What we do

Boost Up provides a tailored package of support in order to get young people into good quality accommodation that would otherwise have been out of their reach. 

Our vision is a City in which young homeless Londoners have the means of getting off the streets within 24 hours, the support necessary to obtain long term accommodation within a month, and the guidance necessary to build their self reliance and recognise their agency.

Rental subsidy

Ikran’s outcome was made possible by the unique package of support that Boost Up provides.

Given that most shared accommodation in the Private Sector costs more than the housing benefit eligible for young people, we can pay a rental subsidy [A ‘Boost Up’] that covers the part of the rent not covered by the housing benefit. In Ikran’s case, this was about £30 a week. 

Additionally, given that Landlords are wary of renting property out to people on benefits, we enter into an agreement with the Landlord that we will help the young person with their Universal Credit account and ensure it is paid to cover their housing costs. 

This gives the young person the time to get into employment, thereby increasing their income and allowing them to come off both benefits and our subsidy.

Additionally, we also will arrange for the first months rent and deposit to be paid in full, as barely any young homeless person would have this money upfront. 

We will also frequently act as the intermediary between the young person and the Landlord, which allows us to ensure that the young person is aware of their rights and responsibilities in the property, and will be there to step into and resolve disputes.

This all means that our young people are armed with more purchasing power, something they lacked before, rebalancing the power dynamic between tenant and landlord to a fairer footing. 

This is what Ikran had access to, the breathing space that allowed her the time and space to get into employment and pay the rent herself, which she duly achieved after only a few months. 

Independence payment

Young people who transition out of homelessness into a secure home still get a bad deal when it comes to the level of disposable income they have on a weekly basis. With their Universal Credit Living Allowance capped at £61 a week, this is barely enough to get by. The rising cost of living will only make this more difficult to survive on. 

The real cruelty is that once they enter the workplace, they can become worse off in terms of disposable income because there will be added costs as a result of their employment, such as travel and uniform. 

And as their income from work increases, the amount of support they receive in terms of housing costs and living costs from Universal Credit will decrease.

Therefore, if a young person who was previously supported by our Rental Subsidy obtains work or can afford the rent themselves, the Rental Subsidy will become an Independence Payment, which the young person will receive directly on a weekly basis on a time limited basis to support them with the new costs associated with employment, or to better improve their career prospects. Their knowledge that this payment exists is an incentive to get off benefits and into work, knowing that they will not become financially punished for doing so.

Connor [Captioned] was supported by this Independence Payment. Originally supported by our Rental Subsidy when unemployed, the Subsidy was turned into an Independence Payment when he got into work as a bricklayer. He used this Independence Payment to pay for the additional costs associated with employment such as travel, and has since become financially independent.

These two examples are a testament to the reality that this package of support is far from a ‘hand out’, and instead gets a young, unemployed person further away from dependency and towards independence. 

Not a Hand Out, but a Boost Up.