Alarming number of Aussie veterans left homeless

A much larger number of Australian veterans are homeless than previously estimated, according to new national research.

About 5800 ex-serving men and women are homeless in a 12-month period, a rate significantly higher than for all Australians.

The AHURI Inquiry into Homelessness Amongst Australian Veterans, funded by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, offers the first-ever estimate of veteran homelessness based on primary data and the first accurate baseline to track changes in the rate over time.

The report calls out the critical need for government to commit to further research and service policy reform to address homeless veterans’ needs.

“While international research has shown that veterans are at a greater risk of homelessness in comparison to the general population, the extent of the problem in Australia has not been known until the completion of our research,” says co-author Dr Fiona Hilferty from the University of NSW.

“This has prevented definitive service planning, with veterans not recognised as a priority cohort within national homelessness policy. The findings of our research point to the urgent need for veterans to receive priority attention from policymakers and housing organisations.”

As well as estimating the number of veterans living without a home, the research also examines veterans’ pathways into homelessness.

The ways in which aspects of military service contribute to homelessness are difficult to isolate, Dr Hilferty says.

Ex-serving men and women who are homeless report similar risk factors to the general population, including mental illness, substance abuse and poverty.

 “However, our research also identified a number of unique factors that increase the risk of becoming homeless for veterans,” she said. “These risks include relationship breakdown, being medically discharged from the Australian Defence Force, and being unemployed for more than three months following the transition from military service.”

The report also looks at service usage patterns to monitor the efficacy of and opportunities for improvement in service implementation.

It found that while mainstream homelessness services may be able to address the needs of those experiencing short-term or transitional homelessness who seek help, chronically homeless veterans require a specific policy and service response focused around the provision of permanent and supported housing.

The project team also included three veteran community researchers who brought to the team their personal experience in military service and expertise in supporting veterans experiencing homelessness.

 Should Australia do more to support its veterans?


Yes, that's right -- after these poor souls have risked their lives and gone through HELL and this is how they are treated -- no care for PSD or any other horrors they might be going through,  utterly disgusting and unforgivable!

But we can have other folks from other counties in government places  --(BTW I am not against helping others such as these people)

Wouldn't it be wONDERFUL if countries that wanted war -- had to send their LEADERS to fight -- I bet there would be NO bloody wars!

They fool all the young blokes into signing up -- and after that, they --could not care a hoot

LEST WE FORGET,   well we sure have not learned a dam thing, have we!

About 5800 ex-serving men and women are homeless in a 12-month period, a rate significantly higher than for all Australians.

So very sad and so much more support needed.

That is positively disgusting shame on Australia.

Our managing politicians need to lift their game, I would rather see villages for these people to be housed in, rather than give money of $750 a time to people plus all the other benefits, they need to get their priorities sorted.

Why the heck are we paying money and housing to aliens and not our own? Why?

Aliens???  Celia???

PlanB, I presume Celia means aliens as in definitions below ...

1. alien (adjective) — belonging to a foreign country.
E.g. "an alien culture"
2. alien (noun) — a foreigner, especially one who is not a naturalised citizen of the country where he or she is living.
E.g. "an illegal alien"

Yes RnR.

Plan B what is your definition of an Alien?

Mine would be a being from out of the cosmos --


My definition of those from other counties would be Immigrants, so those that were not BORN here are immigrants


Well said and I totally agree!

California Governor Jerry Brown signed a law that removes the word "alien" from the state's labor code. It's a change that's largely symbolic—Brown signed other laws yesterday that make a more concrete difference—but the vocabulary shift is still important to many. "Alien is now commonly considered a derogatory term for a foreign-born person and has very negative connotations," as California Senator Tony Mendoza, who introduced the bill, told the Los Angeles Times.

How did "alien" come to be a term for immigrants in the first place? American politicians have actually used the word to denote foreign nationals for more than 200 years. Legally speaking, it doesn't have anything to do with an immigrant's documentation status. You can be an alien whether you entered the United States with or without papers.




When we were considered alien we didn't object; we were as we had not become Australian citizens back then.


the government is not holding up to its end of the social bargain it makes with veterans ... in exchange for services with the ADF we agree to look after them when that service is complete. As a minimum, DVA should provide and manage SPQ and MQ accommodation at bases around the country until such time the vets choose to live independently.


Completely agree, well said

My Father was in the British Armed forces there was 7 in the family before he went into civey street he was allocated a council house 4brm lounge,dining room,kitchen any one leaving the forces gets priority evan now after thatcher sold of council houses they are still given priority and when you are in married quarters every thing that is needed in the house is supplied so when you do leave you have nothing so maybe the Commonwealth of australia should have a look at themselfs

May I corrrect a common misconception raised by cupoftea when she wrote "when you are in married quarters every thing that is needed in the house is supplied". This is incorrect. As an occupant of Married Quarters in several states the only thing supplied was the usual contents of an unoccupied  house, there were no curtains or floor coverings or furniture, we had to supply them ourselves. Of course we never bought quality furniture, curtains or carpets as we knew that sometiime it would be loaded on a truck and transported anywhere in Australia. When I resigned from the ADF my wife justifiably wanted new furniture, curtains, blinds and  carpets to replace the 'old' which had been knocked around by multiple removalists. While I am at it another couple of misconceptions some people have.  As a serviceman I paid exactly the same tax as everybody else, my military salary was not tax free. While I received free medical care my family were  were not covered by Defence, they were in exactly the same boat as everybody else, relying on Medicare and health insurance (which I paid at the family rate, no discount for not covering me).

Unfortunately some of what you say is incorrect, service personnel in the UK are not given any priority for housing and never have been to my knowledge, when my father came out of the RAF we rented private accommodation because no public housing was available, we waited approx 5 years before getting a council house, that was in 1954, over the years a few of my relatives served in the armed forces, serving from conflicts in Egypt right up to Iraq, non of them received any priority for housing when they left the services, as for Thatcher selling off public housing that's also a bit of a myth, Thatcher passed a law that allowed public housing to be sold off to those people living in council housing, giving many people the opportunity to own their own house for the first time ever, the local authority were in charge of how the system operated, different council areas may have operated the system differently, the problem of public housing shortage was largely due to the local authorities not replacing public housing when existing council houses were sold off, that's where the blame belongs, of course that's just my understanding of the situation.


Yes Jim I am inclined to agree with you too going from what I can remember of when my late father  left the Forces after six years.  I don't think the country back then had the funds to house everyone in a home. Certainly not furnish the homes either.  My husband agrees his father was in the British Airforce, some were given service houses but had to pay for them.

Perhaps Cupoftea's father was a Major General.


Every time I enter the USA through LA Airport I have to go through Boarder Security in the ALIEN lines.  In the USA if you do not hold USA Citizenship you are clasified an ALIEN.  AS ET said "Go Home".

Isn't that the same at Heathrow 4b2?

Last time we were at Heathrow Dec 2018 we were on a buggy my husband and I and two other people with Alien passports sat at the rear.   When we came to the Gate for British Passport Holders the lady in charge asked if they would be kind enough to look at the two other passengers passports, which he did much to their surprise.  The Alien gate had a few hundred people waiting to go through.

On a more positive note I agree that we should look after all of our returned servicemen on their discharge.  Maybe they should not be discharged untill they are medically, socially, and mentally fit.Stop spending memorials to the dead, look after the living.

You make a good point 4b2.

Yes, some things just pass in the Halls of Management without anyone being concerned about Veterans and has been this way since 1915. I spent 18 years in the Defence Force with a young family most of which was enjoyable. However, once I retired it was a different matter as I, along with all ex-defence members, become a number in Defence Files. The part of retiring which affected me the most was missing all mates and friends made over the years. It knocks the wind out of one's sails especially if you don't have a job to go to straight away. These homeless ex-members should have priority over ALL migrants for housing assistance regardless of the status of migrants.

"They shall grow not as we that are left grow old

Age shall not weary them

Nor the years condemn

At the going down of the sun and

in the morning

We will remember them."

Lest We Forget.


If I may make an observation there may be many factors in homelessness for former sericemen. One is marriage breakup, seems to be not unusual where the transistion to civillian life causes impossible strains on a relationship for both the ex-member and their partner.

Another is where the ex-serviceperson is in their mid 40s and finds few employers are willing to take on a middle aged person irrspective of their skills and disciplined personality. When I separated, apart from Correctiive Services and the Corps of Commissionaires, no prospective employers appreciated the person-management skills and discipline of long term military service.

I was fortunate in that 3 months after separation I found employment with an employer who wanted to take advantage of my military skills and knowledge, namely the Department of Defence. I had to go in at entry level but within a few years managed to work myself to a level commensurate to my skills so I never looked back. Many others are not so fortunate and get stuck in jobs well below their level of competence, this can be so demoralising.

The antipathy of the post-Vietnam era toward military service did not help. It was not until the Welcome Home parades for Vietnam vets that attitudes began to slowly change. PTSD overwhelmed some ex-members and by the time they started to get help too much dammage was done.


For those that say i dont know what i am on about my father left the Army in 1970 after serving 22yrs i was 15  an army brat he also served in  the midle east my first school was in malaya,singerpore aldershot malta germany n ireland crawley of coarse i lived in all the places so i know what you get in mq and as for leaving and getting priorety they do  i and i should know if you think i am talking crap why dont you get in touch with a council over there i did last  and they still did it 2yrs ago and as for the council houses yes thatcher did sell to the tennents so a familely of five bought there house the majority of blue coller workers lived in councel houses so where do there go now no houses  left and for some one saying about mq in Australia i would not have a clue i said BRITISH forces and us army brats do know things

I think you may have misunderstood my response, I believe what you say was true in your case, or maybe as wasn't very clear in the way I responded so apologies if that is the case, the point I was trying to make is that it's the local authorities in the different areas that make the decisions on housing after a service person leaves the service, I still have family in the UK and many of them have served in the various services over the years, as I mentioned earlier my father was in the airforce, I still have a nephew who was a high ranking officer in the army, he retired approx 2 years ago he is buying his own home, but when I can contact him I will check on the current situation, he was stationed at Catterick, most of the people I know who are retired live in the North East of England, although it's probably 30 years ago since the last one retired, he wasn't given priority over anyone, he rented privately until he could buy his own place, as I said before it depends on the local authority and what their process is, which also may change over time, that's also what I was relating to with Thatcher, the fault for not replacing council houses that were sold off rested entirely with the local authoritie, I only mentioned it because it was the first time in some people's lives that they had the opportunity to get into the property market, lots of people were grateful for that opportunity, my own parents didn't bother.

Celia My Father was a sargent in Paras 

Hi Jim thank you for your reply, i would comment on a few other things regarding leaving the forces ie pensions etc but as this is a public forum i will leave it

Image may contain: 1 person, text that says '$1 BILLION SLASHED from aged care budget THANKS TO SCOTT MORRISON... There has never been a less exciting time to be an Australian senior GetUp!'


She could be your mother or you at a later stage. Covid-19 is taking lives unnecessarily.

Heads should roll for what's happening in aged care facilities at this present time.



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