It is with great pleasure that I present the President’s report 2021 – 2022 for North West Youth Accommodation Service (NWYAS).
In 2021- 2022 NYWAS received funding from the Queensland Government’s Department of Communities, Housing and Digital Economy under the National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness – to manage 14 properties while at the same time providing specialised case-management support to tenants of the service.
Firstly, I would like to thank the staff team, led by Samantha Wallwork, who joined us in September 2021 as the Manager. Despite continued challenges of Covid restrictions and the impacts of the February floods, the team continued to deliver high quality services to vulnerable young people experiencing homelessness.
Finding long term stable housing for young people has become even more of a challenge over the past 12 months, with the housing crisis in Brisbane substantially affecting the rental market. Young people are particularly disadvantaged due to limited rental history, lower income and higher rents. Young people are also up against a level of judgement and discrimination purely because they are young and seen as not reliable or suitable to rent a property to. For the young people with NYWAS, who are at the end of their tenancy with us and have made real strides in developing the skills and stability to no longer need the level of support we offer, this is incredibly disheartening and also means they remain with us for longer than planned.
Thank you to the other members of the Board, Heath (Treasurer), Sue (Vice President), Jake, Ella, Amanda, Harry and Hans. I would like to acknowledge the extensive skill base of our Board and the time that everyone has given to the governance of NWYAS. Also thank you to Trish, who joined us this year in a paid Secretariat role, she has proven herself invaluable and a great asset to the board. I am excited for the year ahead and all that we hope to achieve as a collective.
This year saw the development of NWYAS Strategic Plan 2022 -2025. The plan identifies 6 goals:
- Goal 1 : NWYAS is providing high quality services to young people in the community
- Goal 2: NWYAS workforce development is prioritized
- Goal 3: Organisational governance and internal processes are consolidated and enhanced
- Goal 4: NWYAS has a clear and identifiable brand
- Goal 5: A sustainable and diversified funding base has been secured
- Goal 6: NWYAS has high level engagement with local community, the sector and all levels of government.
These goals are aspirational and a big ask for a small organisation, but the staff and Board are committed and excited to work towards achieving as many outcomes as possible over the next 3 years.
I would also like to thank our local members, Councillor Andrew Wines, The Honourable Mark Furner MP, Tim Mander and our Federal Member Elizabeth Watson-Brown MP, businesses and community members who have supported us over the year.
Looking forward in 2022/23 we hope that the Government’s commitment to addressing the lack of affordable housing in the greater Brisbane area will translate into more social housing options for young people. We look forward to working with the Government, the housing sector and our community to find real, long term, sustainable housing options for young people.