This national report provides an overview of assistance given to clients and their accompanying children by the Supported Accommodation Assistance Program during the financial year 2007-08. It is accompanied by state and territory supplements.


The total funding allocation to SAAP was $400.4 million, of which $383.9 million was direct funding to SAAP agencies. In real terms, total funding was 28% greater than in 1996-97 and 1% greater than in 2006-07, while agency funding was 34% greater than in 1996-97 and 1% greater than in 2006-07.

Who was supported?

One in every 104 Australians, or 202,500 people (125,600 clients and 76,900 accompanying children), received substantial SAAP support. Children had a high rate of use with 1 in 64 children overall and 1 in every 39 children aged 0-4 years accompanying a parent or guardian to a SAAP agency.

The majority of clients were female. By age, the largest group of SAAP clients was 15-19 year-olds. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clients and accompanying children were overrepresented when compared with the general population.

Why was support sought?

Interpersonal relationship issues were the most common reason clients gave for seeking assistance and, of these, notably domestic or family violence, and relationship and family breakdown were cited. Other common reasons were accommodation and financial issues.

What support was provided?

Around a third of all support periods included a period of supported accommodation. The median length of support was 10 days. The median length of accommodation was 12 days. Family groups with children generally required longer periods of support and accommodation.

Were support needs met?

Overall, SAAP agencies were able to directly meet the needs of clients and accompanying children in the majority of cases. Basic support services were the most likely to be provided directly. Specialist services were least likely to be provided directly and most likely to be referred on.

Generally, SAAP client circumstances improved following support, particularly for those who required assistance with income, employment and housing, and for those supported for longer periods. Over half of SAAP clients had a case management plan in place before the end of their support. In most cases, at least some of the goals specified in the plan were achieved.