Property Industry Helps Complete $9m Youth Refuge


Victoria’s largest youth homeless service provider has been transformed into a four-storey building with two floors of new crisis accommodation aimed at supporting Melbourne’s most vulnerable and disadvantaged youth.

In a coordinated approach through the Property Industry Foundation, property professionals have helped complete the $9 million redevelopment of Melbourne City Mission’s Frontyard Youth Refuge at 19 King Street.

The redevelopment is the first in Australia to combine crisis accommodation with multiple support services available 24 hours, seven days a week.

More than $1.5 million in services have been donated pro-bono to the Frontyard redevelopment by a consortium of property industry consultants.

With the pro-bono team including Ashurst, Case Meallin, Slattery, Fender Katsalidis, Norman Disney Young, Built, Hendry Group, Equitable Access Solutions, Irwinconsult, Wood and Grieve Engineers and Urbis.

Related: Developers Beyond Property: Soheil Abedian on Urban Legacy

The redevelopment of 19 King Street.
The redevelopment of 19 King Street.

Property Industry Foundation Victoria chairman Peter Inge says the project is dedicated to supporting the most severely marginalised and disadvantaged youth in Melbourne.

“Our committed team of pro-bono consultants from some of the largest players in the industry have worked tirelessly to deliver this project on time and on budget,” Inge said.

“It’s encouraging to see the property industry donate their time and expertise to a physical facility that will assist at risk and homeless young people.”

Related: Homelessness Soars in Our Biggest Cities, Driven by Rising Inequality Since 2001

Internal living space at 19 King Street.
Internal living space at 19 King Street.

Empowering marginalised youth

Melbourne lord mayor Sally Capp says homelessness is one of the biggest issues facing the city.

The latest AHURI research shows homelessness is becoming more concentrated in major cities, increasing from 48 per cent to 63 per cent of all homeless people between 2001 and 2016, with the rise most acute in capital city areas specifically Sydney, Hobart and Melbourne.

Across Australia, one in 200 people are homeless and 38 per cent are under 25 years old, with 44,000 young people sleeping on the streets each night.

Australian Bureau of Statistics estimate that up to 44,000 homeless are under 25.
Australian Bureau of Statistics estimate that up to 44,000 homeless are under 25.

Melbourne City Mission chief Vicki Sutton said the integrated service is focused on meeting the needs of some of Melbourne’s most marginalised.

“Young people with complex needs who are currently falling through the cracks of siloed service systems,” Sutton said.

“Without appropriate interventions, young people can become further entrenched in long-term homelessness and disadvantage.

“The pioneering Frontyard model aims to break this cycle by supporting young people to create a future where they can experience all the benefits of life we often take for granted.”

Through the property industry foundation a consortium of suppliers have also donated their services and resources to the Frontyard development project, including Harvey Norman, Highbury Plumbing, Haydens Ceiling and Partitions, Signorino Tiles, Taubmans Paint, Apec, AMP and AGL Energy.

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