Title:A predictable crisis: older, single women as the new face of homelessness.
Author(s):Sharam, Andrea
Subject:Women – older women|split|Women – poverty|split|Housing – temporary, emergency, homelessness
Publisher:Australian Policy Online
Place of Publication:Hawthorne, AU
Date of Publication:2010

The dissolution of partnerships and re-partnering involve serious risks for women and their children, according to this paper. This significant gender-based economic and social problem has emerged on the back of demographic change. A recent national study of women and housing used ABS demographic modelling to show that a sizeable proportion of female baby boomers are single, poor and facing significant housing insecurity, which suggests that the new face of homelessness will be single older women by virtue of a combination of the sheer number of women in the cohort, their poorer economic status and social changes that occurred in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. This forecast appears as a startling departure from the existing statistics. More women than men use the homelessness service system, but this reflects the response to family violence which is aimed at women. Single women (as a group distinct from those seeking assistance because of violence) receive only about 4% of the national funding for homelessness. Single women are currently but minor players in the homelessness statistics, which can be explained by the historical size of this cohort, but this could shift from a trickle to a roar in the space of generation.

 Material Type:Report

D. HOUSING/2010 predictable_crisis.pdf

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