This report is the third annual report on the clients of specialist homelessness services across Australia. In that time, specialist homelessness services agencies have supported more than half a million Australians who have been homeless or at imminent risk of losing their housing. This report focusses on the clients of those agencies in 2013–14 and examines key changes that have occurred over the last three years.
In 2013–14 an estimated 254,000 Australians accessed specialist homelessness services—an increase of 4% from 2012–13.
The numbers of clients increased in all states and territories except for New South Wales, and ACT, which recorded slight decreases. Victoria accounted for 76% of the national increase in clients.
There was an increase in the proportion of males who were at risk of homelessness when they first sought support.
The proportion of male clients who were at risk of homelessness when presenting increased from 43% of male clients in 2012–13 to 48% in 2013–14.
More clients sought support for assistance to maintain their housing tenure
32% of clients in 2013–14 were identified as needing assistance to sustain tenancy or prevent tenancy failure or eviction, up from 28% in 2011–12.
The proportion of clients who identified housing affordability related issues (financial difficulties, rents too high or housing crisis) as the main reason for seeking support remained steady at 36% in 2013–14.
The number of people seeking help for domestic and family violence increased
An estimated 84,774 adults and children (33% of all clients) sought assistance as a result of experiencing family or domestic violence. This was an increase of 9% from 2012–13, including an increase of 14% in the number of children experiencing family or domestic violence.
An estimated 26,655 clients had a long term health condition or disability that restricted their everyday activities
New data collected in 2013–14 also revealed that 38% of these clients had a disability or long term health condition and needed assistance with self-care, mobility or communication.