This annual report will be presented to Parliament to meet the statutory reporting requirements of Section 42A of the South Australian Housing Trust Act 1995 and the requirements of Premier and Cabinet Circular PC013 Annual Reporting.

This report is verified to be accurate for the purposes of annual reporting to the Parliament of South Australia.

Submitted on behalf of the South Australian Housing Trust by:

Gary Storkey

Presiding Member, South Australian Housing Trust Board

Date: 30 September 2021           Signed: Gary Storkey

The past year has seen SA Housing Authority deliver a number of significant initiatives under our ambitious reform program, Our Housing Future 2020-2030, working to achieve better housing outcomes for South Australians.

We launched our new Strategic Plan 2020-2025, drawing on the knowledge of our staff, sector experts and the lived experience of clients, to explore new and innovative approaches to achieve greater sustainable housing outcomes for our State. The five-point plan puts our clients at the centre of everything we do.

Working closely with our clients, community and the housing and homelessness sector, the State Government transformed its approach to the delivery of homelessness services in South Australia, to a more integrated Alliance based approach, which also sought to increase early intervention and prevention services to stop people falling into homelessness and repeatedly cycling through the homelessness system. The new Homelessness Alliances were developed to provide services that address the complex and evolving needs of clients experiencing or at risk of homelessness, with better collaboration between services and government. The Alliances were established to begin operating on 1 July 2021 and we look forward to providing an update on their progress in next year’s report.

With the ongoing challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, we continued to provide a rapid response during periods of heightened restrictions to assist people experiencing homelessness or domestic violence into safe accommodation. More than 4,300 people were supported with emergency accommodation.
In May this year, we launched the State’s first stand-alone South Australian Aboriginal Housing Strategy 2021-2031. Developed through extensive consultation with Aboriginal communities across the State, the Strategy is informed by Aboriginal voices and represents their needs and aspirations.

The Strategy includes solutions to improve housing outcomes for Aboriginal peoples across the full housing continuum, from crisis services through to affordable housing and home ownership opportunities.

As well as providing housing services to our most vulnerable, we continued to deliver a range of programs to help South Australians into secure housing. We completed 100 homes through a Housing Sector Package, which saw 71 sold as affordable and began to deliver 1,000 affordable homes over five years to enable South Australians with moderate incomes to gain a foot in the door of home ownership. We continued to work in close partnership with community housing providers to increase the supply of social housing and supported more than 50,500 households with private rental assistance.

To support our Affordable Housing Initiative, this year we launched HomeSeeker SA, a one-stop-shop website providing links to services and information to assist people to understand their housing options and gain and maintain secure long-term housing. Through the website, affordable homes are exclusively available to eligible buyers.

This year, we began an apprenticeship program, providing trade apprenticeship opportunities for 250 social housing clients, women and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. As well as providing opportunities for our clients to secure employment, the program is helping address trade skills shortages and provide jobs for South Australians.

Almost 500 public housing properties received significant upgrades during the year, including properties on Kangaroo Island. We also fast-tracked refurbishment and renovation works for a further 1,400 public housing properties.

As we continue to face the ongoing impacts of COVID-19, we have responded and adapted our services, demonstrating rapid-response capabilities to provide short-term hotel/motel accommodation for people experiencing homelessness and domestic and family violence.

Despite the challenges of ever-changing circumstances due to COVID-19, our dedicated staff have continued to focus on providing quality and tailored responses to support our customers and community.

Thank you to our staff and our many community and sector partners who have worked with us to develop and deliver initiatives to benefit South Australians.

Signed:  Gary Storkey
Presiding Member
South Australian Housing Trust Board

Signed:  Michael Buchan
Chief Executive
SA Housing Authority

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