Under-35s who can’t afford to rent or buy a home alone are being offered the chance to share a furnished home as part of a trial scheme launched by Ongo Homes.
Called Share First, the scheme aims to address the problems faced by single young people who cannot afford to rent and will no longer be able to access sufficient housing benefit payments to cover the cost.
From April 2019, housing benefit payments for housing single 35s, without children, in North Lincolnshire will be capped at £53.50 a week – more than £30 a week less than the average rent charged by Ongo Homes for a two-bedroom flat in Scunthorpe.
John Lawrence, Head of Housing Management at Ongo Homes, claims the shortfall could leave some young people homeless or struggling to pay their bills.
“It isn’t hard to see that from April 2019 some young people will struggle to live independently so we want to help,” said Mr Lawrence.
“Shared homes are a popular choice for people in other areas so we want to trial it here to see if there is any interest.”
Ten two-bedroom, furnished, flats in Scunthorpe will be offered as shared homes at around £65 per week, which includes rent, service charges and Council Tax (based on 2017/18 rates). Exact rates will depend on the property and tenants will share the costs of gas, electricity and water bills but it still provides a much more affordable option than a person living alone, paying all the bills themselves.
The two tenants will have their own secure bedrooms but share the living room, bathroom and kitchen, which will be furnished.
“The homes will be decorated and carpeted throughout and will come with a fridge freezer, washing machine, electric cooker and vacuum cleaner. We will furnish the living room so tenants only have to provide furniture for their own bedrooms, but we can also help with the cost of that” added Mr Lawrence.
Tenants will also benefit from all the additional services offered by Ongo, including employment support, training, volunteer programmes and financial advice.
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