Working together to tackle youth homelessness

We are proud to announce that BHC and BYS will partner to provide much-needed homes for young people at risk of homelessness at a property under construction in Woolloongabba.

This development will see the provision of 32 new affordable homes with five specifically designed for young people including one for a young family.

BHC CEO Rebecca Oelkers said residents would be able to access safe, secure, affordable housing and BYS support services that help them into education, training and jobs with the aim of moving into long term homes.

“Young people in dire housing need have the greatest difficulty accessing affordable, safe accommodation due to their incredibly low incomes. Their chances are further compounded by preconceptions in the private market about their ability to manage and sustain a tenancy,” she said.

“As the additional Jobseeker payments continue to reduce and the true fall out from COVID-19 becomes evident, we expect to see more young people pushed into poverty and homelessness.

“Working together with our partners BYS we will be able to provide vulnerable young people with secure housing and a path towards an independent and positive future.”

BYS CEO Annemaree Callander said youth homelessness was a critical issue in Australia, with one-quarter of people presenting alone to homelessness services aged between 12 and 25.

“Despite this huge demand at the frontline, less than three per cent of people living in social housing are young people, showing that there are barriers for young people in accessing all types of housing, not just private rental,” she said.

“Couch surfing is the most common form of homelessness experienced by young people.

“Moving from place to place with no fixed address puts vulnerable young people at serious risk of violence and abuse. It impacts their mental and physical health, sense of identity and makes it increasingly difficult to stay engaged at school or in employment and transition successfully to independence.

“These homes will be life-changing for the young people we work with who have very few affordable options for longer term, stable housing.

“This partnership will provide young people with a real opportunity for independent living, that will equip them not only with tenancy skills but also a demonstrated tenancy record to support greater access to private market options after the program.”

The property’s first residents are expected to move into their new homes in February 2020.