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FEATURE ARTICLE 1: OVERVIEW OF THE DEFINITION OF HOMELESSNESS
The definition has been constructed from a conceptual framework centred around the following elements:
The elements are explained in more detail in ABS Information Paper - A Statistical Definition of Homelessness (cat. no. 4922.0).
People must lack one or more of these elements to be defined as homeless. However, people who lack one or more of these elements are not necessarily classified as homeless. While homelessness is not a choice, some people may chose to live in situations that might parallel the living situations of people who are homeless. For example, people may be living in a shed while building a home on their own property, or on holiday travelling and staying with friends. These people have choice because they have the capacity to access other accommodation that is safe, adequate and provides for social relations. Having access to accommodation alternatives is contingent on having the financial, physical, psychological and personal means to access these alternatives (see ABS Information Paper - A Statistical Definition of Homelessness (cat. no. 4922.0).
HOW THE DEFINITION OF HOMELESSNESS INFORMS THE METHODOLOGY FOR ESTIMATING HOMELESSNESS FROM THE CENSUS
The ABS Information Paper - A Statistical Definition of Homelessness (cat. no. 4922.0) outlines which elements of the statistical definition are used in determining homeless living situations in each of the homeless operational groups.
The hierarchy below briefly outlines which elements of the definition are employed to determine the group as being homeless.
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