Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (2018) Specialist homelessness services annual report 2016–17, AIHW, Australian Government, accessed 28 September 2022.
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. (2018). Specialist homelessness services annual report 2016–17. Retrieved from https://pp.aihw.gov.au/reports/homelessness-services/specialist-homelessness-services-2016-17
Specialist homelessness services annual report 2016–17. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 12 February 2018, https://pp.aihw.gov.au/reports/homelessness-services/specialist-homelessness-services-2016-17
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. Specialist homelessness services annual report 2016–17 [Internet]. Canberra: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2018 [cited 2022 Sep. 28]. Available from: https://pp.aihw.gov.au/reports/homelessness-services/specialist-homelessness-services-2016-17
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) 2018, Specialist homelessness services annual report 2016–17, viewed 28 September 2022, https://pp.aihw.gov.au/reports/homelessness-services/specialist-homelessness-services-2016-17
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Access to services can become increasingly difficult the further away a client is from a major city. This section examines differences in client characteristics and service needs according to location. As per previous reports, for the purposes of the analysis, clients have been classified by geographical area based on the location of the agency from which they first received assistance in 2016–17. Agencies have been classified by geographical area based on the Australian Statistical Geography Standard  using the location details of each agency.
Since 2012–13, there has been a steady increase in the number of clients across most geographic areas. The SHS collection continues to reveal differences in client characteristics and service needs across these areas. Some key regional trends over the past 5 years include:
Number of clients (proportion of all clients)
Rate (per 10,000 population)
Housing situation at the beginning of first support period (proportion all clients)
At risk of homelessness
Length of support (median number of days)
Average number of support periods per client
Proportion receiving accommodation
Median number of nights accommodated
Proportion of a client group who had a case management plan (per cent)
Achievement of all case management goals (per cent)
Source: Specialist Homelessness Services Collection 2014–15 to 2016–17.
In 2016–17 regional areas displayed distinct characteristics:
The average number of support periods per client in Major cities was 1.8 compared with 1.6 for Inner regional and Remote/very remote areas, and 1.5 for Outer regional areas
46 days was the median number of days of support in Inner regional areas compared with 20 days of support for Remote/very remote areas
74% of clients in Outer regional areas had a case management plan compared with 59% in Major cities and 64% in Inner regional and Remote/very remote areas
59% of clients in Remote/very remote areas received accommodation compared with 25–37% for the other areas
Figure REG.1 illustrates the distribution of clients by age and sex for 2016–17:
The younger age of clients in more remote regions suggests that in Remote/very remote areas there were higher proportions of families presenting with children when compared with Major cities. It also reflects the younger age structure of Indigenous Australians who make up the majority of clients in these areas. Conversely, the proportion of lone persons was higher in Major cities.
Source: Specialist homelessness services 2016–17, National supplementary table REG.1.
Source: Specialist homelessness services 2016–17, National supplementary table REG.3.
Stable housing, for the purpose of the SHSC, refers to clients ending support in public or community housing (renter or rent free), private or other housing (renter, rent free or owner), or Institutional settings.
Source: Specialist homelessness services 2016–17, National supplementary table REG.4.
There are differences in stable housing achievements for clients who present either homeless or housed, but at risk of homeless (Table REG.2).
Across all regions, agencies were best able to assist those presenting at risk of homelessness, with 9 in 10 maintaining their housing following support.
For those clients presenting homeless, agencies were able to assist around 4 in 10 clients into stable housing at the end of support.
For clients presenting homeless, living in short-term or emergency accommodation, agencies across all regional areas were able to assist almost half of these clients into stable housing (42–49%).
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