Hous­ing sup­port scheme gives a young fresh start

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Points of view -

The Mayor of Ash­ford, Win­ston Michael, has of­fi­cially opened a new sup­ported hous­ing scheme in Ash­ford.

Bel­gic Court at The Limes, Ash­ford con­tains eight fully fur­nished one-bed­room flats and a com­mu­nal fa­cil­ity and of­fers sup­port to vul­ner­a­ble young peo­ple with their tran­si­tion from care to in­de­pen­dent liv­ing.

The scheme has been de­vel­oped by Gold­ing Homes, a non-profit mak­ing or­gan­i­sa­tion which pro­vides hous­ing at af­ford­able prices, in part­ner­ship with Ash­ford Bor­ough Coun­cil and Kent County Coun­cil.

It is now be­ing man­aged by Sanc­tu­ary Sup­ported Liv­ing.

The hous­ing is avail­able to 16-25-year-olds who need help in de­vel­op­ing the nec­es­sary life skills to live in­de­pen­dently.

As part of this sup­port they are taught how to main­tain a ten­ancy, re­ceive as­sis­tance with train­ing and job op­por­tu­ni­ties as well as be­ing given help and ad­vice with bud­get­ing and con­fi­dence build­ing.

Corinna Tay­lor, 21, who moved into her new flat three months ago said: “It’s like a fresh start for me and I’m re­ally en­joy­ing my free­dom and in­de­pen­dence.

“I’m learn­ing how to man­age my bills and haven’t been in debt Mayor of Ash­ford Win­ston Michael and Corinna Tay­lor cut­ting the rib­bon, joined by Les­lie Mor­son and Chris Blun­dell, at the open­ing of new hous­ing sup­port scheme Bel­gic Court since mov­ing here. Hope­fully in two years time I will be able to rent my own home.

“I’m re­ally ex­cited about the fu­ture.”

Cllr Michael said: “Bel­gic Court brings i nvalu­able sup­port and in­spi­ra­tion to vul­ner­a­ble young peo­ple to make that tran- sition from care to in­de­pen­dent liv­ing.

“By do­ing so, this will give them self-es­teem and self-worth, while at the same time in­creas­ing their life chances.

“It is a shin­ing ex­am­ple of what can be achieved through part­ner­ship and one vi­sion.”

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