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What is the (net) cost to Government of Homelessness Programs?

Zaretzky, K., Flatau, P. and Brady, M. (2008) What is the (net) cost to Government of Homelessness Programs? Australian Journal of Social Issues, 43 (2). pp. 231-254.

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Homelessness programs may improve the health, well‑being, financial security, labour market and housing outcomes of clients. This, in turn, may result in decreased utilisation of health and justice services, reduced child residential care costs, lower housing management costs, lower income support payments and higher revenue from increased income tax payments. When costed, such impacts represent whole‑of‑government savings or cost offsets to the provision of homelessness programs. This paper provides indicative estimates of the value of potential savings or cost offsets in two areas, namely, the health and justice fields from homelessness program interventions. Our key finding is that homelessness programs have the potential to save over twice the value of the capital and recurrent funding of homelessness programs on the basis of health and justice cost offsets alone.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Murdoch Business School
Publisher: Australian Council of Social Service
Copyright: Australian Council of Social Service
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