• Print
  • Downloads

    PDF Specialist homelessness services section (127KB)
    PDF (127KB)

     Specialist homelessness services. (743KB XLS)
    Tables (743KB XLS)

    The Specialist Homelessness Services Collection (SHSC) describes all clients who receive services from specialist homelessness agencies and the assistance they receive, including clients with a current mental health issue.

    This section presents information provided by SHS agencies on clients with a current mental health issue for 2015–16. The data have been weighted for non-response .

    Clients are identified as having a current mental health issue if they have provided any of the following information:

    • they indicated that at the beginning of a support period they were receiving services or assistance for their mental health issues, or had in the last 12 months,
    • their formal referral source to the specialist homelessness agency was a mental health service,
    • they reported 'mental health issues' as a reason for seeking assistance,
    • their dwelling type either a week before presenting to an agency, or when presenting to an agency, was a psychiatric hospital or unit,
    • they had been in a psychiatric hospital or unit in the last 12 months,
    • at some stage during their support period, a need was identified for psychological services, psychiatric services or mental health services.

    Key points

    • Of the 233,400 SHS clients aged 10 years and over in 2015–16, about 3 in 10 (72,364 or 31.0%) had a current mental health issue.
    • About half of SHS clients (47.6%) with a current mental health issue reported an episode of homelessness in the 12 months before presenting to an agency, compared with one third (32.6%) of those clients without a current mental health issue.
    • Of clients with a current mental health issue, those aged 18–24 had the highest rate of SHS agency use followed by 15–17 year olds (635.0 and 586.3 per 100,000 population respectively) for 2015–16.
    • During 2015–16, over a quarter (27.1%) of clients with a current mental health issue received 6–45 days of support, while a further 22.6% received over 180 days (6 months).

    Data in this section were last updated in June 2017.


    The SHSC began on 1 July 2011, replacing the Supported Accommodation Assistance Program (SAAP) National Data Collection which included data from specialist homelessness agencies from 1996 to June 2011. Specialist homelessness agencies funded under the National Affordable Housing Agreement (NAHA) and the National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness (NPAH) are in scope for this collection.

    For further details regarding the scope and coverage of the SHSC, see the data source section.


    | Service provision >