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Department of Human Services

South Australian Housing Trust

Emergency accommodation policy

Housing SA provides financial assistance into budget hotels or motels for people who need emergency accommodation. Assistance is of a temporary or bridging nature.

Housing SA may also provide assistance into caravan parks in country areas, if budget hotel or motel accommodation isn’t available.

This policy sets out:

  • who’s eligible for emergency accommodation
  • the amount of assistance Housing SA will provide.


People are eligible for financial assistance into emergency accommodation if they meet all of the below conditions:

  • they’re homeless and unable to return to their usual address due to domestic abuse, severe family or household breakdown, or natural disaster
  • they aren’t able to access alternative housing options - eg shelter, boarding house, staying with friends or relatives
  • they live in South Australia at the time assistance is sought
  • they meet the Private Rental Assistance Program income limits, except if they’re experiencing temporary financial hardship
  • their health and safety is assessed as being at risk if they don’t receive assistance into emergency accommodation
  • they don’t have a debt to Housing SA, or they make and keep an arrangement to repay a debt to Housing SA.

Amount of assistance

Up to three nights’ emergency accommodation will be provided. Assistance is for the rental component only, and not for any other charges that may apply.

Assistance won’t exceed six nights in total in any given 12 month period except if it’s approved by an Operations Manager and endorsed by a Regional Manager.

Assistance is provided on the condition that the customer:

  • engages with support provided by Housing SA and Specialist Homelessness Services
  • attends an interview with Housing SA to discuss their housing options
  • provides all the information required by Housing SA - eg proof of income, identity.

Housing SA won’t provide further emergency accommodation assistance if the customer’s responsible for damage, theft or disruption while they stay in the emergency accommodation.

If the customer’s in emergency accommodation for an extended period of time, they may be responsible for paying for some of the nights spent in emergency accommodation.

Related information

Supporting guidelines

  • Emergency accommodation immediate response guidelines v1

Related policies and other documents

Date this policy applies from

5 July 2017

Version number


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

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Provided by:
SA Department for Human Services
Last Updated:
05 Jul 2018
Printed on:
20 Jun 2019
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