The South Australian Government has been assisting its citizens secure affordable housing since 1936, and the Government’s current strategies build on its long and proud history of housing innovation and investment.

Social Housing is provided to low income households by the SA Housing Authority. Eligibility is based on a % of average weekly earnings by household type (income and asset limits).

South Australia's proportion of Social Housing is higher than the national average on a per capita basis

Comparative national data indicates that South Australia has the third highest proportion of Social Houses relative to its population (2.6%) and this is higher than the national average (1.7%). There are no households in public housing experiencing rental stress (rent represents less than 25% of gross household income).

South Australia also fares comparatively well, and above the national average, on other metrics measuring the supply and quality of social housing, and our clients report higher levels of satisfaction with dwellings than the national average.

Comparative national data also identifies that unmet demand for homelessness accommodation in South Australia is around half that of the national average (15.5% compared to the national average of 33.6%).  The proportion of clients who sustained independent housing was 70.4% compared to the national average of 64.8%.

Future Housing

Our Housing Future document

The South Australian Government is currently implementing a 10-year strategy: Our Housing Future 2020-2030 to further address affordable housing and homelessness and create well-functioning communities. The strategy builds on partnerships within the housing sector and industry across  planning, financing and the delivery of housing and related services.  Five key initiatives will support the development of appropriate housing, which is integral to achieving the State’s sustained economic growth target of 3% per annum.

The State’s future housing strategy includes:

  • The creation of affordable homes (Affordable Housing Initiative) in partnership with the residential construction sector;
  • Investment in a neighbourhood renewal program targeting large metropolitan areas with older, low density public housing stock;
  • State investment into the Affordable Housing Fund to provide additional HomeStart Finance Starter Loans to assist people into home ownership;
  • Investment to improve sustainability and energy efficiency of existing public housing as part of a capital maintenance program; and
  • Investment for innovative housing trials (with the aim to generate private investment) to reduce reliance on emergency housing and prevent homelessness.

Other initiatives supporting affordable housing within South Australia include:

  • HomeSeeker SA – a website that offers eligible buyers exclusive access to affordable properties that are available for a limited period of time before being listed for sale on the open market.
  • RevenueSA – provides a grant to first home owners on the purchase or construction of a new residential home in South Australia.
  • 15% Affordable Housing Policy; Inclusionary zoning - all new significant (private) developments include a minimum 15% affordable housing through the planning system.

South Australia has over 15 years supply of zoned residential land across Greater Adelaide, which assists in managing housing accessibility and affordability in South Australia.

Housing for our Aboriginal people

The State Government has also launched its Aboriginal Housing Strategy, a 10-year plan to improve housing outcomes for all Aboriginal South Australians.  The Strategy is centred on a common vision that Aboriginal peoples within South Australia have equitable access to safe, secure and affordable homes achieved through shared decision making and culturally informed services that maintain Aboriginal peoples personal and cultural wellbeing.

The State Government’s Strategy aligns with its commitment to implementing the Closing the Gap Agreement.  It has been co-designed by Aboriginal people and organisations across the State.

South Australia Aboriginal Housing Strategy

Backed by more than $83 million of investment from Commonwealth and State funding over the first five years, the South Australian Aboriginal Housing Strategy 2021-2031 will modernise the Aboriginal housing system.

The Strategy outlines 17 actions across six strategic pillars to drive sector-wide reform, including increasing the supply of safe housing and providing more opportunities for home ownership and economic participation and access to culturally responsive and appropriate services, with implementation supported through self-determination and self-governance.


In early 2017 the South Australian Government launched the Aspire social impact bond, which was the first social impact bond introduced within Australia to specifically target homelessness.

The Aspire program brought together a group of homelessness services specialists to provide intensive case-management targeting the most vulnerable of the homeless population.  Government outcomes payments (and investor returns) are linked specifically to reductions in metrics for hospital inpatient bed days, offence convictions and short-term and emergency accommodation support periods.

More recently the State has implemented initiatives Opportunities for Specialist Homelessness Services which seeks to provide opportunities to partner with service providers, stakeholders and communities to prevent and reduce homelessness through targeted and tailored initiatives.

As part of the Government’s Our Housing Future 2020-2030 strategy it has committed to working with the homelessness sector to design a better system to meet the needs of South Australians experiencing homelessness.

Future Directions for Homelessness

The Government’s Future Directions for Homelessness reforms aim to provide better services, prevent people from falling into homelessness, and rapidly rehouse people into safe, stable and long-term housing so they don’t cycle in and out of homelessness.  The Government has transformed service provision by establishing five strategic Alliances to co-ordinate homelessness and domestic and family violence services throughout the state.

The SA Homelessness Alliances involve multiple non-government partners coming together and working in partnership with government in a formal and structured way to develop integrated service networks  comprising four regional homelessness alliances, and one state-wide domestic and family violence alliance.  These five alliances can better manage the complex and evolving needs of clients to transform what was previously a fragmented system of service delivery for what are some of the most vulnerable members of the community.