This study provides an independent analysis of homelessness in Australia. It analyses changes in the scale and nature of the problem and investigates the incidence of the many social, economic and policy drivers of homelessness.
The findings of this study can be summarised in terms of:
(1) the changing scope and pattern of homelessness
(2) the nature of broader social and economic drivers that condition the risk of homelessness, especially for some groups such as low-income households, and
(3) the particular relevance of policy at federal, state and territory levels in both exacerbating and easing homelessness.
This is especially the case in respect to housing policies, income support policies and policies that support homelessness programs. Attention is also given in the study to Indigenous homelessness with a particular emphasis on remote communities.
We demonstrate how public policies, particularly housing and welfare policies, are firstly, critical drivers of homelessness in Australia, and secondly, areas that represent significant opportunities to demonstrably reduce homelessness. Thus, drawing on the prominent UK researchers such as Fitzpatrick and colleagues, who were involved with the original UK Homelessness Monitor, the report acknowledges the complexity of the causes of homelessness, but it similarly identifies a suite of public policy changes that can improve the housing and life outcomes of people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.