Subsidised home loans
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Please note that the Defence Service Homes Lending scheme has been superseded by the Defence Home Ownership Assistance Scheme. Unless you served in the defence forces prior to 15 May 1985 (or in Namibia) this information may not be relevant to you. More information is available on the Defence Home Ownership Assistance Scheme website.

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General Information

This guide gives only basic information on eligibility and entitlement for Defence Service Homes (DSH) assistance. You should not enter into any contract solely on the basis of information contained in this guide.

The Government has contracted with Westpac Banking Corporation to provide subsidised housing loans to entitled persons. DSH loans are available from Westpac and its other divisions, such as Bank of Melbourne in Victoria and Challenge Bank in Western Australia.

The interest on DSH loans is subsidised by the Government and capped at 6.85% pa. The actual rate may vary each month below the capped rate. Please contact DSH for the applicable interest rate on your loan.

The maximum DSH loan is $25,000. Entitled persons who wish to borrow more than the DSH loan are able to apply for supplementary loans from Westpac on the same terms and conditions as other Westpac customers.

Generally DSH loans are required to be secured by way of a first mortgage.

Where a DSH loan relates to a retirement village, security shall be at the discretion of Westpac.

Westpac, in certain circumstances, will consider taking a second mortgage behind any home lending scheme administered by Commonwealth, State or Territory Government instrumentalities which will only accept first mortgage security.

Similarly, Westpac will consider taking a second mortgage behind the National Australia Bank but only where the first mortgage is securing a loan under the Defence HomeOwner Scheme.

To obtain a DSH loan you need to:

  1. establish your eligibility for assistance;
  2. establish your entitlement for assistance (obtain a Certificate of Entitlement); and
  3. meet the lending criteria for DSH loans.

Please contact DSH before entering into a contract for your housing proposal. It is important that you do this so that your entitlement to a DSH loan can be established before you incur any costs.

Forms are available at your nearest Department of Veterans' Affairs office, by phoning DSH on Freecall 1800 722 000 or at any branch of Westpac or its other divisions, such as Bank of Melbourne and Challenge Bank.

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Confirmation of eligibility

It is necessary to establish your eligibility before we can issue a Certificate of Entitlement. We strongly advise you to have your eligibility confirmed, with DSH, before you are ready to lodge an application for a Certificate of Entitlement.

If you have not had your eligibility established, it may assist DSH to give you a timely response if you can provide documentary evidence of your service in the forces. (This may avoid us having to check with the Department of Defence.)

Acceptable documentary evidence may include:

  • discharge certificate/statement of service;
  • log book;
  • pay book;
  • other forms of official and relevant Defence records;
  • "Service Details" form (D7608) completed by a Commanding Officer (for serving members only).

If you are unable to provide any of the above, please complete and return the attached "Service Eligibility Check".

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Who may be considered for a DSH loan?

Australian Defence Force

NOTE: Persons whose first service in the defence force began on or after 15 May 1985 are not eligible for a Defence Service Homes loan unless they were allotted for service in Namibia. Housing loan assistance for persons whose first service began on or after 15 May 1985 is provided through the Defence Housing Authority.

You may be eligible for a DSH loan if:

  • you were a member of the Australian Forces during the First World War (between 4 August 1914 and 31 August 1921 inclusive) or the Second World War (between 3 September 1939 and 30 June 1951 inclusive);
  • you were allotted for duty in an operational area in Korea between 27 June 1950 and 31 August 1957 inclusive or in Malaya or Singapore between 29 June 1950 and 31 August 1957 inclusive. In addition, if you were allotted while in Australia or another Commonwealth country, you must have left Australia or the other Commonwealth country for that duty before 1 September 1957;
  • you were assigned for service in Japan between 28 April 1952 and 19 April 1956 inclusive;
  • you first enlisted prior to 15 May 1985 and you served in the demilitarised zone between North and South Korea after 18 April 1956;
  • you served on land in Malaya or Singapore between 1 September 1957 and 27 May 1963 inclusive;
  • you were attached to the Far East Strategic Reserve between 2 July 1955 and 27 May 1963 inclusive;
  • you served on continuous full time service outside Australia while you or your unit were allotted for duty in a prescribed operational area:
    • in South Vietnam or its surrounding waters between 31 July 1962 and 11 January 1973 inclusive, (or were deemed to be so allotted);
    • in Sarawak, Brunei, Sabah or certain surrounding waters between 8 December 1962 and 30 September 1967 inclusive;
    • in Malaya, Singapore or certain surrounding waters between 28 May 1963 and 30 September 1967 inclusive;
  • you were assigned for service in North East Thailand (including Ubon) between 31 May 1962 and 31 August 1968 inclusive;
  • you were assigned for service on HMAS Vampire or HMAS Quickmatch in Vietnam between 25 January 1962 and 29 January 1962 inclusive;
  • you served in Vietnam between 12 January 1973 and 29 April 1975 inclusive;
  • you were serving on or after 7 December 1972 on continuous full-time service, and:
    • if your service commenced before 17 August 1977 you must have completed 3 years' effective full-time service;
    • if your first service commenced on or after 17 August 1977 and prior to 15 May 1985 you must have completed more than 6 years' effective full-time service;
    • if you were discharged early on medical grounds you may still qualify;
  • you were serving on National Service on 7 December 1972 and you completed that service or were discharged for medical reasons on or after that date;
  • you were allotted for service in Namibia between 18 February 1989 and 10 April 1990 inclusive;
  • you first enlisted prior to 15 May 1985 and you were allotted for service:
    • in the Persian Gulf/Middle East between
      2 August 1990 and 9 June 1991 inclusive;
    • in Cambodia between 20 October 1991 and
      7 October 1993 inclusive;
    • in the former Yugoslavia between 12 January 1992 and 24 January 1997 inclusive;
    • in Somalia between 20 October 1992 and 30 November 1994 inclusive.

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Other Service

British Commonwealth Forces

In some circumstances you may be considered for a DSH loan if you resided in Australia before serving in the armed force or as a member of the associated nursing service of another British Commonwealth country during the First or Second World War or in connection with the warlike operations in Korea, Malaya or Singapore.

Welfare Organisations

In some circumstances you may be considered for a DSH loan if you served as a member of an approved welfare organisation with the Australian defence force outside Australia.

Merchant Marine

In some circumstances you may be considered for a DSH loan if you were employed on certain sea-going service during the First or Second World War while domiciled in Australia, i.e. your permanent home at that time was Australia.

Members of the family

In some circumstances you may be considered for a DSH loan if you are:

  • the widow/widower of an eligible person;
  • the spouse of an eligible person who is temporarily or permanently insane;
  • the parent of a deceased eligible person.

Subsidised Home Loans, page 2