Prior to applying for public housing, you need to complete a Housing Options Assessment at any Department of Communities Housing Office.
To be eligible for public housing you must meet the Department's eligibility criteria at the time of making an application, while waiting for a house and before an offer is made.
You will be asked to supply proof of identity and proof of income for all householders when lodging your application. Original identification documents should be provided in person or a certified copy can be posted in the mail.
After you have completed a Housing Options Assessment, you will be provided with a pre-filled application form for public housing. If not already provided, proof of identify and income documents must accompany your application form. You can lodge the application with the Department in person at your nearest Housing Office, or via post.
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 eight regions - East Kimberley, West Kimberley, Pilbara, Wheatbelt, Great 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 directly contact your local Housing Office.
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.
Verifying your identity
Your identity must be verified before the Department will provide a product or service. You are responsible for providing documents to verify your identity and that of any co-applicants, additional householder and dependents.
To verify your identity, you need to supply original or certified documents with your application. Original identity documents must be presented in person for verification where possible. When submitting by post, please provide certified copies of identity documents only. The Department will not accept original identity documents via post.
You must provide documents that demonstrates:
- The client’s birth or arrival in Australia, and
- The use of the client’s identity in the community.
For a full list of identity documents that can be provided, refer to the Department's Evidence Requirements Fact Sheet.
If you are an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander client and you are unable to provide documents to verify identity, you may provide the following as an alternative:
- A reference from a recognised Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander organisation;
- A letter from a person authorised to witness a statutory declaration as defined in the Oaths, Affidavits and Statutory Declarations Act 2005; or
- A reference from an elder.