MP praises social landlord's support for teenage mums
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Communities
Liz Kendall Liberty House
An MP has praised East Midlands Housing Association's (EMHA) support for teenage mums.
During her visit to EMHA's Liberty House scheme, Liz Kendall, MP for Leicester West, spoke with a number of the young mothers currently living there.
The project in Braunstone Frith provides affordable self-contained flats for teenage mothers and their children.
EMHA staff also work with the tenants on a one-to-one basis to give them emotional support and equip them with life skills, such as cooking, cleaning and budgeting.
The mums have access to an adjoining nursery, which gives them the opportunity to attend college and to start careers.
Liz Kendall MP said: "After listening to the young mums at Liberty House, I am even more determined to speak to the mayor about the proposed cut. Money spent here is money saved in the future. This is clearly a much-needed service in the city, and we need to have a proper discussion with the council and East Midlands Housing Association about how best to deliver it."
Liberty House is one of three teenage parent services supported by EMHA, with a total of 29 places in Leicester.
However, the landlord says that the service is under threat after the Government chose to cut the national Early Intervention Grant by a third.
Proposed Leicester City Council changes to the provisions for homeless people, which are currently being consulted on, state that there will be only 10 units of accommodation for teenage parents across the city.
"This is a vital service that meets the prevention agenda set by the Government. These places were specifically developed for vulnerable people, and provide value for money because of the positive outcomes that are achieved with teenage parents with often very complex needs," said Sally Taylor, EMHA's Head of Supported Housing.
One of Liberty House's tenants, 19-year-old Shannon Taylor, who lives in one of the flats with her eight-month-old daughter, Tavia, said: "I’ve learned so much since I’ve been here. Not just from the staff but from the other girls too, including some who have moved out. I feel more confident looking after my daughter now, and looking forward to the future."