Youth workers Scott Johnson, Maddy Bruce, James Watson and Stephanie Windle.
Youth workers Scott Johnson, Maddy Bruce, James Watson and Stephanie Windle. John Gass

Housing supply hits schooling

THERE is concern for young people in the Tweed region who are dropping out of school due to a lack of housing.

St Joseph’s Youth Service manager John Storey said it was difficult for students to maintain schooling when they had nowhere to live.

“The concern is for young people who can not live at home or don’t have a stable home environment and are forced to leave school because of this,” Mr Storey said.

“For example a lot of young people in Tweed do what we call couch- surfing, which means they cannot concentrate on study because they are in a constantly changing environment.

“There is a lack of affordable accommodation for young people in Tweed, and students end up sharing accommodation which is substandard.”

Mr Storey said young people who were under the legal age to rent could often find themselves in a bad housing situation, living in squalor and paying inflated fees.

“A lot of young people in the area pay more than they should for bad accommodation because they are not old enough to legally rent and don’t have a choice,” Mr Storey said. “They pay over $130 a week for a room with no kitchen and a shared bathroom. It is often unclean and they have no way of cooking and are forced to eat take-out.”

Where to go

Family Centre Community Projects Inc: Tweed Heads: (07) 5524 8711

St Joseph’s Futcher House Accommodation Service, Tweed Heads South: (07) 5524 7566

Murwillumbah Community Support Centre: (02) 6672 3003

St Joseph’s Youth Service can provide housing for 16 young people



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