National Shelter media release — 15 August 2011

It is expected this year’s Census will show a dramatic decrease in Australia’s homelessness population, but community sector research reveals a different reality.

The latest Community Sector Survey by the Australian Council of Social Services (ACOSS) shows homelessness and housing service providers are busier than ever.

Key outcomes from the survey include :

  • 21% of all service providers experience the greatest increase in demand from the area of housing and homelessness
  • 22% of service providers turned away the highest numbers of people seeking housing and homelessness support
  • 34% of service providers profiled those seeking housing and homelessness support to be aged between 15–24.

Most concerning however, is that 87% of all service providers said housing and homelessness was the greatest area of high and unmet need.

National Shelter Chairperson, Adrian Pisarski, said these results show that the federal government’s housing and homelessness are not keeping pace with cost of living pressures.

‘This research shows service providers are being stretched thinner and thinner — and are increasingly unable to provide support to those in need.’

‘A third of all people seeking homelessness and housing support are young people, showing that adequate housing is becoming an impossible dream for younger generations.’

National Shelter believes more support for long?term housing strategies and doubling the National Rental Affordability Scheme are key to reducing pressure on homelessness.

‘For the Gillard government to stay true to their word and halve homelessness by 2020, a substantial and sustained funding initiative is required.'

Adrian Pisarski, Chairperson: tel: (07) 3831 5900, 0417 975 270; email:

Joanna Carson, Communications Officer: 0418 718 584: email: