Thursday, August 1, 2013

Homeless numbers daltoned?

The State of Australian Cities 2013 report was released yesterday. The focus at the Cairns Post was on the homelessness statistics: Cairns' homeless shame after survey reveals 2300 on the streets

A demographic study has revealed 1.6 per cent of the population, or 2303 people, are living on the streets; the highest proportion of Australia's 18 largest cities. The next highest is Darwin, 1.1 per cent (1359).
However, it could be even worse says the head of the Cairns Homelessness Planning Leadership Group:
Prof Babacan said the statistic neither included the "hidden homeless", those who lived in overcrowded homes and "couch surfers", nor took into account the numbers in areas such as the Douglas shire and Tableland areas.
Which is a bit strange because in the actual report it says:
The estimated numbers of homeless people in each of the major cities are shown in Figure 5-7. These numbers include people living in improvised dwellings, tents or sleeping out, people in supported accommodation for the homeless, people staying temporarily in other households, boarding houses or other temporary lodging and people living in ‘severely’ crowded dwellings. The estimates do not include people in other marginalised housing such as caravan parks.
 Sounds to me like it certainly does include those "hidden homeless" not sleeping on the streets? Does the head of the Cairns Homelessness Planning Leadership Group really misunderstand what the statistics represent or have the reported comments been daltoned?

Much interesting information in the summary Cairns Fact Sheet which may warrant a further post.

Related post on the cities report at QEW: Benefits of higher urban population density – more cycling and walking to work

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