Ground-breaking new project making in-roads on youth homelessness

The NSW Government has announced an innovative new project to tackle youth homelessness. The ground-breaking Foyer51 project will be delivered as part of unique partnership between the Government, Uniting, SGCH (St George Community Housing) and Social Ventures Australia (SVA).

Right now, there is limited support for young people leaving Out-of-Home Care when they turn 18, often placing them at risk of homelessness. The Foyer51 project will see the development of purpose built accommodation on City Road in Chippendale to put an end to this cycle.

Bob Mulcahy Director, Resilient Families at Uniting said:

“It can be the ‘end of the road’ in terms of ongoing support for young people in care when they turn 18. They’re expected to do it all themselves: find a job, start their tertiary education, pay rent. It can be a daunting and often overwhelming challenge. At a time when more and more young adults are staying at home with their parents into their 20s, why do we expect these vulnerable young people to do it alone?”

Uniting will support the young residents, ‘students,’ with their work and study, mentoring them to build new skills and support them with their transition to independence while they live at Foyer51.

The redeveloped site will be home to 51 young people who will participate in the Youth Foyer program, which will be funded through a social benefit bond– an innovative way to fund social projects with private capital.

Social Ventures Australia CEO Rob Koczkar said:

“SVA is delighted to be playing a part in getting Foyer51 up and running – an opportunity to both support vulnerable young people and to deliver a sustainable funding model for an evidence based preventative program. It will mark the fifth social impact bond that we have brought to market in Australia and it’s exciting to see the positive impact they are already helping to create in the areas of homelessness, out-of-home care and mental health.”

SGCH will be funding the development of the new building through a combination of equity and debt finance, and grant contributions from the Department of Family and Community Services and City of Sydney.

The building will provide modern self-contained student style accommodation units for 51 young people as part of Foyer51 and up to 26 additional units of affordable housing for low income workers.

“The Chippendale community is such a vibrant and inclusive place to live, learn and work, providing an ideal location for young people and affordable housing residents to be supported and empowered as members of this great community”, Scott Langford, SGCH Group CEO said.

The first residents are expected to move into the building by 2021.