The Guides to Social Policy Law is a collection of publications designed to assist decision makers administering social policy law. The information contained in this publication is intended only as a guide to relevant legislation/policy. The information is accurate as at the date listed at the bottom of the page, but may be subject to change. To discuss individual circumstances please contact Services Australia. Employer Provided Benefits - Housing Assistance


This topic contains information on the assessment of employer provided housing assistance as income for the CSHC income test. This section covers the following matters:

  • a definition of employer provided housing assistance and exemptions,
  • employer provided accommodation - location definitions,
  • determining the value of employer provided accommodation, and
  • assessment of employer provided assistance with payment of rent or mortgage.

Definition of employer provided housing assistance & exemptions

A person receives housing assistance if their employer grants them a housing right. This includes payments to help the person to hold a housing right, such as help with rent or mortgage payments.

Live-in residential care workers are EXEMPT if:

  • they are employed by a government body, religious institution or a non-profit company whose activities include caring for people, in residential premises, who are:

    • aged 60 years or more, OR
    • intellectually, psychiatrically or physically handicapped, AND
  • their main duties are to care for these people, AND
  • they live on the premises as a direct result of performing their main duties.

Act reference: SSAct section 10A(2)-'housing right'

Employer provided accommodation - location definitions

The following table shows metropolitan and non-metropolitan locations for the purpose of determining the value of employer provided housing assistance. Locations include the relevant former STD area codes listed. Locations in the rest of Australia are classed as special areas.

Metropolitan Former STD code Non-metropolitan Former STD code
Adelaide 08 Newcastle 049, 043
Brisbane 07 Gold Coast 075
Canberra 06 Wollongong 042
Darwin, including the area covered by Darwin City Council 08 - -
Hobart, including the area covered by:

  • Clarence City Council,
  • Hobart City Council, and
  • Glenorchy City Council
002 - -
Melbourne 03 - -
Perth 09 - -
Sydney 02 - -

Determining the value of employer provided accommodation

The following table shows the value, in dollars per week, of employer provided accommodation according to the accommodation type and location.

Location 3 or more bedrooms 1 to 2 bedrooms Any other unit of accommodation
Metropolitan 140 120 85
Non-metropolitan 100 90 70
Special areas 80 80 25
Defence housing 80 80 25
Outside Australia 140 120 85

When an employee (1.1.E.87) makes contributions to the accommodation these amounts are deducted from the amount of employer provided benefit.

Assessment of employer provided assistance with payment of rent or mortgage

When a person has part or all of their mortgage paid by their employer, the value of the housing benefit is the full amount that an employer contributes towards the employee's mortgage.

Example: If an employer contributes $200.00 per month towards the employee's mortgage payments, the full $200.00 is the value of the housing benefit.

Exception: Mortgage payments paid by the Defence Force or an agent for the Defence Force to Defence Force members are exempt.

Last reviewed: