Homelessness Data (AIHW)

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) have just released their 2019 – 2020 Specialist Homelessness Services annual report and it is accompanied by updated Specialist Homelessness Services Collection Data Cubes with information on clients assisted in states and territories.

The report describes the characteristics of clients of specialist homelessness services, the services requested, outcomes achieved, and unmet requests for services during 2019–20.

Governments across Australia fund a range of specialist services to support people who are experiencing homelessness or at risk of homelessness. Specialist Homelessness Services (SHS) deliver services for specific groups, such as people experiencing family and domestic violence, as well as more generic services for people in housing crisis.

The key findings for Western Australia are the following:

  • 1 in 105 people in Western Australia received homelessness assistance, which is lower that the nation rate (1 in 87).

The top three reasons for clients seeking assistance were:

– family and domestic violence (39 per cent)
– financial difficulties (35 per cent), and
– relationship or family breakdown (23 per cent).

  • A greater proportion of clients in Western Australia needed accommodation compared to Nationally (65 per cent and 59 per cent, respectively).
  • Client rates had increased for groups such as Indigenous clients and those with problematic drug and or alcohol use. 41 per cent of the clients were experiencing homelessness when first presenting to a service, 31 per cent of which were assisted into housing (51 per cent of which were housed in public or community housing, while 46 per cent were housed in private or other housing).
  • Out of the clients who received support and were housed but were at risk of homelessness, 89 per cent were assisted to maintain housing.

The full report can be found here.