Housing SA modifies South Australian Housing Trust properties, including properties managed by Housing SA in Aboriginal communities, to meet the needs of people with a disability.

A disability is one or more long-term impairments that affect a person’s ability to participate in society. Impairments may be:

  • physical
  • psychosocial
  • intellectual
  • cognitive
  • neurological
  • sensory


Tenants are eligible for modifications if they meet all of the below conditions:

  • the modifications are for the tenant or another occupant approved by Housing SA in line with the Visitors, other occupants and overcrowding policy
  • the modifications are essential and there’s no other reasonable alternative
  • the disability impacts on the person’s ability to access and use the property, or their independence would be compromised without the modifications and they would need additional services, for example increased home based services, hospitalisation
  • the need for the modifications is verified by an appropriately qualified, registered and relevant health professional, for example a physiotherapist, occupational therapist, general practitioner
  • the property is suitable for the modifications, for example it can be structurally modified, it isn’t listed for a future redevelopment
  • the modifications aren’t the responsibility of another agency, for example National Disability Insurance Agency, Commonwealth-funded aged care services


Minor modifications are small, low-cost aids that improve accessibility, for example grab rails, handles, lever taps, sensor lights. A health professional currently registered with a professional registration board, for example general practitioner, can verify what minor modifications are needed.

Major modifications involve significant structural changes to a property, for example ramps, kitchen or bathroom modifications. An occupational therapist or physiotherapist:

  • assesses the property
  • identifies what major modifications are needed
  • verifies the modifications are essential

If it’s a major modification, the property must also:

  • be suitable for the modification
  • not be listed for a future redevelopment
  • not be identified for sale

Housing SA pays for an occupational therapist to assess a Housing SA property if no other service is responsible for funding it, for example Regional Health Services, National Disability Insurance Agency.

If a property can’t be modified or the modifications aren’t cost-effective Housing SA may consider other options, for example transferring the tenant to another property.

If there is a shared care arrangement across multiple Housing SA properties, for example both parents are Housing SA tenants in separate properties and share custody of a child with a disability, Housing SA only installs major modifications to one property.

Modifications or equipment provided by other agencies

Tenants can apply to carry out alterations if another agency modifies the property, in line with the Maintenance policy.

If another agency provides equipment, for example a renal dialysis machine, Housing SA determines if:

  • the necessary structural and strengthening modifications needed to fit and use the equipment can be made at the property
  • the modifications would be cost-effective

If another disability service provider supplies a climate control appliance, for example a reverse cycle air conditioner, Housing SA reimburses the provider for the installation costs if the person who needs the appliance has a low tolerance to temperature change. The provider or the tenant is responsible for maintaining the appliance and removing it at the end of the tenancy.

Compensation funds

If the person with a disability will receive a compensation claim with funds specifically for changes to their accommodation, Housing SA completes the modifications and the party responsible for the compensation funds, for example an insurance provider, pays the cost of the modifications to Housing SA.

Related information

Controlling documents

This policy is based on and complies with:

Supporting procedures/ guideline

  • Housing modifications for people with a disability procedures v14

Related policies and other documents

Date this policy applies from

14 April 2020

Version number


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