Specialist Homelessness Services Collection (SHSC)


Collection frequency


Latest data


Description of data source

The AIHW is an independent corporate Commonwealth entity under the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare Act 1987 (AIHW Act), governed by a management board and accountable to the Australian Parliament through the Health portfolio.

The Specialist Homelessness Services Collection (SHSC) comprises data from homelessness agencies funded under the National Housing and Homelessness Agreement (NHHA). A specialist homelessness service is an organisation that receives government funding to deliver accommodation related and/or personal services to people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. Under the NHHA, these agencies are required to participate in the SHSC. Other organisations not directly funded by governments also provide a wide range of support services to people in need; these organisations are not required to provide data to the SHSC. Also, NHHA funded agencies may provide support beyond the NHHA directly funded support packages; this support is also excluded from the SHSC.


A client is identified as having disability if they reported a limitation in core activities (self-care, mobility and/or communication) and also reported that they always or sometimes needed assistance with one or more of these core activities.

Disability types

Limitation in core activity (self-care, mobility, communication) is reported.

Age groups

Age is calculated as at the beginning of the first support period in the financial year or, if the support period began before the financial year, age as at the start of the financial year.


Sex is recorded as ‘Male’, ‘Female’ or ‘Other’. The collection allows for cases where an individual chooses to report their gender when sex is being requested.

Indigenous status

The term ‘First Nations clients’ is used to refer to clients who have identified as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander. First Nations clients may have identified as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander in any of their support periods during the financial year.

Definition of CALD

Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) cohort includes people born in countries other than main English-speaking countries (Australia, New Zealand, the UK, the USA, Canada, Republic of Ireland, and South Africa), and/or those who mainly speak a language other than English at home.

Geographic information

Clients are assigned a Remoteness Area based on the SHS agency where they first sought support.

Agency location information is mapped (using reported state/territory, locality and/or postcode information) to remoteness area using standard correspondences published by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). For 2012–23, agency location is mapped to Remoteness Area based on the Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS) Edition 31.


National, state and territory data are available.

Measures reported
  1. Further information on the geographic standard used by this data source can be found at Remoteness Structure | Australian Bureau of Statistics (abs.gov.au).