What is being proposed?

    We are proposing to lease Council-owned land for three years to an organisation called Kids Under Cover.

    Kids Under Cover is a not for profit organisation that aims to prevent youth homelessness.

    During these three years, the land would be used for a pilot project that provides accommodation for young people aged 18-21, who are at risk of long-term homelessness.

    If Council decides to proceed with the project, six relocatable studios would be placed on the site, which would house the young people and a live-in mentor. They would be supported to develop their skills and ability to live independently. 

    Why is Council doing this?

    Council is committed to ensuring Darebin is an inclusive and affordable place to live, and to supporting young people to live well.

    For kids in out of home (foster) care, on the day they turn 18 all funding and support is cut off, and they need to find their own housing. This is in their final year of school and can significantly impact on their studies.

    Within their first year of exiting care, more than 50 per cent of these young people will end up either homeless, involved in the justice system, unemployed, new parents, or a combination of these things. Extending care to the age of 21 has resulted in doubling education participation, and halving homelessness rates.

    The project provides the opportunity for Council to support Kids Under Cover to create real change in young people’s lives. Kids Under Cover would do this by building the skills and ability of the young people to live independently. The aim is that the residents can enter private housing at the end of the three years.

    The project is also a trial of a new housing model, and therefore provides Council with an opportunity to support learning and development that can benefit communities outside of Darebin.

    What was the site used for previously?

    The site was previously used as a car park for the former Preston Bowls Club. It has been vacant since the Bowls Club closed. The site is no longer needed for car parking because the Bowls Club is closed.

    How would the young people be supported?

    The young people would benefit from having a live-in mentor on site 24/7. Anglicare Victoria would also provide a case manager and detailed care plan that sets personal objectives for each young person.

    A local real estate agent would be engaged to ensure that young people meet their tenancy obligations (including good neighbour provisions) that are the same as the conditions in the private market.

    Who would live there?

    Six young people between the ages of 18 and 21 who have exited foster care, and one mentor who would provide 24/7 support on site.

    What about car parking?

    Car parking would be provided on site and would be assessed through the planning permit application process.

    What would happen to the site at the end of the lease?

    At the end of the lease, the site would be reinstated to how it is now. Council can then use the site for other purposes.

    Where can I get more information about the proposal?

    You can find more information at www.yoursaydarebin.com.au. You can find more information about Kids Under Cover at www.kuc.org.au

    You can also attend a community drop-in session at the Preston Shire Hall on Tuesday 6th August 2019, 5.30-7pm at 286 Gower Street, Preston.

    Or you can speak directly to:

    Sophie Jordan
    Principal Strategic Planner
    8470 8461

    How can I have my say?

    You can make a submission about the proposal at www.yoursaydarebin.com.au or you can contact a Council officer and request a hard copy of the submission form be sent to you.

    You can also register for updates at this web page.

    What is the process from here?

    The consultation period will run until 12 August 2019.

    If residents want to speak about their submission at a public hearing, we will schedule this after the consultation period.

    Following that, Council will consider any submissions it receives and make a decision about whether to proceed with the proposal.