AN out-of-use care home has been turned into affordable housing for young people in the community at risk of and affected by homelessness.

Youth homelessness charity Rock Trust has partnered with Almond Housing Association to transform the semi-derelict building in Livingston, West Lothian, into two shared-living homes plus a staff facility for the Rock Trust support team.

The first residents will move into their new homes later this month.

A Rock Trust project worker will be on hand to engage the young people with a new “live and work” programme that aims to help them into education, employment or training so they can study or work while they benefit from the affordable rents.

Alistair MacDermid, assistant director of services at Rock Trust, said: “We know there is a significant issue with supply and demand of accommodation in the area which is resulting in large numbers of young people having to stay in unsuitable accommodation for increasingly intolerable periods.

“We also know that a lack of secure and reliable accommodation is often a barrier to employment. We want to go some way to addressing these issues for local young people.”

The success of this renovation and the future of the programme itself is down to the commitment of multiple funders and the local community.

A group of volunteers from M&G plc spent a day building furniture, painting rooms and sprucing up the gardens ready for the move-in date.

“Live and work” project worker Katie Holt said: “Many of the new residents will be living independently for the first time, so we will also support them to learn skills such as cooking, cleaning, budgeting, anything to help them make a success of their living situation and help them in the future.”

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Holt is pictured at work in the garden at the site with Rock Trust supporter Eilidh Gardner (right).

Almond Housing Association CEO John Davidson added: “Almond is proud to have been able to support Rock Trust with the launch of this new scheme.

“We are determined to work with local partner agencies to have real and meaningful impact on our communities and this scheme is a great example of doing just that.”