Helping young find homes

By Laura Briggs

Education First Youth Foyer residents will receive extra support to secure rentals in Shepparton.

The Youth Foyer in partnership with Beyond Housing, Your Sold Real Estate and Berry Street have launched a housing initiative that aims to assist young Youth Foyer residents to secure their first rental home.

BeyondHousing student residency officer Cinnamon Brauman said it had been an issue on the rise for quite some time and she was thrilled to see the initiative launched to attempt to improve the situation.

‘‘When young people leave the Youth Foyer they are aware they have little hope of finding a suitable and affordable rental property,’’ she said.

‘‘It’s extremely hard for young people to secure rentals if they don’t have a rental history, so the Foyer is giving them that rental history so they can move on.’’

But beyond providing the young people with temporary housing through the Youth Foyer, Ms Brauman said she hoped to see more young people move into a place to call home and live as independent individuals.

Berry Street transitional worker Matt Jobling said the initiative could not have come at a better time.

‘‘The stats are quite high in this area so we’re just trying to reduce that and help as many young people as possible,’’ he said.

Former Youth Foyer resident Patrick Davidson, 19, who secured his first rental at the beginning of the year, said he would not be where he was today without the help he had received.

‘‘I had no idea how to move to a rental property. I didn’t have the resources to find furniture. The Foyer team helped with that and taught me how to manage my finances,’’ he said.

‘‘Because I was 18 at the time, I definitely wouldn’t have been able to get the unit I’m living in by myself — it’s only through the help of BeyondHousing and the Foyer that I’ve been able to do that.’’

Mr Davidson said the initiative was much needed and he believed it would benefit many young people from the Shepparton area.