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Department of Human Services

Homelessness Supportive Housing Program policy

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The Homelessness Supportive Housing Program provides accommodation and support to vulnerable homeless people. Housing SA and community housing providers (CHPs) manage properties in the program. Support is provided by Specialist Homelessness Services (SHS) and other non-government organisations.

The policy sets out:

  • who is eligible for the program
  • how the tenancies are managed.


A person may be nominated for Homelessness Supportive Housing if they meet all of the below criteria:

  • they’re eligible for public housing, if Housing SA is the housing provider
  • they’re eligible for community housing, if a CHP is the housing provider
  • they’re either primary, secondary or tertiary homeless, or at imminent risk of becoming homeless
  • they enter into a case management plan with the organisation providing support
  • they accept the terms of the program, and engage with supports to maintain their tenancy.

Eligibility for support provided through the program is assessed by the relevant support agency in line with their associated funding contracts.

Primary homelessness

People who don’t have conventional accommodation. This includes:

  • living on the streets or in other public areas - eg parks
  • squatting
  • rough sleeping
  • using vehicles as temporary shelter.

Secondary homelessness

People staying in emergency or transitional accommodation because they don’t have their own accommodation. This includes:

  • shelters or refuges
  • temporarily living in a boarding housing for 12 weeks or less
  • temporarily living with other households.

Tertiary homeless

People living in boarding houses on a medium to long term basis where:

  • they don’t have a separate kitchen, bathroom and living room
  • the accommodation isn’t self-contained
  • they don’t have the security of tenure provided by a lease agreement.

Imminent risk of becoming homeless

People at immediate risk of rough sleeping either because:

  • their personal safety is at risk
  • an eviction is pending
  • they’re leaving institutional care and have a history of homelessness.

Nominations and assessment

When a Homelessness Supportive Housing Program property becomes vacant, the housing provider managing the property asks for nominations from housing, homelessness and support providers. Organisations can make up to two nominations for any one vacancy.

The housing provider forms a Nominations and Assessment Panel. The panel assesses the nominations and decides who is offered the property. Priority is given to eligible customers with the most complex needs and the highest level of risk and vulnerability.

Managing tenancies

Customers are first housed on a 12 month fixed term lease agreement. They may be offered further fixed term lease agreements, of up to 12 months at a time, if they still need support to maintain their tenancy.

The housing provider managing the property is responsible for setting rent in line with their agency’s policies.

The housing provider managing the property and the tenant’s support provider collaborate to manage any tenancy or property management issues, including disruptive behaviour.

Case management plans

The support provider establishes a case management plan with the customer before their tenancy starts.

Case management plans are continuously reviewed in collaboration with the tenant and their housing provider.

At least three months before the end of the tenant’s lease agreement, the support provider conducts a formal review of the case management plan in collaboration with the housing provider. The formal review determines if the tenant stays in the program, or what strategies need to be implemented to help them move into alternative accommodation.

Related laws, policies and documents

Controlling documents

This policy is based on and complies with:

Supporting guidelines

  • Homelessness Supportive Housing Program guidelines v 5

Related policies and other documents

Date this policy applies from

16 February 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.

State Government of South Australia © Copyright DHS .

Provided by:
SA Department for Human Services
Last Updated:
05 Jul 2018
Printed on:
18 Jan 2019
The DHS website is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia Licence. © Copyright 2016