Hope Street has made a submission to a discussion paper developed by Homes Victoria which outlines the draft directions of the government’s 10-year social and affordable housing strategy and key questions for consideration.
Young people aged 20 – 24 years are one of the age groups least represented in any form of social housing across Australia, including public housing and community housing. Of the current 53,962 public housing tenancies in Victoria, only 0.4%, 206 households, have youth allowance as their main source of income. Young people on lower incomes who attempt to leave homelessness services and obtain secure and affordable housing face immense challenges. Only 0.4% of young people who have left Hope Street programs have been able to access social housing. This figure is alarmingly low and the situation is unacceptable.
Advocating for the needs of young people experiencing homelessness is critical and Hope Street’s formal submission is an opportunity to highlight a current social and affordable housing system that fails to cater for young people and young families. Equally important, our formal submission is an opportunity to present data and information highlighting the need for change to the social and affordable housing system to enable young people to access and thrive in their local communities. This type of advocacy is crucial given the figures above as well as the 2016 ABS Homelessness data recording an increase of the number of young people experiencing homelessness; young people’s Centrelink income significantly below the Australian Poverty Line; and projections of major rises in the youth population over the next 30 years, particularly in growth corridors.
Hope Street has drawn on its significant experience and documented success in supporting young people to access secure and affordable housing options to provide eleven recommendations to the Ten-Year Social and Affordable Housing Strategy for Victoria so that it includes the needs of young people and young families trying to find a safe place to call home.