This report presents data on the people turned away from government-funded specialist homelessness accommodation in 2010–11, and is the final report using data sourced from the SAAP NDC.

Specialist homelessness agencies in Australia accommodate a large number of people every day. However, they cannot always meet accommodation requests. When a valid request for accommodation cannot be met, the requestor is referred to as having been ‘turned away’. The data collected in 2010–11 indicate that government-funded specialist homelessness agencies are operating to capacity and are unable to completely meet the demand for accommodation. Some groups, such as families, experience more difficulty than others in obtaining accommodation.

On an average day, 59% of all people who made a new request for immediate accommodation were turned away. New requests, however, comprise only 4% of the total demand for accommodation. When new requests plus all people currently in accommodation are considered, 2% of all people who sought immediate accommodation were newly accommodated and 2% were turned away.

The overall level of turn-away was consistent with that reported in recent years.

There are several caveats surrounding the data presented in this report (see Box 1.2). These are related to policy and service delivery arrangements; agency coverage; the period surveyed; and the exclusion of data from Victoria.