YOUNG TENANTS MATTER: Challenges and opportunities for under 35s.
Cuts in housing benefit for under-35s will make sharing a home essential for low paid, out of work young people. The housing benefit cap will make many properties in low demand areas in the North, such as two and three bed flats in tower blocks, harder to let. In some cases this threatens the viability of social landlords. Reducing expectations for fully self-contained independent units for each single young person will be crucial to finding other solutions.
Hostel-style accommodation explicitly for young people is growing in appeal if it offers shared eating facilities, shared laundry shared studio space. It is possible at low cost to graft on IT, basic skills, library, café etc. Some housing associations and cooperatives are already experimenting with shared housing, literally converting larger, older properties into a home that can house up to 8-10 young people – very much like universities do.
Housing associations now actively promote apprenticeships and the recruitment of young people into them – both within their own workforce and with local businesses. Young people with low basic skills and insecure family backgrounds will experience a double handicap – poor job and housing prospects. But there is a lot of scope to help. Foyers offer an important approach to tackling both housing and work. Funding is extremely tight and linking the training and mentoring on offer directly to jobs is often hard. But when it works, it transforms lives.
Low-cost, owner-occupation and shared or cooperative ownership rarely help young people under-35. It is expensive and hard to access for young people not yet settled. We need special low-cost provision for housing young people.
This Think Tank will debate the barriers – in finance, supply, and work – facing young people; the opportunities social landlords and partners can create; and the promising experiments happening in the field. Through Housing Plus, we have uncovered many initiatives to help young people, in housing, jobs training and support. We very much hope some younger tenants will come and share their experiences; and that housing associations working directly with young people will share what they known about need and provision.
15th and 16th November 2016
Click HERE for more information about the event and to book a place at the conference.