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Overview - Homelessness

Last Modified: 28-Jun-2018 Review Date: N/A

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Access to safe, secure, affordable housing underpins the economic and social wellbeing of Western Australian (WA) households and their communities. Favourable living conditions and the resources sector boom had an impact on the WA economy. This resulted in rapid growth in our state's population. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), WA's population increased by 3.3 per cent in 2013 and 2.2 per cent in 2014. This was the fastest growth of all the states and territories, and well above the national growth rate of 1.7 per cent.

The flow-on effect included a significant demand for housing, pushing up prices and placing pressure on low to moderate income households. This increasing demand for housing has also seen growing numbers of people seeking assistance from homelessness service providers.

According to the ABS, the statistical definition of homelessness is:

"When a person does not have suitable accommodation alternatives they are considered homeless if their current living arrangement:

  • is in a dwelling that is inadequate
  • has no tenure, or if their initial tenure is short and not extendable, or
  • does not allow them to have control of, and access to space for social relations."

Refer to the Homelessness in Western Australia Strategy Paper 2016 for further information.

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