YMCA Transitional Housing
The need for increased delivery of homes in the UK is well documented. It is also widely recognised that young adults, even many who are in employment, are finding it increasingly difficult to access decent housing within the private rental market. This is particularly true of those who have little or no previous history of holding a tenancy, those in low paid employment, those leaving the family home for the first time and those who are dependent on welfare benefits. In other words, those considered a risk by private landlords, or who do not have the means to pay a significant deposit, rent in advance and/or agent’s fees.
Over the past 20 years, YMCAs have focused on providing supported housing for some of the most vulnerable and challenging young people in the UK. However, they are increasingly conscious that not only is their traditional client group facing increased difficulties in accessing suitable supported accommodation (leading to increased levels of homelessness and rough sleeping), but also increasing numbers of “ordinary” young people without significant support needs are finding it harder to find homes they can afford.
YMCAs have come together to address these issues by developing a new housing model designed specifically for young people with low – often transitory - support needs, especially those who only need support whilst they learn to live independently for the first time, and who cannot access home ownership or the private rented sector, whether due to affordability, lack of tenancy history, or inability to provide a deposit, rent in advance and/or agent’s fees.
This new model, which is called Transitional Housing, is not intended to provide permanent, long-term homes, but rather to be a secure “stepping stone” to enable young people to start on a career and gain positive experience of holding a tenancy, so enabling them to progress to the private rented sector or home ownership. A typical tenancy duration would be 1-2 years.
Transitional Housing particularly seeks to address a long-standing challenge of traditional supported housing, including low support housing, which is that high service charge levels make going to work and paying rent prohibitively expensive, thereby trapping young people in benefits dependency.
The Transitional Housing model recognises the need for:
Genuinely affordable housing for young people entering work, often for the first time;
Genuinely affordable accommodation for young adults without significant support needs who have simply reached an age when they need to leave the family home due to insufficient space for multiple adults or as a result of family/relationship tensions;
Genuinely affordable move-on accommodation for young people who no longer need the level of support and supervision provided by traditional supported housing, particularly those who are capable of paid employment.
This scheme at YMCA North Staffordshire’s Hanley Campus will provide 46no. transitional housing units along with increased parking provision for the campus and outdoor community spaces.
This project started on site in January 2020 but has been beset with problems but EHP Ltd are excited that work is due to start back on site imminently and can’t wait for this much needed living accommodation to be completed and occupied.