The drivers of high health and justice costs among a cohort young homeless people in Australia

Paul Flatau, Kaylene Zaretzky, Emma Crane, Georgina Carson, Adam Steen, Monica Thielking, David MacKenzie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Our study utilizes Australian survey evidence to estimate the heath and justice costs of a cohort of young homeless people. Health and justice costs for young homeless people are highly skewed with median costs well below mean costs. This is particularly true of justice costs resulting from a relatively high proportion of young homeless people having no interaction with the justice system. Having a diagnosed mental health condition is a primary driver of both health and justice costs. Having been homeless or sleeping rough in the previous year is associated with approximately four times mean health and justice costs compared with not having experienced homelessness. High justice costs are associated not only with having a diagnosed mental health condition homelessness and rough sleeping, but also a high-risk of dependence on one or more drugs or alcohol, identifying as Indigenous and a history of out-of-home care before the age of 18.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)648-678
Number of pages31
JournalHousing Studies
Volume35
Issue number4
Early online date14 Jun 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

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