The prevalence of homelessness amongst Australian veterans: Reporting findings and method from a national study

Stream: Housing and homelessness
Date: Monday, 9 September 2019
Time: 1.30 pm – 3.10 pm


This presentation will report on the findings of a project conducted for the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI) and the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) on homelessness amongst Australian veterans. Previous research has provided vastly different estimates of veteran homelessness and this was the first project to use primary data to provide an accurate estimate of the prevalence of homelessness amongst contemporary veterans. The challenges of assessing veteran homelessness are considerable because there is no population database of veterans. This project therefore drew on data from the Transition and Wellbeing Research Programme study which examined the wellbeing of veterans who had transitioned from the military between 2010 and 2015. The findings were then extrapolated to the total ADF population who transitioned between 2001 and 2018 using data sourced from a Defence administrative dataset. This paper will discuss the methodological challenges and will present the findings on the prevalence of veteran homelessness. The limitations of the findings will also be discussed.


Fiona Hilferty (Presenter), Social Policy Research Centre, UNSW Sydney
Dr Fiona Hilferty is a Senior Research Fellow at the Social Policy Research Centre, UNSW. Fiona is an expert in applied social policy research and has led many complex program evaluations and research projects which have resulted in significant reforms to policy and the delivery of services. Fiona’s research program spans multiple policy domains but she has a particular interest in mental health and programs that seek to change long term outcomes for disadvantaged people through early intervention.

Ilan Katz (Presenter), Social Policy Research Centre, UNSW Sydney
Ilan Katz is a Research Professor at the Social Policy Research Centre, UNSW. He joined SPRC in 2005 and has many years of policy, practice and research experience in children and family services in the UK. He specialises in evaluation methodology and analysis, in particular longitudinal evaluations using mixed methods. Ilan's research interests are broad and include parenting, child protection and mental health. Ilan started his career as a social worker and manager, working in several local authorities and NGOs in London. He was head of Evaluation, Practice development and Research at the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children.