4922.0 - Information Paper - A Statistical Definition of Homelessness, 2012  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 04/09/2012  First Issue
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Contents >> The elements >> Severe crowding


People living in crowded dwellings represent a continuum within the scope of those who are marginally housed. In the context of the elements being developed for the ABS definition of homelessness, people living in severe overcrowding are considered to be homeless because they do not have control of, or access to space for social relations.

There are many situations of overcrowding which do not threaten the health and safety of the occupants. For example, the overcrowding may be slight, or for a short period of time. However, severe and sustained overcrowding can put the health and safety of the occupants at risk.

When people are subjected to severe, sustained overcrowding, all persons in the dwelling experience the absence of access to personal space, regardless of personal tenures. For example, while some people in a dwelling may own it, and many others also occupy the dwelling as their usual residence, the access to personal space of all is compromised. In such circumstances, if people had accommodation alternatives it would be expected that they would have exercised them.

In terms of the key elements in the ABS definition, all people living in the severely overcrowded dwelling do not have control of, or access to space for social relations.

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