Young Tasmanians are struggling more than ever to have a home. Rental affordability and availability drive the youth homelessness crisis. The average house price has gone from $350,000 to $730,000 in the last 10 years.
Finding cheap share houses while working casually or studying has become difficult. The average weekly rent this year is $470 per week, but the minimum wage is only $812.60 per week. Affordable options are no longer available.
Our CEO, Dianne Underwood says ‘We’re committed to ending youth homelessness in Tasmania, but it will need us to be bold, to embrace new models and to work together in different ways.’
In a Tasmanian first, we have started a new pilot program, JumpStart, to tackle these issues. The program is a way for 18–24-year-olds to live independently while working or learning a trade. 25% of the participants’ income must be contributed as rent.
This is considered an affordable part of their pay. The program will provide furnished houses, subsidized rent, support, and property management.
Research shows it takes an extra $50 a week to help someone get a safe, secure home helping them to thrive. The new JumpStart program will offer up to $50 per week subsidy. This is to cover the ‘gap’ based on their earnings and rent.
The amount of subsidy the young person receives will decrease. This will only happen as their wage increases. The goal is for the young person to exit the program being able to pay their way independently.
The program aims to give young people the opportunity to build a private rental history and the skills to live independently.
In the first year, our goal is to support at least nine young people into our subsidised program for a period of 12 months.
We wouldn’t have been able to provide this program without the help of our first corporate partner MyState Bank who invested $56,800 for the first year. This includes subsidised rent across two Share Houses and $10,000 for furniture, white goods, and linen.
Not only is MyState helping financially, they’ve also offered one-on-one financial coaching for all share house residents. Together we’re proud to not just hand over a key to a house, but offer the chance to unlock good financial habits that will last a lifetime.