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Department for Communities and Social Inclusion

South Australian Housing Trust

Direct Lease Youth Priority Program policy

The purpose of this policy

The Direct Lease Youth Priority Program provides medium term housing for young people who face difficulties finding and maintaining housing.

This policy sets out:

  • the eligibility criteria for the program
  • how medium term housing is offered under the program.

The Direct Lease Youth Priority Program provides medium term housing options for young people who need help to develop independent living skills and gain a longer lease with Housing SA or the private rental market.


People must meet all of the below conditions to be eligible:

  • they are aged between 16 to 25
  • they have experienced difficulty in living independently
  • they have the capacity to live independently.

Fifteen year olds are eligible for the program if they meet all of the eligibility criteria, and have the approval of their legal guardian.

Housing SA considers additional criteria that impact on the ability of a young person to access other housing. This can include but is not limited to:

  • a history of abuse
  • Guardianship of the Minister
  • discrimination in the private rental market.

Referrals and assessment

Housing SA may identify young people who are eligible for the program and accepts referrals directly from community agencies. Housing SA assesses referrals based on evidence that addresses the eligibility criteria for the program.

If the assessment indicates that the young person needs an individual plan to meet the objectives of their lease, Housing SA will develop a plan in conjunction with the young person and their support worker.

Housing SA expects young people to continue working with their support worker to improve their capacity to live independently, and to reach any goals established in their plan.

If approved for the program, young people are treated in the same way as a Category 1 registrant in line with the Public and Aboriginal housing registration and allocation policy.

Lease agreement

Housing SA will meet with the young person before allocating them a property. Housing SA will explain both Housing SA's and the young person's obligations and responsibilities under their lease agreement, also known as the Conditions of Tenancy.

The initial lease agreement is for a minimum of 18 months.

Housing SA may consider offering a longer lease agreement depending on the tenant's circumstances. Housing SA determines this on a case-by-case basis.


Tenants must pay one week's rent in advance and a deposit before moving into the property.

The deposit is either:

  • $8 if the tenant is aged 17 or under
  • equal to one week's rent if the tenant is aged 18 or over.

Managing the tenancy

Housing SA manages Direct Lease tenancies in line with other Housing SA policies, including:

Housing SA may approve a transfer for a Direct Lease tenant if this is appropriate - eg a transfer may improve the tenant's ability to meet the goals of their individual plan.

Reviewing the tenancy

Housing SA reviews the tenancy before the end of the lease agreement to see if the tenant has met their goals.

The outcome will be one of the below:

  • they transfer to more suitable accommodation
  • the lease is extended
  • their lease ends.

Tenants who successfully complete a Direct Lease tenancy are automatically eligible for Category 2 of the housing register. They may also be assessed for Category 1 of the register.

At the end of the tenancy

If Housing SA determines that the lease agreement should not be extended or should end, they will discuss other options with the tenant, including help paying bond or rent or finding a private rental property.

Related laws, policies and documents

Controlling documents

This policy is based on and complies with:

Supporting guidelines

  • Direct Lease Youth Priority Program guidelines v 11

Related policies and other documents

Date this policy applies from

30 March 2016

Version number


The online version of the policy is the approved and current version. There is no guarantee that any printed copies are current.

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State Government of South Australia © Copyright DHS .

Provided by:
Department for Communities and Social Inclusion
Last Updated:
28 Oct 2016
Printed on:
21 Apr 2018
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