This research Final Inquiry developed policy recommendations for enhancing housing assistance for individuals leaving institutional settings of residential treatment for mental health and/or substance use problems, the criminal justice system and out-of-home care. The Inquiry also offers recommendations for enhancing the ways Specialist Homelessness Services address the unique support needs of diverse cohorts moving between these institutional settings.
Failure to adequately plan for and support safe transitions from institutional settings into secure and affordable housing can have catastrophic consequences for individuals leaving these settings, with strong impacts on their housing security, health and wellbeing, and economic and social participation in the community.
The research finds individuals at risk of experiencing housing insecurity following discharge from institutional settings should be formally integrated into discharge planning processes, and that assertive case management, while resource intensive, is an effective means of supporting vulnerable individuals with complex needs to access and maintain stable housing.
In addition, it is important to increase funding support for the provision of new social housing to guarantee access to safe and secure housing for all Australians who require it. For people exiting prison social housing is a stable base on which to receive and engage with support services and helps to desist from offending.