Barriers in accommodating survivors of modern slavery

Shelter WA partnered with the Australian Red Cross to undertake an in-depth assessment of Western Australian accommodation options for Red Cross clients on the Support for Trafficked People Program and to analyse the availability, suitability and accessibility of services in WA and the challenges encountered.

In Western Australia, the main challenges in accommodating survivors of modern slavery as reported by accommodation providers was meeting complex needs associated with an experience of trauma, maintaining safety for the client and accommodation providers not being aware of a person’s experience of trafficking.

Migration Support

The Australian Red Cross’ Migration Support Programs works to assist migrants in transition to ensure they have their humanitarian needs met and are participating and included in Australian society. It seeks to support people who are particularly vulnerable due to their circumstances, for example, people seeking protection, with restricted access to support and services, or subjected to exploitation. It works directly with those seeking help, irrespective of their legal status, their background, or how they arrived in Australia.

The Project

This project analysed the availability, accessibility, eligibility and suitability of different short-term and long-term accommodation options, considering the particular needs of survivors of modern slavery. This was done using a mixed methods approach including stakeholder mapping, online surveys from accommodation providers and Support Program case workers, semi structured interviews, a literature review and a review of Support Program client data.

WA Findings

Some of the findings include;

  • A housing crisis in the state is impacting short and long-term accommodation.
  • A lack of income and rental history are the biggest eligibility barriers identified by caseworkers.
  • A lack of suitable accommodation where the rules and responsibilities align with needs, or where specialised services are required.


Shelter WA consultant Christy Van der Heyden who worked on this project.

The Report

You can read the report here.