Report: Capacity crunch – AIHW stats reveal overwhelmed homelessness services

The number of people already homeless and sleeping rough when they seek help surged in the last year, as skyrocketing rents and record low vacancy rates pushed more people into homelessness.

Homelessness Australia’s analysis of Australian Institute of Health and Welfare statistics released today shows:

●  The number of people who are already homeless when they seek help increased 5.5% in 2022-23;

●  The proportion of individuals sleeping rough when they first approached homeless services increased 17%;

●  There was a a 16% increase in people exiting homelessness support to rough sleeping, and a 12% increase in exits to institutions like prisons or acute mental health facilities, and;

●  Exits to private rental decreased by 2%.

“These figures are a stark and alarming indicator of how the deepening housing crisis is pushing more Australians to sleep in their car, pitch a tent or couch surf,” CEO of Homelessness Australia Kate Colvin said. “It’s very hard to work or learn when you have no roof over your head or a real prospect of getting a home.”

As the Government crafts its National Housing and Homelessness Plan, Homelessness Australia is pushing for a realistic blueprint to end homelessness within a decade.

“Ending homelessness is entirely doable as we saw during COVID. We need substantial investment in social housing, sustained focus on the causes of homelessness, and a significant boost in funding for homelessness support services.”

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