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Council supports charity to house young people

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Dudley Council is set to support a local charity, which helps to house young people, as part of its multi-million pound project to build new council homes.

Dudley Council is about to enter into a lease agreement with YMCA Black Country Group (YMCA BCG) for 12 newly built apartments on Wolverhampton Street, Dudley.

YMCA BCG is looking to expand the opportunities it provides for local young people. It will lease the apartments from the council for six years to provide transitional accommodation to those who are leaving home for the first time or moving on from supported housing.

Whilst there, young people will be supported to live independently, with the intention they will move into the mainstream housing market as tenants or owner-occupiers once they have a successful tenancy history, secured employment and potentially saved a deposit.

YMCA BCG already works with the council to operate a Supported Lodgings Service, YMCA Open Door, which places young people with hosts who provide long term and emergency accommodation, and an 11 bed Supported Housing service for young people with support needs.

Councillor Keiran Casey, cabinet member for hosing and residents welfare, said:

We often talk about the growing demands on local authorities for housing and how difficult it can be for young people in particular to find housing.
That's why we are always looking to see what more can be done working with local organisations to ensure that young people have the help and support they need, so it's fantastic we have been able to work with the YMCA on this important project.
The work the YMCA do all year round is vitally important, whether this is the general help and support they provide to young people or through fantastic programmes such as the YMCA Open Door Project, which they run, all providing support to young people who are either in crisis or simply need a helping hand and guidance to begin their journey to independence.
So I’m really pleased that through this agreement we’re able to work with them, expanding the help available to local young people and being able to support the amazing work that they are doing locally, something that I want to ensure we do much more of.”

Sally Cowan, Chief Officer for Housing at YMCA BCG said: 

We are really looking forward to this exciting opportunity to work with Dudley MBC to provide much needed safe, secure and good quality housing to young people. We will enable our residents to ensure they have the skills to live independently, support them to engage in YMCA and local community activities and support them to access more long term housing solutions when they are ready to move on.

The 12 apartments, which are due to be completed next month have been built on the site of a former dilapidated furniture store as part of the council’s multi-million pound project to build new council homes for tenants.

YMCA BCG is also looking to purchase four empty homes, which were due for disposal, from the council to develop shared housing opportunities for young people. The charity will cover any refurbishment costs.

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