Project First Step is a partnership iniative set up to tackle homelessness in young people aged between 16 and 25.
CHADD, Churches Housing Association of Dudley
Dudley Citizens Advice Bureau
Heantun Group (Housing Association)
Black Country Housing Association
The site offers young people aged 25 and below everything they need to know about getting and remaining in their first home.
In the Dudley borough there is an increasing number of young people who perceive themselves to be homeless.
There are a umber of services that are available to these people, and the success rate in terms of preventing homelessness is very good.
In 2008/2009, there were 928 homeless enquiries, which in this day and age is a very large number. The systems that are in place prevented 64 from being homeless, 100 were statutory homeless, and the other 761 were not homeless but clearly thought of themselves as homeless.
In addition people who are aged under 25 who take a first tenancy with Dudley Council without any support have a prevelance to fail with their tenancies within the first 18 months. The main reason for these failed tenancies is “moved to lodgings”, the second is arrears or anti-social behaviour eviction.
Moved to lodgings means moving to situations of precarious tenure including “sofa surfing”. The most important reason is financial. Young people may be on low income and benefits that is likely to be barely enough to live. Young people in this situation often fall back on candles for light and warmth; rather than turn the heating on to incur more costs. Other reasons may include:
· Friends taking advantage of the home owner
· Inappropriate ways of coping with conflict, which conform to gender stereotypes.
With all this in mind, the council and its partners has developed this site to create a tool that can be used by all young people, with or without support, to asses their readiness for independent living and create a personal plan. The tool will show the working practices of the council and other services that provide and support young people seeking housing.