Verify urgent housing needs and barriers

Support providers can use this page to gather the information and evidence required for customers with an urgent or high housing need.

Urgent or high housing need

A customer has an urgent housing need if they are all of these:


A customer is homeless if they are:

  • living on the streets
  • sleeping in parks
  • squatting
  • in a refuge or crisis shelter
  • couch surfing
  • living temporarily with friends
  • in short-term insecure accommodation, for example staying in a hotel.

At risk

A customer is at risk if all these apply:

  • there’s an imminent and serious threat to their life, health and wellbeing
  • they can't stay with family or friends
  • they can’t access alternative housing options, for example a shelter or boarding house
  • the situation can’t be managed another way and urgent housing is needed.

Have long term barriers

A customer has long-term barriers to accessing or maintaining other housing options for any of these reasons:

  • long term health issues
  • long term disability issues
  • discrimination
  • long term financial hardship
  • leaving institutional care
  • chronic lack of social skills.

A customer has a high need if they have long-term barriers but are not homeless or at risk.

Who can verify the need

You can verify a housing need if you have a role such as:

  • social worker
  • case manager
  • community or disability worker
  • health professional
  • police officer or victim support service
  • religious or community leader.

How to verify

You can complete a Housing Needs Assessment form (274.5 KB PDF) instead of writing a letter.

You'll need to provide:

  • your name, contact details and organisation
  • the customer’s full name and date of birth
  • the customer reference number from Housing SA or a community housing provider.

Customer reference numbers appear on letters from Housing SA. Customers can phone Housing SA on 131 299 for help if they can't find their reference number.

Attach the appropriate form completed by the customer

Housing SA customers with a Housing Connect account can register online for housing, transfer to another public or Aboriginal housing property or advise a change of circumstances. Alternatively use the appropriate form.

Current and previous accommodation

You need to tell us:

  • their current type of accommodation, for example renting privately, sleeping rough
  • how long they’ve been living there
  • why they need to leave, for example domestic violence, medical reasons, lease expired
  • how long they can stay there
  • their accommodation history - the last 3 years, including dates, addresses and why they left.


Make sure you identify the barriers the customer faces:

  • why they can’t access or maintain other housing options
  • what other housing options they’ve explored and why they were unsuccessful, for example unsuccessful private rental applications, pets.


If the customer has long-term health or disability issues include:

  • their condition and long-term prognosis
  • treatment plans and location of known supports, for example doctors, hospital-based treatment
  • any specific needs at their accommodation, for example no stairs, wheelchair access
  • areas the customer must be close to for health or medical supports.


If the customer is experiencing long-term financial hardship include:

  • current debts
  • arrangements to repay debt
  • financial counselling supports.


If the customer has safety concerns related to their housing need, provide relevant details, for example violent or aggressive behaviour, areas the customer is excluded from.

Support options

You will also need to tell us about:

  • what type of support you provide
  • when you started providing support
  • support provided by other agencies
  • additional support needed to maintain a tenancy, for example cleaning, gardening, social skills.

Related information

This site

Other websites

Was this page useful?

Thanks for contributing - your feedback helps us improve this website.

Page last updated 3 April 2023

Provided by:
SA Housing Authority
Last Updated:
Printed on:
Copyright statement:
SA.GOV.AU is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Licence. © Copyright 2023