A cohort study has today been released that provides a picture of the support needs of people with high and complex needs who are homeless or at risk of homelessness within the ACT.
In February 2018, the ACT Government commissioned this study to better understand the specialist care, support and accommodation requirements of people with high and complex service needs who are either homeless or at risk.
For people with enduring mental illness, substance abuse and other complex problems, obtaining access to accommodation and sustaining tenancies can be difficult. When these challenges are particularly great, some may require tailored and sustained support to achieve good housing, health and well-being outcomes.
The study, undertaken by the Institute for Social Science Research at the University of Queensland, identifies gaps in the services available to this cohort and shows that positive outcomes can be achieved through permanent supportive housing models based on providing wrap-around support services.
The findings provide valuable evidence about the profile of the homeless and at-risk population in the ACT and offer insights into the needs of people who are often chronically homeless.
The study also supports implementation of commitments under the ACT Housing Strategy, such as:
- addressing gaps in the services systems and directing resourcing towards new and emerging needs with a focus on flexibility, early support and prevention
- implementing a model of support that draws upon the principles of Housing First, particularly for the long-term homeless
- establishing a diverse range of support and housing models for people who require permanent supportive housing
- developing a holistic and client-centred model of social housing
- developing a second Common Ground complex for Canberra
- establishing a strategic vision and plan for the growth and renewal of public housing.
Consultation of stakeholders in the government and non-government sectors was undertaken along with providers of, and advocates for supported accommodation arrangements in the ACT, as well as the residents themselves.
The ACT Government is committed to undertaking a whole-of-government approach in addressing the needs of this cohort.
Cameron Parsell, Australian Research Council Future Fellow and Director of Research of the School of Social Science at the University of Queensland is available for phone interviews.
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Section: Yvette Berry, MLA | Media Releases
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