[Sub ID 4750] Housing and case management for young students (MAX Solutions)

Submission ID: 4750
Organisation name: MAX Solutions
Contact name: Ms Karen Massier
State: QLD
Contact email: karen.massier@maxsolutions.com.au
Contact number: 0429234872

Which priority group of the Try, Test and Learn Fund does your idea support?
Young students at risk of long-term unemployment

What need or issue are you trying to address?
Young people reliant on DSS student payments can face significant barriers accessing appropriate accommodation while they undertake VET or tertiary study, particularly if they move to a city from a regional area.

Only one in 10 students in Australia live in purpose-built accommodation because of a critical supply shortage and what is available is prohibitively expensive for low-income students, forcing them into the private residential market where they can be perceived a risk to property owners. Their lack of rental history and experience; capacity to pay a bond; and personal skills to sustain living in a share-house mean many of these young students experience financial and emotional stress and are at risk of homelessness.

Without affordable and stable housing suited to their needs, first-generation university students in particular are vulnerable to dropping out of their course. Failure to succeed as a student can influence a young person’s future participation in the workforce.

DSS analysis shows that since 2003, 13,400 vocational and university students who started receiving a student payment aged 17 to 19, then experienced a period of long-term dependence on unemployment payments. Around 75 per cent of these did not complete their study or training before moving onto unemployment payments.

What is your idea?
Our proposal is to trial a program aimed at providing stable tenancies for low-income students experiencing housing insecurity, helping them to better focus on their study goals and complete their course.

Participants would be 17-19 year old first-generation students, reliant on Youth Allowance in the Ipswich area of Queensland where we are experienced in assisting people in housing need and linking them to training/employment services. It could be readily replicated in other areas to provide a greater sample size.

A twelve-month trial would provide:
– Specialist tenancy information and advice about existing housing assistance programs
– A share housing model that delivers affordable private rental tenancies
– Time-limited private rental subsidies
– Limited discretionary funding to support tenancies and study goals
– Personalised support for study goals

A dedicated case manager would work with the private rental market to identify two houses suitable for a trial of three individual tenancies in same-sex shared houses.

The case manager and a youth worker would undertake a needs assessment and develop a plan to stabilise each tenancy and address other barriers to continued participation in study by accessing locally available support services. For a small trial such as the one proposed, youth worker capability would be accessed from locally-based existing support programs.

To secure affordable housing at a suitable standard, a rental subsidy of up to $5000 pa and a one-off discretionary fund assistance of up to $1000 would be provided to each student.