eligible for HPAS. The other member may be eligible for HPAS in a future posting location.

    See: Chapter 1 Part 6 section 1.6.1, Dual entitlement – member's adult dependant is also a member

7.3.13 When the home must be occupied

An eligible person must occupy the home within a specific time. This table explains the periods of time for different kinds of purchasing or building situations.

Time for occupation
Item When the member... then an eligible person must occupy the home within...
1. signs a contract for a home to be built the earlier of the following two periods.
  1. One month after the day it is ready for occupation.
  2. 12 months after an eligible person signs the contract.
2. begins to build a home as an owner-builder the earlier of the following two periods.
  1. One month after the day it is ready for occupation.
  2. 12 months after an eligible person begins to build it.
3. purchases a home in the new location:
  1. after official written notice of the posting is issued, and
  2. before they begin duty there
one month after the earlier of these two dates.
  1. The day they begin duty in the new location.
  2. The date of settlement of the contract to purchase it.
4. purchases a home in any other circumstance one month after the date of settlement of the contract to purchase it.

7.3.14 Amount of benefit

  1. The amount of the benefit is a one-off payment of $16,949 (before tax).

    Note: This amount will be included in the member's taxable income. Tax will be deducted at the time of payment. The payment is not reportable for fringe benefit tax purposes.

  2. If an eligible person shares ownership with other persons, the HPAS payment is made according to the share of ownership with those other persons. For this section, the member's family unit is treated as having one share of the home.

    See: Section 7.3.6, Definitions, for the definition of Eligible person

    Example 1: A member purchases with one other person. The HPAS payment will reflect the share of ownership. For example, equal shares would result in payment of 50% of the HPAS amount.

    Example 2: A member, their spouse and the member's non-dependent father jointly purchase a home. The member and spouse live in the home with their two children. The member is eligible for 50% of the HPAS payment.

7.3.15 When a member must repay HPAS

  1. A member must repay the HPAS payment to the Commonwealth if either of the following happens.

    1. The purchase of the home does not go ahead for any reason.

      Exception: If Service reasons prevent the purchase from going ahead, the CDF may decide that the member should be reimbursed their reasonable and unavoidable costs.

      See: Division 3 section 7.3.31, Amounts and kinds of costs that may be reimbursed, for the maximum amounts that may be reimbursed to the member.

    2. An eligible person does not occupy the home within the relevant period under section 7.3.13, When the home must be occupied.

      Note: If Service reasons prevent an eligible person from occupying the home, the member does not have to repay the amount to the Commonwealth.

  2. The CDF may extend the relevant period for occupation for up to 12 months. The CDF must be satisfied that an eligible person cannot occupy the home for a reason beyond their control.

  3. A member is still eligible for assistance in future if they meet either of these criteria.

    1. They repaid an HPAS payment to the Commonwealth for reasons described in this section.

    2. They were reimbursed costs under paragraph 1.a.

Persons who can make the decisions under paragraph 7.3.15.1.a, exception, and subsection 7.3.15.2 on behalf of the CDF:
First Assistant Secretary People Services
Director Pay and Administration Centre – Victoria
Assistant Director ADF Home Purchase and Prior Service
A person working in the Directorate of ADF Home Purchase and Prior Service who is not below MAJ(E)/APS 6
A person working in the Pay and Administration Branch who is not below MAJ(E)/APS 6

Application to Reservists: Yes, on continuous full-time service longer than 12 months.



Forms

Copies of forms are available on the webforms system or through the Defence Service Centre.

  • AC970, Application for Home Purchase Assistance Scheme (HPAS) or Home Purchase or Sales Expense Allowance

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Further info

Contact

Defence Housing Australia

139 342

www.dha.gov.au

Defence Service Centre

1800 DEFENCE (1800 333 362)

YourCustomer.Service@defence.gov.au