Auditor General’s Report on the Queensland National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness available

The Queensland Auditor General’s Department has released its report on Queensland’s performance under the National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness (NPAH), and progress towards goals of a reduction of 7% in overall homelessness, 25% in rough sleeping, and 33% in Indigenous Homelessness by 2013.

The report finds that while overall homelessness in Queensland increased by 5% between 2006 and 2011, the rate of homelessness decreased as a percentage of population by 5% (22 % for rough sleepers) per 10,000 people during the same period. While it is anticipated that no Australian jurisdiction will meet the NPAH interim targets, the report notes this is not entirely dependent on the NPAH and may be attributable to natural disasters, unemployment rates, and housing affordability. 

Determining which homelessness programs are most cost effective in order to inform future program funding has been identified as a challenge for the state and federal governments. Of 31 NPAH funded initiatives four were examined in detail: A Place to Call Home, Homestay Support, Safety Upgrades Program, and Breaking the Cycle of Domestic Violence. All but A Place to Call Home were assessed as sound based on evidence, research, and evaluation reports.   However, a comparison of service costs per client for delivery of the same service in the same location to a similar group of clients ranged from $933 to $4320 per client across three agencies.

The report notes that contract management of service agreements is based on financial rather than qualitative acquittals, that output and performance reports are not reviewed by community service officers, and that the use of brokerage funding in accordance with service agreements is rarely monitored. 

View a copy of the report including a full list of recommendations, NPAH initiatives, funding and output targets is available.

Peter Mengede, Q Shelter Policy Officer