The housing system is designed with adults in mind. Young people face significant challenges accessing and maintaining housing – including social housing and through the private rental market.
It’s estimated that more than 6,000 young people in Victoria are experiencing homelessness each night. A range of contributing factors – including youth wages and Youth Allowance not covering rent, limited rental history, a perception that they are ‘riskier’ tenants, and a lack of support – mean young people face significant, unique barriers to finding housing.
Having a home is critical for young people’s mental and physical health and safety, education and employment opportunities, and their ability to participate in society.
MCM is advocating for a housing system for young people that ensures access to safe and secure housing, alongside supports that are specifically in place to provide pathways towards independence.
Youth homelessness is complex – but not unsolvable. There are three responses that, if combined, could disrupt the cycle of youth homelessness, and help young people acquire and maintain a safe place to live.