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Department of Human Services

South Australian Housing Trust

Public and Aboriginal housing registration and allocation policy

The purpose of this policy

People who register their interest with Housing SA for public or Aboriginal housing are placed on a register. The person who registers their interest is the registrant.

People may register their interest in community housing if they also register their interest in public or Aboriginal housing.

The register is also used to register customers for other housing programs - eg the Direct Lease Youth Priority Program.

This policy sets out how:

  • Housing SA places a customer on the register
  • registrations of interest are managed
  • registrants are offered housing
  • registrants who have accepted an offer of public or Aboriginal housing are allocated into the property by Housing SA.

Registrations are prioritised based on the urgency of the registrant's housing need.

Registrations of interest

People registering their interest must meet the public housing eligibility criteria set out in the Eligibility for public housing policy.

Housing SA won't accept a registration of interest from someone who has been evicted from or left a public housing property because of serious disruptive behaviour within the last 12 months.

Updating information

Registrants must let Housing SA know if there are changes in their household details and circumstances that may affect their eligibility or Housing SA's ability to contact them. This includes, but isn't limited to:

  • a change of address or other contact details
  • a change of name
  • a change in the household income.

Registrants should let Housing SA know if they want to change their registration details, including:

  • changing the types of house or areas they are registered for
  • to remove or add someone to their registration
  • to cancel their registration.

If a person is removed from someone else's registration - eg due to separation, they can register in their own right.

Managing registrations of interest

Registrations are placed into Category 1, 2, 3, 4 or low demand.

Registrations of interest are placed on the register based on either:

  • the date they were approved for Category 1 or 2
  • the date they registered for housing
  • a benefit date approved by Housing SA - eg someone who was removed from someone else's registration may be given a benefit date that reflects time already spent on the register.

Reviewing registrations

Housing SA reviews Category 1 registrations of interest to make sure registrants are still eligible for Category 1. These reviews happen either:

  • every 12 months
  • when the registrant's circumstances change.

Housing SA reviews registrations of interest in other categories if either:

  • the registrant hasn't contacted Housing SA within the last 12 months
  • the registrant's circumstances change.

Housing SA may move a registration between categories if any of the below apply:

  • the registrant's circumstances change
  • as a result of a review
  • the registrant refuses two offers of housing.

Registration status

A registration remains current until the registrant accepts an offer of housing, or the registration is deferred or cancelled.

A registration of interest can be deferred:

  • at the registrant's request - eg they are temporarily unable to accept housing because of health or financial reasons
  • by Housing SA - eg the registrant has an outstanding debt and hasn't made an arrangement to repay it or Housing SA can't contact them.

A registration of interest will be cancelled:

  • after being deferred for 12 months
  • if the registrant has been living interstate for 12 months
  • at the registrant's request.

Transfer a registration of interest between programs

Registrants may transfer their registration of interest between public or Aboriginal housing if they meet both of the below conditions:

  • they are eligible for that program in line with the Eligibility for public housing policy
  • they don't owe a debt to Housing SA that they haven't arranged to repay.

In most circumstances, the registration will be transferred without a change to its category status or benefit date.

Offering housing

Before offering housing

Registrants won't be offered housing if they have been evicted from a public housing property, or had their public housing lease agreement terminated, for reasons other than disruption within the last six months.

Before offering housing to a registrant Housing SA will confirm that all of the below apply:

  • the registrant still meets all eligibility criteria, any specific program criteria, and are still eligible for the category their registration of interest is in
  • the registrant's current household circumstances are suitable for the housing being offered - eg enough bedrooms for the number of people in the household
  • an intervention order won't be breached if they live at the property.

Housing SA will talk to the registrant about:

  • the conditions of their lease agreement, also known as the Conditions of Tenancy
  • how their rent will be calculated and charged
  • any support needs they may have
  • any other program requirements relating to the offer.

Number of offers

Housing SA will make up to two offers of housing to registrants in Category 1, 2, 3 or 4.

Housing SA can make up to three offers of housing if both of the below apply:

  • they registered their interest before 25 February 1998
  • their registration of interest is in Category 3 or 4.

If a registrant doesn't accept the offers made, Housing SA may defer their registration or change the category.


Housing is offered within an area, rather than a specific suburb or town.

Registrants are only offered housing on a suburb or town basis if their registration is in either Category 3 or 4, and they either:

  • registered their interest on or before 25 February 1998
  • they were housed on or before 25 February 1998, and later registered their interest for a transfer.

House types

Housing SA offers housing to registrants from its generic house types - eg townhouses, houses, flats or cottage flats.

Category 1 and 2 registrants may be offered a specific house type if either of the below apply:

  • there is a verified and specific need for a specific house type - eg mobility issues means they need a ground floor property
  • Housing SA or Renewal SA has initiated a transfer, also known as a relocation.

Category 3 and 4 registrants may be offered a specific house type if both of the below apply:

  • they registered their interest on or before 25 February 1998, or were housed on or before 25 February 1998 and have since registered their interest for a transfer
  • they refuse their first offer of housing from the generic housing stock, and still want to be offered a specific house type.

Housing SA uses Occupancy Standards to match the size of the registrant's household with the size of the property.

Housing SA may offer a property that doesn't match the household size if both of the below apply:

  • there is a verified and specific need for a particular house size - eg someone in the household requires modifications or extra room for essential medical equipment
  • the supply or demand for housing stock permits it.


Once a registrant has accepted a housing offer, Housing SA allocates them into the property. Before the registrant moves in, they must provide Housing SA with:

  • proof of their identity and income
  • proof of identity and income for anyone else in the household who receives an independent income.

The registrant must make an arrangement to repay any outstanding debt they owe to Housing SA.

Deposit and rent

If the registrant's main source of income is from Centrelink, rent payments must be made through Easy-Pay. Rent is calculated in line with the Rent policy.

Tenants must pay one week's rent in advance and a deposit for the new property before they move in.

For public housing properties, the deposit is equal to one week's rent.

For Aboriginal housing properties, the deposit is either:

  • $8 if the tenant is eligible for subsidised rent
  • $20 if the tenant is paying market rent.

Related laws, policies and other documents

Supporting guidelines

  • Allocations guidelines v 2.1
  • Register guidelines v 1.1

Related policies and other documents

Date this policy applies from

28 April 2016

Version number


The online version of the policy is the approved and current version. There is no guarantee that any printed copies are current.

State Government of South Australia © Copyright DHS .

Provided by:
SA Department for Human Services
Last Updated:
05 Jul 2018
Printed on:
11 Dec 2018
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