The Victorian Government is partnering with Hanover Welfare Services and the Brotherhood of St Laurence to build a ‘youth foyer’ on Kangan Institute’s Broadmeadows campus.  The Victorian Government made an election commitment to invest $30.1 million over three years to establish three purpose-built and separately located youth foyers, the first of which is the Broadmeadows project. 

On any given night in Victoria almost 4,000 young people aged between 15 and 19 are experiencing homelessness.  With more than half not connected to education or employment.

The youth foyer concept is based on a United Kingdom model where accommodation is provided for youth who have experienced homelessness or are at risk of experiencing homelessness and want to complete education and training.  The project will help provide education and skills to young people to assist them in realising their aspirations in life.  A study of the youth foyers operating in the United Kingdom shows that 75 per cent of young people exiting the foyers are successful in engaging in further education or employment.

Each youth foyer will provide on campus, self-contained accommodation for approximately 40 students. Common areas will also be provided for recreation, training and service delivery for both residents and other young people in the local area.  Each facility will also provide office space and consultancy rooms for staff.  Each will be staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  Residents are expected to live in for up to two years.

Construction of the Broadmeadows youth foyer is expected to commence in early 2013and be completed by the end of the year.  The Broadmeadows youth foyer will be managed by Hanover and the Brotherhood of St Laurence.

Collie has been provided town planning services to the Department of Human Services (DHS) to facilitate this important project.

Given the importance of the project to the local community and to ensure the timely commencement of construction, a planning strategy for the project was developed in liaison with the Department of Planning and Community Development (DPCD).  Ultimately, following consultation with local residents and Hume City Council, it was resolved to prepare a planning scheme amendment under Section 20(4) of the Planning and Environment Act 1987 to allow the Minster of Planning to be the responsible authority for the project.  This amendment also incorporated a document into the Scheme that addressed specifically the Broadmeadows youth foyer and exempted it from planning permit requirements.

Collie played a significant role in liaising with the project team, DPCD and Hume City Council and in devising and implementing the preferred planning strategy.  Collie also coordinated preparation of all necessary background documentation to support the planning scheme amendment process.

The Planning Scheme Amendment has been approved by the Minister for Planning and we await commencement of construction early in the new year.

For any queries regarding this project, please contact Jay Hollerich on 8698 9300 or jjh@colliepl.com.au.