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Department for Communities and Social Inclusion

South Australian Housing Trust

Direct Lease Youth Priority Program policy

The Direct Lease Youth Priority Program provides medium-term housing to young people who need help developing independent living skills, and face difficulties finding and maintaining housing.

This policy sets out:

  • who’s eligible for the program
  • how housing’s allocated under the program
  • how these tenancies are managed.


Young people are eligible if they meet all of the below conditions:

  • they’re aged between 16 to 25
  • they have experienced difficulty living independently
  • they have the capacity to live independently.

Fifteen year olds are eligible if they meet all of the eligibility conditions, and have approval from their legal guardian to participate in the program.

Housing SA considers additional criteria that impact on a young person’s ability to access other forms of housing. This can include, but isn’t limited to:

  • a history of abuse
  • being in the Guardianship of the Minister
  • discrimination in the private rental market.

Referrals and assessment

Housing SA identifies eligible young people, and accepts referrals from other agencies. Housing SA assesses referrals based on evidence of the young person’s eligibility for the program.

If the assessment indicates the young person needs an individual case management plan to meet the objectives of their lease agreement, the young person's support worker or a Housing SA Tenancy Practitioner develops a case management plan with the young person and their supports.

If approved for the program, young people are treated as a Category 1 registrant in line with the Public and Aboriginal housing registration and allocation policy.

Young people are expected to continue working with their support worker while they participate in the program to:

  • improve their capacity to live independently
  • reach any goals established in their case management plan.

Managing Direct Lease tenancies

Housing SA manages Direct Lease tenancies in line with other Housing SA policies, including:

Housing SA may approve a transfer for a Direct Lease tenant if it’s appropriate - eg a transfer would improve the tenant’s ability to meet the goals of their case management plan.

Lease agreements

Before allocating a young person to a property, Housing SA meets with them to explain both they’re rights and responsibilities under their lease agreement, also known as the Conditions of Tenancy.

Lease agreements are for 18 months.


Tenants pay one week’s rent in advance and a deposit before moving into the property.

The deposit’s either:

  • $8, if the tenant’s aged 17 or under
  • equal to one week’s rent if the tenant’s aged 18 or over.

Reviewing the tenancy

Housing SA reviews the tenancy before the end of the lease agreement to see if the tenant’s met the goals.

The lease agreement won't be extended. Housing SA works with the customer to identify suitable accommodation options - eg private rental, public housing, and services they may be eligible for - eg help paying bond and rent.

Tenants who successfully complete a Direct Lease tenancy are automatically eligible for Category 2. They may also be assessed for Category 1.

Related laws, policies and documents

Controlling documents

This policy is based on and complies with:

Related policies and other documents

Date this policy applies from

4 May 2018

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:
17 Aug 2018
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