In 2021/22 our tenancy sustainment projects achieved the following impact:
We know that having a secure and welcoming home is often the first step to other positive progressions, whether that is a job, stronger family relationships or improved money management.
We also know that moving into a new tenancy and especially your first tenancy can feel very daunting – particularly when your house does not feel like your own home.
We work in partnership with Housing Providers and Local Authorities to ensure those most at risk of homelessness or those receiving support from homeless services, can benefit from our approach.
We have a range of tenancy sustainment programmes operating across Scotland to suit a variety of people.
Our long-standing tenancy support programmes provides bespoke, tailored support to those experiencing, or at risk of homelessness, care experienced young people and single parents living with the effects of poverty.
We work in partnership with a number of Local Authorities, Housing Associations, and Health & Social Care Partnerships to ensure that people at risk of homelessness have the skills and confidence to turn their tenancy into a home; as well as address the barriers to employment & training they may be experiencing.
This tenancy sustainability programme provides bespoke support to adults who have been homeless or are at risk of homelessness to take ownership of their tenancy, develop and make it their own style.
Participants benefit from practical decorating support and equipment, a home improvement budget as well as life-skills training and development.
Activities can include furniture up-cycling, sewing soft furnishings (cushions, throws, window dressings), creating accessories for the home but crucially, people are encouraged to develop their own tastes and ideas so that their home feels like their own.
Make It Home is a targeted strand of Make It Your Own specially targeting parents who have been homeless, the victim of abuse or who have come from a chaotic lifestyle prior to accessing housing.
Our intention is to enable parents to develop a sense of ownership of their tenancy and to create a nurturing environment in which the relationship between parent and child can flourish. We support parents to create a welcoming and comfortable bedroom space for their child which they wish to spend time in and where they can feel safe and secure.
Mava was 21 years old when she began attending the Make It Your Own programme. She was referred to the programme from her Housing First support worker as she was living in temporary accommodation and had been deemed high risk of becoming homeless due to her drug addiction and poor mental health, however Mava was in active recovery and about to sign her permanent tenancy. In Mava’s transition into recovery she left her old life behind including her friends, which left her feeling isolated and anxious about socialising.
From her very first workshop on the Make It Your Own programme Mava was enthusiastic, bringing lots of creative ideas and being excited to try new things.
“I’m so excited for the future now, I can hardly believe it” – ‘Mava’
Mava enjoyed the shopping trips and was able to budget well choosing large pieces of furniture to upcycle, painting them and adding her own artwork. Mava tried sewing for the first time and successfully made a cushion and apron. She said that this was her favourite new skill that she learned and was keen to learn more, often coming early to the workshop and staying late. Mava never missed the group drop in sessions and continued to engage in the ongoing weekly drop in sessions for her full time on Make It Your Own. Mava particularly benefited from the social connections she made and became good friends with another young woman on the programme. They continue to meet up regularly outside of Impact Arts and Mava is managing to successfully sustain her tenancy long term.
Karen is a 33 year old woman living alone with her 4 year old twin sons. Having recently become single, Karen and her boys moved into their new house but the change was difficult for them all, with the boys having frequent nightmares and Karen needing to sleep on their floor due to a lack of space. Karen spoke about feeling vulnerable in the house and that the French doors to the garden feel exposed and like ‘someone could be watching.’
She desperately wanted their new home to feel safe, the boys to be settled and for there to be fun space for them to play together – yet there was not storage, and the boys’ room had little personality. These were the starting points for her time with Impact Arts.
Karen was full of ideas when meeting with the Impact Arts team for the first time – yet had no tools and few skills to put these into action. Producing idea boards, she chose a space theme for the boys bedroom; designed a wall mural for the living room and banners for above the boys beds.
The Impact Arts team then worked with Karen to explore how much could be created from very little. The first step was to source furniture that could be recycled and soon a chest of drawers and bookcase were found, sanded and re-painted midnight blue. A book-corner was created and with the support of the Impact Arts team Karen made beanbags for the boys to snuggle-up on whilst their imagination was fuelled by stories and the new glow-in the dark stickers that were on the ceiling.
At the beginning of the project, Karen described herself as ‘not-creative at all’ and felt that she was unable to do a lot of practical things that would have previously been done by her then partner. Small moments during the project such as supporting Karen to use a drill to put up shelves empowered her, give her the confidence to do things that she didn’t think she was capable of.
As she is still settling into the house, there are further changes Karen wants to make such as adding privacy to the French doors in the kitchen, and continuing to add personal touches. She’s “keen to finish off these jobs now and get even more settled.”