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This briefing paper provides a brief overview of the key changes to homelessness policy that were introduced in December 2008 by the federal government’s white paper on the issue.

It provides a brief discussion about the different definitions of homelessness and considers the number, location and characteristics of homeless people in Australia and NSW, and examines different views on the causes of homelessness. The paper concludes with some general comments about the impact of the current economic situation on homelessness and the Federal Government’s economic stimulus package with respect to social housing in NSW.

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