The Health Minister in South Australia, Jack Snelling, has announced that the South Australian State Government will work with two homelessness support services to see if a new approach to addressing homelessness can be trialled through a partnership between government, the private sector and non-government sector.

The program will be delivered by way of social impact bond and will provide intensive support to at least 400 South Australians who have experienced homelessness.

Social impact bonds (also called social benefit bonds) are a type of ‘payment by outcomes’ funding mechanism that engages private capital.  Typically, instead of a government paying directly for the provision of a social service, private investors provide capital to a service provider to achieve agreed-upon social outcomes. If these outcomes are achieved, there are cost savings to government, which are used to repay the upfront investment along with a financial return.

In his news release, Snelling remarks that:

“If successful, this project could help improve the quality of life for at least 400 vulnerable South Australians, while delivering immense flow-on benefits to the broader community through reduced demands on our health, justice and homelessness support systems”.