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Eligibility and housing needs assessments

If you are interested in registering for a community housing provider see registering for public and community housing.

To be eligible for community housing, customers must meet the basic eligibility criteria before they can be registered on the Community Housing Customer Register.

To pass the base eligibility criteria people need to:

  • be a resident of South Australia
  • not be a homeowner
  • have an independent income.

Exceptions to this criteria may apply in extenuating circumstances. Registrants must be able to show proof of income and identification.

Registrants must also meet the eligibility criteria set by the individual community housing providers they express interest in.

Complete lists of providers are available:

Documents you'll need

When a registration of interest form is submitted, the customer must provide the following information for everyone in the household aged 16 or older:

  • proof of income that is less than two weeks old
  • proof of assets
  • proof of identity

Any extenuating circumstances identified as part of the housing needs assessment must be substantiated - eg by a letter from their doctor.

Multiple household groups

When determining eligibility there may be situations where the applying household comprises more than one household group - eg couple with a child and an elderly parent who is financially independent. In this situation, the couple and their child are considered to be one group and the elderly parent another.

All household groups included on the registration of interest form must meet the eligibility criteria in their own right to be registered for any type of community housing. In the above example, the couple and their child must meet the eligibility criteria for that household type, and the elderly parent must meet the eligibility criteria as a single person.

If one of the household groups listed on a registration of interest form does not meet the eligibility criteria, the household can't be registered for community housing unless:

  • the ineligible party is removed from the registration
  • the needs test is met by someone listed on the registration.

Housing needs assessments

If the registrant indicates they have particular needs or circumstances that limit their housing options, a housing needs assessment can be undertaken. This is to establish their level of need and the category they should be placed into.

The Community Housing Customer Register has three categories which registrants are placed into depending on their level of need.

Category Level of need
Category 1 People in urgent need of housing and have long-term barriers to accessing or maintaining private rental or housing options - eg privately renting.
Category 2 People are not currently in urgent housing need but have long-term barriers to accessing or maintaining private housing options - eg privately renting, or who meet the automatic needs entry criteria.
Category 3 People don't have urgent housing needs or long-term barriers to other housing options. In other words, they do not meet category 1 or 2 criteria.

In some situations a customer's support worker - eg social worker or medical professional, may undertake a housing needs assessment by completing a housing need report form on the applicant's behalf and returning this to the primary contact organisation.

This information can be used by the community housing organisation to help determine which category is most appropriate for the customer.

Other members of your household

If someone in the household other than the registrant is assessed as being in need the household will only remain eligible for a higher category provided they are able to demonstrate one of the following:

  • they are related to the other household member
  • the other household member has been living with them for at least 12 months before the registration was lodged
  • the other household member has been requested or directed to live with them - eg bail conditions.

If the other household member in need doesn't normally reside with the registrant or they leave the household, they can lodge a registration of interest in their own name provided they can demonstrate their ability to live independently.

Outcomes of housing needs assessment

Once a decision has been made about the registrant's level of need they should be advised in writing and if appropriate their support worker should also be advised.

Related information

On this site

Other websites

Department of Human Services - social and health related payments and services including Centrelink services


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Page last updated 18 February 2020

Provided by:
SA Housing Authority
Last Updated:
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