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Stay updated on changes to programs, initiatives, and strategies.

Commissioning SHS for outcomes

DCJ is working with the SHS sector to identify how to best measure client outcomes as a result of SHS service delivery.

Read more information about Commissioning for outcomes.

Australian Service Excellence Standards accreditation for homelessness providers

Updated 2 March 2021

From 30 June 2024, all DCJ-funded homelessness providers will be accredited against the Australian Service Excellence Standards (ASES) at least to the Certificate level.

This follows the April 2018 decision to adopt the Australian Service Excellence Standards (ASES) accreditation for specialist homelessness service providers in NSW.

Read more information about the Australian Service Excellence Standards (ASES) accreditation for homelessness providers.

National Housing and Homelessness Agreement

Updated 24 April 2018

The NSW Government is working closely with the Commonwealth and other states and territories to finalise a new National Housing and Homelessness Agreement (NHHA) to take effect from 1 July 2018. The new NHHA will replace funding arrangements under the National Affordable Housing Agreement (NAHA) and the Transitional National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness 2017-18 (NPAH). The Commonwealth passed enabling legislation for the new agreement in March 2018.

The new NHHA will maintain the current levels of Commonwealth funding to NSW, with indexation applied annually. This funding will continue to be used to deliver social housing and homelessness services that support many vulnerable people in NSW.

In place of short-term agreements under NPAH, the Commonwealth’s contribution to homelessness funding will become part of the ongoing NHHA funding arrangements. This will provide greater funding certainty for homelessness services and enable FACS to make longer term funding commitments for some services.

On 18 April 2018, the Minister for Family and Community Services and Social Housing announced $13.9 million to support vulnerable children and young people at risk of homelessness access support 24 hours a day, seven days a week, through the Youth Crisis Accommodation Enhancement. Read the media release for the full announcement. This announcement provides certainty for homelessness services that this funding will continue to be available in 2018-19. This funding is not dependent on the new NHHA being finalised.

Funding for the Domestic Violence Response Enhancement services has already been committed until at least May 2019 for all services, with some services already allocated funding until 30 June 2019 due to having later start dates.

With Future Directions underway, the NSW Homelessness Strategy being finalised and a range of existing initiatives in place, NSW is in a sound place to continue supporting social housing and homelessness services.

FACS will provide further information to the sector as the new agreement is finalised

Release of 2016-17 Specialist Homelessness Services data

Updated 14 December 2017

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) released the report Specialist homelessness services 2016-17 on 14 December 2017.

The NSW Government assisted 74,216 people in 2016-17 through Specialist Homelessness Services (SHS). This is an increase of six% from 69,715 people in 2015-16 and 43% from 51,786 people in 2013-14 prior to the Going Home Staying Home reforms. The increase in numbers in NSW reflects the introduction of a ‘No Wrong Door’ policy for homelessness services as well as higher demand for services and increased program funding.

In 2016-17 we assisted:

  • 20,030 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people (28% of clients)
  • 25,711 people experiencing domestic and family violence (35% of clients)
  • 24,320 people with an identified mental health issue (33% of clients)
  • 13,879 young people aged 15 to 24 years presenting alone (19% of clients)
  • 5,471 people aged 55 years or older (seven% of clients)
  • 8,809 people with problematic drug or alcohol issues (12% of clients)
  • 8,659 people who were born in countries other than Australia (13% of clients)
  • 3,160 people with disability (four% of clients).

Key drivers of homelessness

Housing affordability and domestic and family violence are the leading drivers of homelessness. The top five reasons given for seeking assistance from SHS were housing crisis or eviction (54%), financial difficulties (42%), housing affordability stress (31%), domestic and family violence (30%) and relationship and family breakdown (28%). The majority of clients (61%) were presenting alone, with a further 30% of clients presenting as single parents with children (either as the parent or as accompanying children).

Support to find and maintain housing

SHS provides effective assistance for people to exit homelessness and to achieve and maintain housing. More than one in three clients (36%) who were homeless at the beginning of support were living in public, private or community housing at the end of support. Of the clients who remained homeless at the end of support, 16% were sleeping rough, 46% were in short term accommodation and 37% were couch surfing or had no tenure. Almost nine in 10 clients (88%) who were at risk of homelessness at the beginning of support were living in public, private or community housing at the end of support.

Accommodation for those in need

SHS provides a range of client-centred services, including accommodation and other assistance. SHS provided accommodation to 18,928 people in 2016-17, including short-term or emergency accommodation to 12,617 people and transitional accommodation to 7,389 people. For every five people who needed accommodation, two (41%) had accommodation provided by SHS, one (22%) was referred to receive accommodation from other services, and two (37%) were not provided with or referred to accommodation by SHS.

Case management plans

Two-thirds (67%) of clients had a case management plan, with 91% of these clients having some, or all, of their case management plan goals achieved. The most common reasons given for a client’s support ending were that their immediate needs were met or their case management goals had been achieved (44% of clients) and that the client no longer requested assistance (28% of clients).

The percentage of clients who were Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people excludes 3,351 clients for whom Indigenous status was not stated. The percentage of clients who were born in countries other than Australia excludes 6,055 clients for whom country of birth was not stated.

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Last updated: 14 Feb 2023