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Innovative Money House is already leading the way in tackling youth homelessness

Posted on 16 March 2016

New research reveals money confidence training dramatically reduces eviction rates, as The Hyde Group welcomes George Osborne plans to tackle homelessness.

Not ONE single social housing tenant has been evicted from their homes after attending an innovative financial confidence training course run by The Hyde Group, new research has revealed.

As Chancellor George Osborne unveiled plans to spend more than £110million on ending the scandal of rough sleepers in today's budget, the research shows that the Hyde Group is already leading the way in implementing plans to reduce homelessness.

The Hyde Group’s award-nominated The Money House training programme, which is aimed at supporting young people residents to cope better with their finances and develop skills to live independently, has seen eviction rates drop dramatically.

The course helps tenants to manage a personal budget, understand bills and housing costs. It also teaches them how to choose a utility provider, avoid eviction and how to borrow money responsibly.

The Money House focuses specifically on social housing tenants who are the most likely to be financial excluded – such as young people. Over 400 have so far attending the course which The Hyde Group is now looking to expand to other areas in South East London. Key findings are:

  • Not a single tenant (of those sampled by The Hyde Group) has been evicted after attending the course – compared to a 12% eviction rate across the general population in the same age group.
  • Just one in ten (11%) 16-25 year olds owed more than £500 to their landlords compared to 33% who did not attend the training course.
  • 90% say their financial confidence and budgeting has increased
  • 82% say they have a better understanding of Universal Credit
  • 22% were in credit with their landlords three months after attending the course: compared to 11% who did not attend the course.

The interactive and fun training, which takes place in a real flat in Woolwich, is far removed from the traditional classroom approach and is led by trainers experienced in dealing with young people.

Participants are guided through how to read and understand real utility bills; electric meters; rent letters and tenancy agreements and are given practical tips to help them maintain their tenancy. They are even taught how to cook a meal from scratch on a budget.

In the London Borough of Greenwich, social housing tenants are four times more likely to be evicted for rent arrears if they are under the age of 25 than over. Half of those seeking help with homelessness are under 25.

Many of the young people who attend they Money House report that they went on to educate other members of their family about budgeting and debt have the confidence to ask for help if they are suffering money difficulties.

Tom Gardiner, Hyde Plus Special Projects Manager, said: “Homelessness destroys lives. It is hard to recover from as it affects mental health and the lack of a permanent address makes it hard to find employment.

“Our research shows that financial confidence training courses such as The Money House also have a real impact on the lives of young social housing tenants by giving them the skills and confidence to manage household budgets and debts.

“We have had a number of people turn up badly in debt – with many not understanding how serious the problem was and lacking the confidence to ask for help. But the end of the course, nine in ten say they feel more financially confident and are able to budget better.”

Dayle Clark, 21, from Greenwich, who has attended The Money House said: “It is a good experience and I will use it throughout my life. I’ve learnt so much and I didn’t want to leave. It helped to grow my confidence as well, being able to speak to people when normally I get nervous”.

The Hyde Group are now hoping to expand the project to neighbouring Lewisham in 2017 and can sell the materials and training on how to deliver The Money House to other local authorities.