Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (2021) Specialist homelessness services annual report 2020–21, AIHW, Australian Government, accessed 19 May 2022.
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. (2021). Specialist homelessness services annual report 2020–21. Retrieved from https://pp.aihw.gov.au/reports/homelessness-services/specialist-homelessness-services-annual-report
Specialist homelessness services annual report 2020–21. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 07 December 2021, https://pp.aihw.gov.au/reports/homelessness-services/specialist-homelessness-services-annual-report
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. Specialist homelessness services annual report 2020–21 [Internet]. Canberra: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2021 [cited 2022 May. 19]. Available from: https://pp.aihw.gov.au/reports/homelessness-services/specialist-homelessness-services-annual-report
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) 2021, Specialist homelessness services annual report 2020–21, viewed 19 May 2022, https://pp.aihw.gov.au/reports/homelessness-services/specialist-homelessness-services-annual-report
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Access to services can become increasingly difficult the further away a client is from a major city (ABS 2018). For Specialist Homelessness Services (SHS), state and territory systems for the assessment, intake, referral and ongoing case management of SHS clients vary, ranging from agency-based to centralised management models (PC 2019). This section provides an overview of the geographical distribution of SHS support services provided across Australia, based on the location of the agency.
Reporting service location in the Specialist Homelessness Services Collection (SHSC)
This section examines client service needs and characteristics based on the location of the SHS agency, where the service was received, that is, the profile of clients receiving support as provided by services in specific areas. Clients can access services in more than one remoteness area, however, for the purpose of the analysis, clients are assigned to one remoteness area based on the SHS agency where they first sought support in 2020–21. The 2016 Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS) (ABS 2018) is used to classify agencies by remoteness area based on the location details of each agency (see Technical information).
State-wide SHS operate in some states/territories and can assist a high number of clients over the phone. Therefore, service location data may not be accurate or relevant for some clients.
In interpreting regional service trends throughout this section, ‘urban areas’ refer to Major cities and Inner and Outer regional areas and ‘remote areas’ refer to Remote and Very remote areas, unless otherwise stated.
In 2020–21, clients receiving assistance from SHS agencies in urban and remote areas had different characteristics:
This interactive horizontal bar graph shows services needed by provision status and by remoteness area. Long term housing was the most needed service in major cities and inner regional areas and the least provided. Short term or emergency accommodation was the most commonly provided across remoteness areas.
Some key geographically based service trends between 2016–17 and 2020–21 (Figure REG.2) include:
In 2020–21 (Figure REG.2, Supplementary table REG.4):
Outcomes presented here describe the change in clients’ housing situation between the start and end of support during 2020–21. Data are limited to clients who ceased receiving support during the financial year – meaning that their support periods had closed and they did not have ongoing support at the end of the year.
Many clients had long periods of support or even multiple support periods during 2020–21. They may have had a number of changes in their housing situation over the course of their support. These changes within the year are not reflected in the data presented here, rather the client situation at the start of their first support period in 2020–21 is compared with the end of their last support period in 2020–21. A proportion of these clients may have sought assistance prior to 2020–21, and may again in the future.
This interactive Sankey diagram shows the housing situation (including rough sleeping, couch surfing, short term accommodation, public/community housing, private housing and institutional settings) of clients with closed support periods at first presentation and at the end of support, by remoteness area. The diagram shows clients’ housing situation journey from start to end of support. Most clients started and ended support in private or other housing.
ABS (Australian Bureau of Statistics) 2018. Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS): Volume 5—Remoteness structure, July 2016. ABS cat. no. 1270.0.55.005. Canberra: ABS.
PC (Productivity Commission) 2019. Report of Government Services 2019: Part G, Section 19: Homelessness Services. Canberra: PC.
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