Youth locked out of housing

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Hope for future: Frankston youth mayor Gerard Felipe wants politicians to look at housing affordability for the youngest generation of homeowners and renters. Picture: Gary Sissons

YOUTH homelessness is on the rise and Mission Australia figures reveal nearly one in six young people aged 15-19 have experienced homelessness.

The statistics include “hidden homelessness”, youngsters living in temporary accommodation, refuges or “couch surfing”.

Frankston Council is urging residents to get behind the Everybody’s Home campaign to lobby state politicians to ensure affordable social housing is available for rent.

The campaign coincides with Homelessness Week (6-12 August) across Australia to highlight the plight of the homeless.

Frankston youth mayor Gerard Felipe hopes more can be done to help young people find affordable housing.

“It’s been estimated there are over 220 young people who don’t have a home to go to across Frankston and the peninsula,” he said.

“That’s not a good number.”

He said there is no permanent shelter within Frankston at the moment and young people can be forced into refuges into suburbs such as Rosebud.

“I think one of the ways we can help is to find a way to keep young people in the Frankston community.

“They often can’t drive and it can be dangerous for them to wait for public transport.”

He said bipartisan political support to tackle homelessness facing youngsters would be the best approach.

There has been a 14.7 per cent rise in the rate of homelessness in the municipality since 2011, according to Australian Bureau of Statistics figures.

The Everybody’s Home campaign, urging governments to ensure first homes are affordable to buy or rent, is collecting petition signatures at everybodyshome.com.au online.

First published in the Frankston Times – 6 August 2018

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