Shelter Scotland has embarked on research to explore a new way to provide accommodation for young people at risk of homelessness.

More than 7,000 people aged between 16 and 24 years old were registered as homeless by Scottish local authorities in 2016-2017. The accommodation on offer can be intimidating and lacking the stability of a regular household. The idea behind supported lodgings involves a young person living in a regular household; the host would provide a room and help the young lodger to learn to live independently. In return they would receive support and training from a specialist agency and a rent allowance.

While small-scale schemes exist in Scotland provide supported lodgings for young people leaving care, the model is rarely used for a wider range of young people needing accommodation. However, experience shows young people in supported lodgings can have better outcomes in terms of sustaining education, training and employment.

Shelter Scotland and Heriot-Watt University are using an award from the European Social Fund Social Innovation Fund to explore whether this idea could take off in Scotland. The project will collect the views of young people with experience of homelessness and potential hosts as well as looking at costs and operational considerations. If you are interested in participating in a discussion to help us understand the feasibility this way of helping young people, we’d like you to join one of the focus groups we will be running in the next few weeks.

To participate in a focus group in Central Edinburgh, Dundee, the Borders, or Dumfries and Galloway please email by 16th February stating which of the locations you could attend.

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