National Affordable Housing Agreement (NAHA) Supported Accommodation Assistance Program (SAAP)

The first serious mention of youth homelessness as a phenomenon independent of other Departmental activities occurred in the Annual Report of 1984.  An “area of increasing importance” to the Perth division was the presence of homeless, “street kids” in the city.  A youth team was established to “look at methods of increasing the effectiveness of service delivery to these young people.”  Greater liaison with other agencies involved in service delivery to youth was undertaken in an attempt to find and support appropriate programs. 

The Department had had a “special responsibility” for dealing with youth homelessness since March 1981, when it began to administer the Youth Services Scheme, which was funded from State and Commonwealth budgets.  The Youth Services Scheme was “designed to encourage the development of services which enable the movement of homeless youth out of shelter style facilities into more appropriate forms of accommodation.”  Annual Report of the Department for Community Services, June 30th 1984.

SAAP, jointly funded by Commonwealth and State Governments, commenced on January 1, 1985.  Its stated aim was “to provide a range of supported accommodation and related support services to assist men, women and young people, and their dependents, who are either permanently, or temporarily homeless as a result of crisis, and who need assistance to move towards independent living.” 

SAAP commenced with three sub-programs:  the Youth Supported Accommodation Programme, which assisted 17 organisations who provided “crisis and long term accommodation throughout the State”; the Women’s Emergency Service Programme, and the General Supported Accommodation Programme.  The Department administered SAAP funds and was represented on SAAP’s coordinating and sub-program committees.  Annual Report of the Department for Community Services, June 30th 1985.

Signposts identifies a number of facilities that have been funded during this period by the Youth Supported Accommodation Assistance Programme (YSAAP).  This, like the other sub-programs, has operated “with the close involvement of the non-government sector”, which has participated in “various aspects of policy development, priority setting, funding allocation and project management.”  Annual Report of the Department for Community Services, June 30th 1987

From 1 January 2009, SAAP was replaced with the NAHA. The NAHA combines the SAAP Agreement, Commonwealth State Housing Agreement and Indigenous Housing Agreement to work together to improve housing affordability and reduce homelessness. Services for homeless young people aged 15-25 years have been prioritised.” Annual Report of the Department for Child Protection, June 30th 2009