People with disability are missing out on homes

A new analysis shows only six per cent of people with disability who are homeless or at-risk of homelessness are getting the long-term housing they need.

Everybody’s Home’s analysis of AIHW data shows:

  • 3,652 people with disability sought help from homelessness services for long-term housing in 2022-23
  • This is up from 2,873 about a decade ago (2013-14)
  • More than nine in ten were turned away because there isn’t enough social housing.

In 2022-23, more than half (53%) of people with a disability identified housing (e.g. affordability, availability, accessibility) as the main reason for seeking assistance, while one in five (21%) identified family breakdown or domestic violence as the primary driver.

The findings come after the recent Disability Royal Commission and NDIS review called for better access to social housing for people with disability.

Inclusion Australia CEO Catherine McAlpine: “Having a safe and steady place to call home is the foundation for any good life.

“Sadly for many people with an intellectual disability, there is very little support to understand and navigate the complexities of finding a home. Combined with a lack of housing options and low income security levels, this means that real choice about where you live and who you live with is limited. This increases the chance of people with disabilities being grouped together in segregated settings, where violence and abuse are more common.”

Disability Advocacy Network Australia, Director of Policy and Advocacy, El Gibbs: “Housing is one of the top issues that people with disability and disability advocates are dealing with every day. The lack of affordable, accessible and available housing is a crisis for people with disability in every single area.

“Many people with disability rely on income support, or part-time work, making the current affordability challenge even more acute. For people living in private rentals, getting home modifications to stay safe is often impossible.”

Everybody’s Home spokesperson Maiy Azize: “The lack of rentals for people with disability is a growing crisis. It’s already hard enough finding and securing a safe, decent, affordable rental in Australia, let alone one that is accessible and disability-friendly.

“The system is pushing more and more people with disability into homelessness, boarding houses, and even aged care because they can’t find a suitable home. The federal government must act with urgency to build more social housing for people with disabilities.”

2013-14 2022-23
People with disability needing long-term accommodation  2,873 3,652
Nothing provided or referred 1,573 (54.8%) 2,446 (67%)
Referred only 1,111 (38.7%) 978 (26.8%)
Provided  189 (6.6%) 228 (6.2%)
Source: AIHW Specialist Homelessness Services Annual Reports (2013-14 and 2022-23)