Homelessness is defined when a person doesn't have suitable accommodation which meets basic needs. That includes a sense of security, stability, privacy, safety and the ability to control living space.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) considers the cultural definition of homelessness incorporating three tiers of homelessness as:
- Primary homelessness: people without conventional accommodation (living in the streets, in deserted buildings, improvised dwellings, under bridges, in parks, etc.)
- Secondary homelessness: people moving between various forms of temporary shelter including friends, emergency accommodation, youth refuges, hostels and boarding houses
- Tertiary homelessness: people living in single rooms in private boarding houses without their own bathroom, kitchen or security of tenure.
Homelessness is often outside a person’s control; it can affect people of all ages and may occur at any time during the course of their lives. For some people, this may be episodic and for others, it could be exposure to chronic cyclical patterns of homelessness due to a number of different experiences, including unemployment, financial debt and housing market pressures (such as rising rental and house prices), and the lack of public and social housing.
People at risk of homelessness may include:
- People who are unemployed or underemployed
- Single people over 65
- People in households reliant on government pensions (including carer and disability support)
- Single parent families
- Single people without children
- Children and young people
- People from non-English speaking backgrounds
At the Ordinary Council Meeting held on 20 August 2019, a Notice of Motion was raised by Councillor Lorna Clarke, to develop a Homelessness Strategy. The motion was carried.
At the Ordinary Council Meeting held on 24 March 2020, Council resolved to establish a Local Homelessness Advisory Committee and at the Ordinary Council Meeting of 22 October 2020, Council approved for the presentation of the final Local Homelessness Strategy to be no later than July 2021.
For more information please visit the City’s website Agendas and Minutes
Council approved the establishment of the Local Homelessness Advisory Committee at the Ordinary Council Meeting held on 24 March 2020.
The purpose of the Local Homlessness Advisory Committee is to:
- Provide appropriate and considered strategic advice and feedback relating to homelessness matters within the City of Bayswater that can be dealt with at a local government level to inform the development of the City’s draft Local Homelessness Strategy
- Provide advice and recommendations on how the City of Bayswater Local Homelessness Strategy and cascading actions can align to the Department of Communities 10 year Strategy on Homelessness 2020-2030 entitled 'All Paths Lead to a Home’
- Receive reports on the City’s Local Homelessness Strategy development progress.
The Local Homelessness Advisory Committee will disband following Council’s adoption of the final Local Homelessness Strategy 2021 – 2025.
For more information, please visit the City’s Local Homelessness Advisory Committee page.
In 2020, the Department of Communities released its 10 year strategy entitled ‘All Paths Lead to a Home’. This Strategy is a whole-of-community plan that aims to find better ways to prevent homelessness and support those who are experiencing it.
Local government authorities can contribute to the vision of the Strategy in the following ways:
- Investigating models focusing specifically on early intervention and prevention
- Making information on local services and supports available and accessible
- Ensuring front-line staff are provided with training to interact with people experiencing homelessness and, where appropriate, refer them to local services
- Working with police to support and refer people experiencing homelessness to local services and supports
- Coordinating volunteer and charity groups through a place-based approach that better meets the needs of people experiencing homelessness
- Utilising land and assets to create places that are inclusive and can support vulnerable people.
To view the Department of Communities Homelessness Strategy, please visit the Department of Communities website.
According to Australian Bureau of Statistics Census of Population and Housing: Estimating homelessness - 2016 data, the number of persons experiencing homelessness in the City of Bayswater was 210 persons. This was an increase of 52 people from the 2011 Census.
Due to the transient nature of homelessness, it is challenging to have accurate statistics for people living without conventional accommodation (i.e. living on the street or other forms of temporary accommodation) at any given time.
To help inform the City of Bayswater Local Homelessness Strategy 2021 – 2025, the City, in collaboration with eight other local government authorities, conducted two ‘Rough Sleeper Counts’ in 2020. The first was held on 17 March 2020, just prior to Western Australia declaring the COVID-19 pandemic as a State of Emergency. The second count took place on 27 October 2020, when Western Australia moved to ‘Phase 5’ of the state’s COVID-19 Roadmap to Recovery.
Across these two days, there were a total of 24 people found rough sleeping in the City. There were a further 77 people experiencing homelessness in crisis accommodation*. ‘Hidden homeless’ staying in temporary accommodation such as with a friend or family member is unknown.
*There are two crisis accommodation providers located in the City of Bayswater supporting women and children escaping family and domestic violence and also for men who are facing homelessness, living with mental illness or addiction issues or have other issues.
To learn more about the City of Bayswater demographic profile, please see the City of Bayswater Suburbs Profile resource.