Longer-term social housing does a better job of keeping people off the streets than crisis accommodation, a study of homelessness in Brisbane found.
Placing the homeless in permanent accommodation with access to a case manager is much cheaper than having people go through court.
It would cost $2172 a year to house the homeless at a long-term address compared with $8719 if they went through the justice system, a study of homeless people in Brisbane found.
The “housing first” philosophy of placing the most at-risk in permanent accommodation debuted in 2010, as part of the former Rudd government’s social housing partnership between Canberra and the states.
Before then, homeless people were mainly placed in short-term, crisis accommodation.
The three-year study followed five woman and seven men who had lived on the streets for an average of eight years and had experienced abuse, neglect and family breakdown.
Longer-term housing had kept all of them off the streets.
Karyn Walsh, the co-ordinator of the Micah Projects welfare group behind the report, said longer-term accommodation was more effective at helping people change their behaviour.
“For people who do have significant and complex needs, having their own place is a foundation to change,” she said.
“People don’t have to move every year or every two years.”
Launching the report, Queensland Housing Minister Tim Mander said he hoped the policy would survive any government budget cuts.
“We want to make sure that … concept can be continually promoted and funded, hopefully, as we try to constantly balance the books,” he said.