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The cost of homelessness and the net benefit of homelessness programs: A national study. Findings from the Baseline Client Survey

Zaretzky, K., Flatau, P., Clear, A., Conroy, E., Burns, L. and Spicer, B. (2013) The cost of homelessness and the net benefit of homelessness programs: A national study. Findings from the Baseline Client Survey. Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute, Melbourne.

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Abstract

Homelessness occurs when an individual does not have access to safe, adequate or secure shelter. Homelessness can lead to much higher use of mainstream public support services, such as health and justice services, than is evident in the general population (Flatau et al. 2008; Zaretzky et al. 2008). At the same time, services supporting homeless people may assist them to achieve positive change in their life and so reduce the use of these services and their reliance on welfare services. Increased housing stability can also result in decreased costs for providers of public housing through a decrease in the number of evictions. Given the costs of homelessness, the provision of homelessness services may result in ‘whole-of-government’ budgetary savings as a result of improved client outcomes.

With the Australian Government’s White Paper on Homelessness, The Road Home (2008) and the commencement of the National Affordable Housing Agreement (NAHA) and the National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness (NPAH), there has been increased emphasis on examining the outcomes of homelessness support programs and whether these programs are cost-effective.

Publication Type: Report
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Management and Governance
Series Name: AHURI Final Report No. 205
Publisher: Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute
Notes: Zaretzky, K., et al. (2013) The cost of homelessness and the net benefit of homelessness programs: a national study, AHURI Final Report No.205. Melbourne: Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute.
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/24596
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