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National Homeless Advice Service

Shared student-style accommodation

This type of accommodation is not common at the moment, but is starting to be commissioned by some local authorities and Registered Providers who see it as filling a critical gap.

It may be a suitable option for young people with low support needs.

How is this accommodation provided?

The accommodation itself can be clusters of small shared units, larger blocks of accommodation or shared houses, depending on what is available locally. Tenancies are usually offered for 1 or 2 years at an affordable rent set around the Shared Accommodation Rate for the local area.

It has strong similarities to the original foyer principles. More information on foyers is available on the Foyer Federation website.

Many existing foyers have been recommissioned to provide accommodation with support plus and are currently working with young people and other people with higher levels of need.

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Who is it suitable for?

Shared student-style accommodation may be a suitable option for young people with low support needs. This means those who are capable of working, completing an apprenticeship, or completing a further education course likely to lead to employment and who need stable accommodation to help them achieve this. It may also be suitable for young people already in employment, training or further education who would otherwise drop out because of housing issues.

Young people may be offered this type of accommodation as a move-on option from more expensive supported accommodation, or following a direct enquiry to the local authority housing options team.

Housing-related support as defined in Supporting People terms - is not a feature of this type of accommodation. However, some enhanced housing management and very ‘light touch’ support could be offered via floating support or a college or training provider.

Student-style accommodation usually has strong links with further education colleges, training providers and Job Centre Plus. Some authorities restrict referral routes to colleges, training providers or employers.

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