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Division 1: Introduction to suitable own home

7.2.4 Purpose

This Division defines a suitable own home and whether a member is eligible for housing assistance.

7.2.5 Suitable own home

  1. A home is a suitable own home if it meets all these conditions.

    1. It is owned by the member or their dependant.

      See: Part 1 Division 3 section 7.1.14, for the definition of own home and 'ownership', for how to work out who owns the home.

    2. It is at the member's posting location.

      See:
      Part 1 Division 3 section 7.1.15, Posting location
      Chapter 1 Part 3 Division 1 section 1.3.55, Posting location – within Australia.

    3. It has the number of bedrooms a member and their dependants need to live in. The table is a guide to how this can be worked out. These principles apply.

      1. The presence of a member's spouse or partner has no effect on the number of rooms needed. This is because they are taken to share with the member.

      2. A child in year seven and over has their own bedroom.

      3. Children of the same gender with an age difference of more than four years have their own separate bedrooms.

      See: The definition of dependant in Chapter 1 Part 3 Division 2.

    Minimum bedroom requirement

    Guide to minimum bedroom requirement

    Item If the member has... and the children are... and their gender is... then the minimum bedroom requirement is...
    1. no children
    1 bedroom or a studio apartment
    2. one child any age any gender 2 bedrooms
    3. two children in school year 6 or under the same 2 bedrooms
    4. two children in school year 7 or over the same 3 bedrooms
    5. two children in school year 6 or under different 3 bedrooms
    6. two children in school year 7 or over different 3 bedrooms
    7. an adult dependant who is not a spouse or partner.
    Example: an elderly parent
    2 bedrooms

    Non-example: A member has a spouse, a 12 year old son and a six year old daughter. The member has a resident child carer. The member owns a three bedroom home in the posting location. The resident child carer is not considered as a factor when deciding whether a member's own home is suitable. The member's three- bedroom own home is considered suitable for the purpose of assessing eligibility for housing assistance.

    See: Part 1 Division 3 section 7.1.14, for the definition of resident child carer

  2. Pets are not taken into account in working out whether a home is suitable.

  3. The CDF may decide that a smaller home is suitable for exceptional reasons.

    Example: A member has six teenage children and a seven bedroom eligibility. They are posted to a very small town. There are no homes with seven bedrooms for rent or sale in the town. The only available Service residences have four bedrooms. The member buys a six-bedroom home. Two of the children share a room. The member would not be eligible for housing assistance at that location.

  4. A suitable own home is taken to include any of these homes.

    See: Section 7.2.6, Own home bought with Defence assistance

    1. A home for which the member has received home purchase assistance (HPAS).

    2. A home for which the member has received home sale and purchase expenses allowance (HPSEA).

    3. A home that the member lives in at the posting location and has a real or equitable interest in, although the interest is not an equal or controlling share.

  5. This subsection applies to a member who has a suitable own home that they regard as unsuitable. Their eligibility for housing assistance is assessed on the basis that they have a suitable own home until a decision is made under section 7.2.12 to declare the home unsuitable.

    See: Division 2 section 7.2.12, CDF may decide a member's home is unsuitable

Persons who can make the decision under subsection 7.2.5.3 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

7.2.6 Own home bought with Defence assistance

  1. Despite section 7.2.5, this section applies to a member who buys a home using one of these types of assistance.

    1. Home purchase assistance scheme (HPAS).

      See: Part 3 Division 1, Initial home purchase

    2. Reimbursement for home purchase expenses (HPSEA).

      See: Part 3 Division 2, Sale of home or subsequent purchase – general

    3. A Defence Service Home Loan.

    4. Defence Home Owner Scheme.

    5. Defence Home Ownership Assistance Scheme.

      See:
      Defence Home Ownership Assistance Scheme Act 2008
      Defence Home Ownership Assistance Scheme Regulations 2008
      Department of Veterans' Affairs website: www.dhoas.gov.au

  2. The home is taken to be a suitable own home.

  3. A home bought using a benefit listed under subsection 1 is a suitable own home for all further postings to that home's location.

    Exception: This subsection does not apply if the home ceases to be suitable for any of the following reasons.

    1. The number of the member's dependants has increased since the member last occupied the home.

    2. The member has an acquired disability and needs to be located near rehabilitation facilities.

    3. The member has an acquired disability that cannot be accommodated in the home.

  4. Subsections 2 and 3 apply even if one of these events occurs.

    1. The member has been approved to live in a greater posting location and purchases a home in it using a benefit listed under subsection 1.

      See: Chapter 1 Part 3 Division 1 section 1.3.55, Posting location – within Australia

    2. The member's marital or partnership status changes.

7.2.7 No housing assistance for member who has a suitable own home

  1. A member may be posted to a location where they have a suitable own home. They are not eligible for housing assistance when they live at that posting location.

  2. If the home stops being suitable for the member and their dependants, then the member may be eligible for housing assistance.

    See:
    Division 2, Home becomes unsuitable
    Division 3, Home may be unsuitable if it is rented out

  3. If the member purchases a suitable own home in their posting location, their eligibility for housing assistance stops.

    Exception: The CDF may decide that housing assistance may continue until the end of the posting.

    See:
    Division 2 section 7.2.12, CDF may decide a member's home is unsuitable
    Part 6 Division 9 section 7.6.58, Member buys a suitable own home
    Part 8 Division 5 section 7.8.30, Member moves to other suitable accommodation

7.2.8 Member to give notice of home ownership at posting location

A member must notify the Housing Management Centre Manager if they own, buy or sell a residential property in or near their posting location.

Note: When a member is posted to a new location, they can notify the Housing Management Centre Manager by writing in the space provided on the Toll Transitions Application for relocation form.

See:
Part 1 Division 3 section 7.1.14, Definition of own home and 'ownership'
Application for Relocation form

7.2.9 When a member's home is unsuitable

A home that the definition of a suitable own home applies to is taken not to be suitable in any of the following cases.

  1. The CDF has decided that the home is not suitable under Division 2 of this Part.

  2. The member's own home is deemed unsuitable because it is rented out.

    See: Division 3, Home may be unsuitable if it is rented out

  3. Both the following circumstances apply.

    1. The member buys a new home at the posting location.

    2. The member is to be posted out of the location within three months of buying the home.

Note: The effect of paragraph c is that if the member lived in a service residence or rent allowance residence before buying their new home, the member is eligible to remain in that residence until their removal to the new posting location.

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




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