Thousands of young Victorians still homeless after seeking help


17 April 2019

A shocking 3,641 young people were still either sleeping rough or couch surfing after seeking help for homelessness in 2017-18, according to a new analysis of homelessness data, revealed today.

Trying to find appropriate housing options for young people who find themselves without accommodation and at risk of living on the streets, is a huge stress on homelessness services, says the CEO of Council to Homeless Persons, Jenny Smith.

Young people at risk of homelessness urgently need extra help to find accommodation in the rental market, because Youth Allowance and youth wages are so low.

Rental subsidies and support for 1,000 extra young people must be made available, so we can make sure that when young people come looking for help we have a housing solution to offer.

On Youth Homelessness Matters Day 2019, Victoria’s peak body for homelessness is calling on the State Government to address the emergency that is youth homelessness.

Over 20,000 young people aged 15-24 asked for help for homelessness in 2017-18. “These numbers are heartbreaking. Our young people deserve so much more than this. All young people should have the safety of a roof over their heads,” says Jenny Smith.

“The longer it takes for young people to be housed, the greater the impact on their mental health, ability to work or study and we are more likely to see justice system involvement and recurrent homelessness.”

”Victoria desperately needs housing solutions that young people can afford, and support for them to move into independent housing, or to reunite with family.”

CHP’s new analysis of Australian Institute of Health and Welfare Specialist Homelessness Statistics for 2017-18 shows that 9,546 young people were housed after getting help from a homeless service, and another 3,070 were in short-term temporary accommodation.

However, finding a place to rent is often impossible for young Victorians at risk of homelessness, and so not all young people needing help were able to be housed.

The State Budget will be delivered on 27 May and is a real chance for the Government to show the next generation of Victorians that they can have a future of opportunity, with care and support.