Project Officer Sonya Levin joined the HAB team with a brief to develop housing options for clients which would provide them with a settled period in supported accommodation during which they develop the skills to move on to their own tenancy, usually in the private rented sector. 

Over the past two years, Sonya and her team with partner organisations have sourced four sites. She is now managing support in 65 units, ranging from single rooms in three reception hubs to 39 self-contained studio apartments at the Golders Green Project. 

When a client is placed in one of the reception hubs, staff on site provide intensive support and assessment for a period of six to eight weeks to ensure that the client has established an address, registered for housing benefit and is ready to move up to a self‑contained apartment in the Golders Green Project. For the next 12 months the client will be supported and encouraged to develop life skills to manage a tenancy independently in the future.

Sonya says it is a challenging but rewarding job. Her team has had real success with some of the most vulnerable people in the community. 

She accepts that, despite all the support, some clients do not make the move to independence after the first assessment period but with the range of projects she has developed, she able to provide a “step down” where the client can be given more support before moving on.

It is early days, but Sonya is convinced that with appropriate support, many of HAB’s clients and others homeless people like them can be helped to have a secure home in the future.

A gift wrapped, open umbrella

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