Finally, some good news. Affordable flats in Peckham are opening for young people who would otherwise have become homeless. Reuben House in Peckham will offer 33 brand new accommodations, or ‘pod homes’, for people without a permanent place to live and working a variety of jobs. Young people will move into the apartments over the next few months.
Centrepoint, the youth homelessness charity, is behind this first-of-its-kind initiative. People taking part in the Independent Living Programme will have to have a full-time job or apprenticeship to qualify for accommodation. The affordable rent is on a sliding scale, so residents will be charged approximately one-third of their salary to live there. A person on minimum wage would pay around £394 per month and this would be adjusted if their salary went up or down.
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Nathan, a resident of Reuben House who has been living in temporary housing for half a year, told My London: ‘I am excited and grateful, but most of all, I feel like I can take a deep breath. The last six or seven months, when I’ve been living in temporary accommodation, have been so up and down and slightly surreal.
‘It’s amazing to have my own space and not feel like I am in somebody else’s. I feel like I can finally relax and focus on building my foundations.’ He added that the scheme was a ‘game changer’ and that moving into Reuben House would ‘change his life’.
The 21 sq m flats will have a kitchen, dining area, bathroom, bed and space to relax. The purpose-built modular homes are the first affordable dwellings to be specifically built to help people at risk of homelessness, as schemes like this usually use refurbished housing.
According to Centrepoint figures, over 15,000 16- to 24-year-olds in London are currently facing homelessness.
‘I’ve been working with disadvantaged people for over 25 years, and this is the most exciting and innovative programme that has tangible results in transforming young people’s lives,’ Sally Orlopp, director of Centrepoint’s Independent Living Programme said. ‘Centrepoint’s young people [in Peckham] now have comfortable, stylish, efficient and cost-effective homes – and most importantly the key to their very own front door.’
‘This is only the beginning,’ she added. ‘We have every ambition to create 300 more homes across London and Manchester within the coming year.’
Find more details of the Centrepoint Independent Living Programme here.
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