Ending homelessness in Australia

21 Feb 2022

An actionable report from the Centre for Social Impact, Neami National and the Australian Alliance to End Homelessness (AAEH)provides valuable insights into homelessness in Australia. The report examines the current state of homelessness in Australia  and presents the first detailed examination of data from the Advance to Zero database.

Since 2010, homelessness services have used Registry/Connection Weeks to understand the needs and vulnerabilities of people experiencing homelessness, particularly people sleeping rough.

Data from 21,000 people experiencing homelessness over the decade provides actionable data to end and prevent homelessness for some of our most disadvantaged people.

Some key findings are:

  • Average length of time people had experienced homelessness: 3.8 years
  • Around 70% of people sleeping rough had been in out of home care as a child at some point
  • 30% identified as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people
  • Health issues include cellulitis, foot/skin infections, dehydration, epilepsy and dental problems
  • 21% reported a serious brain injury or trauma

The report identifies five key actions to end homelessness in Australia:

  1. Leadership and proactivity at the Australian Government level and a national end homelessness strategy applying across the states and territories.
  2.  An increase in the supply of social and affordable housing directed to an end homelessness goal.
  3.  Comprehensive application of Housing First programs linked to supportive housing for those entering permanent housing with histories of homelessness and high health and other service needs.
  4. Targeted prevention and early intervention programs which address the underlying drivers of homelessness in order to turn off the tap of entry into homelessness.
  5. Supportive systems and programs which build the enablers of an end homelessness program: advocacy, commitment and resource flow to ending homelessness; effective service integration; culturally safe and appropriate service delivery including expansion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander-led and controlled services to help address high rates of homelessness in their communities; and improving data quality, evaluation and research around ending homelessness in Australia.

The report and summaries are available here:

Ending Homelessness in Australia

Bulletin 1: Understanding homelessness, taking action

Bulletin 2: Findings from the Advance to Zero database: A decade of community-led data collection among those experiencing homelessness in Australia’s cities