A new development of self-contained, modular homes has been unveiled in Peckham, south London, to provide affordable, independent housing for young people experiencing homelessness.
The development will house 33 young people currently living in hostels with rent for the homes capped at roughly one third of the tenant’s salary.
“Young people are facing a real housing crisis, not just in London but across the country”, said Billy Harding, policy and research manager at Centrepoint: a charity supporting young people experiencing homelessness, which has developed the flats. “[This is] because of a critical lack of affordable accommodation, both in the social rented sector, but also in the private sector, where rents are too high.
“Young people really struggle to afford a deposit and the upfront costs of moving in, meaning that even for young people who are in work, affording housing is really, really difficult.”
For a 20-year-old earning minimum wage, rent for one of the new homes would be around £350 per month. However, Centrepoint points out that in London they intend “to work with ethical employers to ensure young people are earning above minimum wage”, so someone “earning £18,000 per year would pay around £500 per month.”
The average household renting privately in England spent 32.8 per cent of their income on rent in 2018-19, according to official figures. Among 16 to 24-year-olds, this rose to 46.8 per cent and for those on the lowest incomes, over half (52.7 per cent) of their income was lost to rent.