QLD Housing

Apply for Housing

Queensland

In QLD, Compass has both community (social) and affordable housing programs. Applications for community housing programs are managed by the Department of Housing and Public Works. All eligible applicants are placed on a housing register, under one social housing system; there is a common application system for all forms of social housing, including public housing and community-managed transitional and longer term housing.

Community housing is a form of social housing assistance, delivered by Compass and other like community organisations and local governments and funded by the Queensland Government under the Housing Act 2003.

Affordable housing is another type of housing assistance aimed at improving housing affordability, and assisting Queenslanders to access the private housing market. Compass Housing is an Approved Participant and Property Manager under NRAS. 

Community Housing is subsidised rental accommodation aimed at supporting low income households with short-term transitional and longer-term housing.

Community Housing is provided and managed through state governments and community housing providers such as Compass Housing. Compass Housing manages both transitional and long term housing.

The Department of Housing and Public Works will allocate housing to tenants based on need as properties become available.

As a community housing provider Compass cannot assess your application for housing assistance.

Find out more:
Prospective or current tenants can find more information about Community Housing below.

Transitional housing is a form of social housing assistance for people in high or very high need.

Transitional housing is not long-term housing. The purpose of transitional housing is to help tenants stabilise their circumstances so that they can move on to more appropriate long-term accommodation. This may be in the private market or social housing.

  • For further information on Transitional Housing - 
    Click Here

How to refer your client (Support Agencies)

It is possible to refer your client directly to our transitional community housing program. To do so, you can complete our referral form and submit with a support letter and a recent letter from the DHPW confirming your client’s need segment and bedroom entitlement. This form can be posted to PO Box 8251 Woolloongabba QLD 4102, or emailed to adminqld@compasshousing.org.

Please note that making a referral is no guarantee that your client will receive an offer of housing.

Long Term Community Housing is only available to tenants with significant barriers to the private rental market and who are high or very high need on the housing register.

Further information on Long Term Community Housing can be accessed here.

The Queensland Department of Housing and Public Works is responsible for ensuring Community Housing is provided to tenants with the greatest need.

Eligibility is assessed on residential, property, assets, income and need based criteria.

If you are eligible for housing assistance, your application is placed on the Department of Housing and Public Works’ housing register - a list based on each person’s level of housing need.


This assessment of need is split by:
LOW  >  MODERATE  >  HIGH  >  VERY HIGH


Please note that Compass Housing only houses people that are high or very high need – if you are classified as low or moderate need, please contact your nearest Queensland Housing Service Centre for advice on other accommodation options.

As a community housing provider Compass cannot assess your application for housing assistance. 

Please contact your nearest Department of Housing and Public Works Housing Service Centre for information on applying for admittance to the QLD Housing Register. 


You can apply for housing assistance from one of the below:

  • Contact your nearest Housing Service Centre to arrange an interview to talk about your eligibility and housing needs. They will tell you which documents to bring with you. As part of your interview, you will need to sign a completed application form. 
  • Complete an Application for Housing Assistance form and send it to your nearest Housing Service Centre. We will contact you to arrange an appointment to talk about your application.
  • Apply through a long-term community or affordable housing provider.

Check your eligibility before you apply.


On your application you must list 6 locations (suburbs, towns, cities) where you want to live, unless you:

  • Have shown a need to live in a particular location; or
  • Are applying for a property in a regional or remote area.

Note: You may be offered housing from any of your 6 selected areas.


What will happen at the interview?

Issues that will be discussed at the interview include:

  • Whether you are eligible for housing assistance;
  • Whether you need housing assistance; &
  • Where you want to live and how many bedrooms you are entitled to; &
  • Any special housing needs you or your household members may have.

Note: It is an offence under the Housing Act 2003 to knowingly provide false or misleading information that may influence decisions about your eligibility for housing services.


What happens next?

Once the assessment of your eligibility for housing assistance and level of housing need is completed and you are found eligible for housing assistance, your application will be placed on the housing register, according to your level of housing need.

You will be listed on the housing register for the type of housing and the number of bedrooms you are eligible for in the areas you have chosen. 
We will contact you at regular intervals to review your eligibility and housing need.

If you accept a Transitional Housing offer from Compass Housing, you will be required to enter into a tenancy agreement with us.

As part of your agreement, Compass Housing will help develop a tenancy plan with you to assist you to access suitable long- term housing –this may be in long-term community housing or transition to the private rental market. This tenancy plan will also help to identify housing options that are available to you based on your housing needs and circumstances.

Further information on transitional housing can be found here.

If you have been offered Long Term Community Housing, Compass Housing will need to assess your ongoing eligibility each year.

This assessment is based on ongoing eligibility criteria, which means we review:

  • Your household income: The combined gross income of your household (including spouses and other occupants) must not exceed $80,000 per annum;
  • Property ownership: No member of your household can own or partly own a property within Australia or overseas;
  • Your match to the property: Whether your housing is unsuitable to your current need (such as under-occupancy), which can lead to transfer to more appropriate accommodation; and
  • Antisocial behaviour: Whether there has been frequent and persistent antisocial behaviour (tenants are responsible for the behaviour of all occupants and guests).

If you are no longer eligible for ongoing Long Term Community Housing, we will assist you with transitioning to the private rental market.


Helpful information:

  • Eligibility for housing - Info  
  • Waiting for housing - Info
  • What is the housing register? - Info
  • Types of housing provided - Info
  • Changes to your housing needs - Info

Transfers take place when a household cannot live in a property anymore because it does not meet their needs or has become unavailable for them to live in - the criteria for transfers can be accessed here.

Please note that tenants are only able to transfer within their same housing program.

If you believe you are eligible for a transfer and want to apply, you can contact our Support Services Team.

Phone: 07 3896 4700

Email: adminqld@compasshousing.org

Compass Housing is an Approved Participant and Property Manager under the National Rental Affordability Scheme (NRAS).

NRAS is a long-term commitment from the Commonwealth and State Governments to offer incentives for the construction and availability of affordable housing.

This affordable housing is targeted at low to moderate income households, with rental rates set to 20 percent below market value rent.

Prospective tenants can register for an NRAS ID number, which can then be used to apply for affordable housing.

You may be eligible as long as you are:

  • An Australian Citizen, Permanent Resident or on a valid Visa;
  • Are (or will be) a Queensland resident and don't own or part-own any property; &
  • Have low - moderate assets and meet income eligibility criteria.

To register for NRAS Housing:

If successful, you will be provided with an NRAS ID number, which can be used with any tenancy applications.

You can find properties currently available in Queensland here - just use the search term 'NRAS'.

For more information about NRAS in South-East Queensland:

Contact our NRAS Officer 
Phone: 1300 333 733
Email: adminqld@compasshousing.org


  • To find a property - Click Here
    - then Search for properties using the term 'NRAS'

To apply:

  • You will need to complete and submit an NRAS Application.
  • Compass Housing will advise you directly if your application to join us as a tenant has been successful.

The Commonwealth and Queensland Government’s provide a number of tax incentives for NRAS investors.

  • For full details on investing in NRAS properties -  Click Here

Compass Housing’s Settlement Grants Program provides information, referrals and casework services to support refugees who have lived in Australia for less than 5 years to become self-reliant.


The program specialises in matters relating to housing, including:

  • Information about renting and maintaining a house in Queensland
  • Demonstrating how to find a home and providing assistance through the application process
  • Supporting people to negotiate and liaise with real estate agents
  • Filling in documents and providing support to secure a property, including bond loan and government application forms
  • Advocating for clients that have tenancy issues including rent arrears, tenancy disputes and maintenance issues

Compass Housing staff is available to run housing and life skills workshops for refugee communities. These interactive workshops include material such as:

  • How to find and apply for a rental property
  • Entering into a lease
  • Tenants’ rights and responsibilities
  • Owners’ rights and responsibilities
  • Household maintenance
  • Exiting a property
  • Residential Tenancies Authority (RTA) forms
  • Life skills
  • Budgeting

To enquire about our upcoming workshops, or if you would like to organize one for your community, please contact the SGP team on 3896 4700 or via sgpqld@compasshousing.org.

The aim of the SGP is to encourage sustainable tenancies and establish strong relationships between tenants and agents.

In addition to providing assistance to refugee communities, our SGP team also works closely with real estate agents to solve housing issues and tenancy related problems. Agents are encouraged to refer tenants to our office for assistance with:

  • Rental arrears
  • Communication breakdowns
  • Supporting tenants to sustain their tenancy and maintain their property
  • Finding a new property at the end of a lease
  • Providing guidance on complex tenancy issues

Community Rent Scheme (CRS)

The Community Rent Scheme is a housing assistance program funded by the Queensland Government through the Department of Housing and Public Works.

Community Housing Providers, such as Compass Housing, can provide transitional housing to eligible applicants who have been assessed by the department as having very high or high housing needs under this program. 

This housing is supplied by private owners, rental agencies, and the Department of Housing and Public Works.

As a private owner, there are many benefits to entering into a head-lease agreement with Compass Housing.


As an approved program manager for CRS, Compass Housing will help ensure:

  • Guaranteed rent disbursements for owners
  • Regular inspections
  • Reporting any general repairs and maintenance requests
  • Return of your property in the condition it was at the start of the tenancy less any fair wear and tear

Find out more about the CRS:

For any enquiries into how you can partner with Compass Housing, please contact our Property Services Team:

Compass Housing is a provider of Community and Affordable Housing across South-East Queensland and Townsville.


If you are seeking Crisis or Short Term Accommodation, please contact:

  • Homeless Persons Information Queensland - 
    Freecall 1800 474 753

  • Queensland Department of Housing Service Centre -
    Visit Website