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New national focus on housing needs of young people

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CANBERRA: A report examining the housing needs of independent low income young people was launched today by the Federal Minister for Housing and Regional Development, Brian Howe.

Finding a Place - A Recommended Strategy to Improve Young People's Housing Opportunities presents tne findings of the National Youth Housing Strategy and recommends an agenda for action.

"The National Youth Housing Strategy provides a series of recommended approaches to improve housing opportunities for young people on low incomes to facilitate their transition to independence," Mr Howe said.

"In line with this Government's strong commitment to housing reform and to addressing the range of issues affecting young people, full consideration will be given to the report's recommendations", he said. ‘

The report was prepared for the Commonwealth by AGB McNair and has been developed following extensive consultation involving young people, youth housing service providers, community groups, governments and industry. "

It covers a wide range of issues including affordability, access vu diΓΓβιβηl liv'doing tenures, improving the supply of housing and the links between housing and education, employment, income support and other community services.

Many young people face a degree of financial hardship in paying for accommodation and/or difficulty in gaining access to suitable housing. This combination of factors results in affordability problems for youth in the private rental market. Couples with others factors such as discrimination in housing markets, there is a

case for further considering housing targeted at young people.

Mr Howe said, as a first step to increasing the supply of affordable housing for young people, the Federal Government has already announced a refocus or its Social Housing Subsidy Program (SHSP) to provide a sharper focus on meeting the accommodation needs of young people, particularly those exiting cri«i« «rmmmnHflHnn.

"It is important to acknowledge that to better meet the needs of people in this critical lifecycle stage we will need to develop sophisticated reponses involving all levels of government, the community sector and industry. These issues cannot be addressed by government alone," Mr Howe said.

Hr Howe said young people must be recognised as a viable housing market. "The way we develop our cities and towns needs to allow for housing that meets the needs of young people. For instance, we need to foster collaborative approaches to issues such as increasing the

stock of student housing involving government, industry and educational institutions," he said.

"The National Youth Housing Strategy is a major step forward in reviewing housing policies for independent young people on low incomes. Its recommended agenda for reform will assist governments, the community and industry to work towards improved outcomes for young people."

Contact for further information:

Andrew casey, Brian tiowe; s office, tdione: (06) 27 / 7009 Frank Maas. AGB McNair, Phone: (03) 207 3800 or (0419) 306 417 (Wednesday)

Contact for copies of the report: Commonwealth Department of Housing and Regional Development Phone (06) 289 2362, fax (06) 289 2949


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