Social and Affordable Housing Strategy - Submission
Social and Affordable Housing Strategy - Submission

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.

Left to right: Izzy Huntington and Hope Street CEO, Donna Bennett.
Left to right: Izzy Huntington and Hope Street CEO, Donna Bennett.

Isabel Huntington is best known as an Australian Rules Footballer playing for the Western Bulldogs in the AFLW.

Drafted with pick one by the Bulldogs in the 2017 national draft, Izzy’s athletic talent was identified from such a young age. In 2020 Izzy was named the AFLW Rising Star, winning the Western Bulldogs Best & Fairest and being named as an All Australian. But there is so much more to Izzy than her outstanding athletic talent.

Donna Bennett, Chief Executive Officer
Donna Bennett, Chief Executive Officer

Whilst 2020 will be in the history books as the year of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important to acknowledge the many achievements throughout this year and to celebrate these before we bid farewell to 2020 and welcome 2021.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank our Board Directors for their valued contribution. I am also deeply grateful to our leadership teams and program teams for their expertise, agility and resilience as Hope Street swiftly responded to key challenges during the year. In particular, I commend our teams for their success with continuity of services to young people and young families, while keeping our clients and each other safe resulting in zero COVID-19 positive cases.

External view of proposed facility
External view of proposed facility

Next year as a priority, Hope Street will progress our work with the local community to establish a Hope Street First Response Youth Service in the City of Whittlesea.

This leading-designed facility, based on the First Response Youth Service in Melton model opened in August 2020, will provide crisis accommodation and support to 100 young people including young families per year, in a purpose-built 13-bedroom centre that includes two 2-bedroom family units. The model also incorporates a mobile outreach service to 120 young people including young families per year.

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Hope to Home in Whittlesea

FEATURED PILOT PROGRAM: Hope to Home in Whittlesea

Many young people face obstacles when trying to secure stable accommodation due to no rental history, lack of affordable housing, and no employment to sustain rental leases.  The Hope to Home in Whittlesea pilot program will address these issues by:

  • Facilitating the transition of up to 30 young people (and their children) from the Hope Street in Whittlesea program or Whittlesea Housing into 1 and 2 bedroom units
  • Providing case management once they secure private rental of these units
  • Helping these young people maintain their tenancy, employment, education and training, and community connections
  • Engaging the support of community stakeholders including local businesses to address barriers contributing to youth homelessness

Please contact us if you would like to become a partner and support at risk young people and young families.

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