The AIHW compiles data about specialist homelessness services (SHS) clients and the support they receive from SHS service(s). These services collect the data on an ongoing basis and are responsible for submitting the data to the AIHW on a monthly basis.

Collection details

Temporal coverage

from 1 July 2011

Geographical coverage

National and state and territory 

Data availability

  • publications
  • data cubes
  • summary tables published in electronic form
  • client specified tables on request which may be subject to data provider approval (charges apply)
  • restrictions and limitations govern the availability or use of other data in this holding

Data scope

The base unit is a person who presents to an SHS agency requesting services). A person becomes a ‘client’ once they receive services.

A ‘support period’ is the period a client receives assistance from an SHS agency. It relates to the provision of a service and/or supported accommodation.

It finishes when the relationship between the client and agency ends, the client has reached their maximum amount of support; or a client has not received services from an agency for a whole calendar month and there is no ongoing relationship. In most cases, a series of services other than supported accommodation are provided to the client by the SHS agency during a support period. ‘Assistance’ also includes contact with a client, or work on behalf of a client.

The SHS NMDS has 2 'views'—‘Unassisted person’ and ‘Client’. Details of all agencies participating in the SHS collection are on the Specialist Homelessness Establishment Database file. The Specialist Homelessness Information Platform (SHIP) supports agencies in reporting for the SHS collection and allows agencies to record client information. Agencies submit SHS data from SHIP to the Specialist Homelessness Online Reporting system each month. 


Admin data

Metadata information and data quality statement (DQS)


Specialist Homelessness Services Collection, 2016–17 DQS

External links and information 

Specialist Homelessness Services reports

Report on Government Services

Australia's welfare


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