In 2016–17, the Australian and State and Territory government recurrent expenditure on specialist homelessness services was $817.4 million. Most of this expenditure (95.9 per cent) was funding provided to agencies to deliver services for people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.
Nationally in 2016–17, an estimated 288,273 people were provided support by specialist homelessness agencies. Specialist homelessness agencies provide a number of services to clients – across a range of support areas – including general services (provided to 89.6 per cent of clients), accommodation (29.9 per cent), assistance to sustain housing (27.0 per cent), and domestic and family violence services (25.2 per cent).
The specialist homelessness services system aims to support people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness to achieve sustainable housing, social inclusion and greater economic participation – re-establishing their capacity to live independently – through the delivery of transitional supported accommodation and a range of related support services that:
- are accessible
- identify and address individuals’ needs as appropriate
- are of high quality, provided by qualified staff in a safe environment.
Governments aim for specialist homelessness services to meet these objectives in an equitable and efficient manner.