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LJ Hooker Projects - The Chandler
LJ Hooker Projects - The Chandler

Study on housing for high, complex needs exposes gaps in system

The ACT Government has released the findings of a study into supported accommodation options for people with high and complex service needs, which showed gaps in the system for couples, pet owners, people with criminal histories, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, people with a physical or psychosocial disability, women and families not escaping domestic violence and single fathers, as identified by service providers and users.Campbell home sells for nearly $2 million

The study identified people with mental health issues or medical issues, drug or alcohol misuse or those exiting custody, out of home care or other care arrangements as having high and complex service needs.

The High and Complex Needs Cohort Study found that while demand for health and social support services was met in the majority of cases, demand for permanent or long-term accommodation went unmet in most cases.

“People with high and complex service needs were more likely to be provided with short-term rather than long-term housing options,” the report reads. The study found that the best outcomes for people with high and complex needs are met when permanent supportive housing met a range of criteria including: a formal lease in the tenant’s name, housing that is integrated into the community, affordability, resident choice in terms of housing, housing not continent on behaviours such as sobriety, among others.

In a statement, ACT Housing Minister Yvette Berry said the study provided valuable evidence about the profile of the homeless and at-risk population in the ACT, and would offer an insight into the needs of people who are often “chronically homeless”.

“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 wellbeing outcomes,” she said.

Of the total population who sought assistance from specialist homelessness services over the six years, 10% were people with high and complex needs. Homelessness figures declined in the ACT by 8.2%, at a time when the national figure rose by 11%.

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