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Budget 2024/25: Funding a new model for youth housing in Victoria


Nearly 16,000 young people came to Victorian homelessness services in 2022/23. They represent almost 20% of people seeking assistance for homelessness. The importance of having an effective response to this problem is heightened by the fact that young people are among the most vulnerable cohorts experiencing homelessness and, without effective intervention, youth homelessness can lead to life-long homelessness. 

But our current housing and homelessness system is built around adult assumptions of personal and financial independence, and does not adequately serve young people. Their lower income support payments put young people at a disadvantage in securing general social housing; there’s a severe lack of dedicated youth housing options; and supports are ill-matched to their needs. 

In 2023, the youth housing and homelessness sector developed a new framework for design and implementation of a fit-for-purpose youth housing model .

The framework identifies 3 key areas of focus: 

  • Increasing dedicated housing supply for young people, comprised of a range of types that can flex to support younger people as their needs and circumstances evolve; 
  • Complementing housing with support that attaches to the young person rather than the tenancy, ensuring consistent support regardless of a relocation or change in tenancy arrangement; and 
  • Providing a subsidy sufficient for young people to meet market rents, enabling them a fairer opportunity to access private rentals or general social housing. 

In Council To Homeless Persons’ 2024-25 Victorian Budget Submission, we have called on the Government to fund such a model, through investments of: 

  • $1 billion in 2024-25 ($4.2 billion over four years) to build 5,000 social properties for homeless young people;  
  • $8.5 million in 2024-25 ($90.6 million over four years) to fund the operation of those properties; and 
  • $13.3 million in 2024-25 ($55.7 million over four years) in support for young people with concurrent mental illness and homelessness. 

We have also called for investment of $32.7 million in 2024-25 ($136.8 million over four years) in a youth homelessness support strategy. This strategy would encompass the case management needed as part of the model, as well as prevention responses to stop young people falling into homelessness in the first place. 

Funding these improvements would be a significant step towards ending youth homelessness in Victoria. We’d be giving our young people the support they deserve for a fair start in life. But crucially, we’d also narrowing the funnel into adult homelessness, reducing pressure on the broader housing and homelessness system and bringing us closer to the goal of ending all homelessness. 

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