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Young people and housing supports in Australia: income support, social housing and post-homelessness housing outcomes

Social housing Income support Housing stress Homeless youth Specialist homelessness services Australia

This paper reviews the dual system of housing support in Australia available to young people exiting the Specialist Homelessness Service (SHS) system and finds that although young people aged 15-24 years on their own are 15-18 percent of the total population of men, woman and children assisted by SHS services each year, they comprise only 2.8 percent of the main tenants of social housing, and that a majority (6 out of 10) of the young people, who access private rental with Commonwealth Rental Assistance (CRA), experience housing stress.

The paper calls for:

  • a review of the levels of income support for young people
  • a review of national policy on income and housing support for young people
  • a re-imagination of social housing for young people as an accessible long-term but transitional tenure option available to disadvantaged and homeless young people, and
  • investment in social housing developed specifically for young people as a specific option within social housing and provided by youth-specific social housing providers.
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