Better data and policies to fight homelessness in the OECD (OECD, Jan 2020)

  • Policy brief on affordable housing: Better data and policies to fight homelessness in the OECD

  • Published by the OECD on 28 January 2020

  • Summary:

    • "Homelessness is difficult to measure and even harder to compare across countries. There is no common definition of homelessness, and countries' data collection efforts differ in their method, scope and frequency.

    • Homelessness affects less than 1% of the population across the OECD and Brazil, but nevertheless concerns more than 1.9 million people -- and this is likely an underestimate.

      Homelessness imposes high costs on individuals. It drastically affects individual health outcomes, with the homeless dying up to 30 years earlier than the general population on average.

    • People experience homelessness in different ways. A small but visible group comprises the chronically homeless, who generally require a complex web of supports. Meanwhile, a large and, in some countries, growing number of people are temporarily homeless.

    • The faces of homelessness are increasingly diverse. In many countries, homelessness has become more prevalent among women, families with children, youth, migrants and seniors.

    • Homeless solutions should be tailored to the varied needs of the homeless. In addition to preventive measures, "Housing First" approaches that provide immediate, permanent housing to the homeless, along with integrated service delivery, may be most effective for the chronically homeless. Emergency support, including rapid rehousing, can help the transitionally homeless."