A Perth and Kinross project that supports young tenants to settle into permanent accommodation has had a successful 12 months, helping a total of 113 people.
Youth Boost is commissioned by Perth & Kinross Council's Housing Service, and as been delivered by the charity Rock Trust since 2020. It supports young people moving into their new home, which is key for a successful start in their lives. It also supports people at risk of eviction and those who want to return home and maintain relationships with family.
Support is offered one-on-one through a personal worker and covers areas such as budgeting and finances, education and employment, health & well-being and developing socially, so that young people can sustain their new tenancy.
In the last 12 months in Perth in Perth and Kinross:
- 89 young people were supported to access or sustain their own tenancy
- 43 were supported to stay safe and emotionally well whilst staying temporarily with family and friends
- 3 were supported to remain/return to the family home
- 79 were supported to access their full benefit entitlement
- 61 were supported to access heating grants.
Each young tenant has a personally designed plan to identify support in areas important to them. This may cover practical tasks to promote independent living skills such as budgeting, cooking, cleaning, setting up the tenancy, applying for benefits/grants, and providing emotional support and advice.
The Council's Housing and Social Wellbeing Convener, Councillor Tom McEwan, said: "Tackling homelessness is one of our highest priorities as a Housing Service and supporting young people is a vital part of this work.
"The Youth Boost project is an innovative scheme that offers practical help and support to young people who may not be totally ready for a tenancy. Rock Trust Staff work closely with people to make sure they have all the life skills, benefits and personal support they need to keep their tenancy and avoid repeat homelessness.
"It is a notable success that whilst homelessness has increased overall in line with national trends, the number of young people presenting as homeless in 2022/23 in Perth and Kinross reduced by 6% thanks in part to the specialist support provided through the Youth Boost project.
"The fact that it has helped sustain almost 90 tenancies over the last year highlights the importance of this work, and the positive feedback we get from young people shows the real human value of the project.
"Perth & Kinross Council is one of the leading local authorities when it comes to preventing and tackling homelessness, and this has been recognised nationally. I'm incredibly pleased to see the positive effect the Youth Boost project is having on the lives of so many young people."
Rock Trust Chief Executive Kate Polson, added: "The Youth Boost project is a great example of a creative, youth-specific service response to address a local need. Perth & Kinross Council recognised the barriers young people faced in gaining or maintaining tenancies and designed a service to support young people to avoid homelessness.
"Rock Trust prides itself on delivering support services and accommodation options to young people aged 16-25 to avoid, resolve or move on from homelessness. We are proud to be working with Perth & Kinross Council and the local partners to deliver Youth Boost which not only has a positive impact on the community but is also valued by the young people themselves."
Perth & Kinross Council also works with Rock Trust to run the Future Builders Live and Work programme in Perth.
The scheme brings empty Council properties back into use, turning them into homes for young people. Young people are involved in the refurbishments, providing them with valuable employability and life skills.
One of the young people involved said: "Future Builders will give me skills I didn't have before, and that I can take forward in my life."