a gUIDE TO DHOAS Subsidy Certificates

DHOAS certificates – the first step! 

The Defence Home Ownership Assistance Scheme (Act 2008) aims to improve ADF recruitment and retention by helping with the high costs of buying and selling a home. 


To establish a DHOAS loan with one of the three available lenders, you will need to apply for your DHOAS subsidy certificate from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA). 


These certificates have a 12-month expiry date from the generated date, and you must lodge them within the same period. If you don’t, you may have to start the process again! 

How To Accrue Entitlements

Permanent and reserve members accrue one year of entitlement for every year of effective service after the qualifying period. 

  • Permanent members accrue monthly 
  • Reserve members accrue per financial year

Why do I need a DHOAS Subsidy certificate? 

You will need to get approved for your subsidy to be authorised, as you’ll need your certificate to establish a DHOAS loan, and the Scheme conditions must have been met before the certificate expires. 

If you’re eligible, DVA will send you the following:

  • Your subsidy certificate (please note it will not be sent directly to your Home Loan Provider) 
  • A letter informing you of the subsidy tier to which you are entitled
  • A fact sheet detailing the conditions of the scheme

DHOAS can adjust your subsidy payments if necessary. This would include reducing your subsidy tier level to tier one if you did not complete 20 or more years of service when you were deemed separated. This way, you will avoid receiving, and having to repay, an overpayment.

Why is there a time limit as a ‘separated member’? 

Say that you have accessed your ‘final certificate’ as a separated member, which means you’ll not be able to receive another certificate after the expiry date. 

Note: There is no discretion under the DHOAS Act 2008 to extend the validity of a subsidy certificate beyond 12 months in any circumstances.

How is my DHOAS rate calculated?  

Your subsidy tier 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 this Subsidy Calculator to get an estimate of your monthly subsidy payments.

Calculating your DHOAS subsidy can be done here!

How long can I receive DHOAS for? 

After you’ve been accepted for the Scheme, you will receive DHOAS for as long as you have service credit and a home loan on which your subsidy can be paid. 

However, this is limited to the maximum term available for DHOAS assistance (both in and after separation) which is 20 years (25 years for warlike service). 

What happens to my DHOAS after I separate from the ADF? 

  • You will only receive ONE subsidy certificate after separating

You can only access one certificate after you separate or after you are deemed separated due to ineffective service. 

If you close or make changes to your existing DHOAS home loan and do not have access to another subsidy certificate, you will not be able to restart subsidy payments on the new or changed home loan. Your subsidy payments will cease altogether. 

Your eligible subsidy tier level will also change due to your discharge.

PRO TIP: If you discharge or transfer to inactive reserves having served less than 20 years, your tier level is reduced to tier one. If you have served over 20 years, your tier level is set at tier three for the remainder of your service credit. 

  • Once you have used your subsidy certificate to take out your DHOAS home loan (and to start the subsidy on that loan), it is no longer valid and cannot be used again. 
  • You can only receive a DHOAS subsidy on loan using an eligible subsidy certificate.
  • You can only receive the subsidy on one DHOAS home loan at any given time 

What circumstances will I need to apply for a new DHOAS subsidy certificate? 

  • If you sell your current subsidised home and want to open a new DHOAS home loan and transfer your subsidy, you will have to apply for a new subsidy certificate to restart your payments. 
  • Changes to your existing DHOAS home loan, such as an increase in the balance, will require a new subsidy certificate. 


Ok. I’m ready to apply for DHOAS; How do I do it?

The online application for your subsidy certificate is available on the DHOAS website

You will need to attach your service records to your application, specifically your ADO Service Record. This is so the ADF can review your warlike services, periods of non-effective service and enlistment and discharge dates to determine your tier level for subsidy. 

Keep in mind that if ALL service is not detailed, your subsidy level and period can be reduced. 

If eligible, you will be forwarded your certificate by email or post, and you’ll be able to submit your DHOAS application within five business days.    

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