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Shelter SA welcomes the Targets outlined for social housing in the next financial year, in particular the revised claims process for Housing SA Bond guarantees to increase protection for private renters.

The activity indicator on the number of public housing rental opportunities provided by Housing SA is reducing from 38,710 (the 2016-17 Estimated Result) to a projected 34,050 in 2017-18.  The reduction reflects approximately 4,000 properties that will be transferred to the community housing sector and it is assumed that the remaining 660 of those properties will be sold, further reducing the public housing available to people living on low incomes across South Australia.  The overall reduction in public housing will worsen housing stress for people living on low incomes and potentially increase the number of people experiencing homelessness, adding further strain on an at capacity service system.

Shelter SA is very pleased that there has been no reduction in assistance to people living on low incomes through the Housing SA Private Rental Assistance Program with a slight increase in customers expected in the next financial year.  It is also pleasing to see a slight increase of 415 high needs clients who will be placed in housing by Housing SA, no reduction in the number of rough sleepers assisted into accommodation through specialist homelessness services and a modest increase in the number of Aboriginal customers assisted into housing by Housing SA from 4,230 to 4,590.

The National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness, now combined with the National Affordable Housing Agreement is assured in the South Australian Budget for the next 12 months – $18.1 million in partnership with the Commonwealth Government.  The new National Affordable Housing and Homelessness Agreement is yet to be negotiated.

A new revenue measure will see foreign residential property buyers pay a stamp duty surcharge from 1 January 2018 which will amount to $48.8 million over four years – it would be ideal if some of this revenue could be used to create more social housing and avoid the need to continue to sell off our public housing assets.

Click here to view the SA State Budget.

With thanks to Shelter SA for this report.