The structural drivers of homelessness in Australia 2001-11
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This second and final report, from a project addressing this broad question, builds on our earlier analysis of the spatial dynamics of homelessness from 2001 to 2011. It examines the role of housing and labour markets, household income, income inequality, climate and demographic profiles in shaping the spatial distribution of homelessness across Australia. Interest in the role of structural versus individual level drivers of homelessness has been longstanding in the homelessness research and policy fields. Some have argued that homelessness is caused by structural factors such as weak labour markets and tight housing markets (Neale 1997), while others have emphasised individual factors such as mental illness, a history of contact with institutions, or poor decision-making as the key causes (Neale 1997). More recently a loose consensus has emerged where homelessness is understood to be caused by the interaction of individual risk factors and adverse structural conditions (Fitzpatrick & Christian 2006; Lee et al. 2010; Pleace 2000; O'Flaherty 2004).
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