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Division 7: When a member is eligible to live in a Service residence

7.6.28 Member with dependants eligible for a Service residence

  1. A member with dependants is eligible for a Service residence at their posting location if they do not own a suitable home at their posting location.

    Related information: Part 2 shows how to work out whether a member's own home is suitable for them to live in.

  2. A member eligible under subsection 1 is eligible for a three-bedroom Service residence unless one of these situations applies to them.

    1. They choose (under section 7.6.31) to occupy a smaller Service residence with an amenity-based classification.

      See: Section 7.6.31, Member with dependants can choose two-bedroom home

    2. They require a larger Service residence to house their dependants.

      See: Division 2 section 7.6.4, which sets out the number of bedrooms that a Service residence must have in order to be a suitable Service residence.

    3. They accept the offer of rent band choice accommodation.

  3. A member who is not eligible under subsection 1 because they have no dependants is taken to be eligible if they meet either of these conditions.

    1. They plan to marry within a month.

      Note: The member must provide written evidence of the planned marriage.

    2. They expect to give birth to a child within three months.

  4. A member who needs a Service residence in their posting location must apply by completing the relevant section of the Commonwealth removalist's application for relocation form.

  5. See:
    Toll Transitions
    Defence Housing Australia
    Application for Relocation form

7.6.29 Member with dependants (unaccompanied) eligibility in two locations

  1. A member with dependants (unaccompanied) is eligible for a Service residence for their dependants to occupy if they do not own a suitable home at their dependants' location.

    Exceptions: A Service residence is not provided for the dependants in a personal location in any of the following situations.

    1. A member's dependants move from living with the member to a personal location.

      See: Chapter 8 Part 3 Division 1 subsection 8.3.6.7, Member who may be classified as a member with dependants (unaccompanied)

    2. All the following apply.

      1. A deployed member's dependants are granted a removal to a personal location for family support.

      2. On the member's return from the deployment dependants elect to remain in the personal location.

      3. The member has six months or more to serve in their current posting location after their return from the deployment.

    3. All the following apply.

      1. A deployed member's dependants are granted a removal to a personal location for family support.

      2. The member had less than six months to serve in their posting location on their return from the deployment.

      3. The member is posted to a new location.

      4. On the member's posting to the new location the dependants elect to remain in the personal location.

    4. Both the following apply.

      1. A deployed member's dependants are granted a removal to a personal location for family support.

      2. The member keeps their Service residence in their pre-deployment location.

  2. A member with dependants (unaccompanied) who is eligible for rent allowance under Part 8 may choose to occupy a surplus Service residence in the posting location where the member is serving.

    See: Part 8, Rent allowance

  3. Members who occupy a surplus Service residence can only share the residence with other members who are eligible under this section or section 7.6.30.

    Exception: A member who has a recognised live-in carer may occupy a surplus service residence under this section.

  4. A member with dependants (unaccompanied) may be eligible to live in an appointment, tied or assigned Service residence under Division 6, Appointment, tied and assigned residences.

7.6.30 Member without dependants eligible for a Service residence

  1. A member without dependants who is eligible for rent allowance under Part 8 may choose to live in a surplus Service residence.

    See: Part 8, Rent allowance

  2. Members who occupy a surplus Service residence can only share the residence with other members who are eligible under this section or section 7.6.29.

  3. A member without dependants may be eligible to live in an appointment, tied or assigned Service residence under Division 6, Appointment, tied and assigned residences.

7.6.31 Member with dependants can choose two-bedroom home

  1. A member with dependants may choose to accept an offer of a two-bedroom Service residence with an amenity-based classification instead of the three bedroom home for which they are eligible. The choice must be in writing.

  2. If the member accepts a two-bedroom Service residence, they have accepted a reasonable offer of a suitable Service residence. This is even if the Service residence has fewer bedrooms than specified in section 7.6.4.

    See: Division 2 section 7.6.4, Suitable Service residence

  3. A member can choose not to live in a two-bedroom Service residence that is offered to them. The refusal does not count as a rejection of a reasonable offer.

  4. The member's contribution for the home is based on its amenity group.

  5. See:
    Division 8 section 7.6.41, Contribution for Service residence or rent band choice home
    Part 1 of Annex 7.A, Contributions for Service residence or rent band choice accommodation

7.6.32 Members with part-time contact with children

  1. A member might have a child from a previous relationship. The member might have contact with their child, but the child might not live with the member full-time.

  2. The following principles may assist in working out whether the member is eligible for housing assistance for the child.

    1. If the child comes to live with the member regularly, the member may seek approval for the child as a dependant under Chapter 1 Part 3 Division 2. If approved, they are eligible for housing assistance for the child.

    2. If the child comes to visit the member regularly but is not approved as a dependant under Chapter 1 Part 3 Division 2, the member is not eligible for housing assistance for the child.

    See: Chapter 1 Part 3 Division 2 section 1.3.83, Dependants

  3. A member without dependants may have only limited contact with their child. They may then be in any of these situations.

    1. They are not categorised as a member with dependants.

    2. They have no eligibility for to extra housing assistance for times when they have contact with their child.

    3. The member may still get housing assistance as a member without dependants. This could include rent allowance or a surplus Service residence.

7.6.33 Acceptance or rejection of reasonable offer

  1. Defence Housing Australia may offer a member a Service residence. The offer is reasonable if the home meets one of these conditions.

    1. It is a suitable Service residence under section 7.6.4.

      See: Division 2 section 7.6.4, Suitable Service residence

    2. It is at whichever of the following benefits is relevant.

      1. For a Service residence with a market-rent-based classification — the rent band listed for the member's rank group in section 7.6.13.

        Exceptions: If no Service residence is available in that rent band either of the following offers are taken to be reasonable.

        1. An offer of a Service residence in the rent band above or below the relevant rent band.

        2. An offer of a Service residence under subparagraph ii.

        Note: This subparagraph includes those on-base Service residences which are taken to hold a market-rent-based classification.

        See: Division 3 section 7.6.13, Rent band for a member's group

      2. For a Service residence with an amenity-based classification — the amenity group listed for the member's rank group in section 7.6.16.

        Exceptions: If no Service residence is available in that amenity group either of the following offers are taken to be reasonable.

        1. An offer of a Service residence in the amenity group above or below the relevant amenity group.

        2. An offer of a Service residence under subparagraph i.

        See: Division 4 section 7.6.16, Amenity-based classification for a member's rank group

    3. It is an offer of rent band choice accommodation which the member accepts.

  2. The following table shows how paragraph 1.b works.

    Example of how paragraph 1.b works

    Item

    If a member has a rank in this group...

    the offer of a Service residence is reasonable if...

    it has this classification...

    or this classification, above or below the member's benefit...

    rent band amenity group rent band amenity group
    1. Corporal or lower
    1
    A
    B1
    2
    B2
    2. Staff Sergeant
    Sergeant
    1
    B1
    2
    A or B2
    3. Lieutenant
    Second Lieutenant
    1
    B1
    2
    B2
    4. Captain
    Warrant Officer Class 1
    Warrant Officer Class 2
    2
    B2
    1 or 3
    B1 or C
    5. Lieutenant Colonel
    Major
    3
    C
    2 or 4
    B2 or D
    6. Brigadier
    Colonel
    4
    D
    3
    C
  3. If a home at a lower amenity group or rent band does not have enough rooms for the family's children to occupy using the table in section 7.6.4, it would not be considered a reasonable offer for the purpose of paragraph 1.b.

  4. To continue to be eligible for housing assistance, the member must either accept a reasonable offer or reject it in writing for a reason in section 7.6.34. The process in section 7.6.57 will apply to a rejection.

    Example: The member accepts a Service residence by signing a tenancy agreement.

    See: Division 9, End of eligibility to live in a Service residence

  5. A member might reject a reasonable offer for reasons not in section 7.6.34. If the CDF does not consider the reasons to be sufficient grounds to reject the Service residence, and Defence Housing Australia cannot offer the Service residence to another member within one month, the member's name will be removed from the Service residence waiting list. They will not be eligible for temporary accommodation allowance, rent allowance or storage at Commonwealth expense during the remainder of their posting.

    Exception: If an offer is not reasonable because the home offered does not meet the conditions in subsection 1, the member can reject it in writing. There is no effect on any benefits. The member would be eligible for another Service residence or rent allowance.

Persons who can make the decision under subsection 7.6.33.5 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
  • Regional Director in a Housing Management Centre
  • National Housing Manager
Contract Manager Services Agreement
Assistant Contract Manager Services Agreement
Assistant Director Operations
Director Relocations and Housing

7.6.34 Reasons for rejecting a reasonable offer

  1. This section applies to a member who rejects a reasonable offer of a Service residence.

  2. An offer is not reasonable if the member rejects it for any of these reasons. This means that the member is still eligible for a Service residence.

    1. The home is at the classification that applies two or more groups below the member's rank group.

    2. The home has a swimming pool.

      Related information: Pool cleaning, safety and maintenance is the member's responsibility, so they may choose not to take a house that involves this extra work. They might also view the pool as a safety hazard.

    3. The home and grounds are unsuitable for their pet. However, any pets must meet both these conditions.

      1. They must be domestic and not owned for business or commercial purposes.

      2. They must be able to be kept at the location without breaking any relevant laws or body corporate rules.

    4. The home has two bedrooms.

      See: Section 7.6.31, Member with dependants can choose two-bedroom home

    5. The home is a rent band choice home and the member does not accept the offer.

  3. If a member refuses an offer of a suitable Service residence because it has not been placed into a rent band, that rejection is taken to be rejection of a reasonable offer.

    Example: A member is offered a suitable amenity group B2 property. The member cannot reject the Service residence because they want a rent band 2 property.

7.6.35 Changing Service residences

  1. The CDF may approve a member changing their Service residence for another Service residence in any of these cases.

    1. The member's dependants have increased in number and they need more bedrooms. These conditions apply.

      1. If the member is expecting a child, the change can be approved up to three months before the birth.

      2. The change can only be approved if the member has at least six months more in their current posting.

    2. The long-term lease on the Service residence is ending and will not be renewed.

    3. The Service residence is due for sale or major renovation.

    4. There are serious health, safety or security concerns if the member stays at the Service residence.

      Example 1: The home's foundations are unstable after an earthquake.

      Example 2: A recent accident confines a member to a wheelchair for several months. A two-story home is no longer suitable.

    5. The member has a recognised live-in carer and they need an additional bedroom.

    Note: A member whose change is approved under subsection 1 is eligible for a removal at Commonwealth expense.

  2. The CDF may approve the change of Service residence at the member's own expense. The CDF must consider all these circumstances.

    1. The reasons outlined in the application.

    2. Whether other Service residences are available.

    3. The effect on any other member.

Persons who can make the decisions under subsection 7.6.35.1 and subsection 7.6.35.2 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
  • Regional Director in a Housing Management Centre
  • National Housing Manager
Contract Manager Services Agreement
Assistant Contract Manager Services Agreement
Assistant Director Operations
Director Relocations and Housing

7.6.36 Pet ownership

  1. A member must seek the consent of Defence Housing Australia before they buy a pet while occupying a Service residence.

  2. If owning the pet is not permitted in the Service residence and the member moves to another Service residence for this reason, they will not be eligible for a removal at Commonwealth expense.

    Example: The member has signed a tenancy agreement, but they are not sure if they are allowed to keep a pet at the Service residence. They buy a pet without checking with Defence Housing Australia if they are allowed to have a pet in their residence. Their tenancy agreement is breached because it does not allow pets. The member must move to another Service residence, but is not eligible for a removal at Commonwealth expense. If they had sought Defence Housing Australia's consent first, they could have prevented this happening.

7.6.37 Ineligible member can apply for surplus Service residence

  1. Defence Housing Australia identifies Service residences that it does not need for eligible members.

  2. A member who is not eligible for a Service residence may apply to Defence Housing Australia to live in a Service residence described in subsection 1.

    Exception: A member without dependants who is eligible for rent allowance may choose to live in a surplus Service residence under section 7.6.30. This section does not apply to a member who is covered under section 7.6.30.

    See: Section 7.6.30, Member without dependants eligible for a surplus Service residence

  3. The concept of suitability outlined in section 7.6.4 does not apply to this arrangement.

    See: Division 2 section 7.6.4, Suitable Service residence

  4. The member must pay Defence Housing Australia rent for the residence. This rent is set in either of these ways.

    1. If the Service residence is leased on a yield basis, then the amount of rent payable is decided by the CDF based on Defence Housing Australia information on market rents at the location.

    2. If paragraph a. does not apply, then the amount of rent payable is determined by Defence Housing Australia under section 59 of the Defence Housing Australia Act 1987.

Persons who can make the decision under paragraph 7.6.37.4.a 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

7.6.38 Service residence for member on deployment

  1. This section applies to a member who meets all the following conditions.

    1. The member is occupying a surplus Service residence.

    2. The member is a member without dependants or a member with dependants (unaccompanied).

    3. The member is deployed for six months or longer.

      Exception: A member who meets all the following requirements.

      1. The member is deployed for a period of less than six months.

      2. While deployed, the member's deployment is extended.

      3. The total period of a member's deployment is six months or longer.

  2. A member may choose between the following options.

    1. To keep the Service residence for the period of the member's deployment.

    2. To leave the Service residence.

  3. The choice in subsection 2 must be in writing to the member's Housing Management Centre Manager and made before the member is deployed.

  4. A member who fails to make a choice under subsection 2 is taken to have chosen to keep their Service residence accommodation.

7.6.39 Service residence in personal location for member on deployment

  1. This section applies to a member who meets both the following conditions.

    1. The member is deployed.

    2. The member's dependants are approved to move to a personal location before the member's deployment for family support.

  2. The member is eligible for a Service residence for their dependants in the personal location.

7.6.39A Insurance for members who are away

Household insurance may not provide cover while a member is away for long periods. Members are advised to confirm their situation with their insurance company.

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



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