2050.0.55.002 - Position Paper - ABS Review of Counting the Homeless Methodology, Aug 2011  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 02/08/2011  First Issue
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In March 2011 the ABS published the Discussion Paper: Methodological Review of Counting the Homeless, 2006 (cat. no. 2050.0). That paper described the researcher methodology that had been previously used, and proposed a range of methodological changes that would be needed before consistent, transparent and repeatable official estimates could be made of the number of people enumerated in the Census that were likely to have been homeless on Census night. The Discussion Paper also outlined a process of consultation on the findings, to inform a final methodology to be published by end July 2011. The consultation on the review findings has confirmed the significance of the areas of likely underestimation of homelessness in relation to youth, Indigenous people and people escaping domestic violence. However, no alternative estimation methods have yet been developed to address the issues of underestimation for homelessness in these groups.

This ABS Position Paper:
- summarises the wide range of key issues identified so far in consultation (from public and private consultation sessions and written submissions received);
- addresses as far as is currently possible, the issues raised in consultation;
- reiterates and further articulates the concerns expressed in the Discussion Paper about underestimation of key groups of homeless people;
- notes the establishment of a Homelessness Statistics Reference Group; and
- describes future developments in homelessness estimation, including but not limited to a proposed quality study about homeless school students.

Guided by the Homelessness Statistics Reference Group, the ABS will continue to undertake research and development to inform the final methodology that will be used to report on homelessness from the 2011 Census, including the recompilation of consistent estimates from both the 2001 and 2006 Censuses.