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2049.0 - Census of Population and Housing: Estimating homelessness, 2006  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 11/09/2012   
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APPENDIX 2 COMPARISON BETWEEN CENSUS AND AIHW SAAP DATA 2006


2006 COMPARISON BETWEEN CENSUS ESTIMATE OF SAAP AND AIHW SAAP

In the 2006 Census, dwellings were flagged in Census processing as Supported Accommodation Assistance Program (SAAP) dwellings based on lists of hostels for the homeless, night shelters and refuges prepared by Census (3,405) people were enumerated in these dwellings which were not captured by other strategies; supported by lists provided by States and Territories, and/or when Census forms completed by people staying in SAAP dwellings had a Census-supplied green sticker affixed to their Census forms. However, it is possible that the lists developed by or provided to ABS may have missed some SAAP dwellings, and some forms may not have had green stickers affixed to their Census returns.

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) data on the number of people reported by SAAP services who, on Census night, were in SAAP accommodation has been compared to the Census estimates. As shown in the following table (excluding Victoria), the population of people enumerated using the three Census strategies aligns reasonably closely in total with the AIHW SAAP data for the number of people accommodated on Census Night, and reasonably closely for four of the seven States/Territories shown. There is some margin for estimation error in the AIHW reported SAAP numbers, as well as some imprecision in the list/green sticker approach that may explain the differences in the relatively small numbers in Tasmania and the Northern Territory. It is not clear why the Census data for Queensland overstate the AIHW - reported SAAP Census Night count.

A2.1 Comparison of 2006 Census SAAP Count and AIHW SAAP Services reported on Census night

NSW
Qld
SA
WA
Tas.
NT
ACT
All

Census SAAP Count
3 867
3 065
1 474
1 088
224
221
461
10 400
SAAP service reports - clients accommodated on Census night
4 140
2 621
1 500
1 116
379
293
441
10 490
Census shortfall (-) or over-count (+)
-273
444
-26
-28
-155
-72
20
-90

Source: ABS, 2006 Census of Population and Housing; AIHW SAAP Client Collection


For Victoria, the Census list/sticker/homeless hostel count in 2006 was 6,929, much higher than the SAAP service reported estimate on Census Night of 4,027. The Census data indistinguishably include about 3,000 tenants housed in Transitional Housing Management properties in Victoria, typically on short to medium-term tenancies from three to 18 months.

The reasonably close correspondence between the Census counts and the AIHW reported service counts of people accommodated in SAAP properties on Census Night supports the use of Census SAAP data (17,329 in 2006).


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