16 August 2023
Victorian Legislative Council, Melbourne

Rachel Payne MLC – South-Eastern Metropolitan Region

My adjournment matter is for the Minister for Housing, Minister Brooks. 

Homelessness Australia’s Homelessness Week was last week – a time when homelessness services and community groups seek to educate and advocate. This year’s theme was “it’s time to end homelessness”. 

To mark the week, I was fortunate enough to attend the book launch of H: A Love Story at Richmond Library. This book told the story of Cheryl and Troy, a couple who have been married for more than 25 years and spent ten of those living on the streets of Melbourne addicted to heroin. 

Their story is one of many.  

The 2021 census data for Victoria showed a 24 percent increase on those without a home, rising to more than 30,000 Victorians. Given the difficulties in collecting data of this kind, the actual figure is likely much higher. 

Nearly a quarter of those people experiencing homelessness are aged from 12 to 24 years, with young people aged 19 to 24 experiencing the highest incidence of homelessness. 

We know that experiencing prolonged youth homelessness is a strong predictor of experiencing homelessness later in life and requiring more intensive supports. That’s why early intervention is incredibly important –  we must shift from a crisis-orientated response. 

The Victorian Government is not ignorant to this issue, but we need urgent investment and support. In the meantime, thousands of Victorians needlessly suffer, they go without a home, and homelessness services are forced to turn people away. 

So, the action I seek is that the Minister specifically consider how resources, funding and early intervention can be targeted to meet the needs of YOUNG people experiencing homelessness, and fund projects accordingly. 

Thank you.

Written Answer
Received: 23 January 2024
Hon Harriet Shing MP
(Minister for Housing, Minister for Water, Minister for Equality)

I thank the Member for South-Eastern Metropolitan region, for her question about how we can most effectively support young people experiencing homelessness.

We know firsthand from young people with lived experience of homelessness that it affects their physical and mental health, connection with their community, and in many cases the trajectory of their lives. I have also heard how a range of targeted Government investments have turned their lives around.

Between 2012-13 to 2021-22 there was an almost 20 percent decrease in the number of young people presenting to homelessness services. This compares favourably to a national decrease of eight percent over the same period. This is encouraging, although we can do more. 

The 2023-24 State Budget provided $40.5 million in targeted housing and support through the following programs for young people:

        the Village 21 Preston initiative which provides studio accommodation and support to young people

        the Holmesglen Education First Youth Foyer

        the Kids Under Cover Studio program and

        the Homelessness Youth Dual Diagnosis Initiative.

Additionally, in early 2023, as part of the $5.3 billion Big Housing Build, the Victorian Government announced the recipients of the $50 million Youth Capital Grants, delivering ten supportive housing projects, including two new regional Education First Youth Foyers and targeted accommodation for young people leaving care, that will provide accommodation and support for at least 130 young people.

These investments build on funding for Homes for Families, the Private Rental Assistance Program and a new Housing First program for 225 young people, with complex needs exiting residential care and other settings.

The Allan Labor Government will continue to work closely with the housing and homelessness sector, young people experiencing homelessness and the broader social services system to design and deliver effective solutions.


Similar Posts