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A Message from Kate Mills, CEO, Property Industry Foundation

I was asked recently if homelessness was getting better or worse. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics youth homelessness hasn’t got worse in the last 20 years, but it also has not got better. The per capita figures for homelessness for the last 20 years have broadly stayed the same as you can see by the below graph.

It’s higher for youth homelessness with 70 young people per 10,000 considered homeless in the latest census – bear in mind that nearly a quarter (23%) of people experiencing homelessness are between 12 and 24.

There’s a lot of focus on homeless youth – ourselves included – because we think that catching people when they first experience homelessness as a youth increases the chances of better outcomes for young people and for broader society.

23% of people experiencing homelessness are between 12 and 24.

That’s true, but we also focus on homeless youth because the system is stacked against them. Think that in a period of rental crisis, a 16-year-old competing in the private rental market with 30- and 40-year-olds with more earning power and years of rental history.

That kind of lens makes it clearer why homeless youth make up such a significant portion of overall homelessness.

We are proud to do our bit for young people at the Property Industry Foundation.

In Queensland we have two houses about to start that will bring an extra 13 bedrooms for young people and in Victoria we are finishing a 6-bedroom house and about to start on 6 bedrooms in Shepparton.

In New South Wales we continue to work on 19 bedrooms in South Dowling and also have some smaller projects in the wings.

We expect this year to deliver more than 25 bedrooms to add to the 238 bedrooms we have already delivered.

Projects on the horizon

  • 13 bedrooms in Queensland

  • 12 bedrooms in Victoria

  • 19 bedrooms in News South Wales

National Youth Homelessness Matters Day – 17 April 2024

But bedrooms alone aren’t enough to shift the per capita rate of homelessness. To do that we need to change the system, to do things differently from how we have done them in the past. This year as part of doing things differently we are advocating for National Youth Homelessness Matters Day on April 17.

This day was created in the 1990s to raise awareness about youth homelessness. We are asking our partners to put this day in their calendars and consider donating an hour of pay to a youth homelessness charity.

The money makes a difference, but so to does aligning behind a cause on April 17. If we want those figures to change, we have to change what we do.

Take Action Today:

Join us in making a tangible impact on Youth Homelessness Matters Day.  Donate an hour of your pay. Your generosity will help shine a light on this critical issue and create positive change for young people across the country.