In 2019 the Chief of the Defence Force issued an open letter to the ADF requesting feedback on the terms of their employment. Overwhelmingly members indicated that they wanted more choice to accommodate the changing needs of families. In response to this the Department of Defence, along with Defence Housing Australia (DHA), has developed a new option to provide members with greater choices for housing their families.
From 1 July 2020, townhouse style accommodation, known as Townhouse Choice, will increasingly be offered to eligible ADF members in Sydney and Canberra as an alternative to the traditional service residence. These properties will have a different level of amenity to those offered in service residences and will be popular lifestyle areas. The Department of Defence understands the changing needs of Defence families and is happy to be able to support members by providing the flexibility when it comes to choosing housing for themselves and their families. Like Rent Band Choice properties, members offered a Townhouse Choice property will not be obliged to accept it, meaning they will also be offered a service residence.
Feedback from members who have contributed to the ADF Employment Offer Modernisation program indicates that not all members need or want a free-standing home on a large block. Members offered a Townhouse Choice property will benefit from a well located, lower maintenance property.