The Victorian Government must invest $2.7 billion to build 5000 new social housing properties for young people over the next four years, as part of a proposed suite of initiatives that aims to end the youth homelessness crisis in Victoria.
Comprising a mix of housing types, including standalone accommodation and units, the proposed youth-targeted homes are a key part of CHP’s targeted social housing response to youth homelessness, outlined in budget position paper to be released today.
Other proposals include $83.9 million for a rental income subsidy to help get more young people into social housing and $154.8
million to provide specialist mental health, employment and education support and help young people stay housed.
Council to Homeless Persons chief executive Deborah Di Natale said a significant investment was needed in the budget due to the scale of the housing crisis facing young people in Victoria.
“More than 16,000 young people sought help from homelessness services in Victoria in 2021-22—this included young people escaping family violence or abuse and leaving out of home care,” she said.
“Yet of the 8,027 who needed medium or long-term accommodation, more than half were turned away without receiving a home or a referral to a service that could help them find accommodation.”
Young people have specific needs and face a range of barriers to accessing the social housing system that are not shared by adults, Di Natale said.
“They are typically on lower incomes and are often dealing with complex challenges such as mental health concerns, family violence, neglect and abuse.
“Youth-specific and evidence-based solutions are needed to address these barriers. Our proposals will help ensure young people experiencing or at risk of homelessness receive the support they need to access safe, stable housing so they can achieve their potential and thrive into adulthood.”
As well as the targeted response to youth homelessness, CHP’s budget submission outlines a number of other priority actions and investments the Victorian Government can take as part of a 10-year strategy to end homelessness.
These include increasing the overall social housing supply, increasing the capability of the homelessness services workforce, developing an Aboriginal-specific homelessness system delivered by Aboriginal community-controlled organisations and improving homelessness support for trans and non-binary people.