Applying for Public Housing

To be eligible for public housing you must meet the Housing Authority's eligibility criteria at the time of making an application, while waiting for a house and before an offer is made.

If you believe you meet the eligibility criteria, you can lodge an application for public rental accommodation at any of our offices.

You will be asked to supply proof of identity and proof of income. Original identification documents should be provided in person or a certified copy can be posted in the mail.

Download an application form. Proof of identify and income documents must accompany your application form. You can lodge the application at any of the Housing Authority's offices, in person or via post.

Application forms are also available at any of the Housing Authority's regional or branch offices.

For more information download the Applying for Rental Accommodation brochure.

Dual listing for community housing

You can widen your housing options by selecting the community housing option on your application form listing you for both public housing and community housing. Community housing is similar to public housing. It is not shared or communal housing.

If you agree to be included for community housing you are giving consent for your personal details, relevant to your housing application, to be given to the community housing organisation.

Choosing your zone or town

You will also be asked to select the area you wish to live in and the type of accommodation you require.

All public rental housing in the metropolitan area is divided into zones, representing groups of adjoining suburbs. We can advise you on which suburbs are in each zone. You will be asked to choose the zone you wish to live in. Unfortunately, it is not possible to apply for a specific suburb.

Country areas are divided into seven regions - Kimberley, Pilbara, Wheatbelt, Southern, South West, Goldfields, Midwest/Gascoyne. If you want specific information about which towns in a region have public rental accommodation, or about the type of accommodation and waiting times, it is best to contact the regional office direct.

There are many different types of accommodation, you will be asked to nominate your preferences on your rental application form. Not all areas have all types of accommodation, so check with us before completing your application. We can also advise you of the approximate waiting times for each accommodation type in each zone or region.

Download the Which Zone Is For You? brochure for a map of zones and list of suburbs in each zone.

Proof of identity

To prove your identity, you need to supply original or certified documents in person with your application. Documents should only be submitted via mail if you are unable to present the documents in person.

Examples of the Proof of Identity (POI) documents that can be provided are listed below. For a full list refer to the Housing Authority’s Rental Policy Manual.

You can choose one of the following document combinations which must show both your name and address.

  • One document from Category A plus one document from Category A, B or C; or
  • Three documents from Category B; or
  • Three documents from Category C (only acceptable with qualifications)

The address shown on any document must be identical to the contact address shown on the Application for Rental Housing.

Category A

  • Australian passport (current)
  • Overseas passport (current) stamped for entry to Australia
  • Certificate of Australian Citizenship
  • Original Australian Birth Certificate for applicant or applicant’s children
  • Original Australian birth extract for applicant or applicant’s children
  • Document of identity issued by Department of Foreign Affairs
  • Australian Armed Services discharge documents

Category B

  • Original Marriage Certificate issued by a government department
  • Divorce Order
  • Change of Name Certificate more than 12 months old
  • Tradesperson’s Certificate of Proficiency
  • Nurse’s Registration Board documents
  • Life Insurance Policy
  • Notice of Assessment from the Australian Taxation Office

Category C

  • Letter from a government department
  • Account from a public utility provider; electricity, gas, water, internet and phone
  • Credit Union and Building Society accounts showing transactions for at least 12 months
  • Prisoner Discharge Certificate
  • Motor Vehicle Licence (registration papers)
  • Motor Vehicle Driver’s Licence
  • Department of Transport photo card

Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander applicants unable to provide documents listed in A, B or C are able to provide: a reference from a recognised Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander organisation or a letter from any reputable person (e.g. a doctor) or elder who is able to confirm identity.

Proof of income

Applicants must supply documentary proof of income to confirm eligibility for assistance.

All other household members (who are not dependents) must provide proof of income at the time of allocation as this is counted as household income when assessing the amount of rent to be paid.

Wage and salary earner

You must provide wage slips for the past three months or alternatively your employer can complete the Employer Income Verification Statement form.

Self employed

You will need to supply your tax assessment from the Australian Tax Office for the last financial year.

Pension or benefit

You will need an Income Statement from Centrelink or a letter from the Department of Veterans' Affairs confirming the benefit you are receiving and how much you receive each payment. This statement must not be more than four weeks old.

If you provide written consent the Housing Authority can obtain your Centrelink Income Statement. You must complete an Income Confirmation Service Consent Authority form and return it to any Housing Authority office.

For more details on supplying proof of income, refer to the Housing Authority Rental Policy Manual.

Making changes

The Housing Authority recognises that people's circumstances may change.

You can change the area in which you wish to live, the housing type and the number of people to be housed and still keep the same listing date.

For more information on making changes go to the Changing an Application page.

Application confirmation

Once you have lodged your application you will receive a letter confirming the details. Please check carefully to make sure the details are correct. When a suitable property becomes available, we will contact you.

f you change your address at any time, make sure you contact us immediately. If mail sent to you is returned, you may be taken off the waiting list.

You will receive a yearly review. This is required to ensure your details are still current. It is important that this information is returned to us. If we do not receive your review and we are not able to contact you, you may be taken off the waiting list.