Movable studios to prevent youth homelessness

Relocatable studio accommodation to help young South Australians avoid homelessness is one of the innovative projects funded under the Marshall Liberal Government’s new $20 million Homelessness Prevention Fund.

Following a competitive tender process, the first $4.4 million has been awarded to two new projects, which aim to deliver reductions in homelessness across the state.

New homelessness prevention projects include:

  • Kids Under Cover – Studio Program $2.3 million
  • Consortium of UnitingCare Wesley Bowden, Junction Australia, Kornar Winmil Yunti Aboriginal Corporation (KWY) – Private Rental Support Pilot $2.1 million

Minister for Human Services Michelle Lensink said today’s first round of successful applicants under the $20 million fund would empower and assist South Australians at risk of homelessness.

“Both of these innovative projects focus on early intervention and prevention so that we can help address the issues putting South Australians at risk of homelessness,” said Minister Lensink.

Melbourne-based program Kids Under Cover will provide 51 fully relocatable studios over three years to young people at risk of homelessness.

“Kids Under Cover has identified a strong link between overcrowded households and young people prematurely leaving home and becoming vulnerable to homelessness – and this project will help South Australian youth stay safely connected with their families,” said Minister Lensink.

“To address overcrowding at home, Kids Under Cover build one-or-two bedroom studios in the backyards of homes to assist families and carers in need of more room to accommodate young people aged 12-to-25.”

The relocatable studios are expected to be on the ground in South Australia by late 2021.

The Private Rental Support Pilot brings together a number of South Australian organisations to run a new program for three years, supporting people into private rental, as well as assisting others already in private rental accommodation to maintain their tenancy and avoid homelessness.

“Service providers in Adelaide’s southern and eastern suburbs will help at-risk South Australians access and maintain private rental accommodation, connecting them with services and support to live independently, before their tenancy is at risk,” said Minister Lensink.

A Private Rental Engagement Co-ordinator will work with private rental agents to secure properties for clients at risk of homelessness – and they will offer ongoing support for the tenant and landlord should any issues arise during the tenancy.

The new service will also work with the newly formed RentRight SA in situations where a tenant is facing eviction.

Minister Lensink said the Marshall Liberal Government would continue to encourage innovation in the homelessness services sector through the $20 million Homelessness Prevention Fund – a key initiative of the Government’s once-in-a-generation $550 million 10-year housing and homelessness strategy.

“As part of that, our $20 million Homelessness Prevention Fund aims to prevent people falling into homelessness in the first place,” said Minister Lensink.

“Currently, we have a homelessness system that is outdated, expensive and does not achieve real outcomes for South Australians who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless and people using the system have told us it’s not working for them.

“We’re spending millions of dollars every year on crisis accommodation – and this does not provide long-term solutions for people experiencing homelessness and that’s why we’re currently reforming the system.

“We know that with early invention and support upfront, we can support South Australians to secure, safe and affordable housing, and avoid spending years cycling through the homelessness system.

“We look forward to trialling more new, innovative programs under the Homelessness Prevention Fund to better support our most vulnerable South Australians.”

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