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Youth homelessness matters to us

Youth Housing

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.

What we're doing about it

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.

  1. Increasing social housing by at least 5000 new houses and creating housing solutions tailored to the needs of young people, that address their unique challenges and provide long-term stability.
  2. Providing broader support – for example teaching life skills, improving access to education and employment, and addressing trauma – to support the young person to gain the life skills and connections in the community for their transition into adulthood.
  3. Removing financial barriers to accessing and maintaining housing, suited to young people, and ensuring they’re able to live with dignity. This includes initiatives such as youth rental allowance programs.

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