DHOAS

DEFENCE HOME LOAN information

Defence Home Ownership Assistance Scheme (DHOAS)

DHOAS was designed to achieve two aims within the ADF: to help you and your family achieve homeownership and to improve recruitment/retention. Fortunately for many of you, this means that you can service your loan easier. 

How it works?

Basically, DHOAS subsidises your home loan, for an amount and period of time, based on how long you serve. As of July 2021, it contributes a monthly amount between $192 and $385 to your loan. Not bad for just being an eligible ADF member, right?

The amount you are entitled to receive varies, based on a three-tier system – as seen in the table below and very importantly, it can be accessed for five years after discharge (keep that in mind for later…)

The Australian Average House Price (AHP) is used to determine the subsidised loan limits under the three tiers. Each tier’s subsidised loan limit represents a percentage of the AHP, as shown here:

● Tier 1 is 40% of the AHP
● Tier 2 is 60% of the AHP
● Tier 3 is 80% of the AHP – maximum benefit!

As at 1 July 2021, the AHP is $777,343
This figure is used to determine the 2021-22 subsidy tier values.

Subsidy Tier Minimum Permanent Service Minimum Reserve Service Subsidised Loan Amount Maximum Monthly Subsidy*
1
4 years
8 years
$310,937
Up to $192
2
8 years
12 years
$466,406
Up to $288
3
12 years
16 years
$621,874
Up to $385

*Estimated monthly subsidy values based on the July 2021 median interest rate. These monthly subsidy values fluctuate based on changes in the median interest rate. 

So you can see that the bad news is that you have to wait four years of service before you gain access to DHOAS, and we recommend that you wait until you have done at least eight years of service (achieve tier 2) before you pull the trigger. 

This is for either of two reasons: 

1. You have a higher monthly subsidy (about an extra $96 per month stays in your pocket);  

2. You can use four years of your subsidy in a lump sum – very useful for topping up your cash buffer. 

As DHOAS is intended to help achieve home ownership, the main condition is that you and/or your family occupy your subsidised home for at least 12 months. You need to be occupying the home and holding a valid subsidy certificate before your subsidy payments can commence. 

Lastly, you need to note the three lenders that have been approved to provide DHOAS loans are:

DHOAS Lump Sum Option

In addition to the subsidised loan outlined above, you can take up to four years worth of DHOAS as a lump sum.

You must have at least four years of subsidy already (a full-time person would have to serve eight years). The subsidy is at Tier 1 level only (even if you’re entitled to Tier 2 or 3).

This equates to $192 per month x 4 years [48 months] = $9,216. The really powerful stuff comes from combining this amount with your respective State First Home Owners Grant (FHOG) + HPAS + DHOAS Lump Sum. An example of an ADF member in QLD would be around $35,000!

NOTE: It is a condition of receiving the lump sum that you must not have previously owned your own home or investment property while in the ADF.

PRO TIP for couples

If you are in a recognised relationship with another ADF member, you are both entitled to DHOAS and can use both entitlements on the same loan. The benefit of this is that you increase your subsidised loan limit – the portion of your home loan that can attract a subsidy. 

That means if you are both eligible to tier 2, you can get a combined subsidy for a loan up to $932,812 which is 2 x $466,406 and receive a maximum monthly allowance of $288 + $288 which is $576. Now that is a massive chunk added to your monthly repayments! NB: Considering DHOAS is mandatory principal and interest repayments, regardless of the loan amount, then this is very important you recognise to protect your cash flow!

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HPAS

You may be eligible for assistance to purchase your own home with HPAS. It comes in the form of a lump-sum payment and the amount you’re eligible for is affected by your share of ownership of the property - joint ownership with a non-ADF member will see it halved).

HPSEA

HPSEA is an allowance for the reimbursement of reasonable costs to an ADF member when they sell a home at the time they are being posted to a new location; or if they sell in their previous posting location and buy again in the new location.

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