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Supporting steps to independence

A new social housing project in central Mildura will support vulnerable young people to live independently.

The Mallee Accommodation and Support Program is one of eight agencies awarded grant funding to build three new one-bedroom units as part of the Victorian Government’s $50 million Youth Housing Capital Grants program.

The Victorian Government grants are designed to support the next generation of Victorians with safe and secure housing opportunities.

“These social housing units will be made available to young people who are transitioning from out-of-home care, such as foster or residential care, to live in the community,” MASP chief executive Vincent Wilson said.

“The units will act as a stepping stone, allowing these people, who are between 16 and 21 years old, to find their feet while benefitting from some crucial support.”

MASP’s Board chair Caroline Smith said the units will provide “safe, secure and comfortable” housing for young people as they move on to independent lives as adults.

“We know that as young people exit out-of-home-care in many cases that is a high-risk time for them experiencing homelessness,” Ms Smith said.

“This project was put forward as a direct response to the number of young people in our Mallee communities who face housing insecurity and big decisions at this time in their lives,” she said.

“By providing dedicated leaving care housing, and holistic services for ongoing support throughout their transition, we’re aiming to give these young people a good start, and permanently divert young people leaving care from homelessness.”

Overall, the project is valued at $935,000 and the units are due to be complete before March 2024.

The project is a further boost to the Mallee’s social housing supply and will help to address the need for homes specifically for at-risk young people.

With the support of the Victorian government, MASP is also developing 13 one-bedroom units as part of its Sunnyside Living project.

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