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Urgent call for youth homelessness funding after 18 years of neglect


Council to Homeless Persons (CHP) has urged the Victorian Government to tackle the youth homelessness crisis with a comprehensive strategy in the upcoming state budget. 

As homelessness among young Victorians reaches critical levels, immediate action is needed to provide both housing and support services.

CHP CEO Deborah Di Natale said:

“The last youth homelessness strategy released 18 years ago is now old enough to vote.

“That should be a major wake-up call for the Allan government, which has a huge opportunity to end almost two decades of neglect.

“Nearly 16,000 young Victorians found themselves seeking help from homelessness services last year alone.

“This isn’t just a crisis, it’s an intergenerational tragedy that demands bold, immediate, and sustained action. 

“We cannot afford to wait another 18 years for a comprehensive youth homelessness strategy.”

On Wednesday, Youth Housing and Homelessness Alliance will host an event marking 18 years since the Victorian Government last released a youth homelessness strategy. 

Attendees, including leaders from youth homelessness services, will cut a 25-cm cake adorned with jelly flowers and a rainbow swirl filling, and sing happy birthday.

Speakers at the event will include Deborah Di Natale, 24-year-old Kamilaroi woman Imogen Johnstone, who has lived experience of youth homelessness, and Youth Housing and Homelessness Alliance chair and YACVic CEO Mary Nega.

CHP’s 2024/25 budget submission calls for:

* $1 billion in 2024-25 ($4.2 billion over four years) to build 5,000 social properties dedicated to young people experiencing homelessness

* $8.5 million in 2024-25 ($90.6 million over four years), for operational costs associated with these properties.

* $32.7 million in 2024-25 ($136.8 million over four years) dedicated to a comprehensive youth homelessness support strategy

* $13.3 million in 2024-25 ($55.7 million over four years) in support for young people suffering from concurrent mental illness and homelessness

The Victorian government’s promise for a 10-year housing and homelessness strategy has been shelved despite recommendations youth homelessness must be a key consideration.

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