Independent Living Programme

Our solution to breaking the cycle of young homelessness for good.

The Independent Living Programme provides young people with a home to call their own.

It is our solution to breaking the cycle of young homelessness for good.

Over the next 10 years, we will transform the lives of thousands of young people who need a helping hand to take the important but challenging first step to full independence, by providing them with a home.

We are building homes specifically for young people who are ready to live independently. It’s an ambitious goal and requires over £30m investment.

Ways you can support the programme

Prince William is laughing in conversation with Centrepoint residents and staff.

Prince William opens Reuben House

Our patron Prince William, officially opened Centrepoint’s Reuben House development in Peckham, South London.

This is part of our groundbreaking Independent Living Programme aimed at combating youth homelessness. The programme allows young people aged between 18 and 24 to live in affordable housing, with rent contributions capped at a third of their take-home pay. 

How does the programme work?

We are creating homes in four ways:

  1. Building new homes designed to meet the needs of young people in the early stages of independent living.
  2. Creating modular homes that are quicker and cheaper to build and that can even be moved to new locations.
  3. Converting existing Centrepoint properties into communal homes, where young people facing similar challenges can live together and support each other.
  4. Working with partners in London and Manchester to develop and incorporate their properties into the programme.

Most importantly we’re setting the rent based on income. With this approach we are make housing truly affordable for young people.

We aim to never charge a young person more than one-third of their salary as their rent contribution. This would typically mean a young person in London earning £18,000 per year would not pay more than £500 per month. According to HomeLet, the average rent in London in February 2023 was £1,975.

Why is it so necessary?

One in five young people are ready to move into independence but can’t do so because of:

  • Low wages, higher rates of unemployment and insecure employment
  • High rents and upfront costs, particularly in cities like London and Manchester
  • Lack of social housing
  • Lower benefit rates for young people, even those that have been homeless
  • Private landlords not willing to lend to young people, particularly those who have lived in supported accommodation

This affects the ability of supported housing providers to take on new young people in need of support, and can have damaging impacts on the wellbeing, development and progress made toward independence of those young people struggling to move on.

Statistics about young people renting in the private sector

48% of all landlords require a cash deposit from a prospective tenant equal to or less than one month’s rent, and 32% required a deposit greater than the value of a month’s rent.

Only 21% of private landlords would be willing to let to a young person moving on from homelessness accommodation.

How are we doing it?

We’ve brought in specialists to bring our vision to life. Our Growth Board includes experts from across the property sector. Jamie Reuben and Javad Marandi chair the Board.

We have an internal department of experts with years of collective experience in property, employment and supporting young people.

And we will commission an academic institution to evaluate the project, so we understand the social impact and outcomes for young people, and inform the future of the programme.