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Homelessness

 

Homelessness is part of the continuum of housing need.  On any given night, 1 in 200 people experience homelessness in Australia.  This includes rough sleepers as well as people living in crisis accommodation or in severely overcrowded conditions.  People experiencing homelessness require a range of supportive services and appropriate accommodation, not simply a roof over their head. 

Issues

  • There were 9,595 people experiencing homelessness on Census night in 2011 in WA. [i] The number of people experiencing homelessness increased from 8,277 in 2006.  The main increase (from 2,983 to 4,154) was in the category of people in severely overcrowded dwellings, which refers to a dwelling where four or more bedrooms are needed to adequately house the number of people in the household.

Homelessness in WA, 2011

Homeless operational groups and other marginal housing, WA

2011

Persons who are in improvised dwellings, tents or sleeping out

928

Persons in supported accommodation for the homeless

932

Persons staying temporarily with other households

2,170

Persons staying in boarding houses

1,336

Persons in temporary lodging

75

Persons in ‘severely’ crowded dwellings

4,154

All homeless persons

9,595

 

 

Persons living in other crowded dwellings

5,204

Persons in other improvised dwellings

629

Persons who are marginally housed in caravan parks

1,235

All homeless persons and other marginally housed

16,663

Source: ABS (2012) [ii]

  • There has been an increase in the number of people seeking homelessness services due to financial reasons, from 11.2% in 2006-07 to 23.3% in 2014-15. [iii]
  • During 2014-15, an estimated 23,021 people received support from a government-funded specialist homelessness agency in Western Australia.  Of these, 16,574 (72%) were adults and 6,446 (28.0%) were under the age of 18.

 

  • Homelessness service users in Western Australia were: [iv]
    • Mostly female (62%).
    • Mostly non-Indigenous (55%).  Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander peoples were, however, over-represented relative to their population size—32% of clients in Western Australia identified as Indigenous compared with 3% of Western Australians. [v]  
    • Mostly Australian-born (85.8%).  The next most frequent countries of birth were New Zealand and England. 
    • Domestic violence has become a leading cause of homelessness (39.8%).
    • As of 2012-13 [vi] , 18% of clients in WA lived in remote or very remote locations.
  • An average of 62 people are left unassisted from specialist homelessness services in Western Australia every day. [vii]
  • Of the people turned away, 66.9% had long-term housing needs that could not be met, and 39.5% had medium-term/transitional housing needs that could not be met.

 

Resources

During office hours: EntryPoint Perth

Homeless Advisory Service

6496 0001 or 1800 124 684

1800 065 892

After hours: Crisis Care

9223 1111 or 1800 199 008

Ruah

9485 3939

Salvation Army

8878 4500

St. Barts

9323 5100

Uniting Care West

1300 663 298

 

Last updated January 2016


[i] ABS (2012) Census of Population and Housing: Estimating homelessness, 2011 , Cat. no. 2049.0, Australian Bureau of Statistics: Canberra. 

[ii] Ibid

[iii] AIHW (2015) Specialist homelessness services 2014-15 . Cat. no. HOU 273. Canberra: AIHW

[iv] AIHW (2015) WA Supplementary Tables of Specialist homelessness services 2014 15 .

[v] AIHW (2013) WA Supplementary Tables of Specialist homelessness services 2012 13.

[vi] Ibid

[vii] AIHW (2014) Specialist homelessness services 2014-15 . Cat. no. HOU 273. Canberra: AIHW