Homelessness is a rapidly growing problem in Victoria. Between the 2006 and 2016 Census the number of people experiencing homelessness in Victoria increased from a rate of 35.3 per 10,000 population to 41.9 per 10,000 population. A desperate shortage of affordable housing and skyrocketing rents are driving more and more people, from diverse backgrounds, out of their homes and into homelessness.
Belying the old stereotypes of homeless people being “rough sleepers: with complex needs, the fastest growing cohorts of people becoming homeless are women and older people. For many homeless means couch sur ng, living in severe overcrowding,
and temporarily in rooming houses and emergency accommodation.
This report examines the cohort of older people, over 55 years old, who are homeless, or at risk of becoming homeless. During the same period between 2006 and 2016, older persons homelessness grew by 58 per cent. Drawing on Census, as well as Specialist Homelessness Services data from across the state, this report examines the makeup of this growing and often hidden demographic of homeless people.