Commonweal Housing is dedicated to providing housing solutions to social injustice and recognises that low-cost private accommodation for vulnerable people in London is in limited – particularly for vulnerable people whose situation does not qualify as priority with the relevant local authority. Catch22′s London Housing services provide supported accommodation for young people who are homeless and have support needs, including young parents, unaccompanied minors, care leavers and young people with an offending history. Support aims to help them build skills for independent living in their own accommodation.
The scheme provides an opportunity for young people from London to stay in their local area, afford decent accommodation, gain soft skills and get support when needed – while living independently. Residents pay a service charge, a proportion of which is set aside for future tenancy deposits when they are ready to move into their own accommodation.
In partnership with Commonweal Housing, Catch22 has seven properties offering 21 bed spaces in Haringey, Greenwich and Lewisham. Rent rates are below the new LHA rates for shared accommodation – meaning that even residents claiming jobseeker’s allowance (JSA) will have their rent covered by housing benefit.
A ‘lead tenant’ is trained to act as landlord for Catch22 to ensure the property is managed appropriately and to be the first point of contact for enquiries and issues. The aim is to equip peer landlords with skills that will aid them in future careers – many have stated aspirations in social care and support.
This pilot is proving to be a vital move-on option for service users from Haringey Young People’s Supported Accommodation, whose options are limited, with standard private accommodation in the area too expensive for them. If the pilot continues to be successful, Catch22 will seek to acquire more properties.