23 April 2019

Specialist homelessness services annual report 2017–18

This report from the AIHW describes the characteristics of clients of specialist homelessness services (SHS), the services requested, outcomes achieved, and unmet requests for services during 2017–18. The majority of clients were female (61% or nearly 176,000) and 1 in 6 were children under the age of 10 (17% or more than 47,700 clients). Income support was high among SHS clients; a high proportion of clients aged 15 and over (78%) were receiving some form of government payment as their main income source at the time they sought support in 2017–18. The most common government payments were Newstart Allowance (29% or about 54,000 clients), Parenting Payment (18% or more than 33,300) and Disability Support Pension (16% or more than 29,500). More than 6 in 10 clients were affected by housing affordability stress with 65% of clients identifying housing affordability stress and/or financial difficulties as a reason for seeking assistance. Interpersonal and relationship issues, including family and domestic violence, affected over half of clients; with 53% of all SHS clients (about 153,400) identifying interpersonal relationships as a reason for seeking support. Within this group, domestic and family violence and/or relationship/family breakdown were identified for 60% of clients. Overall for females their main reason for seeking support was domestic and family violence, while a housing crisis was the main reason for males.