Fact sheet

Fact Check: Why Luke Howarth's claims on homelessness in Australia get mixed verdicts

Liberal Party of Australia Homelessness
Assistant Minister for Homelessness Luke Howarth says he wants to put a "positive spin" on homelessness, and claims that not only are very few people homeless, but on several measures the numbers are improving. He claimed that 99.5 per cent of the Australian population is housed, stating that "about half a per cent of the population don't have a permanent roof over their head". Mr Howarth added that the rate of increase in the number of people experiencing homelessness had not outstripped population growth. Mr Howarth also claimed during the interview that there had been a decrease in the number of rough sleepers. He said the number of people "living in impoverished dwellings or people living on the street" had fallen from 8,946 to 8,200 over a 15-year period to 2016. So, how do we make sense of all these figures and claims? Mr Howarth's claims get mixed
verdicts. Of his three claims, RMIT ABC Fact Check found one to be correct, one to be incorrect, and one to be a case of cherrypicking. Verdict: Multiple
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