National Homelessness Research


The White Paper on Homelessness, The Road Home, was released by the Australian Government on 21 December 2008.  It identified the need for a long-term research strategy to address significant research gaps and build on existing research and data collection efforts.

The National Homelessness Research Agenda 2009-2013 was released on 20 November 2009. The Agenda provides a guiding framework for building a cohesive evidence base for preventing and responding to homelessness. It clearly reflects the Government’s strategic research priorities and lists key research questions for the development of the evidence base that will drive reforms.

National Homelessness Research Funding

There are four main components of the research Agenda:

  1. National Homelessness Research Partnership Agreements
  2. National Homelessness Research Projects
  3. National Homelessness Longitudinal study (subject to scoping study)
  4. Evaluation of the White Paper

Evidence from these processes will inform and support whole of government initiatives to ensure that the goals and targets defined in the White Paper are met through efficient services and appropriate policies.

National Homelessness Research Partnership Agreements

In November 2009 the Department went to open tender seeking National Homelessness Research Partnerships.

Funding Agreements to a total value of $4.1million are in place with the research partners.

On Friday 30 April 2010, Minister Plibersek announced the names of the successful applicants:

  • University of Queensland's Institute of Social Science Research
  • Swinburne University of Technology's Institute for Social Research
  • Flinders University of South Australia's Flinders Partners.

These research partnerships provide the Department with better understanding on the triggers into homelessness and help to fill gaps in the evidence base. They also provide the flexibility necessary to respond quickly to changing priorities and emerging issues.

National Homelessness Research Projects

In November 2009 the department went to open tender seeking National Homelessness Research Projects.

The research projects are an important bottom-up approach to give the capacity to respond to emerging priorities, encourage innovation and leverage external funding.

On Tuesday 18 May 2010, Minister Plibersek announced the successful applicants for the National Homelessness Research Projects. Funding has been offered to 16 research projects for a total of $1.5 million.

Name of Lead Organisation Project Title
Australian Catholic University – School of Business Homelessness and unemployment: understanding the connection and breaking the cycle
Australian Catholic University – Institute of Child Protection Studies Responding to homelessness: the needs of sole-fathers and their children who experience homelessness
Australian Institute of Family Studies The influence of unstable housing on children's wellbeing and development from birth to 9 years of age: evidence from a national longitudinal study
Bachelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education Indigenous women and the role of transactional sex in homelessness
Eastern Access Community Health Inc. Understanding homelessness service transitions between community & clinical sectors (homelessness service transitions)
Flinders Partners Pty Ltd Addressing homelessness amongst persons with a disability: identifying and enacting best practice
Griffith University Precarious social inclusion: chronic homelessness and impaired decision-making capacity
HomeGround Services What makes a difference? Building a foundation for nationally consistent homelessness client outcome measures
Melbourne General Practice Network Exploring the clinical care needs of homeless people within Melbourne's CBD and inner suburbs
Micah Projects Inc A comparative study of the effectiveness of family support and crisis intervention with homeless families
Northern Rivers Social Development Council Incorporated What to do when city based homelessness models don't work in the bush?
Queensland University of Technology Understanding homelessness service integration: place based network analysis
University of New South Wales – Social Policy Research Centre Integrating employment and housing support for homeless people: a study of the Mission Australia Centre model
University of New South Wales – School of Social Science and International Studies Lifecourse institutional costs of homelessness for vulnerable groups
University of South Australia – Centre for Rural Health and Community Development Homeless away from home: understanding homelessness patterns arising from seasonal mobility of Aboriginal people to regional service centres (South Australia pilot study)
University of South Australia – The Australian Centre for Child Protection Responding to children in specialist homelessness services


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Content Updated: 27 September 2013