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The Case for Investing in Last Resort Housing


Ellen Witte


A cost benefit analysis prepared in collaboration with Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute at the University of Melbourne has found that it is cheaper to provide last resort housing to homeless people than to leave them sleeping rough.

The analysis found governments and society benefit more than they spend by providing last resort housing to homeless individuals. This is mainly through reduced healthcare costs, reduced crime, and helping people get back into employment or education.

This comprehensive cost-benefit analysis was commissioned by a team of experts from the University of Melbourne, NGOs, and architecture firms. SGS undertook the analysis.

The number of people sleeping rough in Melbourne’s streets has increased by over 70 per cent in the last two years. Homelessness is now at emergency levels. Key causes are the unaffordability of housing, people escaping domestic violence and a structural lack of social housing.

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