WELFARE organisations in Portland are reporting substantial increases in homelessness from young people under 25 years-old and middle-aged men.
It comes as the latest figures from the Department of Human Services show public housing waiting lists in Portland increased by 21.8 per cent in the March quarter with 55 people currently waiting.
There are 12 more people on the waiting list in the three months to March, up from 43 in the December quarter.
SalvoConnect south-west manager Lindsay Stow said on Friday that while public housing waiting lists tended to fluctuate, the organisation’s officer in Portland was reporting a lot more young people in the under 25 age group, especially the 18-20 year-old age group making housing enquiries.
“In Warrnambool we are experiencing a longer waiting time for people to have their first appointment with us, it is now two to three days and it is probably similar in Portland,” he said.
“There is probably a fair bit of couch surfing going on, simply because of what people are receiving on Newstart and the Youth Allowance, getting into the private rental market is difficult.
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