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Half of Australia’s Homeless are Under 25

4 April 2012 at 12:42 pm
Staff Reporter
Half of Australians seeking help for homelessness are under 25 and almost twenty per cent are under 10, according to new research by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.

Staff Reporter | 4 April 2012 at 12:42 pm


Half of Australia’s Homeless are Under 25
4 April 2012 at 12:42 pm

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Half of Australians seeking help for homelessness are under 25 and almost twenty per cent are under 10, according to new research by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.

The report, Specialist Homelessness Services Collection: first results, also reveals that over 90,000 people were assisted by specialist homelessness agencies in the July to September quarter last year. Of those, 59 per cent were female and 41 per cent were male.

Domestic and family violence is the most common reason for seeking assistance overall, and the most common reason for seeking assistance among females, according to the report.

Among males the most common reason for seeking assistance was ‘housing crisis’.

The AIHW says that the survey aims to provide a clearer picture of homelessness based on people’s experiences, rather than the number of services provided, and for the first time counts children as individual clients.

“Of these clients, 18 per cent were aged under 10 and 50 per cent were aged under 25,” AIHW spokesperson Geoff Neideck said.

“At least one-third of people presenting to specialist homelessness agencies were with children or were children themselves, while the remaining two-thirds presented alone.”

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were significantly over-represented, with 19 per cent of those seeking homelessness assistance of Indigenous origin.

Homelessness Australia’s policy and research officer, Travis Gilbert, said that the high number of young people supported by homelessness agencies in such a short space of time was “disturbing”.

“The results of the research confirm that youth homelessness is a significant issue in Australia,” Gilbert said. 

The Federal Government says it has committed to halving the rate of homelessness by 2020 investing $20 billion in housing and homelessness programs.

Addressing the ACOSS conference in Sydney last week, the Minister for Housing and Homelessness, Brendan O’Connor, said: “We know that there is much more work to be done by all levels of government to make the housing market more efficient and responsive”.

Geoff Neideck said that some “modest improvements” in the housing situations of Australians were observed over the last quarter.

 “For those support periods that were closed over the quarter, there was a 3 per cent drop in the number of clients who had no dwelling, were living in a car or in an improvised dwelling,” Neideck said.

“There was also an increase in the proportion of clients renting in social housing from 14 per cent at the beginning of support to 17 per cent at the end of support.”

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One comment

  • Anonymous says:

    I worked for social housing before and have seen their practices first hand from management to operations. They receive funding from government as well as charity-based organisations.
    There have been a lot of waste happening in their management and if it continues to go on unchecked and unaccountable, tax-payers money would be wasted further and more people would be forced into the streets.
    The government failures are clearly seen in its administrating the fund to social housing providers or associations.
    Wastes and abuses such as hiring irresponsible staff who is addicted to smoking, gambling and tattoos, taking away working hours; spending on training expenses for staff but not being able to use their potential to the full; management in-fighting for power and control; and high-handed management from the top down.
    No wonder the problem remains unresolved; it will continue to be so until the underlying issues are exposed and addressed correctly and speedily.

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