Young tenants’ guide is launched

Head of Housing Phil Soderquest, Kerry Hope and Jackie Long of Silx with young people of Blyth, Paul Cozens and Dawn Skelton. Picture by Simon Williams / Crest Photography.
Head of Housing Phil Soderquest, Kerry Hope and Jackie Long of Silx with young people of Blyth, Paul Cozens and Dawn Skelton. Picture by Simon Williams / Crest Photography.

A new guide has been launched aimed at helping first-time housing tenants.

Northumberland County Council, in partnership with Blyth-based Silx Youth Project, has created the Young Tenants’ User Guide.

It has been developed by the Project, based on its own practical experience of working with young people.

Aimed at 18 to 25-year-olds, the guide tackles issues such as finance and how to keep on top of your bills, budgeting and saving money on utility bills, and how to claim for benefits you are entitled to.

It also explains what a tenancy agreement is and the importance of understanding what tenants are responsible for.

The idea for the guide came from feedback from young people in the Blyth area who were struggling to manage in social or private rented accommodation.

John Riddle, the county council’s cabinet member for planning, housing and resilience, said: “We’re delighted to have been able to work with Silx on this invaluable project.

“We’re keen to support young people in being able to take that next step into adulthood, by moving into their new home.

“However, we recognise they can find themselves in a vulnerable position and at risk of losing their tenancy, if they don’t have the skills or knowledge of what is involved in running a home.”

He added: “This guide covers everything they need to know to have a positive experience and to fulfill their potential as a home owner in the future.”

Each new young tenant will be given the guide at their tenancy introduction meeting with a council housing officer, copies are also available from the Silx offices on Church Street, Blyth.

Chris Antony, trustee of Silx, said: “We were finding that more and more young people in the Blyth area were struggling with all the different aspects that come with managing and surviving in a social or private rented accommodation.

“Issues such as getting into debt, or anti-social behaviour in their home, were leading to young people not be able to progress with their tenancy.

“We hope that this guide will give young people the information and support they need to understand what is involved in running their own home.”