DHOAS assists current and former Australian Defence Force (ADF) members and their families to achieve home ownership. The longer the member serves in the ADF, the more entitlements they will accrue under DHOAS and the longer they can receive assistance.

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To be eligible, the ADF member must have served within the last two years of applying for DHOAS, completed a qualifying period of service and accrued a service credit. The member will need to take out a DHOAS home loan and meet the Scheme conditions, including occupancy requirements, to receive the monthly subsidy payments.

1. How much subsidy can an ADF member receive?

Subsidy tiers for 2016-17
(see below tiers 1, 2 & 3)

Tier Minimum Permanent service Minimum Reserve service Subsidised loan amount Maximum
monthly subsidy*
1 4 years 8 years $264,692 Up to $230**
2 8 years 12 years $397,037 Up to $345**
3 12 years 16 years $529,383 Up to $460**

* Monthly subsidy amounts shown are current for June 2016 and fluctuate each month based on changes to interest rates.
** Estimate only as the true value will be available once the July 2016 interest rate is determined.

2. What type of home loan products can an applicant receive the subsidy on and for what purpose?

The subsidy is payable on interest only construction loans and principal and interest home loans. The subsidy is generally not payable on interest only home loans. A DHOAS loan can only be used for certain purposes. These include purchasing a home or land to build on, or to finance the building, enlargement, renovation or repair of a home, or to refinance an existing loan that was used exclusively for one or more of these purposes.

3. Service credit

Service credit is calculated based on a combination of the length of effective ADF service, within specified area operational service and any previous months of subsidy payments the member have received under DHOAS, the Defence Home Owner Scheme or Defence Service Homes Loans. One (1) service credit equals One (1) monthly subsidy payment. The maximum amount of DHOAS service credits that can be accrued is 300 or 25 years of subsidy payments.

4. What is the lump sum?

Eligible ADF personnel are able to exchange a percentage of the ‘service credit’ that they have accrued whilst serving in the ADF into a lump sum subsidy payment. They can convert a maximum of 48 months of their service credit into a lump sum. For the purpose of calculating the lump sum, the tier 1 subsidy amount is used (even they are entitled under a higher subsidy tier). The value of the lump sum subsidy payment is also subject to the median standard variable interest rate in the month in which the subsidy is authorised. The lump sum is paid into the member’s home loan account along with the first monthly subsidy payment.

5. What if the member is separating from the ADF? Can they still access a subsidy certificate?

ADF personnel who are no longer completing ‘effective service’ with the ADF are deemed a separated member for the purposes of DHOAS. To be eligible to apply for a subsidy certificate, they must have completed the DHOAS qualifying period and accrued a service credit. Further information on qualifying for DHOAS is found in the subsidy certificate approval fact sheet.

The member will have up until two years from the last effective service date to apply for a DHOAS subsidy certificate. They can only access one subsidy certificate after the last effective service date, and this certificate has a 12 month expiry date. There are no provisions to extend the validity date.

To access subsidy payments, the subsidy certificate must be used to settle a loan and also the scheme conditions need to be met prior to the certificate expiry date. A key scheme condition is that the member must occupy the subsidised property prior to the certificate expiry date. If they make subsidy ceasing changes to the loan and they have already accessed the final subsidy certificate, the subsidy payments will cease.

For more information on DHOAS please visit www.dhoas.gov.au