Public housing

Last updated: 22 August 2016

Public housing is a form of long-term rental social housing that we manage.

It is for people on low incomes that are most in need, especially those who have recently experienced homelessness, family violence or have other special needs.

We also work with other organisations to provide community housing. You can apply for both public and community housing through the Victorian Housing Register.

See our section for public housing tenants for information about living in public housing, including tenants' right and responsibilities, maintenance and repairs, and household changes.

Where can I live?

Social housing properties are grouped into preferred areas. You cannot choose a specific suburb to live in but you can choose up to five preferred areas.

Preferred areas are made up of neighbouring suburbs and towns that are linked by public transport. You could be offered a property in any suburb from these areas.

See the list of Victorian Housing Register areas (.doc) to help you choose.

You can change your preferred area while your application is on the register.

If you have a medical condition and a specific hospital or doctor must treat you, you can ask for housing in an area that lets you easily travel to them.

If you comlete a paper application and need a particular type of housing (for example, if you use a wheelchair, you can ask for a property without steps), fill in the application for special accommodation requirements (.pdf). An accessible version of the application for special accommodation requirements (.doc) is also available.

How long will I have to wait?

Your wait time will depend on your circumstances.

Things that affect how long you may wait include:  

  • The preferred location that you have chosen
  • The number of applications already on the register
  • People who have demonstrated a housing need under one of the Priority Access categories
  • The number of homes in demand in a given area and how often properties become vacant 
  • If you have special location requirements or need a particular type of property (for example, one with modifications), it may take longer.

How much rent will I pay?

Everyone living in social housing pays rent. Your rent will not be more than 25 per cent of your total household income. Income includes wages and payments from Centrelink and the Department of Veterans' Affairs.

For more information, see Social housing income and assets limits.

How do I apply?

Go to Apply for social housing for more information and access to the online and paper application forms.

You will need to:

  • Complete the online application or fill in the paper application form
  • Include proof of identity, residency status and income. To find out more, see proof of identity document requirements (.doc)
  • Include any other documents needed for each person applying.
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