Everything There is to Know About DHOAS

The DHOAS Scheme was designed to incentivise members to stay in the ADF – the longer you serve, the more entitlement you accrue and the longer you can receive assistance. 

The Department of Defence introduced DHOAS on 1 July 2008 to assist Australian Defence Force (ADF) members in achieving homeownership sooner.

How does DHOAS work?

Defence appointed the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) as the DHOAS Scheme Administrator. You must apply to DVA for a Subsidy Certificate, which will confirm your eligibility for DHOAS. 

You must provide your subsidy certificate to one of the three Home Loan Providers appointed by Defence to give a DHOAS home loan. The ADF has appointed 3 Home Loan Providers (HLP) to offer a choice of DHOAS loans. The following providers have the exclusive right to provide DHOAS loans: 


Each lender will assess your home loan application based on their lending criteria. The assistance provided is not tied to a home loan with a specific value. How much you choose to borrow is between you and your Home Loan Provider (HLP), subject to your provider’s lending criteria. 

Your HLP will advise DVA when your DHOAS home loan has settled. At this time, you need to submit to DVA a completed Subsidy Authorisation Request Form, indicating you’re meeting the Scheme conditions. DVA will then calculate your monthly subsidy and start making the payments directly into your home loan account. 

Related: How and When To Use DHOAS Explained 

Is DHOAS tax-free?

In short, no. DHOAS is classified as a reportable expense payment fringe benefit under section 20 (a) of the FBTA, 1986 – this means that Defence will pay a portion of the grossed-up value of the benefit. 

It’s very similar to how salary and wages are reflected on payslips and summaries. The amount that will appear on your payment summary will be the ‘grossed up’ amount, as Defence is obliged to report it in this way. 

This amount reflects the amount you would have needed to earn to receive the net amount. For further info, see the Department of Human Services website, here.

Is DHOAS worth it?

Under certain circumstances, you may be eligible to have your subsidy paid out as a lump sum. If you have accrued sufficient entitlement you can convert up to four years of your service into a lump sum payment. 

This equates to $187 per month x 4 years [48 months] = $8,976. As of 1 July 2021, the AHP is $777,343 This figure is used to determine the 2021-22 subsidy tier values.

This can be especially useful if you’re looking to fast track your ADF entitlements, but will only be applicable in some situations, for example where you haven’t used your other housing entitlements. 

How long does DHOAS last?

The portion of your home loan that will attract a DHOAS subsidy and your monthly subsidy payment will depend on which of the three subsidy tiers you are eligible under and how much you borrow up to your subsidised loan limit (further details below).

One of the biggest bugbears of DHOAS is people not getting their certificate after they discharge, even though you have up to five years from when you discharge to getting that certificate – it only has a 12-month lifespan on it.

Related: DHOAS Deadlines

The service milestones are based on the total number of effective service years completed in the ADF. In this instance, you do not subtract your qualifying period for DHOAS.

Minimum Permanent ServiceMinimum Reserve Service Subsidy Tier 
4 years8 years1
8 years12 years2
12 years 16 years 3

Examples: 

Say you joined in Jan 2005 and served continuously in the Permanent ADF from then to Jan 2013 (as at that date you would have completed eight years of effective service and you would be eligible under tier 2). 

  • If you joined the Reserves in July 1996 and you completed effective years of service up to July 2012, you have completed 16 years of effective service. You are eligible under tier 3.

How is DHOAS calculated?

The subsidy is calculated at 37.5% of the interest payable over the life of a 25-year loan based on the DHOAS median interest rate.

Use the DHOAS Calculator to work out your entitlement.

Steps: 

  1. Enter your DHOAS home loan balance, up to your eligible tier levels subsidised loan (do not use dollar signs or any commas/full stops. E.g: $750,000 is entered as 750000
  2. Enter 3.28 as the interest rate. (This is the current median interest rate to calculate DHOAS subsidy payments – this is current as of Feb 2022 and may differ from the rate of your loan. 

Please note: This calculator provides an estimate only of your DHOAS subsidy payment, based on a given loan amount and interest rate. The actual subsidy you are able to receive will depend on many different factors. If you would like a formal estimate of your subsidy amount, you should consider submitting an application for a subsidy certificate.

Once you have watched the training, you’ll be invited to make contact with one of our Property Coaches who can help you put a plan in place to get started the right way. 

Complete Our Free ADF Training!

HOW TO BE A PROPERTY OWNER WITH YOUR ADF HOUSING ENTITLEMENTS: DHOAS, HPAS & HPSEA

In this FREE training you are going to find out: