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A person is homeless if he or she does not have access to safe, secure and stable housing. Hence even if a person has a physical home, they would be considered homeless if:

  • they were not safe at home,
  • they had no legal right to continued occupation of their home (security of tenure), or
  • the home lacked the amenities or resources necessary for living.


There is considerable concern over the number of homeless people in society and the assistance they require. Collecting information on homeless people is problematic, as the concept of 'homelessness' encompasses elements in addition to whether, someone resides in a dwelling or not.


SAAP (Supported Accommodation Assistance Program) National Data Collection Agency 2001. National Data Collection Data Dictionary. Version 2. Unpublished



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