Data source

Specialist Homelessness Services Collection

All agencies that receive funding under the National Affordable Housing Agreement (NAHA) or the National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness (NPAH) to provide specialist homelessness services are in scope for the Specialist Homelessness Services Collection (SHS collection). Agencies whose details have been provided to the AIHW by the relevant state or territory government department are included. Not all agencies were expected to participate in the collection.

Nationally, there were 1,518 agencies that delivered specialist homelessness services in 2016‒17.

Of the agencies expected to participate in the collection in at least one month during the 2016–17 reporting period, 97% of agencies provided data for each month that they were expected to participate, less than 1% provided data for some but not all of months where data was expected, and 2% did not provide data for any month.


Client-level data

  • Data only includes clients aged 10 years and over, because all clients aged under 10 are excluded when deriving the mental health flag.
  • An individual client may have received more than one support period. Matching data from individual clients who received services from different agencies and/or at different times requires a valid statistical linkage key (SLK); in 2016–17, 97% of support periods had a valid SLK.
  • Clients who have more than one support period in 2016–17 may present with different characteristics in these different support periods. For example, their main reason for seeking assistance may be 'domestic and family violence' in their first support period, and 'housing crisis' in the second. In these instances, some information presented will be based on their first support period in 2016–17; other information is based on a counting methodology that analyses the client's responses and where these are different responses, determines the response provided most often and the client's longest support period for each month in 2016–17.
  • Clients may have received services from more than one state/territory. Annual client–level data presented by jurisdiction should be interpreted with caution as data is representative of clients who presented to that jurisdiction at any time during the reporting period; it may not represent the clients’ characteristics exhibited when they attended for services in that particular jurisdiction.

SHS data collection

  • The data presented in this section are weighted. This weighting takes into account the amount of non-response by agencies and invalid or missing SLK data at the client level. The SHS Excel workbooks in the online archives uses unweighted data, as such, the data published here cannot be compared to that found in the online archive.
  • As with all data collections, the SHS collection estimates are subject to errors. These can arise from data coding and processing errors, inaccurate data or missing data. Reported findings are based on data reported by agency workers.
  • Changes in SHS collection data over time may be influenced by changes in underlying jurisdiction policies, programs or systems. These changes might affect the service footprint, the characteristics of priority clients, or how services work together to respond to client needs.
  • Detailed information on how specific variables were derived can be found in the 'Technical information' for the 2016–17 Specialist Homelessness Services Collection annual report

Data quality

  • The 2016–17 Specialist Homelessness Services Collection Data Quality Statement is available from <>.


AIHW 2018. Specialist Homelessness Services 2016–17. Viewed 14 May 2018. Canberra: AIHW.