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National Homeless Advice Service

Overcoming obstacles to social tenancy sustainment

Young people are at risk of failing to sustain their social tenancies, especially in the first year. However, local support and advice may be available from their housing provider or relevant voluntary sector organisation.

Why tenancies fail

See the page Introduction to tenancy sustainment for a list of common factors in the failure of tenancies.

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Choosing the right rented property

Although some areas will not be able to provide much choice, advisers and registered providers to young people can still help their clients to find a social rented property that is right for them, that they can afford, that offers support if they need it, and is reasonably close to exiting family and friends and other support networks.

Where available, shared social tenancies could provide a good starting point for young people taking the first steps to independent living.

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Pre-tenancy training

Before taking up a tenancy, young people, especially those who have previously lived in supported accommodation, can participate in pre-tenancy training programmes.

Registered providers may require new young tenants to participate in training programmes as a condition of taking up their new tenancies.

See Pre-tenancy training and advice for more information.

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Continuing support

Once a new tenancy has been taken up, levels of support can vary depending on the needs of the tenant, from floating support to intensive tenancy support. Some can also be tailored to address specific needs such as drug or alcohol issues, HIV and other health problems, or be aimed at members of a minority ethnic community.

See the page Continuing tenancy support for more information.

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Financial support


Young people who are unemployed or on a low wage may be eligible for housing-related benefit and council tax support. For more information, see the benefits section.

Young people claiming housing-related benefit may also be eligible for a discretionary housing payment (DHP). Criteria for these will vary, and the amount given will be for a short time only.

See the Shelter Housing Advice website for more on DHPs.

Budgeting loan

Young people claiming benefits may be eligible for budgeting loans, which must be paid back.

See the Shelter Housing Advice website for more on budgeting loans.

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Ongoing advice and information

Ongoing advice and information should include:

  • claiming benefits and advising the benefits office of any changes, such as employment, living with a partner
  • budgeting and debt management, including who to contact if debt or rent arrears start to build up
  • how to find community resources and services, such as community social groups, libraries, exercise classes, childcare and playgroups
  • information on furnishing accommodation, for example details of local furnishing schemes
  • information and support to access to training, education and employment opportunities
  • guidance on resolving neighbour disputes, including details of any neighbourhood or tenant association.

Example- Derby Homes: Helping you manage your home

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