Register for housing

About public and community housing

Public and community housing is not emergency accommodation. If you are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, there are other services that can help you.

Public and community housing is rental accommodation provided primarily to vulnerable low income households who are unable to maintain other forms of accommodation.

You can register for public or community housing if you are eligible.

Housing need categories

Most providers give priority to households with the highest housing needs. Households with highest needs are offered housing ahead of other households.

Category 1

People in urgent need of housing that have long term barriers to accessing or maintaining private housing options.

Category 2

People who are not currently in urgent housing need but have long term barriers to accessing or maintaining private housing options or those who have special circumstances.

Category 3

People who don't have urgent housing needs or long term barriers to other housing options.

Other options

If you have a moderate or lower housing need, you may not be offered housing because public and community housing is limited.

You may want to consider other types of housing assistance that could be available to you now. This includes help paying a bond or affordable home ownership. You can find more information about other housing assistance through the housing services finder.

If you register your interest in community housing, you will be automatically considered for properties under the National Rental Affordability Scheme (NRAS).

Public housing

Public housing is managed and maintained by Housing SA. Some public housing is set aside for people of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent. Public housing is not always the best option because stock is limited.

Community Housing

Community housing is maintained and managed by non-government organisations. There are two types of community housing providers.

Community housing providers

Previously called housing associations, community housing providers are run by independent skills based boards with strong links to their community. They provide housing for specific disadvantaged groups in the community. Vacancies in community housing are limited, so it's a good idea to consider a range of options.

Volunteer member-tenant managed community housing

Previously called housing co-operatives, volunteer member-tenant managed (VMTM) community housing is maintained and managed by members, who are usually tenants. This requires a commitment of up to 12 hours per week by member-tenants to make decisions and carry out all functions related to:

  • governance, risk management, legal compliance
  • member and tenant selection
  • maintenance and property management
  • tenancy and rent management.

Vacancies in VMTM housing are limited, so so it's a good idea to consider a range of options.

Related information

On this site

Housing services finder - search for other housing options.


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Page last updated 5 March 2018

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Department of Human Services
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