AHURI has released their latest report into Indigenous homelessness. Key points that have come from this report are:
- Australia-wide, one in 28 Indigenous people were homeless at the time of the 2016 Census.
- The Indigenous homelessness rate is 10 times that of non-Indigenous people (Australian Bureau of Statistics [ABS] 2019; Australian Institute of Health and Welfare [AIHW] 2019a).
- The Indigenous population in Australia is expected to grow to around 1,060,000 by 2031. Housing policy frameworks and investment must account for this growth in population.
- A continuity of dispossession, racism, profound economic disadvantage and cultural oppression shapes the lived experience of many Indigenous Australians today.
- Indigenous homelessness is culturally distinct. The drivers of Indigenous homelessness and the entry and exit points to accessing servicesare different. The notion of ‘home’ and ‘homelessness’ are culturally
- There is a lack of dedicated services for Indigenous Australians experiencing homelessness in urban areas, despite their acute over-representation. This combines with other systemic barriers to explain their acute overrepresentation among specialist homelessness services.
- Indigenous-led services need to be supported and enabled to work more closely with housing and homelessness organisations.
- There is a policy tension between prioritisation of adequate supply of housing and the services and supports needed to assist people retain housing.
- Family violence, community dislocation and economic pressures combine to escalate issues of sleeping rough, overcrowding and intermittent or cyclical homelessness.
- Wraparound trauma-informed holistic support is needed for up to a year for Indigenous women and children impacted by family violence.
- The over-representation of Indigenous people in Australian prisons increases the risk of homelessness post-release. Indigenous people transitioning out of prison need secure and culturally safe accommodation support, as well as wraparound services that provide pathways out of vulnerability and risk.
- A strengths-based approach focusing on the interplay between Indigenous-controlled support services and homelessness support can generate more holistic and culturally safe responses.
- Indigenous-led responses to urban Indigenous homelessness are
culturally appropriate and thus likely to be more impactful and lasting.
The report can be accessed here