The latest report on the government's Supported Accommodation Assistance Program (SAAP), released today by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW), shows that one in every 104 Australians, received substantial SAAP support in 2007-08.
'That equates to 202,500 people (125,600 clients and 76,900 accompanying children), the majority of whom were female', said Felicity Murdoch, of the Institute's Housing and Homelessness Reporting and Analysis Unit.
According to the report, Homeless people in SAAP 2007-08, the largest group of SAAP clients was 15- to 19-year-olds.
'In particular, young women aged 15-19 years were high users of these services, with one in every 49 young women in this age group accessing a SAAP service in 2007-08,' Ms Murdoch said.
Children also had a very high rate of use, with one in every 39 children aged 4 years or younger accompanying a parent or guardian to a SAAP agency.
Domestic or family violence, and relationship or family breakdown were the most common reason clients gave for seeking assistance. Accommodation and financial issues were other common reasons.
Two-thirds of support periods were for support services only and about one-third included a period of accommodation.
Family groups with children generally required longer periods of support and accommodation.
Generally, SAAP client circumstances improved following support, particularly for those who required assistance with income, employment and housing, and for those supported for longer periods.
Over half (60%) of SAAP clients had a case management plan in place before the end of their support. In most cases (93%), at least some of the goals specified in the plan were achieved.
This report is accompanied by eight individual state and territory reports, which cover client outcomes for income, employment, education, and other measures.
The Supported Accommodation Assistance Program, which is now incorporated into the National Affordable Housing Agreement, was jointly funded by the Australian Government and the state and territory governments.