Applying for a Service residence

Policy relating to Service residences (SR) is determined by the Department of Defence and is outlined on the ADF Pay and Conditions site.

A SR is a subsidised house or apartment that Defence provides to eligible members who have accompanied resident family (ARF) in a housing benefit location. These properties are located in proximity to Defence bases and offices throughout Australia.

There are times when a SR may be deemed a surplus Service residence. Members who have no resident family (MBR) and members who have unaccompanied resident family (URF) may be eligible to occupy a surplus Service residence.

Policy relating to an SR is determined by the Department of Defence and is outlined in the Defence Pay and Conditions Manual (PACMAN). Please familiarise yourself with the guidelines in chapter 7 of PACMAN and seek formal confirmation from us on your eligibility for an SR or Surplus SR benefit.

SRs are viewed via DHA Online Services.

Posting to a new location?

You are able to activate access to view available SRs via Online Services. Click on the 'Posting? Search for your new home here' banner.

Moving within your current housing benefit location?

Requests for access to view available SR's are to be submitted in an enquiry via Online Services.

Your dashboard will display a summary of available properties. You can scroll through or click on the ‘View all’ link to see all properties on one page. Rent Band Choice Properties will also be displayed if available.

The Viewing Window

The properties displayed are influenced by the date you require housing and the ready date of the SR. This is called the viewing window. All available properties that have a ready date that is 4 weeks prior to and 5 weeks after your housing required date will appear in this window. At 56 days out from your housing required date, the window will extend to include any currently vacant properties.

Changing the viewing window

To see other properties that may be outside of your viewing window, you can edit the date you require a SR on the dashboard of your Online Services.

Please note if your Toll Transitions Case Manager has already provided your required date, you will not have an option to edit the date in Online Services.

If you select a SR based on the new date, you will be required to occupy the property based on the new date. If you have a Commonwealth removal, you will need to contact Toll Transitions on 1800 819 167 to discuss the change in dates.

Demand and availability of Service Residences is assessed by DHA daily and, in some cases, we can modify your viewing to include properties that are one rent band above or below your eligibility. This occurs automatically in some cases and will be reflected in the list of properties you will view. If you choose an SR that is above your entitlement, a higher contribution may apply.

To request viewing of available SRs outside your entitlement, submit an enquiry via Online Services.

To learn more about the SRs you are eligible for and contributions, visit ADF Pay and Conditions.

DHA recognises that not all Service families are the same.  Whilst many families will find a traditional suburban home will meet their needs, other families prefer a property that is closer to restaurants, shops and other amenities or a property that has little to no yard maintenance requirements.

DHA’s range of Rent Band Choice properties offer you more flexibility to choose your next home with some or all of these features, leaving you and your family more time to enjoy your free time.

Unlike a Service Residence, you are not obligated to select a Rent Band Choice property.  The choice is entirely up to you.  You can select a property that is above your GRE if you are happy to pay a slightly higher contribution.

To learn more about contributions, visit ADF Pay and Conditions.

Online Services is a live site and the SRs available for selection may change at any time. During the peak posting months of October to January many members may be viewing the same properties as you. We recommend logging into Online Services regularly.

If you would like to be notified when properties become available, you can indicate that you would like to receive notifications when more properties become available. This notification can be turned off or on at any time.

There could be a number of reasons why there are limited or no homes showing in Online Services.

  1. Homes only appear in Online Services when the current tenant informs DHA of their intention to vacate the property.
  2. Visibility of homes is influenced by the date you require housing.
  3. The home’s Ready Date must fall within a viewing window that is 4 weeks prior to and 5 weeks after your housing required date. Within 56 days from your housing required date all SR's that are vacant will show in Online Services.
  4. There may simply not be any properties available at your entitlement in your housing benefit location.

Please be aware that Online Services is a live website and the properties available may change at any time. You can elect to receive notifications within Online Services when properties become available. These notifications are sent to the email address linked to your username at set times each day and list the properties that are available at the time the email is generated.

If you, your resident familyand/or recognised other persons own a home in your current housing benefit location and it is deemed suitable for you to live in, you will not be eligible for a Service residence when you live at that housing benefit location. An assessment of the own home must be undertaken by DHA as part of determining your eligibility to a SR benefit.

When you are viewing a home, you can select the ‘Reservation’ link. You will then have 30 minutes to either accept or decline your selection. A counter will be activated to indicate how much time you have left to make your decision. During this 30 minutes, the home will be removed from other members viewing. If you accept your selection, the SR will be reserved to you. If you decline your selection the SR will reappear on Online Services for other eligible members to view and reserve.

Your next step to secure the home you have selected is to submit your completed Application for Relocation (AFR) to Toll if you have a Commonwealth removal and have not already submitted it.  If you are arranging your own removal, please complete the Notification of Housing (NOH) form located on the Forms page. Submit the completed form in an enquiry via Online Services.

You will receive an email requesting you confirm your reservation in Online Services each week until your AFR is completed or until DHA has received and processed your NOHC. If you do not confirm your reservation or complete the required form before the date specified in the reminder email, your reservation will automatically be removed and the property will become available to other members.

The processing of your AFR or NOHC will secure the property for you. We will send you a notification to confirm selection and advise the occupation date. We will also make arrangements for a Welcome Visit at the home prior to your occupation date to introduce you to your new home.

A house-hunting trip allows a member to visit a new housing benefit location to find a home. Members who have accompanied resident family (ARF) are eligible when they are posted to a new location within Australia and have been approved a full removal by Toll Transitions. Eligibility does not extend to removals on ceasing continuous full-time service. 

DHA does not allow access to view DHA managed properties before your scheduled welcome visit. All property details, as well as property photos, are available in Online Services. House-hunting trips are generally approved for members who have been approved rental allowance and to assist with securing a rental property.

DHA approves eligibility for a house-hunting trip and Toll Transitions approves and manages the payment (and recovery if required) of allowances.

Complete the Request for House Hunting Trip form (PDF 576 KB) and submit via an enquiry in Online Services under ‘My Account’.

The Flexible Housing Trial commenced in September 2021 and was expanded in October 2022. The Flexible Housing Trial allows eligible members to access housing benefits further away from their housing benefit location to support a partner or child's employment or education. 

There must also be a place in the trial’s participant cap before a member can be accepted.

To seek approval to participate in the trial, members will need to have had an extended housing benefit location approved and complete the Flexible Housing Trial Application Form (PDF 506 kB).

Once approved, DHA can confirm if there is a place available in the trial. 

The Puckapunyal Housing Trial stopped accepting new members on 13 Oct 2022.

Members who entered the Puckapunyal Housing Trial prior to 13 Oct 2022 are permitted to remain in the trial until they are otherwise required to relocate. Members who intended to apply for the Puckapunyal Housing Trial after 13 Oct 2022 are encouraged to consider the Flexible Housing Trial.

The Flexible Housing Trial is now available at the Puckapunyal Military Area, along with the remainder of the housing benefit locations within Australia. 

Couldn’t find the answer you were looking for?

If you need to get in contact with us, please submit an enquiry via Online Services.
If you have an urgent enquiry, you can call us on 139 342.