Innovation Exchange

Housing and Homelessness Education for Youths (HEY)

Introduction

Key activities

Benefits and impacts

Learning

Further Information

Ayr Housing Aid Centre is a charity organisation which provides advice and assistance to people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. In 2012, in partnership with South Ayrshire Council Housing Policy and Strategy team, an innovative programme of Housing and Homelessness Education for Youths (HEY) was introduced in secondary schools across the Local Authority. The aim of the programme was to address the increasing numbers of homeless presentations from young people aged 16 – 25 by providing information to pupils on local housing options, the Homelessness service, and tenancy responsibilities in a creative and interactive way. The fundamental purpose of the project is to equip young people with the skills and knowledge necessary to maintain their own home effectively when the time comes, and to make informed choices about their future if they are considering leaving the family home. The project has been developed to reflect the crucial links between successful housing outcomes, positive educational attainment and employment opportunities for young people. It is based on early intervention to equip young people with the housing knowledge they need.

Theme: Housing and Regeneration

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The Project was developed as part of the council’s homelessness prevention agenda. The HEY project was initially developed to provide young people with good quality housing advice and information at as early a stage as possible, to prevent them from becoming homeless and so they are able to make informed decisions about their future and share this knowledge with others. The programme is an early intervention and prevention measure.

The programme has successfully achieved the following aims:

 

  • Integrated into the PSE curriculum in all 8 secondary schools and effectively contributing to the GIRFEC agenda
  • Far Reaching – delivered to over 2200 4th year pupils and 1068 primary pupils.
  • Contributed directly to a 31% decrease in the numbers of homeless presentations from young people aged 16-25

The project is based on the principle that if young people are provided with accurate information on their housing options at an early stage, this may prevent them from making poor choices later in life. It is intended that they will share this knowledge with others and that the message is disseminated beyond the classroom.

The Project has been a resounding success. The local schools have welcomed it, engaged fully with the process, and value the service that it provides. Teachers and Pupils evaluate each session delivered and as a result it can be clearly evidenced that the majority of pupils and teachers knowledge of housing and homelessness issues have improved.

Contact details:

To find out more about this case study, please contact:

 

Lyndsay Lewis

Education and Engagement Team Leader (Ayr Housing Aid)

South Ayrshire Council

01292 288111

Case study added to site: June 2016

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