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To realise our vision for housing by 2030, five key strategies have been developed, each focussed on building a resilient, connected and sustainable housing system.

Objectives of the strategy are to:

  • Support well-located, appropriate housing supply
  • Bolster economic growth through state population, productivity, employment and competitive advantage
  • Attract private and partner investment to grow affordable housing
  • Improve access to the right information and services at the right time to enable people to make their own housing decisions
  • Support well-functioning and inclusive communities
  • Identify and assist those in housing stress
  • Prevent people from falling into homelessness and support those in crisis
  • Improve the quality of services so customers have greater control and independence
  • Encourage transition from a subsidy to an investment mindset for both the housing system and customer
  • Provide greater independence and sustainable outcomes for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness.

Create conditions for a well-functioning housing market that meets the housing needs of all South Australians

A responsive and resilient housing market for South Australia will provide creative and flexible solutions and the right housing supply for our state’s population needs. Creating an environment that can inspire housing innovation and adaptability is fundamental to ongoing growth and development.

The amount of housing in South Australia has generally been in line with population growth. However, there is a current lack of housing that is appropriate, affordable, safe, accessible, sustainable and secure for low-income households – especially smaller and low-maintenance dwellings, and those designed for lone person households, rural and regional workers and for older people wanting to downsize.

To boost supply into the future, we must attract investment back to the industry and create a progressive housing and planning environment. We need to look at housing as critical infrastructure that requires strategic long-term planning and coordination that will return maximum social, environmental and economic investment. Whether private or public, such investment must be sustainable and successfully generate more affordable and convenient housing opportunities for low to moderate income households – particularly near public transport, education, jobs and services.

Who does this benefit?

  • Low to moderate income home buyers, including older and young people
  • People living with a disability
  • Residents in South Australia’s regions
  • All South Australians and all communities


1.1 Recognising housing as essential to the social, economic and environmental infrastructure and is included in the 20 year State Infrastructure Strategy Coordinate sustainable social and affordable housing investment with other essential infrastructure investment to ensure housing initiatives are aligned with industry and regional growth.
Led by Infrastructure SA | Timeframe: short-term
1.2 Creating an appropriate land supply pipeline and diversity of housing supply through a responsive planning and zoning system commencing with the introduction of the Planning and Design Code by 1 July 2020. Establish a new Code to provide for an improved approach to housing policies and development. Introduce a new Housing Renewal module to the Planning and Design Code to guide housing renewal projects and create new affordable housing.
Led by Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure and State Planning Commission | Timeframe: short-term
1.3 Establishing leadership and governance mechanisms to coordinate housing policy across local, state and federal governments. Focus on long-term planning and delivery to support diverse and quality housing, sustainable communities, demand and supply, efficient investment, incentives for innovation.  
Led by local, state and federal government | Timeframe: short-term
1.4 Developing local/regional housing plans to respond to specific conditions and local demand. Harness local knowledge and insights to help markets address the specific needs of communities.  
Led by local government | Timeframe: medium-term
1.5 Introducing universal design principles for most new public housing and encouraging it for affordable housing to improve lifespan and function of dwellings and support ageing in place. Mandate sustainable housing design and environmental standards for a minimum of 75% of new public housing. Install solar panels on and install batteries in all new public housing, where appropriate, to continue to support South Australia’s Virtual Power Plant. Led by community housing providers and SA Housing Authority | Timeframe: short-term

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Reduce housing stress through 20,000 affordable housing solutions

An estimated 19,000 low income South Australian households are paying more than 50% of their household income on private rental costs. To relieve this stress, and to boost chances of more South Australians buying their own home, 20,000 affordable housing outcomes will be made available over the next 10 years.

This will require a commitment from all tiers of government, not-for-profit housing providers and the residential development industry to bring together the key elements required for success – financing, land and innovative affordable housing design options and solutions.

Who does this benefit?

  • Low to moderate income earners
  • First home buyers
  • Older people downsizing
  • People living with a disability
  • Those on the social housing register
  • All South Australians and all communities


2.1 Delivering 1000 new affordable houses by 2025 for low and moderate-income households through a $398.7 million Affordable Housing Initiative. Create new options in the affordable housing market, design and locate housing for affordable living, and support job creation and economic growth.
Led by SA Housing Authority | Timeframe: medium-term
2.2 Delivering new social, affordable and open market homes through a $54 million neighbourhood renewal program over five years. Increase amenity, supply and diversity of housing types and local tenant mix through renewal of locations with older, low-density public housing.
Led by SA Housing Authority | Timeframe: medium-term
2.3 Reviewing and developing underutilised government, private and not-for-profit land to drive innovation and supply of new affordable housing outcomes. Open up opportunities and showcase innovation in design, construction and financing through contributions of property through partnerships and utilising government land.
Led by Renewal SA | Timeframe: ongoing
2.4 Building up to 1000 new social, affordable and market houses through the Community Housing Asset and Investment Plans. Leverage the benefits of leasing 5000 properties from SA Housing Authority to stimulate the building of new homes by the community housing sector.
Led by community housing providers | Timeframe: long-term
2.5 Delivering 5000 Affordable Housing outcomes through inclusionary, design and incentive provisions in the planning system, including the 15% Affordable Housing policy. Expand affordable housing by strengthening assessment processes, inclusionary zoning, and incentives to encourage sustainable supply.
Led by Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure and State Planning Commission | Timeframe: ongoing
2.6 Encouraging new partnerships and investment through pilots and further development of innovative financing, planning and supply solutions including Build to Rent, innovative design, and shared equity products. Expand choice and diversity by partnering with industry to pilot innovation in affordable housing, including for specific income and demographic groups.
Led by housing industry, SA Housing Authority and HomeStart Finance | Timeframe: ongoing
2.7 Continuing to support home ownership through 10,000 HomeStart Finance loans targeted to low and moderate income households and extending the HomeStart Starter Loan beyond June 2021 by an additional 100 new outcomes per year for five years. Assist more people who qualify for a HomeStart Finance loan, meet the upfront costs of purchasing a home.
Led by HomeStart Finance | Timeframe: medium-term
2.8 Provide 100 supported private rental opportunities over five years for eligible social housing customers. Enable eligible social housing customers to sustain independent living arrangements through participation in an affordable community housing land tax exemption pilot to 2025.
Led by Revenue SA and SA Housing Authority | Timeframe: medium-term

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Create housing pathways to enable people to access housing and services as their needs change

Clear access points and pathways will enable more people to easily connect with the services and products they need to achieve their short to long term housing needs and aspirations.

Key to this will be facilitating home ownership and/or private rental for those social housing tenants able to take up these opportunities, in turn opening up access to more people on the social housing register.

Currently, various parts of the ecosystem work in isolation, with limited transparency, or incentive to collaborate or innovate. Better integrating services and tailoring them to specific regional requirements will provide for a more streamlined customer experience, with clear pathways that match people’s needs. People with lived experience, who are uniquely equipped to recommend service improvements can also play a much greater role in service design and delivery.

Who does this benefit?

  • All South Australians accessing housing and support services
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
  • Older and younger people
  • People living with a disability
  • People with complex needs, including those exiting institutional care
  • Social housing tenants who aspire to private rental and/or home ownership


3.1 Examining service hubs and integrated access models, including the review, consolidation and modernisation of Housing SA offices. Enable customers to easily find the right information and services, through adopting integrated service models and outlets and better utilising technology including online customer information portals. This will help improve data sharing, formal collaboration, coordinated triage, responsive service provision and role definition.
Led by SA Housing Authority, relevant state government departments, and housing and homelessness providers | Timeframe: medium-term
3.2 Piloting new intensive supported accommodation models for customers requiring more support than social housing. Explore new forms of supported accommodation to create safe and stable housing pathways for people with complex needs, but who are able to live in the community, with support.
Led by SA Health and SA Housing Authority | Timeframe: medium-term
3.3 Supporting shared leasing arrangements, including for older and younger people across the housing market. Provide an opportunity to utilise existing capacity, expand choice of living options, and develop new formal and informal support structures within the housing system.
Led by SA Housing Authority | Timeframe: medium-term
3.4 Connecting social housing tenants with National Disability Insurance Scheme and aged care benefits they are eligible for. Provide for more sustainable, independent tenancies by assisting social housing tenants to access additional support.
Led by federal government | Timeframe: short-term
3.5 Improving service delivery by incorporating lived experience. Enable continuous improvement and improved service responsiveness by embedding lived experience in the design and delivery of housing service.
Led by housing and homelessness service providers | Timeframe: short-term
3.6 Enabling more low to moderate income households to buy a home by improving the provision of grants and subsidies and reducing financial barriers. Unlock opportunities and investment in the state’s housing market and create pathways to home ownership by supporting low to moderate income households buy their own home.
Led by SA Housing Authority and Department of Treasury and Finance | Timeframe: medium-term
3.7 Bridging the gap between social housing and private rental and home ownership through implementation of moderate income rent reforms from 2021/22 and removing policy disincentives to work to encourage participation and independence. Create a more equitable system with the private market through increasing rent to 30% of income for moderate income social housing tenants from 2021/22 in consultation with the housing sector. Support and reward workforce participation and financial autonomy.
Led by SA Housing Authority | Timeframe: medium-term
3.8 Addressing the particular disadvantages faced by Aboriginal South Australians through the delivery of an Aboriginal Housing Strategy. Develop the Aboriginal Housing Strategy in collaboration with Aboriginal communities around the state, looking at the full housing continuum: from crisis services and social housing to affordable housing options and home ownership.
Led by SA Housing Authority and Aboriginal Advisory Committee | Timeframe: short-term

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Prevent and reduce homelessness through targeted and tailored responses

While people in crisis will always be a focus of the social housing and homelessness sector, greater emphasis needs to be placed on early intervention and prevention. More people, across all ages and cultural backgrounds, need to be equipped with the skills, resilience and support to live independently, productively and to prevent them from falling into housing crisis.

The aim is to break the emotionally and financially draining cycle of chronic homelessness by providing Housing First approaches with targeted and tailored support that are based on outcomes, not outputs.

This is particularly critical for those experiencing domestic and family violence, who make up a third of homelessness clients and require a Safety First approach. Gaining a better understanding of the links between domestic violence and other factors such as race, drug and alcohol use, poverty, and mental health, will also allow us to better tackle homelessness.

The new Office for Homelessness Sector Integration will work closely with providers and stakeholders to drive these reforms across the state.

Who does this benefit?

  • People who are homeless or at risk of homelessness
  • People with unmet needs who repeatedly cycle through the system
  • People exiting institutions into homelessness
  • Women and children experiencing domestic and family violence


4.1 Transitioning to an outcome-based service model that invests in and rewards positive outcomes. Realise benefits including better engagement, increased customer outcomes, more coherent services, greater cost-effectiveness, and evidence-informed use of public funds.
Led by Office for Homelessness Sector Integration | Timeframe: short-term
4.2 Piloting homelessness prevention initiatives and new innovative housing models through a $20 million prevention fund leveraging further investment through partnerships. Reduce the need for emergency accommodation and transitional housing for people in need, through the establishment of a prevention fund. Trial new approaches, such as supported accommodation models, private rental head leases, budgeting and home living skills and micro loans, to reduce crisis demand.
Led by Office for Homelessness Sector Integration | Timeframe: ongoing
4.3 Establishing the Office for Homelessness Sector integration to reform the homelessness system. Work with the sector to establish governance frameworks; improve connectivity, coordination and collaboration across the system and with other agencies; define roles and responsibilities, identify and implement system and service reform.
Led by Office for Homelessness Sector Integration | Timeframe: short-term
4.4 Developing targeted responses for people who experience chronic homelessness who repeatedly cycle through the system. Examine the Adelaide Zero Project findings and develop responses to be applied across other regions of South Australia.
Led by Office for Homelessness Sector Integration | Timeframe: ongoing
4.5 Supporting Safety First approaches through tailored outcomes commencing with the introduction of the 40-bed program including perpetrator responses which provide options for women to remain in their own home when safe to do so. Ensure that in cases of domestic and family violence, service responses to victims and perpetrators are holistic, collaborative and integrated.
Led by Office for Homelessness Sector Integration | Timeframe: ongoing
4.6 Implementing Housing First approaches including rapid re-housing, growth of Social Impact Bonds and Pay by Results contracts. Place people into housing first and connect support with housing outcomes. Social impact bonds and pay by results contracts are innovative, outcome-focussed mechanisms for achieving long-term results.
Led by Office for Homelessness Sector Integration | Timeframe: ongoing

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Modernise the social housing system and reposition it for success

For more than a decade, social housing assets have declined and renewal has been insufficient, resulting in ageing homes that are more expensive to maintain and often not fit for purpose. At the same time, the tenant profile has changed, resulting in a mismatch between the houses available and tenants’ needs. Financially the housing system has relied on asset sales, which is not sustainable over the long term. It is time to modernise the social housing system and develop and implement a new and sustainable multi-provider housing sector.

Where possible, tenants will be supported to transition towards self-sufficiency and independence, which in turn will allow more people to be assisted into tenancies, creating a much more equitable system. This support will be underpinned by initiatives such as increasing employment and training opportunities, reviewing eligibility and allocations, and providing clearer expectations for tenants including appropriate behaviour.

The strategic management of assets will also play a key role, with all levels of government working together with key stakeholders to deliver a more strategic approach. Industry development frameworks will ensure that organisations involved in the system have the necessary capabilities, connectivity and processes to deliver innovative and cost-effective social housing solutions.

Who does this benefit?

  • Social housing tenants and providers
  • Communities with high concentrations of social housing


5.1 Investing $75 million to start addressing the public housing capital maintenance backlog and to improve sustainability and energy efficiency of public housing, where possible. Realise benefits including better engagement, increased customer outcomes, more coherent services, greater cost-effectiveness, and evidence-informed use of public funds.
Led by Office for Homelessness Sector Integration | Timeframe: short-term
5.2 Reforming the operations of the social housing system, including implementing and reforming the Single Housing Register, reviewing eligibility and allocations policy, exploring points-based assessment and trialling choice-based letting and clear mutual obligations for successful tenancies. Reduce the need for emergency accommodation and transitional housing for people in need, through the establishment of a prevention fund. Trial new approaches, such as supported accommodation models, private rental head leases, budgeting and home living skills and micro loans, to reduce crisis demand.
Led by Office for Homelessness Sector Integration | Timeframe: ongoing

Improving the sustainability of the social housing system through:

  • Addressing the financial sustainability of the system
  • The introduction of a system-wide strategic asset management approach including strategic asset disposal and investment
  • Developing a 10-year plan to optimise the efficient and effective management of social housing and to support the growth of community housing providers
  • Reviewing the functional responsibilities for housing policy, regulation and management to provide greater transparency and contestability.
Create long-term financial, asset, business and operational strategies to establish the framework required for a modern, effective and sustainable multi-provider system.
Led by state and federal government and community housing providers | Timeframe: short-term and ongoing
5.4 Delivering up to 1000 employment and training outcomes targeted to social housing tenants through social procurement and targeted employment programs delivered in partnership with Job Networks, not-for-profit, other government agencies and business. Support social housing tenants and those on the housing register in their efforts to enter employment, opening up pathways to greater independence and transitioning to private rental or home ownership, and in turn increasing system capacity to assist those in greatest need.  
Led by Department of Innovation and Skills and SA Housing Authority | Timeframe: long-term
5.5 Implementing Industry Development Frameworks that strengthen the multi-provider social housing sector as a key agent of change. Build required capabilities and capacity, strengthen the industry for improved efficiency, increase resilience to change, and assist in better meeting future needs.
Led by community housing sector | Timeframe: short-medium-term
5.6 Implementing Unit Cost Modelling to provide transparency and accountability for government subsidy. Improve understanding of program costs to support enhanced budgeting, decision making, program evaluation and sector benchmarking.
Led by SA Housing Authority | Timeframe: short-term

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