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Towards Ending Homelessness for Young People

Earlier this month the Queensland Government released ‘Towards ending homelessness for young Queenslanders 2022-2027.’ This policy and framework comes with a $29.8 million investment to deliver initiatives to ensure young Queenslanders have the information, opportunities and support to access safe, secure and affordable housing when they need it.

It includes:

  • 2.1 million to tailor and improve information on homelessness and housing assistance for young people to promote earlier access to services
  • $2.8 million to deliver an innovative program of housing with onsite support in Brisbane, to assist families before they come into contact with the child safety or youth justice system, supported by construction of 38 new housing units under the Queensland Housing Investment Growth Initiative
  • $9.6 million to work with young people and immediate supported accommodation services to respond to the diverse and complex needs of young people
  • $3.4 million for flexible financial housing assistance to support young people to obtain and sustain housing when transitioning from temporary supported accommodation, care, corrections, youth justice and Youth Foyers
  • $7 million for additional specialist homelessness services that provide coordinated support to young people, with services funded specifically to support young First Nations peoples
  • $1.6 million to support young pregnant or parenting women to settle into and maintain secure housing
  • $3.3 million for new specialist housing workers who will help young people obtain and sustain safe, secure and affordable housing with support

QYHC was pleased to be involved in the development of this policy and framework, the highlights of which are the inclusion of $7 million to work with First Nation young people and a pilot model of accommodation for young parents in Brisbane. These groups of young people are particularly marginalised and consistently find it difficult to access accommodation.

QYCH was pleased to be involved in the  important step. There is so much more to do in our journey to  end youth homelessness. Young people are locked out of almost every housing option. They are hugely over-represented in our homeless population – accounting for one quarter. There has been little attention given to young people in our funding and policy responses. Youth housing and homelessness services have been underfunded and under resourced for decades. These services were in crisis long before the housing crisis. The housing crisis has highlighted that they had no buffer to increase their responses. The Covid brokerage dollars offered such a positive opportunity for the specialist youth homelessness services in receipt of them and the young people accessing their services. Increased brokerage is required across services to enable them to respond to our most vulnerable young people on the streets or couchsurfing. We need to provide assertive outreach to this cohort of young people in order to prioritise their safety and wellbeing.

From here, we need to ensure a continuum of housing and support options in every region of Queensland.

Read policy and framework here.