The Guides to Social Policy Law is a collection of publications designed to assist decision makers administering social policy law. TheĀ information contained in this publication is intended only as a guide to relevant legislation/policy. The information is accurate as at the date listed at the bottom of the page, but may be subject to change. To discuss individual circumstances please contact Services Australia.

1.1.H.74 Homelessness


This definition is applicable for the purposes of income management only.


The most widely accepted definition of homelessness in Australia describes 3 kinds of homelessness:

  • primary homelessness, such as sleeping rough or living in an improvised dwelling,
  • secondary homelessness, including staying with friends or relatives and with no other usual address and people staying in specialist homelessness services, and
  • tertiary homelessness, including people living in boarding houses or caravan parks with no secure lease and no private facilities, both short and long-term.

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