Apply for public housing

Last updated: 8 December 2015

To find out if you are eligible, go to am I eligible for public housing.

How to apply for public housing

These are the steps to apply for public housing.

If you put in an application, you must tell us if your address or circumstances change.

  1. Fill in the application for public housing (.pdf) or use the accessible public housing application form (.doc)
    This form lets you tell us about yourself, another adult household member and up to four dependants or people under the age of 18 who will live with you.

    If you are homeless or escaping family violence, your support worker will need to fill in the form with you.

    If you do not have a support worker, call 1800 825 955 to get help from a homeless service before you lodge your application. The worker can assess your situation and tell you if you should fill in the form yourself or have them lodge the application on your behalf.
  2. If there are other adults or dependants who will live with you and you need more space, use the additional public housing applicant and/or dependants form (.doc)
    This form lets you tell us about any other household member 18 years and over, and up to four additional dependants.
  3. If you are homeless and receiving support, or you need housing urgently, you may be eligible for early housing. Fill in the early housing supplement to the Application for public housing (.pdf) or the accessible version of the early housing supplement form (.doc)
  4. If there are health-related reasons why you need to live in a particular place or type of property, get your health professional to complete the application for special housing requirements form (.pdf). An accessible version of the requirements form (.doc) is also available.
  5. Send the forms and the documents we need to:
    • New applications – send to
      Public Housing Application
      Department of Health and Human Services – HCC
      Reply Paid 933
      Moe  VIC  3825
    • Transfer applications - send or give your application to your local office.

What if I need help to apply?

The guide to applying for public housing (.pdf) has information to help you fill in the application. An accessible version of the guide (.doc) is also available.

You can also ask a community service organisation, family member or friend to help.

Contact your local office:

  • If you need an interpreter or
  • To find out which community service organisations can help you.

What if I need housing urgently?

If you can show you need housing urgently, you may be offered a home before other people on the public housing waiting list.

An urgent housing need may be if:

  • You are subject to violence in your home
  • You need to move for health reasons
  • Your home is too small for everyone in your household

You may also be eligible if you have what is known as 'insecure housing':

  • You are living in emergency, crisis or transitional housing
  • You are staying with someone temporarily while you look for a home.

You'll need to complete the early housing supplement form so we can see if your current situation makes you eligible for priority access to public housing:

If you have insecure housing, a designated community organisation will need to fill in the insecure housing eligibility confirmation form (.doc). This is to confirm that you are eligible for early housing because of insecure housing.

What if I have special housing needs?

If you or a household member:

  • Have a medical condition that is being treated by a health practitioner
  • Need to live in a particular type of housing (like a house with wheelchair access)

Fill in the application for special housing requirements form (.pdf). This form used to be known as the special accommodation requirements (SAR) form. An accessible version of the requirements form (.doc) is also available.

The person treating you will need to fill in the form as well. The types of health professionals who can do this are listed in section C2 of the form.

Homeless with Support

The homelessness support program helps people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless by providing crisis and transitional support and other related services.

If you are homeless or experiencing family violence and are connected to support services, you may be eligible for the Homeless with Support segment.

For more information, speak to your support worker who may fill in the application form for you.

Supported housing

If you or a household member get independent living assistance or care from an:

  • Aged care
  • Disability
  • Mental health or
  • Children, youth and families program

Ask your support program worker for more information and to fill in the supported application for public housing (.doc). They may need to use the upgrade to homeless with support segment application form (.doc) or the homeless with support segment change of support details form (.doc).

Getting you more help

The authority to release information to an external party form (.doc) gives us permission to send your information to another agency that can help you. We use this to refer or get you assistance from them.

Other housing assistance

You may be eligible for:

  • Housing through Aboriginal Housing Victoria
  • A bond loan to help you rent privately
  • Accommodation from registered housing associations and providers
  • Accommodation from rental housing cooperatives and rooming houses
  • A movable unit.

If you give us permission, we can send your application to some of these housing providers. Permission for this is also one of the questions in the application for public housing form.

Emergency contact

Fill in the emergency contact form (.doc) so we know who to contact if there is ever an emergency.

What happens once I lodge my application?

Once you lodge your application with all the documents required, we will assess it against the eligibility criteria for public housing.

If your application is approved, you will receive a letter with a reference number called a service ID number. Use this number if you need to speak to us about your application.

If your application is not approved, you will receive a letter explaining why.

You can ring your local office to ask about your application or to tell us of any changes.

From time to time, we might contact you to see if you are still interested in public housing.

We will contact you once we have a home to offer you, so it's important to let us know if you change your address or contact details.

Keep your details up to date

Once you put in an application it is very important you tell us if your circumstances change, if you have found other accommodation or if you move.

If we can't contact you, your name may be taken off the waiting list.

If you need to change your:

  • Address
  • Contact details
  • Household members
  • Preferred waiting list areas

Fill in the change of application details form (.pdf). There is also an accessible version of the change form (.doc).

What happens if I am not happy with the service or a decision you make?

There is a process you can follow. Go to Feedback, complaints and appeals for more information.

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