Up to 40 young people at risk of homelessness on the Gold Coast now have a place to call home with the official opening of the Gold Coast Youth Foyer.
The $12.3 million Foyer a key project delivered under the Palaszczuk Government’s Queensland Housing Strategy 2017-2027 and offers accommodation and 24-hour on-site supervision for tenants aged between 16 and 25 years.
Communities and Housing Minister Leeanne Enoch said the first group of young tenants have moved in and more young people will take up residence over the coming weeks.
“The Gold Coast Youth Foyer is purpose built and provides pathways to independence by enabling young people to engage in education, training and employment,” Ms Enoch said.
“The project consists of 40 self-contained apartments, communal spaces, training rooms and offices and will give young people a safe, secure and supportive environment in which to live.
“This gives 40 young people at a time the opportunity to continue their training, studies or hold down a job without worrying about where they are going to sleep for the night or get their next meal.
“We know that for young people to achieve their goals, they need a stable and secure place to live and a support network around them.
“Not only will the Gold Coast Youth Foyer provide that, but young people will also learn valuable life skills such as managing a rental property.”
Minister for Youth Affairs and Member for Gaven Meaghan Scanlon said the youth foyer would provide critical support to young people to help transition towards independent living.
“The Palaszczuk Government is investing close to $2 billion over the next four years to create more social housing that will deliver increased social and affordable housing development across the state, including on the Gold Coast,” Minister Scanlon said.
“One of the big issues for young Queenslanders is housing affordability and accessibility, and these 40 apartments will give the most vulnerable young people on the Gold Coast both a safe place to live and to access vital support.”
The Gold Coast Youth Foyer is based on the highly successful Logan youth foyer.
Ms Enoch said, as part of the selection criteria to participate in the Gold Coast Youth Foyer, young people need to show a genuine commitment to education, training or employment and contribute 25 per cent of their income to rent.
For new tenant, 21-year-old Nader, moving into the Foyer means she can now hold down a job, save money to buy a car and pursue her goal to become a Nurse.
“Prior to moving into the foyer, I didn’t have a job and didn’t have access to the type of supports and community I have now,” she said.
“The Foyer gives me the opportunity to enhance my life and reach both my career and life goals in a welcoming and safe environment.
“The Palaszczuk Government has partnered with homelessness service providers, the Gold Coast Youth Service Inc and Community Housing Queensland Ltd, to manage the project.”
Gold Coast Youth Service CEO Maria Leebeek said Youth Foyers provide pathways out of poverty and the cycle of homelessness.
“Through on-going support, stable, affordable accommodation and linkages to education training and employment young people can achieve genuine independence and have positive, hopeful futures,” Ms Leebeek said.
Community Housing Limited’s Managing Director Steve Bevington said the Foyer is a model that has the young people at the centre, giving them a strong foundation for their future.
“The Foyer provides real opportunities for them to pursue their life and career goals while living in secure and affordable housing,” Mr Bevington said.
The Gold Coast Youth Foyer’s first cohort of young people are among the first Queenslanders to see the benefits of the Queensland Government’s new Queensland Housing and Homelessness Action Plan 2021-2025, launched in June 2021.
The new Action Plan is supported by a $2.9 billion investment, including the establishment of a $1 billion Housing Investment Fund, to fast-track the delivery of social and affordable housing as part of our economic recovery from COVID-19, providing improved housing and homelessness services.
This is the largest concentrated investment in social housing in Queensland’s history.