Annual Consumer Surveys

Every year the Northern and Western Homelessness Networks survey people who have accessed homelessness assistance through the 180 homelessness programs operating in Melbourne’s north and west.

In 2022 the Networks ran their 10th consumer survey and once again surveyed consumers about their experiences of emergency accommodation. The Networks are very grateful to have been supported by Dr David Kelly, RMIT, in the analysis of this Report.

For the first four years the consumer survey focused on consumer experiences of the newly coordinated homelessness service system.

In the fifth year the survey was more qualitative, exploring the responses received in the previous four years. In the sixth year the survey focused specifically on consumers’ experiences of emergency accommodation, in response to feedback received in the previous survey.

In the seventh year the survey was also primarily a qualitative survey – focusing on consumers’ experiences of homelessness and a lack of housing.

In 2019 the survey focused on four key areas pf consumer experiences of the homelessness service system,

  • suggested improvements,
  • whether consumers had to re-tell their stories,
  • whether they felt respected
  • and how they would like to be contacted.

Survey responses from young people and adults were reported separately.

In 2020 the survey focused on the impact of COVID-19 on the lives of consumers and on their experience of the changed homelessness service system arrangements during the pandemic. During the pandemic homelessness services were required to move away from face to face contact with most clients. This created additional challenges for completion of the survey, resulting in a smaller participation rate than usual.

In 2021 a survey was not conducted, because the Sector was supporting the homelessness enumeration for Census 2021.  

Summary of the consumer surveys: 2012 - 2020

Each year the Consumer Participation Working Group produces a report of the feedback received through the Annual Consumer Survey.  This feedback is presented to the Networks, with a series of recommendations about advocacy activities and service system improvements that the Networks could undertake.  The Networks then decide how to respond to the feedback provided.

The survey report is available to consumers, and, in some years, the Networks have produced a poster outline how the Networks have responded to the feedback received. 

Below is a report summarising all of the consumer feedback received in the 2012-2020 surveys and copies of the survey reports from 2016 - 2020 of all the Networks' Consumer Survey findings. 

Consumer survey reports

Below are the individual reports of the consumer surveys undertaken by the Northern and Western Homelessness Networks.