Why are our veterans more likely to be homeless?
A report for the Department of Veterans Affairs paints a grim picture of homelessness among veterans, showing a higher incidence than in another government report, The Courier-Mail says.
The Australian Housing and Urban Infrastructure Report study quietly released last month found the homeless rate among veterans, at 5.3 per cent, was significantly higher than the national average of 1.9 per cent.
More veterans also reported being homeless at some point, 21.7 per cent compared with 13 per cent of the general population.
However, an Australian Institute of Health and Welfare report released in mid-August looked at former Australian Defence Force members who had served since the start of 2001.
About 1215 of that population accessed specialist homelessness services between 2011 and 2017, with women and younger people more likely to be clients, the report said.
That accounts for 1.1 per cent of contemporary ex-serving ADF members, which is lower than the 3.4 per cent of Australians who accessed homelessness support in the same period.
"The two reports give different insights into the incidence of homelessness in the ex-service community highlighting that there are many factors that can contribute to homelessness, including negative life events such as relationship breakdown, unemployment, and mental health issues," a DVA spokesman told The Courier-Mail.
He added: "While states and territories have primary responsibility for delivering housing and homelessness services, the Australian government provides more than $6 billion per year for housing and homelessness services for all Australians, including veterans."