You’re Home is a five-property affordable rental accommodation project in east Belfast, in partnership with Northern Irish homeless charity East Belfast Mission (EBM).
The project, born out of the 2021 Call for New Ideas, provides affordable accommodation and tenancy support services as a route into longer term housing for people in transition who cannot otherwise access social housing or the private rented sector. It is the first of its kind in Belfast.
Like much of the UK, Belfast has suffered from rocketing rent prices in the private rented sector. For those leaving homelessness and on the pathway to independent living, sky high rental costs are prohibiting them from regaining their independence.
Social housing is rarely an option either. People with low support needs are often excluded from accessing social housing in Belfast, with the priority going to those with more urgent or complex needs.
This leaves many in a catch-22: no longer wanting to remain in hostels but unable to move into the private rented sector. In addition, the lack of a guarantor and prejudice from landlords for being homeless or on benefits also prevent individuals from transitioning towards living independently.
The Housing Solution
You’re Home’s model is simple: by providing accommodation at reduced rents to people with low needs, tenants can progress with their recovery from homelessness and transition into independent living in longer term, stable housing.
You’re Home sits within East Belfast Mission’s wider existing services, including its homeless hostel. The project acts as a pathway for tenants to, once ready, move on from the hostel and into good-quality, self-contained independent housing, while freeing up to five spaces in the hostel for those in need.
The five homes may become a permanent residence for tenants, and move on is not envisaged as a key element of the project but will be supported where appropriate for any individual. Tenants also benefit from wrap-around support services if required to help with issues such as finding a job or budgeting.
The project was enabled through £550,000 of social investment, aiding in the acquisition of five one-bedroom houses in Belfast.
This is an ongoing project, early in its lifecycle. Updates to the progress of You’re Home and all learnings stemming from the project will be posted to this page and throughout our website.