This policy sets out how properties are bought, sold or transferred on behalf of the South Australian Housing Trust (SAHT). This includes transactions involving SAHT properties, and those carried out on behalf of other government agencies.

This policy doesn’t apply to transactions managed under the Community Housing property transactions policy.

Transactions are approved by a relevant delegate in line with the SAHT Delegation and Authorisation Schedule South Australian Housing Trust Authority.

Buying properties

SAHT buys property to:

  • meet social housing priorities and objectives
  • support or facilitate urban renewal programs, projects and initiatives
  • obtain a presence in locations with few social houses or limited opportunities to build new social housing
  • quickly respond to changes in customer demand
  • facilitate the urgent housing or relocation of social housing tenants.

Buying social housing stock

Property can be bought for use as social housing stock if it meets all of the below conditions:

  • it meets social housing priorities and objectives as specified in strategic documents or asset management plans
  • it’s in a high demand or priority location with low social housing concentration, and no existing building program or project to meet housing needs
  • it’s either newly constructed, or an established dwelling that’s been thoroughly refurbished or needs minimal maintenance or upgrades
  • it’s close to transport, schools, shops, community services and facilities.

Properties with off-street parking are preferred.

In special circumstances, a property that doesn’t meet these conditions may be bought - eg the property meets the needs of a tenant with a disability.

Buying Progressive Purchase Scheme properties

SAHT may buy back a tenant’s interest in a property bought under the Progressive Purchase Scheme if all of the below conditions are met:

  • the tenant wants to sell all their interest in the property
  • the property’s in good condition and doesn’t need major maintenance, upgrades or refurbishment
  • buying the property’s in the tenant’s interest and supports their ongoing housing needs
  • the property meets the conditions for buying social housing stock in line with this policy.

In special circumstances, the tenant may apply to Housing SA to remain in the property as a tenant.

Selling SAHT properties

A property isn’t generally available for sale in any of the below situations:

  • it’s required for redevelopment purposes
  • it’s required for a housing program, project or initiative
  • it’s in an area where SAHT wants to retain social rental housing stock
  • the cost of separating services or changing a certificate of title’s unreasonable.

Selling to a Housing SA tenant

Housing SA tenants may be eligible to buy the property they’re renting if both of the below conditions are met:

  • the property’s available for sale
  • the tenant doesn’t have a debt of more than $200 to Housing SA on the date of the settlement.

Selling to a not-for-profit organisation

Available properties may be sold to not-for-profit organisations if it would support long-term affordable housing outcomes. Suitable properties are offered through a registration of interest process before they’re offered for sale on the open market or through a sales program.

Open market sales

Vacant property that is surplus to need may be sold on the open market. If it’s made available for sale through a sales program - eg Affordable Homes Program, buyers may need to meet eligibility criteria.

Off-market sales

Property may be sold off-market if all of the below conditions are met:

  • an unsolicited proposal’s received from a member of the public, private sector entity or not-for-profit organisation
  • the property’s available for sale
  • the proposal represents value for money and maximises the benefit for South Australians
  • it’s consistent with achieving the government’s broader goals and strategies
  • the property’s sold through an open, transparent and fair process involving a high standard of probity and public accountability.

Selling property to a joint venture partner

Real property that either forms part of the Jubilee 150 Joint Venture Agreement, or is located within a joint venture area, may be offered for sale or sold to the joint venture partner upon their request or if it’s determined the joint venture property’s no longer required by SAHT. Joint venture sales aren’t treated as an off-market sale.

Selling property for other agencies

SAHT may sell residential property on the open market on behalf of another government agency - eg SA Health, Disability SA. These sales are performed on a fee-for-service basis.

Related information

Controlling documents

This policy is based on and complies with:

Supporting procedures

  • Real property transaction procedures v1.1
  • Progressive Purchase Scheme procedures v1

Related policies and other documents

  • SAHT Delegation and Authorisation Schedule South Australian Housing Trust Authority

Date this policy applies from

12 July 2018

Version number


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