Applying for housing
Public housing provides shelter and security for people in need, especially those who have recently been homeless or need support.
We want to give people who are eligible for public housing the best possible chance of being housed.
That's why if you have been homeless or have other special support needs, you should tell us when you apply for public housing. Your circumstances may entitle you to be offered housing before other people on the waiting list.
Who can apply?
You can apply for public housing as a single person, a couple or a family. A group of people can also join together to make a group application.
In general, to be considered for public housing, you must:
- Live in Victoria
- Not own or earn more than the current general public housing income and asset limits
- Have Australian citizenship or permanent residency status
- Not be subject to Centrelink's two-year waiting period for newly-arrived migrants
- Not own or part-own a house, unit or flat
- Repay any money that you still owe from a previous public housing tenancy or bond loan
- Provide proof of identity, residency status, and income and other documents that the department requires for each person applying
- Proof of Identity Document Requirements - September 2012
Where can I live?
Although you cannot choose a specific suburb, you can choose up to three waiting list areas you would like to live in. Waiting list areas are made up of a number of adjoining suburbs and towns that are linked by public transport.
If you have a medical condition that can only be treated at a specific hospital or by a specific doctor, you can ask for housing in an area that allows you to travel to these services.
You may also need to live in a particular type of housing. For example, if you use a wheelchair you can request a property without steps.
How long will I have to wait?
Depending on your circumstances, you may be offered housing before other people on the public housing waiting list.
How to apply
To apply for public housing, complete the Application for public housing, and return it to the address on the application with all the documents asked for.
Please complete the Additional public housing applicants form if you have additional household members aged 18 years or older applying for public housing. This will need to be submitted together with the main application form.
Help completing the application forms
The Guide to the Application for public housing will help you to complete your application form. If you need more help to fill in the application, you could ask a community service organisation, family member or friend to help you.
Your local office can tell you about community service organisations that can help, or arrange an interpreter to help you.
Early housing supplement
You may be entitled to be offered a home before other people on the public housing waiting list.
Complete the early housing supplement to the application for public housing to tell us about your current home, and to establish your eligibility for early housing. For example, you may be subject to violence in your home, it may be too small for everyone in your household, you may need to move for health reasons, or you may be staying someone temporarily while you look for a home.
Special accommodation requirements
If you (or a household member) have a medical condition that can only be treated at a specific hospital or by a specific doctor, or you need to live in a particular type of housing based on your needs, please complete the Application for special accommodation requirements.
Homeless with Support
If you are homeless or experiencing family violence and you are connected to support services, you may be eligible for the Homeless with Support segment. Please ask your support worker for more information and to complete the Supported application for public housing.
If you or a household member receive/s assistance or care from a supported housing program, for example, you have a medical condition or a physical disability, please ask your support program worker for more information and to complete the Supported application for public housing.
Updating your details
If you have already put in an application for public housing and your details or circumstances have changed, you must tell us as soon as possible. It is very important to tell us if you move to another address. If we are unable to contact you about your application, your name may be removed from the waiting list.
Complete the Change of application details form to make changes to the details in your public housing application, for example household members, address and contact details and preferences.
Form of authority to release information to an external agency
Complete the Authority to release information to an external agency form to enable departmental officers to release your information (or some of it) to an external agency.
Complete the Emergency contact form to advise the department of your next of kin or legal representative, if there is an emergency.
Limited Demand Properties
If you are on the public housing waiting list, or you are eligible for public housing, you may like to enquire about a Limited Demand Property.
Limited Demand Properties are vacant and ready to be tenanted but due to location they remain untenanted. Depending on your circumstances, a Limited Demand Property may be suitable for you.
If you have already been approved to the general housing or early housing waiting lists, you will be eligible to be considered for a Limited Demand Property. If you have not yet been approved, you will need to submit a general housing application.
Should you be offered a Limited Demand Property and then choose not to accept, this will not affect any future offer of public housing. You will remain on the general housing or early housing waiting list.
Limited Demand Properties last updated:
This list will be updated regularly.
Other housing assistance
Other housing assistance may also be available to help you.
- Aboriginal Housing Victoria
- A bond loan to help you rent privately
- Registered housing associations and providers
- Rental housing cooperatives and rooming houses
- A movable unit
With your permission, the department can send your application to providers of some of these other types of housing assistance.