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A new study by New Zealand Work Research Institute and Lifewise has found a way to measure the cost of homelessness to society.

The cost of homelessness to society and to the individual is difficult to measure. This makes it difficult to come up with meaningful policy change to address rising homelessness and housing deprivation.

A new study undertaken by New Zealand Work Research Institute and Lifewise aims to address this difficulty. The report, titled “Scoping the costs of homelessness in New Zealand,” reviewed the international literature on quantifying the cost of homelessness and offered recommendations that could be useful for New Zealand.

An excerpt from the report: “Based on our survey of the literature we recommend that the average cost per homeless person in NZ be constructed based on their health, corrections, and government benefits usage – an integrated cost of homelessness approach focusing on the direct costs to institutional providers of support.”

Click here to read the full report.