AIHW Specialist Homelessness Services Collection (SHSC), 2017–18

First year: 2011–12

Latest year: 2017–18

Frequency: Annually

Years in this publication: 2011–12 to 2017–18

Size: 288,800 clients

Methodology: Administrative data set

Geography: National


The Specialist Homelessness Services (SHS) collection obtains information about adults and children who seek assistance from specialist homelessness agencies.

Scope and coverage

This national data collection contains information collected from homelessness agencies funded under the National Housing and Homelessness Agreement.

The base unit is a person who presents to an SHS agency requesting services. A person becomes a ‘client’ once they receive services.

A ‘support period’ is the period a client receives assistance from a SHS agency. It relates to the provision of a service and/or supported accommodation. It finishes when the relationship between the client and agency ends, the client has reached their maximum amount of support, or a client has not received services from an agency for a whole calendar month and there is no ongoing relationship.

FDSV definitions

Clients in the SHSC were counted as ‘experiencing domestic and family violence’ if, as part of any support period during the study period: ‘domestic and family violence’ was reported as a reason they sought assistance, or if, as part of any support period, they required domestic or family violence assistance. The SHSC reports on all clients who experience domestic and family violence, both victims and perpetrators. The SHSC data currently cannot distinguish between these 2 groups.

In most cases, a series of services other than supported accommodation are provided to the client by the SHS agency during a support period. ‘Assistance’ also includes contact with a client, or work on behalf of a client. From 1 July 2019, additional information will be collected on the type of services provided to SHS clients, including whether services are victim or perpetrator services.

For more information, visit Specialist Homelessness Services.