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Thursday, 11 October 2012
Page: 8097

Homelessness

(Question No. 2115)


Senator Payne asked the Minister representing the Minister for Housing and the Minister for Homelessness, upon notice, on 24 August 2012:

(1) Can specific figures be provided on the reduction in the number of people experiencing homelessness, and the number of people at risk of homelessness, as a result of the Government’s claim to have increased homelessness funding by $5 billion since 2008.

(2) With reference to the method used to determine the $5 billion figure, as stated in the answer to question no. 42, taken on notice during the Community Affairs Legislation Committee’s 2011-12 Budget estimates hearings, can a breakdown be provided indicating how many people are no longer homeless, or at risk of homelessness, as a result of the funding allocated under each nominated spending commitment.


Senator Chris Evans: The Minister for Housing and the Minister for Homelessness provides the following answer to the honourable senator’s question:

(1) The reduction in the number of people experiencing homelessness will be able to be assessed after the Australian Bureau of Statistics publishes its 2011 Census estimates of the homeless population in November 2012. The ABS will not be the only data the Government uses to determine levels of homelessness. The Government will also use the more dynamic and timely information collected from the specialist homelessness services by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, as well as Journeys Home, the first national longitudinal study of homelessness in Australia. Combined, these facts and figures will provide the most accurate picture of homelessness we have ever had.

(2) Homelessness is a complex and dynamic issue. A homeless person may have a number of issues that contribute to homelessness. The homeless person may be helped under one or more homelessness programs. The reduction in the number of people experiencing homelessness will be able to be assessed after the Australian Bureau of Statistics publishes its 2011 Census estimates of the homeless population in November 2012.