Social Housing

Transitional Housing

What is it?

Transitional Housing is a type of medium-term housing. It is considered a stepping stone to more permanent housing options.

This accommodation is basically a typical unit or house in the community, except the landlord is a community organization. The tenant signs an initial lease which may very from several months to one year.

During that time, the tenant is expected to be actively searching and applying for long-term accommodation. Tenants are allocated a support worker who will assist them in finding alternative accommodation.

Who can apply?

Transitional housing is allocated to individuals or groups that are experiencing homelessness.

They can be accessed through mainstream homelessness services and community organizations

Note: Some transitional houses are managed by different community organizations and therefore different organizations have their own eligibility criteria.

How do I apply?

This can be a bit confusing!

Someone that is homeless can apply for transitional housing by going into their nearest Opening Doors Service and requesting to apply.

Here’s a quick summary:
  • Assessment with IAP worker
  • Client put on waitlist for transitional housing worker
  • Client is offered support and works with Transitional housing worker
  • Client is put on waitlist for transitional house
  • Offer for transitional housing (if alternative not already secured)

You might hear that a community organization (e.g. family violence service) has 'nomination rights' to a transitional property. Some community organizations can nominate an existing client for a property that has become available. These systems are managed by those organizations and referrals occur internally.


  • Rent is subsidized and is generally more affordable.
  • The duration of leases can vary from 4 to 12 months between agencies so there is a high-turn around and the waiting time is generally less compared to public housing.
  • Tenants are allocated a support worker who supports them in looking for longer-term and sustainable accommodation.


  • Waiting times are also long for transitional housing and are based on priority of need hence it is hard to know when this may be available.
  • Not permanent
  • It is compulsory for tenant to engage with allocated service as this is part of conditions of tenancy.