Clients, services and outcomes

Specialist homelessness agencies provide a variety of services to assist people who are experiencing homelessness or who are at risk of homelessness, ranging from general support and assistance to immediate crisis accommodation. Characteristics of all clients assisted by specialist homelessness services (SHS) in 2022–23 are described below, including their need/s for assistance and the services they received.

Key findings: SHS clients, services and outcomes 2022–23

This image shows a number of key findings including the number of clients supported by SHS agencies in 2022–23, the number of returning and new clients, the rate at which clients received support, the proportion of clients with selected vulnerabilities, the proportion of clients experiencing homelessness at the start of support compared to the end of support and the most common main reasons for seeking assistance.

SHS clients at a glance

The number of clients assisted by specialist homelessness agencies increased to more than 273,600 in 2022–23 from 236,400 in 2011–12; an average annual increase of 1.3% over the period. The rate of SHS clients has changed over time, from 105.8 clients per 10,000 population in 2011–12 to a peak of 119.2 clients in 2016–17, then falling to 105.2 clients in 2022–23 (Table HIST.CLIENTS).

It is important to note, the number of clients supported by Specialist Homelessness Services reflects the agency engagement of people which is not necessarily a reflection of the underlying level of homelessness, or people at risk of homelessness, in Australia.

Characteristics of clients

The characteristics of clients, the main reasons for seeking assistance, and the services provided to clients, have remained relatively stable over the 5 years to 2022–23. Key insights include:

  • The number of SHS clients with a current mental health issue increased; 85,300 (31% of all SHS clients) in 2022–23 compared with 81,000 (28%) in 2017–18; an annual average increase of 6.0% per year since 2011–12 (Historical table HIST.MH).
  • The number of SHS clients who have experienced family and domestic violence decreased; almost 104,200 (38% of all SHS clients) in 2022–23 compared with 121,100 (42%) in 2017–18 (Historical table HIST.FDV). This may be partly due to a change in the number of agencies in Victoria and their data recording practices; see the Data quality statement for further information.
  • The number of older SHS clients increased; over 27,300 (10% of all SHS clients) in 2022–23 compared with 24,100 (8.3%) in 2017–18. Since July 2011, the number of older clients has increased at an average rate of 6.1% per year (Historical table HIST.OLDER).
  • Length of support provided to clients has increased, with the median number of days a client was supported increasing to 56 days in 2022–23 from 39 days in 2017–18 (Supplementary table CLIENTS.48).
  • The number of females presenting to agencies experiencing homelessness (61,700) was higher than the number of males (54,500) (Supplementary table CLIENTS.11).

Age and sex

Reporting sex in the Specialist Homelessness Services Collection (SHSC)

The additional category ‘Other’ was added to the question which records the person’s sex and applies to support periods and unassisted instances starting on or after 1 July 2019. When new items are added to a collection, it can take time for the new items to be considered of adequate quality to support publication.

In 2022–23, around 1,800 clients (0.6% of all clients) were recorded a sex ‘Other’. 

TABLE CLIENTS.1: Proportion of all SHS clients (%) by expanded sex, 2021–22 to 2022–23





All clients





Clients (number)





Clients (per cent)










Clients (number)





Clients (per cent)





Other than for the data presented above, for the 2022–23 Annual Report these clients were combined with the ‘Female’ category for reporting purposes only. For further information, see the Technical notes

In 2022–23 (Figure CLIENTS.1):

  • The majority of clients were female (59% or around 162,400 clients).
  • 3 in 10 clients were aged under 18 (28% or 76,000).
  • Among adult clients, the largest age group was those aged 25–34, accounting for almost 1 in 5 clients (18%), over two-thirds of whom were female.
  • The overall rate of SHS clients was higher for females: 1 in 81 females in the Australian population received support compared with 1 in 116 males.
  • The highest rate of clients among all age groups were those aged 15–17 years: higher for females (204.4 per 10,000 population) than for males (128.7).
  • The lowest rate of clients was for those aged 65 and over (23.1 per 10,000 population): higher for males (23.2 per 10,000 population) than females (23.0).

Figure CLIENTS.1: Clients by age and sex, states and territories, 2022–23

This interactive horizontal population pyramid shows the marked differences between the age profiles of male and female SHS clients. Data are presented for the number of SHS clients, the rate of service use of SHS clients, and the number of support periods. Nationally, the highest numbers of male clients were aged 0 to 9 years while females aged 25–34 were the age group with the highest number.

Indigenous status

In 2022–23, Indigenous people continued to be over-represented among SHS clients with more than one-quarter of clients (29% or more than 74,700 clients) who provided information on their Indigenous status identifying as being of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander origin (Supplementary table INDIGENOUS.2). Nationally, this equated to 812.5 Indigenous clients per 10,000 Indigenous population compared with 78.5 for non-Indigenous clients. 

For further information please see Indigenous clients.

State and territory

The largest number of clients received services in Victoria (98,300), followed by New South Wales (68,400) and Queensland (45,500), noting that clients may have accessed services in more than one state or territory throughout the year (Figure CLIENTS.2, Supplementary table CLIENTS.1).

  • The highest rate of SHS clients was in the Northern Territory (404.0 clients per 10,000 population), followed by Victoria (148.4) and Tasmania (116.8).
  • Females had higher rates of service use than males across all states and territories; the Northern Territory had the most pronounced difference between females (542.5 per 10,000 females) and males (269.9 per 10,000 males) (Supplementary table CLIENTS.1).

Figure CLIENTS.2: Clients, by state and territory, 2022–23

This interactive bar graph shows the number of SHS clients, the rate of service use of SHS clients, and the number of support periods, for each of the states and territories. The Northern Territory had the highest rate and New South Wales had the lowest rate.

Country of birth

Almost 9 in 10 SHS clients (87% or 223,700 clients) in 2022–23 were born in Australia (Supplementary table CLIENTS.3), higher than the general Australian population (71%; ABS 2022). 

Of those clients who reported their country of birth and were born overseas, the most common country of birth was New Zealand (12% of all clients) (Supplementary table CLIENTS.4). Over half (64%) of overseas born clients arrived in Australia prior to 2014 (Supplementary table CLIENTS.5). More than 4 in 5 (87% or over 28,700) clients who were born overseas lived in Major cities (Supplementary table CLIENTS.6).


Main language spoken at home other than English

In 2022–23, the most common language spoken at home by SHS clients other than English was Aboriginal English (so described) (21%), followed by Arabic (12%) and Vietnamese (3.0%) (Supplementary table CLIENTS.7). 

Proficiency in spoken English

In 2022–23, proficiency was highest among clients whose main language spoken at home (other than English) was grouped as Northern European languages (other than English), with 75% of clients reporting they spoke English very well and a further 21% reporting they spoke English well. English proficiency was lowest among clients whose main language other than English was grouped as Eastern Asian languages, with 26% rating their English proficiency as very well (Supplementary table CLIENTS.8).

Living arrangements

Living alone has been shown to be a substantial risk factor for loneliness (AIHW 2023a). With limited economic resources and social networks, people living alone may be more vulnerable to homelessness. In 2021, 26% of households in Australia consisted of a lone person (ABS 2021).

The most common living arrangement reported by SHS clients at the beginning of support in 2022–23 was lone parent with one or more children (35% or around 90,100 clients), followed by lone persons (33% or almost 85,400) and other family groups (12% or 31,200) (Supplementary table CLIENTS.10). 

  • Female clients (41%) were more likely than male (25%) clients to be living as a single parent with one or more children. 
  • Males (43%) were more likely than females (25%) to be living alone. 

Among the states and territories, the Australian Capital Territory (46%), Tasmania (46%), Victoria (36%) and New South Wales (35%) had higher proportions of SHS clients living alone than the national rate (33%). Queensland (40%) had the highest proportion of clients living as a single parent with child/ren.

Selected vulnerabilities

Many SHS clients face additional challenges that may make them more vulnerable to experiencing homelessness. The selected additional vulnerabilities presented here include family and domestic violence, experiencing a current mental health issue and/or problematic drug and/or alcohol use. Clients may have one or any of these additional selected vulnerabilities.

In 2022–23, of the more than 230,400 clients aged 10 and over, 3 in 5 (59% or 135,500 clients) reported experiencing one or more of the selected vulnerabilities (Figure CLIENTS.3, Supplementary table CLIENTS.47).

Figure CLIENTS.3: SHS clients, by selected vulnerability characteristics, 2022–23

The interactive bar graph shows for each state and territory the number of SHS clients that experienced one or more of the additional selected vulnerabilities, including family and domestic violence, experiencing a current mental health issue and problematic drug and/or alcohol use. The graph shows both the number of clients experiencing a single vulnerability as well as combinations of vulnerabilities, and presents data for each state and territory. 

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) supports people with a permanent and significant disability which affects their ability to take part in everyday activities. It is jointly governed and funded by the Australian and participating state and territory governments. The NDIS began its national rollout on 1 July 2016, and had been made available to all eligible Australians as of 1 July 2020 (NDIA 2023). 

NDIS participation indicator

The NDIS participation indicator was introduced into the Specialist Homelessness Services Collection (SHSC) from 1 July 2019. A participant in the NDIS is an individual who reports they are receiving an agreed package of support through the NDIS. The NDIS question is asked of all clients at the start of a support period by SHS agency. Data are only available for clients who only had support period(s) starting from 1 July 2019 onwards. Further details about the NDIS indicator are provided in the Technical notes.

In 2022–23, 5.4% (around 12,700 clients) of SHS clients indicated that they were receiving a package of support through the NDIS, ranging from 2.9% of clients in Western Australia to 7.3% in Victoria. There was a high level of not stated responses for this measure: around 37,200 clients in 2022–23 (Supplementary table CLIENTS.17) which was an improvement on the previous reporting period.

Housing situation on first presentation

Among clients whose housing status was known at the beginning of their first support period in 2022–23 (Figure CLIENTS.4, Supplementary tables CLIENTS.11 and CLIENTS.12):

  • Most clients (53% or more than 130,000 clients) were at risk of homelessness rather than experiencing homelessness (47% or more than 116,000).
  • Around 1 in 3 clients (31% or 84,500) were living in private or other housing (renter, rent-free, or owner).
  • The proportion experiencing homelessness was higher among males (49%) than for females (38%).

Figure CLIENTS.4: Clients by housing situation at the beginning of support, 2022–23

The stacked vertical bar graph shows proportions of male and female clients by 6 housing situations captured in the SHSC. For those clients who were homeless, greater numbers were in either short-term or emergency accommodation, or couch surfing or no tenure. For those clients housed, but at risk of homelessness, most were in private or other housing when they sought homelessness services.

Source: Specialist Homelessness Services Collection. Supplementary table CLIENTS.11.

Of those clients with no shelter/improvised dwelling (around 27,600 clients), 46% were sleeping in no dwelling, either on the street, in a park or out in the open and a further 23% were sleeping in a motor vehicle (Supplementary table CLIENTS.13). 

Main source of income

Income support was high among SHS clients aged 15 and over with 78% of clients receiving some form of government payment (including awaiting a government payment) as their main source of income at the time they first sought support in 2022–23 (Supplementary table CLIENTS.16). 

The most common government payments were:

  • JobSeeker (30% or 56,000 clients)
  • Parenting Payment (17% or 31,400) and 
  • Disability Support Pension (15% or 28,400). 

Around 1 in 10 (12%) clients reported income from employment as their main source and 9.7% reported having no income.


Of those clients aged 5–24 whose educational status was known over half (54% or around 43,600 clients) were enrolled in some form of education in 2022–23 (Supplementary table CLIENTS.18). Almost 9 in 10 (86%) clients aged 5–14 were enrolled in school or other types of education and 14% (about 4,600) were not enrolled in education. Around two-thirds (69%) of clients aged 15–24 were not in some form of education (around 32,700 clients).

Labour force

Around 1 in 6 (17%) SHS clients aged 15 or over were employed at the beginning of support in 2022–23, an increase from 15% in 2021–22 (Supplementary table CLIENTS.19). Of these clients, 3 in 5 (60%) were employed on a part-time basis. 

Around 95,800 (52%) clients were unemployed; males (56%) were more likely to be unemployed than females (49%). Of those clients who were unemployed or not in the labour force (154,300 clients), around 11,700 (7.9%) were enrolled in some form of education (Supplementary table CLIENTS.20).

Almost 58,400 (31%) clients were not in the labour force. 

Clients service use in 2022–23

Flow of clients into and out of SHS support

Clients can have varied pathways into and out of SHS support. Some clients have not previously received SHS support, some have received SHS support in the past and not needed support again until recently, and others continue to need consecutive periods of support each year. 

In 2022–23 (Figure CLIENTS.5, Supplementary tables CLIENTS.2 and CLIENTS.40):

  • Around two-fifths of clients (37% or 101,000 clients) had not previously received SHS support (since the collection began in July 2011).
  • More than two-fifths (43% or 117,000) of clients continued to receive support, after also receiving support in 2021–22.
  • One in 5 (21% or 56,200) clients returned to SHS support after not having received support in the previous 12 months.

Combined, clients who continued to access SHS support and clients who returned to SHS support accounted for more than three-fifths of all SHS clients in 2022–23 (63% or 173,000); the proportion of returning clients varied across jurisdictions, ranging from 70% in Tasmania to 59% in New South Wales.

Almost three-quarters (73% or 200,000) of clients ended their support in 2022–23.

Figure CLIENTS.5: Clients by service user group, 2022–23

The interactive bar graph shows for each state and territory the number of SHS clients by their user group status, that is, those who were new to the SHS and had never sought assistance from a SHS agency, those who were returning to the SHS for support after not having received support in the previous 12 months, those who continued to receive support, after also receiving support in 2021–22, and those who ended their support in 2022–23.

First time clients

Of the 101,000 first time SHS clients in 2022–23 (Supplementary tables CLIENTS.2 and CLIENTS.39):

  • More than half (55% or around 39,700 clients) were experiencing homelessness at the beginning of their first support period in 2022–23. The top 3 main reasons for needing assistance among new clients experiencing homelessness were: 
    • housing crisis (9,700 clients, or 24% of new clients experiencing homelessness)
    • family and domestic violence (7,900 clients, or 20%)
    • inadequate or inappropriate dwelling conditions (6,200 clients, or 16%).
  • The top 3 main reasons for assistance by new clients who were at risk of homelessness were: 
    • family and domestic violence (16,100 clients, or 33% of new clients at risk of homelessness)
    • housing crisis (9,000 clients, or 18%), and 
    • financial difficulties (6,200 clients, or 13%).

The characteristics of first time SHS clients are further explored in the AIHW article In focus: New SHS clients (forthcoming).

Ongoing and repeat homelessness

For some people, a period of insecure housing can be short lived; for others, ongoing or chronic homelessness can be a feature of their lives. Even with the support of specialist services, people may experience homelessness for long periods of time or cycle in and out of homelessness (AIHW 2023b). People experiencing repeat episodes of homelessness are a priority cohort in the National Housing and Homelessness Agreement (NHHA) (CFFR 2018).

The number of people experiencing persistent homelessness (more than 7 out of 24-months homeless while a client of an SHS agency) increased over the period of the NHHA, from 29,500 clients in 2018–19 to 36,600 in 2022–23. Increases were particularly evident among clients aged under 25, women and children affected by family and domestic violence, and Indigenous people.

The number of people experiencing a return to homelessness after a period of more secure housing (homeless, housed and then homeless again) fell over the period of the NHHA, from around 15,900 clients in 2018–19 to around 14,900 in 2022–23. Reductions in the number of clients were seen in most cohort groups, except for Indigenous clients (where it increased from around 5,600 clients in 2018–19 to 5,700 in 2022–23) and for people aged 55 and over (620 clients in 2018–19 to 770 in 2022–23).

For further information see National Housing and Homelessness Agreement Indicators

Support periods

Data collected by specialist homelessness agencies are based on support periods (see Technical notes for further information). Clients may have had more than one support period in 2022–23, either with the same agency at different times or with different agencies. In 2022–23:

  • Clients assisted by homelessness agencies had almost 479,400 support periods. The number of support periods has increased by an average annual growth of 1.9% each year since 2011–12 (Historical table HIST.CLIENTS).
  • Two-thirds of clients had only one support period (65%) while 1 in 5 (20%) had 2 support periods, 7.4% had 3 support periods and 7.9% had 4 or more (Supplementary table CLIENTS.27).
  • The majority of support periods were opened and closed within 2022–23 (71% or around 341,000). An additional 14% of support periods opened during the year and remained open on 30 June 2023. A small proportion (3.0%) were ongoing throughout the 2022–23 reporting period (Figure CLIENTS.6, Supplementary table CLIENTS.28).

Figure CLIENTS.6: Support periods, by indicative duration over the reporting period, 2022–23

The image shows collection periods from 2020–21 to 2022–23. Bars indicate the proportion of support periods opened in one reporting period and closed in the same or the subsequent period. Arrows indicate ongoing support, opening either in 2021–22 or 2022–23 and remaining open into 2023–24 Most support periods began and ended in 2022–23 (71%); 14% remained opened. Just 3% of support periods that opened in 2021–22 remained open the entire reporting period.

Source: Specialist Homelessness Services Collection 2022–23, Supplementary table CLIENTS.28.

Number of days clients received support

In 2022–23, 28.4 million support days were provided by SHS agencies to clients.

  • The median number of support days for clients was 56 days, similar for males (51 days) and females (58 days), while clients received an average of 1.7 support periods (Supplementary tables CLIENTS.29 and CLIENTS.48).
  • The proportion of all SHS clients receiving accommodation has been constant over time from 29% in 2017–18 to 31% in 2022–23 and the median number of nights accommodated has also remained at 31 nights in 2022–23, after falling to 28 nights in 2019–20 (Supplementary table CLIENTS.48).
  • The needs of some clients can be met relatively quickly but clients with more complex needs received more support. Three in 10 clients (28% or nearly 76,800 clients) received between 6 and 45 days of support during 2022–23; 17% received support for up to 5 days, 17% received support for 91–180 days and 1 in 5 clients (20%) received over 180 days of support (Supplementary table CLIENTS.29).

Reasons support ended

  • More than half (57%) of support periods ended in 2022–23 because the client’s immediate needs were met or case management goals were achieved (Supplementary table CLIENTS.30).
  • Almost one-quarter (23%) of support periods ended because the client no longer requested assistance; that is, a client may have decided that they no longer required assistance or they may have moved from the state/territory or region.
  • A further 12% of support periods closed because the client was referred to another specialist homelessness agency and 13% closed because contact was lost with the client.

Clients’ needs for assistance and services provided

The SHSC includes information about clients’ needs for services from two perspectives:

  • The client’s reasons for seeking assistance at the start of support – both the main reason for seeking support and all reasons for seeking support are collected.
  • The agency worker’s assessment of the client’s needs – this information is captured when clients first present for assistance and each month while a client is still in contact with the agency.

Technical notes and Glossary provide more information about how clients’ needs for assistance are captured in the SHSC.

Services provided to clients range from the direct provision of accommodation, such as a bed in a shelter, to more specialised services such as counselling and legal support. These services are generally either provided to the client directly by the agency or the client is referred to another service. Unmet demand provides further information about clients’ needs that went unmet.

Reasons for seeking assistance

SHS clients can identify a number of reasons for seeking assistance, reflecting the range of situations that contribute to housing instability. SHS agencies also record the main reason for clients seeking assistance. In terms of the reasons why clients sought assistance in 2022–23 (Supplementary table CLIENTS.21):

  • Accommodation issues (including housing crisis, inadequate or inappropriate dwelling conditions or that previous accommodation had ended) were nominated by 56% of clients (or around 150,400 clients).
  • Of all SHS clients, more than one-third (38% of clients) were experiencing housing crisis.
  • A high proportion (40%) were experiencing financial difficulties, while 1 in 3 clients (33%) were affected by housing affordability stress.
  • Interpersonal and relationship issues, affected almost half of all SHS clients (49% or about 132,600 clients); within this group, 73% identified family and domestic violence as a reason for seeking assistance. 

The main reasons for seeking assistance in 2022–23 were similar to the reasons why clients more generally sought assistance from SHS agencies (Figure CLIENTS.7, Supplementary tables CLIENTS.22):

  • Family and domestic violence was the most common main reason identified for seeking assistance for one-quarter of clients (25% or almost 68,500 clients). For more information, see Clients who have experienced family and domestic violence.
  • One in 5 (20% or around 54,800) identified housing crisis as the main reason for seeking assistance.

Figure CLIENTS.7: Main reason for seeking assistance (top 6), by homelessness status, 2022–23

Source: Specialist Homelessness Services Collection. Supplementary table CLIENTS.23.

For those clients presenting at risk of homelessness, the most common main reasons for seeking assistance were (Supplementary table CLIENTS.23):

  • family and domestic violence (28%)
  • housing crisis (18%)
  • financial difficulties (14%).

For those clients presenting as experiencing homelessness, the most common main reasons for seeking assistance were:

  • housing crisis (25%)
  • inadequate or inappropriate dwelling conditions (18%)
  • family and domestic violence (17%).

Housing and accommodation services

Housing and accommodation services provided by agencies include support to access:

  • short-term or emergency accommodation
  • medium-term/transitional housing
  • long-term housing
  • assistance to sustain tenancy or prevent tenancy failure or eviction
  • assistance to prevent foreclosures or for mortgage arrears.

In 2022–23, 60% of SHS clients identified a need for accommodation services (Supplementary table CLIENTS.24). Of these 164,600 clients:

  • 83,800 (51%) were provided with accommodation by the agency
  • 23,300 (14%) were referred to another agency for accommodation provision
  • 57,500 (35%) were neither provided nor referred for assistance. These clients are further described in Unmet demand

Assistance to sustain tenancy/prevent eviction was needed by 31% of clients at some stage during their support in 2022–23. This group includes those who were still housed when they approached a SHS agency and were supported to retain housing. It also includes those who identified a need for accommodation, were assisted to secure new housing and then supported to sustain that housing. Most clients (68,100 clients, or about 80% of those who needed it) received assistance to sustain tenancy directly from the specialist homelessness agency.

General support and assistance

Some types of assistance provided by SHS agencies can be described as ‘general support and assistance’ compared with more specialised services. These services include advice and information, material aid, meals and living skills. In 2022–23:

  • Clients most commonly needed advice and information (78% or around 212,100 clients). The next most common need was advocacy and liaison (54% or around 146,000) and material aid/brokerage (37% or more than 100,500) (Figure CLIENTS.8 Supplementary table CLIENTS.24).
  • Services almost always provided the advice and information when needed. This differs from some specialised services, such as legal information and training or employment assistance, for which clients were more often referred to another agency (Supplementary table CLIENTS.24).

Figure CLIENTS.8: Clients, by need for general services and service provision status (top 10), 2022–23

Source: Specialist Homelessness Services Collection. Supplementary table CLIENTS.24.

Specialised services

Specialised services refer to those services that require specific knowledge or skills and are usually undertaken by someone with qualifications to provide the particular service.

  • Health/medical services were identified as needed by almost 1 in 10 clients (8.4% or over 22,900) in 2022–23 and were one of the specialised services most often referred (20%) (Figure CLIENTS.9).
  • There has been little change in the most common specialised services needed and provided over the 5 years to 2022–23; for example, health/medical services, mental health services and specialist counselling were the most commonly needed services.

Figure CLIENTS.9: Clients by need for specialised services and service provision status (top 10), 2022–23

Source: Specialist Homelessness Services Collection. Supplementary table CLIENTS.24.

Financial assistance

In 2022–23, $98.1 million in financial assistance was provided to clients, a 5.7% decrease from the $104.1 million provided in 2021–22 (not adjusted for inflation). This represents an average of $1,373 provided per client requesting financial assistance, and a decrease from $1,513 in 2021–22 (not adjusted for inflation) (Supplementary tables CLIENTS.26 and CLIENTS.38).

  • More than three-quarters (76%) of the financial assistance was used to assist clients with housing in 2022–23.
  • Two fifths of the financial assistance (39% or $38.1 million) was used to provide short-term or emergency accommodation.
  • Around $36.1 million (37%) of the financial assistance was used to assist clients to establish or maintain their existing tenancy.

Outcomes at the end of support

Outcomes presented here describe the change in clients’ housing situation between the start and end of support. Data is limited to clients who ceased receiving support during the financial year, meaning that their support periods had closed and they did not have ongoing support at the end of the year. In 2022–23, around three-quarters (73% or almost 200,000 clients) of clients were no longer accessing SHS support at the end of the year. Around 3 in 5 (153,500 clients or 56%) clients had support periods in 2022–23 that were both opened and closed and were non-ongoing at the end of the 2022–23 financial year.

Many clients had long periods of support or even multiple support periods during 2022–23. They may have had a number of changes in their housing situation over the course of their support. These changes within the year are not reflected in the data presented here, rather the client situation at the start of their first period of support during 2022–23 is compared with the end of their last period of support in 2022–23.

Three aspects of a client’s housing situation are considered in their housing circumstances: dwelling type, housing tenure and the conditions of occupancy. See Data presentation and derivations for details on how each of these categories are derived.

  • The number of clients who were known to be homeless at the start of support reduced when support ended: 1 in 3 clients (35% or over 59,500) were known to be homeless when support ended, down from 45% (78,800) at the start of support (Figure CLIENTS.10, Supplementary table CLIENTS.31).
  • The reduction in the proportion of clients who were experiencing homelessness following support was due to decreases in the proportion of clients rough sleeping or with no shelter or living in improvised dwellings (from 11% to 7.7%) and in the proportion of clients living in a house, townhouse or flat as a ‘couch surfer’ with no tenure (from 16% to 12%).
  • There was an increase in clients living in some form of tenure over the course of support, including an increase in the proportion of clients living in public or community housing from 15% (or 25,800 clients at the beginning of support) to 22% (or 37,700 clients at the end of support); and an increase in the proportion of clients living in private or other housing from 36% (or 63,600 clients at the beginning of support) to 40% (or 69,000 clients at the end of support).

These trends demonstrate that by the end of support, many clients have achieved or progressed towards a more positive housing solution. That is, clients ending support in public or community housing (renter or rent-free) or private or other housing (renter or rent-free) had increased compared with the start of support.

Figure CLIENTS.10: Housing situation at beginning and at end of support for clients with closed support, 2022–23

Other outcomes for clients

Specialist homelessness agencies may support clients in a number of non-housing areas to reduce their vulnerability to homelessness. These include changes in educational enrolment status, labour force status and income. In 2022–23: 

  • Employment: Employment increased following support. Of those with a need for employment assistance, 21% were employed at the start of support and 30% were employed at the end of the support (Supplementary table CLIENTS.34).
  • Education: Education enrolment remained stable: 20% at the start of support and 21% at the end of support (Supplementary table CLIENTS.33). Of those who needed support for education or training assistance, 41% were enrolled at the start of support and 42% were enrolled at the end of support.
  • Income: Agencies assisted some clients with a need for and receiving a government payment: 68% at the start of support and 72% at the end of support (Supplementary table CLIENTS.35). There was a reduction following support in those reporting no income from 13% to 8.3%, and the proportion waiting for government benefits nearly halved from 5.1% to 2.6%.