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The cost-effectiveness of homelessness programs: a first assessment

1 Jul 2008

This study provides a first assessment of the cost-effectiveness of homelessness programs operating in Australia. Homelessness prevention and support programs provide support to those who are homeless, those escaping domestic violence and those who are at risk of becoming homeless.

The study utilises findings from a relatively small-scale, but, nevertheless rich survey of homelessness program agencies and clients in Western Australia. It provides important findings on the outcomes achieved by clients of homelessness programs and of the net cost of providing support to homelessness program clients as well as suggesting fruitful lines for further enquiry in an area where a significant dearth of evidence exists.

The cost-effectiveness of any given homelessness program is measured by the extent to which it improves client outcomes per dollar spent over and above what would otherwise have occurred. Cost-effectiveness studies, therefore, seek to answer the following question: What outcomes do programs deliver for their clients and at what net cost?

The appendices to the report are available here>>.

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