This report is the third annual report on the clients of specialist homelessness services across Australia. In that time, specialist homelessness services agencies have supported more than half a million Australians who have been homeless or at imminent risk of losing their housing. This report focusses on the clients of those agencies in 2013-14 and examines key changes that have occurred over the last three years.

In 2013-14 an estimated 254,000 Australians accessed specialist homelessness services-an increase of 4% from 2012-13.

  • The numbers of clients increased in all states and territories except for New South Wales, and ACT, which recorded slight decreases. Victoria accounted for 76% of the national increase in clients.

There was an increase in the proportion of males who were at risk of homelessness when they first sought support.

  • The proportion of male clients who were at risk of homelessness when presenting increased from 43% of male clients in 2012-13 to 48% in 2013-14.

More clients sought support for assistance to maintain their housing tenure

  • 32% of clients in 2013-14 were identified as needing assistance to sustain tenancy or prevent tenancy failure or eviction, up from 28% in 2011-12.
  • The proportion of clients who identified housing affordability related issues (financial difficulties, rents too high or housing crisis) as the main reason for seeking support remained steady at 36% in 2013-14.

The number of people seeking help for domestic and family violence increased

  • An estimated 84,774 adults and children (33% of all clients) sought assistance as a result of experiencing family or domestic violence. This was an increase of 9% from 2012-13, including an increase of 14% in the number of children experiencing family or domestic violence.

An estimated 26,655 clients had a long term health condition or disability that restricted their everyday activities

  • New data collected in 2013-14 also revealed that 38% of these clients had a disability or long term health condition and needed assistance with self-care, mobility or communication.