Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (2018) Specialist homelessness services annual report 2016–17, AIHW, Australian Government, accessed 05 February 2023.
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. (2018). Specialist homelessness services annual report 2016–17. Retrieved from https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/homelessness-services/specialist-homelessness-services-2016-17
Specialist homelessness services annual report 2016–17. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 12 February 2018, https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/homelessness-services/specialist-homelessness-services-2016-17
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. Specialist homelessness services annual report 2016–17 [Internet]. Canberra: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2018 [cited 2023 Feb. 5]. Available from: https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/homelessness-services/specialist-homelessness-services-2016-17
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) 2018, Specialist homelessness services annual report 2016–17, viewed 5 February 2023, https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/homelessness-services/specialist-homelessness-services-2016-17
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During 2016–17 people aged 55 or older comprised 8% of all clients (23,567 people) of specialist homelessness services (SHS). Specialist homelessness service use by this group is increasing, with numbers up 37% since 2012–13 (around 17,000 clients to 23,600 clients). This rapid growth is at double the average annual growth of the general SHS population since 2012–13 (8% compared with 4%).
Since 2012–13, the number of older clients seeking assistance from specialist homelessness services has increased at a greater rate than other age groups. Key trends identified in this client population over the past 5 years are:
Source: Specialist Homelessness Services Collection 2012–13 to 2016–17.
Of the 23,567 older clients who received SHS support during 2016–17:
Nearly half (47%, or around 11,000) of older clients reported at least one vulnerability; most commonly mental health issues (27%) (Figure Older.1).
Source: Specialist Homelessness Services Collection 2016–17.
Older clients were less likely to request accommodation services (46%) than the general SHS population (56%). However, of those who did request accommodation, most needed long-term housing (36%); they were twice as likely as the general SHS population to be provided with this form of accommodation (10% of those older people who requested it compared with 5% of the general SHS population).
Other services most commonly needed by older clients during 2016–17 were:
All these services were requested at the same or lower rates than the general SHS population (assistance to sustain tenancy or prevent tenancy failure or eviction 33%, material aid/brokerage 35%, short-term or emergency accommodation 37%).
Source: Specialist homelessness services 2016–17, National supplementary table OLDER.3.
The majority of older clients with closed support were considered at risk of homelessness upon presentation to an SHS agency (65%): they were most commonly living in private or other housing at the time (42%).
This trend continued throughout support, with older clients most commonly ending their support in private or other housing (43%, or about 6,400). The proportion of older clients housed in public or community housing following support also increased from 20% to 28% in 2016–17.
There was a reduction in the proportion of older clients ‘rough sleeping’ (no shelter or improvised/inadequate dwelling), falling from just over 1 in 10 clients (12%, or 1,800 clients) at the commencement of support to 7% (or 1,085 clients) at the end (Figure OLDER.3).
Source: Specialist homelessness services 2016–17, National supplementary table OLDER.4.
For some clients stable housing is more difficult to achieve than for others. The majority of older clients were housed but at risk of homelessness when they began support (Table Older.2). For these older clients who had ended support:
For those older clients who were homeless when they began support, agencies were able to assist 35% into stable housing at the end of support (public or community housing, private or other housing, or Institutional settings).
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