Veterans' Affairs has commissioned new research on homelessness and its causes among war veterans so that governments across Australia can comprehensively support returned servicemen and women.
The research will be conducted by Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI) researchers at the University of NSW Social Policy Research Centre and the University of Adelaide’s Centre for Traumatic Stress Studies. The research team partners with Sydney based Homes for Heroes (Contemporary Veterans Homelessness and Assistance Program).
New data will also be gathered by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW), which for the first time in its specialist homelessness services data collection will ask “are you a current or former Australian Defence Force member".
NSW Minister for Family and Community Services Brad Hazzard recognised it has been hard to get a grip on how many diggers are homeless.
“What we do know is that diggers who end up on the streets often have complex trauma and mental health problems," Mr Hazzard said.
“Then there are the problems that lead many people to homelessness - drug and alcohol abuse, domestic violence, financial stress and marriage breakdown.”
“We dedicated $1 million in this year’s Budget for rental subsidies for veterans who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, and have been working closely with RSL NSW, DefenceCare and RSL LifeCare which runs Homes for Heroes, to help these veterans get the support they need.”