Croydon Council has teamed up with a not-for-profit organisation to introduce a new kind of accommodation aimed at encouraging more homeless adults out of hostels and into work and independent living.
Eight homeless men have moved from local hostels into a shared house in central Croydon that offers cheaper rent and greater independence as they move back into work. Another five tenants are set to move in by 5 May, taking the total to 13. If successful, the council will explore similar arrangements with third-sector partners to help more homeless men and women.
Set up by Croydon Council’s Gateway service that helps homeless people or those at risk of homelessness, the partnership with Causeway Irish Housing Association (CIHA) aims to give hostel residents an extra incentive to get a job – and ultimately a council property – while also freeing up much-needed spaces in supported accommodation. The project also aims to reduce the expense of hostels, which include council-run specialist one-to-one support.
The partnership with CIHA means the tenants of the three-storey flat will pay around £200 less rent per month than in the private sector, and up to £300 less per month for staying in a hostel. Causeway Irish Housing Association is a not-for-profit organisation providing temporary accommodation primarily for young single homeless people in London.
The 13 people, aged 25-55 and working in sectors from construction to retail, were chosen because they met the council’s project criteria of having a job, no rent arrears and modelling good behaviour. If they still have a job after six months and get on well with their flatmates, the tenants will be eligible for a council flat.
The council is also exploring other ways of providing more accommodation for homeless people through partnerships with social landlords and developers.
“Our Gateway service has already supported thousands of people at risk of homelessness, and our goal is to give them greater financial independence and confidence.
“That’s why this accommodation promises to be a crucial stepping stone for people getting into work and out of hostels, and I’m very pleased that we’re joining forces with CIHA’s third-sector specialists on our common goal of tackling homelessness in Croydon.”
Councillor Alison Butler, deputy leader and cabinet member for homes, regeneration and planning
Joanne Murray, Causeway Irish Housing Association’s director, said: “We’re delighted to be able to assist Croydon in resettling people from supported accommodation through this project. We’re impressed by how proactive the council has been in finding solutions for single homeless people and we’re very pleased to be a part of it.”