New housing scheme to help vulnerable young people set to open at Aylsham

John Archibald of Victory Housing trust hands over the keys of Forward Court to Diana Clarke of The

John Archibald of Victory Housing trust hands over the keys of Forward Court to Diana Clarke of The Benjamin Foundation, watched by Catherine Underwood of Norfolk County Council (left) and Cllr Roger Foulger of Broadland District Council (right) - Credit: Archant

A new housing scheme helping vulnerable young people into independent living at Aylsham will have its first residents by the end of the month.

Forward Court in Station Road near the Bure Valley Railway station is a new £800,000 building containing seven self-contained one-bedroom flats.

They will be made available to young people aged between 16 and 24 who are at risk of social exclusion and/or homelessness, to help them transition into independent living.

The facility also includes a communal area and accommodation for support workers from the Benjamin Foundation which will run it.

The housing complex has been created through a unique partnership between Victory Housing Trust, Broadland District Council and Norfolk County Council.

It was built by Victory, which invested £415,000, on land owned by Broadland District Council, which invested £245,000, while the remaining £140,000 cost was met with grant funding from the Homes and Communities Agency.

Benjamin Foundation chairman Diana Clarke said, 'We are delighted to be able to support the young people who will live here.

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'Our staff will help the residents in all parts of their lives, from education and employment to cooking and budgeting, so that they can become confident, independent young adults.'

Sue Whitaker, cabinet member for adult social services at Norfolk County Council said, 'I welcome this small but innovative scheme to help young people get on their feet and smooth their path to independent living.'

Victory chief executive John Archibald said the scheme was the culmination of 'great partnership working.'

And Roger Foulger, Broadland District Council's portfolio holder for communities and housing, said it would 'make a huge difference to the 16 to 24 year olds that move in and benefit from this new and innovative scheme.'