The Tika Tirka Program provides supported accommodation for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students enrolled in post-secondary study in Adelaide.

The policy sets out who is eligible for the program and how the program is managed.


Aboriginal support units in universities and post-secondary education services confirm students’ eligibility for the program and nominate them to Housing SA.

A student is eligible if they meet all the below conditions:

  • they identify as and can verify they are an Aboriginal and/ or Torres Strait Islander person
  • they are aged 18 to 26 when their residency begins
  • they are enrolled and engaged in tertiary education
  • they are eligible for ABSTUDY from Centrelink
  • their home community is in a remote area such as the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Lands or an outer regional area
  • they agree to the terms of the program and engage with supports

Other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students who live in another area may be considered on a case-by-case basis.

The program only accommodates eligible students. It doesn’t provide accommodation for partners or children.

Students accepted into the program sign a Tika Tirka rooming house agreement. They are called residents.

Managing residencies

Housing SA is responsible for managing residencies.

Residents are allocated a room on a 12 month fixed term rooming house agreement.

The Tika Tirka house rules set out the expected behaviour of the resident and their guests. Housing SA may change the house rules by giving residents seven days’ written notice.

Housing SA calculates and charges rent at 35% of ABSTUDY income.

Housing SA:

  • works with residents to help them maintain their residency, for example by addressing antisocial behaviour
  • inspects residents’ rooms once every 3 months after giving between 7 and 14 days’ written notice
  • regularly inspects common areas without notice

Resident responsibilities

Residents are responsible for:

  • paying rent in full and on time
  • meeting the conditions of their rooming house agreement with Housing SA
  • complying with the house rules
  • engaging with their resident support officer to create a personal development plan
  • engaging with support when recommended by their educational institution
  • remaining in post-secondary education while they participate in the program
  • the behaviour and conduct of their guests

Ending a residency

Residents may end their residency by giving Housing SA 14 days’ written notice.

Housing SA may end a residency in any of the below situations:

  • the rooming house agreement ends, and Housing SA has given 4 weeks’ written notice that the resident needs to leave
  • the rent is overdue by 2 weeks and Housing SA gives at least 2 days’ written notice to either pay or the resident needs to leave
  • the resident breaks a term of the rooming house agreement and Housing SA gives 7 days’ written notice that the resident needs to leave
  • the resident abandons their room
  • the resident or their guest causes serious damage, creates a danger to person or property or seriously interferes with the peace of other residents, and Housing SA gives written notice for the resident to leave immediately

Housing SA may apply to the South Australian Civil and Administrative Tribunal for a possession order if either:

  • the resident doesn’t leave after being given notice
  • Housing SA believes the resident is no longer living in the property and the room has been abandoned

Abandoned rooms and belongings left behind by the resident are managed in line with the Residential Tenancies Act 1995.


Residents can appeal a Housing SA decision in line with the Appeals policy, including:

  • a decision not to accept their nomination
  • a decision to end their tenancy
  • conditions set out in the house rules

Related information

Controlling documents

This policy is based on and complies with:

Supporting procedure

  • Tika Tirka Program procedure v1

Related policies and other documents

Date this policy applies from

1 November 2019

Version number


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