The Sustaining Young Tenancies (SYT) Project was conceived by BYS in response to a gap in support for young people once they achieve a social housing tenancy. Where most other services focus on getting young people into housing, they aren’t resourced to provide support to ensure tenancy success.
The SYT approach focuses on building a partnership between support staff, young tenants and housing providers to facilitate young people’s engagement. SYT also educates young people about housing processes (such as inspections and reviews) and teaches them about tenancy rights and responsibilities, as well as other practical life skills for tenancy success. The goal is that young people will have the knowledge and skills to successfully navigate their tenancy and the housing system on their own.
The SYT project independent evaluation is expected to be released shortly, with positive tenancy outcomes for young people including:
- Over a 12-month period, SYT supported 89 young people to sustain social housing tenancies.
- At exit of support with the service, 96% of tenancies supported by SYT were successful.
- Improved tenancy sustainment coincided with increases in client wellbeing. While 22% were assessed as doing well at the beginning of support, 78% were assessed as doing well at the end of support.
- Improvements in young people’s relationships, life skills, mental and physical wellbeing, and education, training and employment outcomes.
“SYT have been more than helpful. They helped with cleanliness first of all, mental health support, regularly checking in and drop ins to our house. They offered support to set up our home and set up our daughter’s bed. They talk to us as people not as criminals.” A young family in the SYT project
Through the project success factors for sustaining social housing tenancies for young people were found to include:
- early intervention
- collaboration between BYS and housing providers, and
- mobile (outreach) support delivered to young tenants
- Young people particularly wanted support in areas of mental health, participation in the community and financial stability.
BYS was funded by the Department of Housing and Public Works to deliver the Sustaining Young Tenancies (SYT) Project in 2016 to trial new ways to assist young people in social housing to stay in their homes. Housing partners involved in the program included Brisbane Housing Company, Bric Housing and the Department of Housing and Public Works.
The SYT project is currently funded until 30 June 2018. The evidence indicates that SYT fills an important gap in the delivery of homelessness prevention and early intervention services for young people and contributes toward breaking the cycle of homelessness. BYS is hopeful that the Department of Housing and Public works will continue to support this vital work.