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In Australia, there are over 116,000 people experiencing homelessness on any given night and 42% of Australia’s homeless population are under 25 years old.

In 2022, Homelessness Week is being held from 1-7 August under the theme: To end homelessness we need a plan. This week-long event aims to raise awareness of the devastating impact of homelessness, including the importance of safe, secure and affordable housing and how as communities we can all make a difference.

So, What’s Our Plan?

Property Industry Foundation CEO Kate Mills says a multi-tiered response is essential in tackling homelessness in Australia. “Homelessness is a complex and wicked problem – with no one cause and no one solution. It requires a multi-agency, government and private industry response. Housing is a necessary requirement of ending homelessness and the property and construction industry has a key role to play here. Those roles include building for homeless youth, but also supporting initiatives and policies that will have an impact on homelessness.

A national homelessness and housing plan is essential for change, says Mills. “The lack of a plan – and in particular a national homelessness and housing plan – makes it difficult for homelessness agencies to act coherently and collaboratively to be able to end homelessness,” says Mills. “The for-purpose sector is willing, but government leadership is required to develop a plan.

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A Collaborative Plan to End Street Sleeping

The Property Industry Foundation is a strategic collaborator with the End Street Sleeping Collaboration (ESSC) . This collective impact initiative plans to halve rough sleeping across NSW by 2025 as part of an international movement. “We think that ESSC, with its focus on data and collaboration, is one of the most innovative approaches to rough sleeping,” says Mills. “It seeks to better connect existing infrastructure and agencies to get better outcomes for the most vulnerable.

By-Name List

The Property Industry Foundation has also supported the technology build for the By-Name list, a comprehensive list of every person in a community experiencing homelessness, updated in real time. With permission, this list includes a person’s homeless history, health, and housing needs, which in turn helps to allocate housing and support resources more accurately. “We also support the development of a youth-focused By-Name list,” says Mills.

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Our Commitment

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As we look towards the future, “The Foundation remains committed to building homes for homeless youth,” stresses Mills. “In each of the states that we operate we have a pipeline of projects that will give homeless youth a second chance.

Collaborating with charity partners is a key aspect of our plan to improve the lives of vulnerable, marginalised youth. “The Foundation does not look to operate the homes that it builds,” Kate explains. “It recognises the significant expertise in its charity partners at getting the best results for the people that live in homes that we build. Collaboration across the sector is key to getting better results for homeless youth.