22% increase in demand for homelessness services nationwide

The first national longitudinal study of homelessness in Australia, The Australian Homelessness Monitor 2018, was recently launched in Melbourne. The Australian Homelessness Monitor tracks key data on rates and types of homelessness in Australia and sets a benchmark for action on Australia’s housing crisis.

Launch Housing commissioned the Monitor in conjunction with the University of NSW and the University of Queensland.

The Australian Homelessness Monitor is the first of its kind in Australia and will be compiled every two years and will inform state and federal policies to address homelessness.

Tony Keenan, CEO of Launch Housing, said: “Australia’s housing market is at breaking point. More people are experiencing homelessness than ever before. People face rising costs of living, high rental costs and harsher income support penalties.

“Homelessness is a problem that can be fixed. The first step is having the right data and information. The Monitor brings together multiple data sources and analysis, qualitative survey information from key informants and state by state breakdowns.

“The Monitor shows the direct relationship between government policies and levels of homelessness.”

The Monitor shows that there was a 22% increase in demand for homelessness services nationwide between 2011 and 2016 and that there has been a 20% increase in the number of people who are sleeping rough. It also showed that more older Australians are experiencing homelessness than ever before with a 28% increase in the number of elderly people who have nowhere to live.

“We must see a shared effort from the Australian Government, the states and territories to address housing affordability,” Mr Keenan said.

“The Australian Homelessness Monitor should inform the development of a national housing plan.”

More information about the Australian Homelessness Monitor is available on the Launch Housing website.