What is The Defence Home Ownership Assistance Scheme and How Can I Use it to Buy a Home? 

The Defence Home Ownership Assistance Scheme was designed to achieve two aims within the ADF – help you and your family achieve home ownership; and to improve recruitment/retention. Fortunately for many of you, this means that you are able to service your loan easier.

A DHOAS loan subsidises your home loan, for an amount and period of time-based on how long you serve. As of January 2023, it contributes a monthly amount between $514 and $1,029 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.

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!

DHOAS Subsidy Tiers Explained

From 1 January 2023, the eligibility criteria for the scheme for each subsidy tier will be expanded by:

– Halving the minimum service required for access by current ADF members from four to two years for permanent service, and from eight to four years for Reserve service

– Removing the access cap altogether for veterans who have left the service (previously five years).

Subsidy Tier Minimum Permanent Service Minimum Reserve Service Subsidised Loan Amount Maximum Monthly Subsidy*
2 years
4 years
Up to $510
4 years
8 years
Up to $765
8 years
12 years
Up to $1,020

*Estimated monthly subsidy values based on the July 2023 median interest rate. These monthly subsidy values fluctuate based on changes in the median interest rate.

You can see that you have to wait two years of service before you gain access to DHOAS. We recommend that you wait until you have done at least four to six years of service before you pull the trigger. This is for either of two reasons:

1- So you can have a higher monthly subsidy (about an extra $255 per month stays in your pocket) or;

2- So you can use four years of your service in a lump sum – very useful to top up your cash buffer after you have purchased your home.

The real kicker is the main condition of receipt – you and/or your family must occupy the home for at least 12 months and you will need to be occupying the home and holding a valid subsidy certificate before your subsidy payments will commence.


This information is not to be taken as legal or financial advice, please see the disclaimer page for full information.

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