Young persons' tenancy support

Young persons' tenancy support

By working in partnerships, we will enable vulnerable customers to sustain their tenancy and live well in their neighbourhood. We will:

  • Provide supported accommodation where necessary
  • Offer advice, support and guidance bespoke to your circumstances

This service provides tailored support to people aged 16-25 to enable them to manage a home. The Young Persons’ team provide a wide range of vocational, educational and housing-related support services that equip young adults with the skills, experience and confidence to maintain a home and become independent.

It’s a worrying fact that young people aged between 16 and 25 years old are at greater risk of homelessness than any other age group in our society. The individuals who are particularly susceptible are those leaving care, or those who have difficult relationships with their parents or guardians. And if these young people do end up on the streets, they are more vulnerable than adults. 

There are a number of factors that contribute to homelessness in young adults. These include:

  • Unemployment and socio-economic marginalisation
  • Leaving local authority care
  • Family disruption in childhood, including ongoing strained relationships or relationship breakdown with parents and step-parents resulting in being asked to leave the parental home
  • Experience of living with a step-parent, particularly for young men
  • Parental neglect, abuse or violence
  • Insecure accommodation, such as staying with friends, relatives and, in some cases, strangers

What support is available?

The STEPs (Supporting Tenants Empowering People) service uses a dedicated staff network, working within three core services, to provide much-needed support for young people.

Medium Support Accommodation: 19 fully furnished flats that come complete with regular support, to young people aged 16-21 years.

Holmewood intensive support accommodation: Provides supported accommodation for 12 young people, aged 16-21 years, and has a team of specialist staff on hand 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Outreach Support: Ensures young people aged 16-25 years receive all the support they need to help them to cope with living in their own home, includes learning how to manage their money, as well as how to keep themselves safe.

If you haven’t already heard of STEPs it stands for Supporting Tenants, Empowering People. This service uses a dedicated staff network working within three core services to provide much-needed support for young people aged 16-21.

How much does STEPs support cost?

A government body called Supporting People actually covers the cost of STEPs, so the people who come to us don’t need to pay us for the help they receive. Supporting People also monitors how we’re doing and set us targets to make sure we’re offering a really first-rate service.

Under this scheme, residents are responsible for paying their own weekly rent and household bills. However, they may be entitled to Housing & Council Tax benefits which would cover some of these outgoings, but that depends on their income.

What is Holmewood?

Holmewood is located just outside Sunderland City Centre. It provides supported accommodation for 12 young people and has a team of approachable, professional and reliable staff on hand 24 hours a day. At Holmewood we offer young people a place they can call home and help them gain independent living skills. We also support and guide them in making the right choices about their future.

What can residents expect?

At the start of their stay with us, residents are given their own dedicated Support Worker who helps them identify their support needs, develop an action plan and then work through it. This makes it easier for the resident to identify what they want to achieve and how they should go about it.

Our residents also learn how to cope with living in their own place. This involves learning how to cook, clean, budget, as well as getting to grips with basic home safety. Our staff at Holmewood work closely with education and training providers to offer a range of ASDAN-accredited short courses, plus Personal, Social Development courses and the Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award. All of which means there’s plenty of opportunities for residents to take part in activities that can improve their health and wellbeing.

During their stay with us, we want our residents to develop an enjoyable social life that allows them to have fun safely, and we encourage them to express their views both as an individual and as a group through various residents’ meetings.

Young people can stay at Holmewood for up to two years, after which they may have the option of outreach support. But whatever choices they make at this time, our support staff do everything they can to support and encourage them to ensure they are happy, safe and cared for.

Is Holmewood for you?

To qualify to become one of our Holmewood residents, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Be aged between 16 and 21 years
  • Be homeless or about to become homeless
  • Need support in managing your own home

What can residents expect?

At the beginning of their stay with us, residents get to meet their own dedicated Support Worker who helps them identify their support needs, develop an action plan and work their way through it. As a result, it’s then easier for residents to identify what they want to achieve and how they should go about it.

Over the coming weeks our residents learn how to cope with living in their own place, which means learning how to cook, clean, budget – and understand some basic home safety. Because our staff work closely with education and training providers to offer a range of courses, plus Personal, Social Development courses and the Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award. So there are lots of opportunities for residents to participate in activities that can improve their health and wellbeing.

At our Medium Support accommodation we want young people to develop an enjoyable social life which allows them to have fun safely. So they are encouraged to express their views both as an individual and as a group through our Young Person’s Focus Group meetings.

Residents sign up for an initial six-month tenancy, which is reviewed and can be extended for up to two years. Then, when it’s to move on, we will work with them to sort out their very own tenancy.

Is Medium Support for you?

To qualify for Medium Support accommodation and help from the Young Person’s Services, you need to meet the following criteria:

  • Be a single person aged 16-21
  • Need somewhere to live with support.

How could Medium Support help you?

We are delighted to be able to offer a range of fully furnished flats across the City of Sunderland that come complete with regular support. Should you be offered one, we can also help you with the following:

  • Moving into your home
  • Understanding your tenancy agreement, your rights and responsibilities
  • Developing essential know-how, such as cooking, cleaning, washing clothes and other home skills
  • Managing your money and budgeting for bills, like the TV licence, gas and electric, Council Tax and benefits
  • Staying safe in your home
  • Getting help from other services, such as employment, training, benefits, and health
  • Keeping in touch with your family and friends
  • Finding out what’s going on in your local area

What can young people expect from Outreach Support?

When they are offered Outreach Support, young people receive all the support they need to help you to cope with living in their own home, which includes stuff like learning how to cook, clean and budget, as well as keep safe. Our staff work closely with education and training providers to offer a range of courses courses, plus Personal, Social Development courses and the Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award. Which means there are plenty of opportunities for taking part in activities which are designed to improve health and wellbeing.

Of course, we want our young people to develop an enjoyable social life which allows them to have fun in safety. So they are encouraged to express their views both as an individual and as a group through our Young Person’s Focus Group meetings.

Under the Outreach programme, young people can receive support for up to two years.

Is Outreach Support for you?

To qualify for help from Outreach Support, you need to meet some of the following criteria:

  • Be aged 16-25
  • Be a single parent or in a relationship
  • Have your own tenancy
  • Be living in temporary accommodation
  • Be homeless
  • Need help or support to live independently.

How could Outreach Support help you?

  • As part of the excellent service it provides, Outreach Support can help by offering assistance with the following:
  • Moving into your home
  • Understanding your tenancy agreement, your rights and responsibilities
  • Developing essential know-how, such as cooking, cleaning, washing clothes and other home skills
  • Managing your money and budgeting for bills, like the TV licence, gas and electric, Council Tax and benefits
  • Staying safe in your home
  • Getting help from other services, such as employment, training, benefits, and health
  • Keeping in touch with your family and friends
  • Finding out what’s going on in your local area