Steps to independence

Developed and funded by OVO Foundation, Future Builders brings semi-derelict properties back into use as affordable accommodation for young people who have experienced or are at risk of homelessness.


7 September 2020

Thanks to the hard work of The Benjamin Foundation and Future Builders in North Walsham, Norfolk, there are now two, fully furnished three-bedroom homes which are available for young people who are in education, employment and training (EET) to co-live in. Crucially, the rent is set at an affordable cost of £50 per week, which includes all bills. 

The high quality renovation has been a success thanks to a number of partners. LandAid contributed funding, the homes are leased from Victory Housing and Gasway have supported the installation of air source heating which will help to cut carbon emissions and create sustainable homes.

OVO Foundation’s Future Builders programme not only brings properties back into use but local young people, many who have previously been vulnerably housed, have the opportunity to gain valuable on-site skills and experience while renovating their new homes. Our charity partners also provide support for young people to access EET opportunities, achieve qualifications and gain professional experience before moving on to independent living.

Michala Howarth, Home Starter Development Worker for The Benjamin Foundation says: “The homes are an ideal next step for young people looking to grow in independence. With rent which is affordable, they can live with friends in the homes and have the opportunity to grow in confidence and life skills as they negotiate their way into the world of work, training or education.”

Michala continues: “The great news is that our team is on hand to support them if they need it. We can help with things such as budgeting, paperwork and careers, taking away any stress of learning how to live independently.”

The current pandemic makes the Future Builders programme and its approach to prevent youth homelessness more relevant than ever. We’re looking forward to continuing our work in Norfolk with The Benjamin Foundation as well as our other Future Builders partners in the End Youth Homelessness network; 1625IP in Bristol, Roundabout in Sheffield and The Rock Trust in Perth.

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