Social housing

Last updated: 1 August 2018

Social housing is short and long-term rental housing that is owned and run by the government or not-for-profit agencies.

What is social housing?

Social housing is made up of two types of housing, public housing and community housing. It is for people on low incomes who need housing, especially those who have recently experienced homelessness, family violence or have other special needs.

You can apply for social housing through the Victorian Housing Register.

The Victorian Housing Register

The Victorian Housing Register is where you can register for social housing in Victoria. This means you can apply for both public and community housing at the same time

The register has two categories:

  • Priority Access: this is for people:
    • Who are homeless and receiving support
    • Are escaping or have escaped family violence
    • With a disability or significant support needs
    • With special housing needs.
  • Register of Interest: this is for all eligible applicants to register their interest in social housing.

Where can I live?

Social housing properties are grouped into areas. These 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 Victoria Housing Register areas (.docx) to help you choose.

You can change your preferred areas while your application is on the waiting list.

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.

You may also need to live in a particular type of housing. For example, if you use a wheelchair, you can ask for a property without steps.

Am I eligible?

To be eligible for social housing, you should live in Victoria and:

More information, including a list of approved identity documents, is in proof of identity document requirements (.doc)

How do I apply?

You can apply as a single person, couple or family. A group of people can also join to make a group application.

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.

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

If you put in an application, don't forget to tell us if your address or circumstances change.

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