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Emergency accommodation placements – flow 15 March-30 September 2020 (persons)

COVID-19Housing & homelessness

Considering the particular concerns about people experiencing street homelessness – especially the ‘chronic rough sleeper’ component of this cohort – there is a special interest in estimating the numbers of rough sleepers assisted via 2020-2021 EA programs. Former rough sleepers assisted by the Queensland, South Australian and Victorian governments totalled 7,718, as shown in this table.

Unfortunately, no equivalent figure was provided by the NSW Government, although it has been officially reported that 4,355 former rough sleepers had been assisted via EA in the period April 2020-January 2021 (NSW Audit Office 2021 p3).

These figures suggest that, by early 2021, at least 12,073 (7,718 + 4,355) rough sleepers had benefited from EA programs (of whom 8,284 were in NSW and Victoria). Particularly within the context of the ABS estimate of 8,200 rough sleepers nationally on Census night 2016 (ABS 2018), these are notable figures.

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