The Inquiry into the Rental and Housing Affordability Crisis in Victoria is an opportunity to create a fairer, safer rental system for all young people.  

Victoria’s young people are experiencing high rates of housing insecurity and rental stress, and many are living in rentals which do not meet the minimum standards for safe housing.1 Young people are also being left out of social housing, with only 1% of the Big Housing Build allocated to youth-specific housing.2  

A lack of affordable housing has direct impact on the growing numbers of youth homelessness; currently one in four people experiencing homelessness is under the age of 25.3 The Victorian Government has a responsibility to make safe, secure, and affordable housing accessible for all young people, and to invest in early intervention services which address the triggers and causes of homelessness.  

YACVic’s submission recommends a Victorian Youth Housing Strategy, co-designed with young people who are the experts of their own experiences, alongside a Youth Housing Guarantee to provide more social housing designed to support the unique needs of young people. 


A Fair and Safe Rental System for Young People

Recommendation 1

Better regulation of leases to reduce prevalence of short-term leases (six to 12 months) and consequent impact of tenure insecurity. 

Recommendation 2

Regulate renter application processes to improve renters’ rights and restrict agents and landlords from accepting unsolicited higher bids.  

​​Recommendation 3

Stricter enforcement of the minimum standards for rental properties, as outlined by Consumer Affairs Victoria, to ensure better quality housing for renters.  

Recommendation 4

Review all new social housing design to ensure the Big Housing Build’s commitment to a minimum standard of accessibility is being met. 

Housing Supply and Affordability

Recommendation 5

Introduce a limit on rental price increases. 

Recommendation 6

Advocate strongly to the Australian Government to further increase all Centrelink income support payments to align with cost of living, in line with the recommendations from their Economic Inclusion Advisory Committee.1 

Recommendation 7

Advocate strongly to the Australian Government to streamline access to income support payments for young people, and allow flexibility to support young people through life circumstance changes. 

Recommendation 8

Introduce caps on the number of nights that residences can be listed as short-term rentals, to increase the number of long-term rentals available. 

Invest in Social Housing and Services for Young People

Recommendation 9

Increase the number of social housing properties, including a commitment to 5000 social housing properties for young people over the next four years ($83.9m over four years).

Recommendation 10

Provide long-term youth-targeted subsidies for social housing providers, to reduce financial barriers and incentivise them to house young people. 

Recommendation 11

Invest in social housing models designed with youth-focused wraparound support services to ensure a best practice approach to young people in social housing.  

Recommendation 12

Involve young people in the consultation and design of social housing to ensure it is appropriate and accessible for young people and meets their specific needs, including the needs of disabled young people. 

Young People Experiencing Homelessness - Investing in Support

Recommendation 13

Greater investment in skilled youth workers as early intervention support for young people at-risk of and experiencing homelessness, to meet the growing need and demand from homelessness services and prevention programs.  

Recommendation 14

Deliver targeted service information to young people through youth-relevant platforms, so young people affected by the rental and housing affordability crisis know what supports are in place for them and where to find them. Messaging should be co-designed by young people to ensure relevance and credibility. 

Recommendation 15

Provide youth-specific family violence services to support young people leaving home, and family violence training for youth workers.   

Recommendation 16

Increase investment in family reconciliation support services. 

A Victorian Youth Homelessness Strategy

Recommendation 17

A dedicated Victorian Youth Homelessness Strategy, with a Youth Housing Guarantee. 


1. Maalsen. S., Wolifson. P., Rogers. D., Nelson. J., & Buckle. C. (2021, September). Understanding discrimination effects in private rental housing. Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute.   

2. Youth Affairs Council Victoria. (2021, December). Youth sector welcomes $50 million investment for youth housing in the Big Housing Build. 

3. Australian Bureau of Statistics. (2023, March).Estimating Homelessness: Census. 

4. Economic Inclusion Advisory Committee. (2023, April). 2023-2024 Report to the Australian Government.     

5. Council to Homeless Persons. (2023, March). What the Census tells us about Victorian homelessness.