Information

This general information is provided as a guide for young people, parents and caregivers, service professsionals and schools. If you find incorrect information please contact us to have the relevant page updated.

Accommodation

Homelessness

Homelessness means that you do not have housing that is safe, secure, and affordable. Being homeless can include ‘sleeping rough’ (nowhere to stay) or moving from home to home staying temporarily with others (couch surfing). It is your right to have a safe and stable home. If you do not, there are people that can assist.

At any one time a significant number of people are homeless in this community. Of these a high proportion are young people who may still attend school and appear to be living quite normal lives. People try and hide the fact that they are homeless for fear of being judged by others.

The major cause of homelessness is family conflict/ break down and poverty. Family Reconciliation services are available to assist families to resolve conflict before it becomes too severe.

Remember that there are services within the community available to assist.

Strategies

Professionals

  • If children or adolescents discuss feeling unsafe within their family home or residence contact Child Protection or Child First and discuss the matter directly.
  • If young people or their families discuss family conflict that makes them at risk of becoming homeless, link them quickly to counselling or family reconciliation services. Maintaining young people within their family unit is usually the best option.
  • If young people describe a way of life of moving from house to house or have no fixed address, please contact one of the Homelessness Opening Doors services.

Children/Adolescents

  • If you feel that you are unsafe where you live or you do not have a stable and secure home, please talk to someone you can trust. Tell them what is happening to you and ask them to help you get assistance.
  • If you feel that there is too much conflict at home and you are no longer fitting in or feel unable to remain at home, speak to someone you can trust or call one of the numbers in this booklet. It is important that you ask for help. There are people available to listen and assist.

Further Help

  • St Kilda Crisis Centre  1800 627 727 or (03) 9536 7777

Supported housing:

Office Of Housing

What: Government-supported housing available for young Victorians experiencing homelessness, unsafe, or unhealthy living conditions.  Selection criteria and waiting time applies. Where: 25 Ringwood Street, Ringwood Phone: 9871 5199 Website: http://www.dhs.vic.gov.au/for-individuals/housing-and-accommodation

Community Housing Limited (CHL)

What: Affordable long-term accommodation from single units through to share housing. Depends on availability.
Where: 26-28 Prospect Street, Box Hill (Can also meet people at offices in Lilydale, Ringwood, and Wantirna) Phone: 9856 0050 Email: info@chl.org.au Website: www.chl.org.au

Renting:

Looking to move out?

Getting a private rental property can be difficult. There are many people looking for houses (or units and flats etc.) and landlords tend to prefer tenants with a stable income, those with rental experience, mature applicants, and sometimes those without pets. For your first time ‘out of home’ you might find it easier to get shared accommodation (That is, renting a room in a share house with other people). When renting, you generally need to sign a contract and pay a bond. It’s also important to fill in a condition report as soon as you move in. If you are on Centrelink payments the rent must be less than 33% of your payments.

There are many things to consider before signing the rental contract. The price is an important factor, however you should also consider how well you think you will get along with the other people living in the house, your roommate’s lifestyles, the house’s facilities, it’s size, the noise factor and how close it is to school/uni/work, shops, and public transport (For more information about renting go to http://www.tuv.org.au/ or www.consumer.vic.gov.au).

Searching for shared accommodation and private rental is often easiest online. It could also be worth checking out the windows of real estate agents, community notice boards and local newspapers for rental properties in the area. Here are a few websites to get you started on your search for the right home:

Tenants Union of Victoria

What: May be able help you to fill in forms or agreements related to your tenancy, advise you on specific problems (e.g. repairs, rent increases), negotiate and advocate on your behalf with your landlord or real estate agent, and assist or represent you at the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal. Where: 55 Johnston Street Fitzroy Website: www.tuv.org.au