Pioneering money skills programme decreased youth homelessness by 64% in London

A pioneering ‘simulated living’ money skills programme has seen dramatic reductions in the number of vulnerable young people being evicted from UK social housing.

Nearly a thousand 16-25 year olds, in care or sheltered housing, took part in a two year impact study of the charity MyBnk’s The Money House project in traditionally deprived areas of London.

Findings from independent evaluators, ERS, found participants were now three times less likely to have unsustainable arrears. There was a 64% drop in evictions for those ‘at risk’ of losing their home.

In the midst of a housing and homelessness crisis, research tells us one in three care leavers currently lose their first home and it costs on average £7,056 to evict a tenant.

Capability and exclusion

After MyBnk’s expert-led intervention there was a:

  • 45% reduction in those incurring bank charges and missing bills.
  • 22% increase in those borrowing safely, and thereforavoiding loan sharks.
  • 27% increase in confidence managing money, which exceeds the national average for those who took part in the programme.

There were also large reductions in instances of financial exclusion for those who were unbanked and had never saved or budgeted. 54% were now saving, 35% budgeting and 75% now had a current account and there was a 44% increase in those using online banking.

The homelessness prevention scheme is based in real flats in the Royal Borough of Greenwich, and London Borough of Newham. Over five days young people gain the skills, knowledge and confidence to live independently – learning how to manage their money, prioritise debts, avoid scams and navigate the banking and benefits system. Trainers use ‘escape room’ games, role play and activities mined from youth culture with diary room recordings to help bring money to life.

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