Centrepoint has launched the biggest capital investment plan in its fifty-year history to deliver 300 new modular homes across London and Greater Manchester by 2021 to help young people into affordable accommodation, training, and employment.
As reported by 24housing last week (9th October), the charities own report revealed the extent at which the precarious balance between gig economy work and benefits tips too many people into homelessness.
According to the survey, just over two in five (42%) respondents encountered difficulties with their benefit claim when in precarious employment, with a further two in five (38%) saying their income was not enough to cover their rent.
Centrepoint also estimated that 103,000 young people approached their local council last year because they were homeless or at risk.
Now, the announced £50,000 per unit plan seeks to address the current shortage of affordable homes for young people who are ready to move on from the charity’s services across the country but cannot afford to do so even if they are in work.
To support young people in low paid employment or who are undertaking training programmes such as apprenticeships, rents will be capped at no more than one third of their income during their tenancy, said to last up to five years.
According to Centrepoint, one of the advantages of modular housing is the ability to transport them between sites to reduce the costs of development due to high land values – with work said to have already commenced with landowners to identify potential sites where they can work.
Centrepoint CEO Seyi Obakin, said: “To mark our 50th anniversary this year, Centrepoint is embarking on our most ambitious project yet to help young people into a home and a job.
“Lower benefit rates for under-25s, and a shortage of affordable housing in many areas means that even if they are in work, many of the young people we support cannot afford to move out of our services and in to a home of their own.
“This not only has a huge impact on their ability to focus on getting into work and achieving their potential, but it also means that we cannot house the next group of young people who need our support.
“Over the coming months we are looking forward to building new partnerships with landowners, potential funders, and politicians to turn these ambitious plans into reality for the homeless young people we support.”