Our Live and Work scheme was last night named as the winner of a UK Housing Award, the most prestigious awards in the housing sector, for the category ‘Outstanding approach to Tackling Homelessness’, recognising the truly innovative and ground-breaking approach of this scheme.
Live and Work’ launched 3 years ago in partnership with Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust, Health Education West Midlands, University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, Keepmoat Regeneration and funding from the government’s Empty Homes Community Grant Programme (EHCGP). It demonstrates how partnership working can produce better prospects and outcomes for young people.
Live and Work aims to prevent youth homelessness by giving young people both somewhere truly affordable to live, utilising regenerated former nurses accommodation on Sandwell Hospital's site, as well as work, including paid apprenticeships at Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust, thus breaking the ‘no home, no job, no home’ cycle of homelessness that can so easily trap young people. A key element of the scheme is that rents are deflated to ensure young people can live from their earned income and are therefore benefit free.
Carlene Lawrence, Manager of the Live and Work scheme said: “We are absolutely delighted to receive this award and that this partnership and the successes of our young residents have been recognised in this way. There has been much learning from the implementation of this scheme which we are happy to share with other agencies. It would be wonderful to see the Live and Work model replicated elsewhere in the country.”