Rooms4U brought young people together to support each other within a home they could call their own. Pre-tenancy training, employment support and matching criteria were all used to ensure that tenants could sustain a tenancy and look positively towards the future in a supportive environment.
A separate assessment to the norm was developed to match tenants.
The criteria looked at:
- Location preferences
- Age categories
- Religion and beliefs
- Criminal convictions
- Drugs, alcohol and smoking
- Experiences of shared housing
- Expectations of sharing
- Social skills
- Bill sharing
- Social networks
Some of the questions asked to prospective tenants included:
- Would you share with someone of a different nationality?
- What would be one thing a housemate could do to make you angry or upset?
- What do you consider to be unacceptable behaviour in the community?
- Would you share with someone who had a different sexual orientation to you?
The assessments gave us the opportunity to ask difficult questions and gauge whether an applicant may be suited to shared housing.
Where possible, we encouraged applicants to identify other applicants who they may feel comfortable sharing with and take opportunities to build a relationship. We utilised this using social media by having a dedicated page for applicants and encouraged them to contact each other directly via messenger services. This worked particularly well following Tenancy Ready Training sessions where applicants got to know each other and built friendships before moving into their property.