Foyers for young people

Foyers provide housing for young people and help with education, training and finding work. You usually have to arrange a place through the council or a local advice centre.

What is foyer accommodation?

Foyers offer affordable accommodation for young people, usually between the ages of 16 to 25, who are homeless or in housing need and want to develop skills and prepare for living independently.

Foyers vary in size and the amount of support they offer. Some are converted houses which can house up to 20 people. Others are in larger purpose-built hostels that can house up to 100 people.

Foyer accommodation is usually nicer than in hostel or bed and breakfast accommodation. You may have your own furnished bedsit or flat. Normally you have your own key and you can come and go as you please.

You can usually stay in a foyer for between six months and 2 years.

Meals are not normally provided. You buy and cook your own food. There are some rules to follow, but these are usually more relaxed than in hostels.

Workers at a foyer are based at there 24 hours a day. They can help you find affordable accommodation and access grants for things like furniture when you leave.

Find more information about foyers from the Foyer Federation.

Education and training at foyers

While you stay in a foyer, you must sign up to an education and training programme. This is based on the skills you already have and the type of job you are interested in.

Foyers usually work closely with careers services and training agencies. Some foyers also have job clubs for non-residents. Many have arrangements with local employers who may be able to provide work experience, apprenticeships and eventually permanent jobs.

If you refuse to get involved in the education and training programme, you won't be allowed to stay.

How much do foyers cost?

The rent in foyers can be expensive. If you claim benefits or have a low-income, you can claim housing benefit.

Your benefits may not cover all the rent and won't cover meals, cleaning or bills, even if they are included in the rent. You will probably have to pay the difference from your other income.

Staff at the foyer can help you claim and check whether you can get any other benefits.

How can you get a place in a foyer?

You can apply directly to some foyers. For others you arrange a place through an emergency hostel, the council, social services or an advice centre. Some foyers only accept referrals from local councils, social workers, or a housing advice centre.

If you are leaving care, your personal adviser may be able to arrange a place for you.

To get into a foyer you usually need to complete an application form, have an interview and provide identification. You sign an agreement saying that you will stick to the rules and take part in education and training schemes.

Get advice if you need help with your application.

Use Shelter's directory to find a face-to-face adviser in your area

Get information about foyers in your area from your local council.

Being evicted from a foyer

When you move into a foyer you usually sign an assured shorthold tenancy if you are aged over 18.

If the foyer wants to evict you they have to follow the correct legal procedures and obtain a court order and a warrant for possession. 

You can be evicted from a foyer if you:

  • don't pay the rent
  • don't follow your training programme
  • cause a nuisance to other residents

Talk to one of the foyer workers as soon as possible if you don't feel foyer accommodation is right for you or you are falling behind with your rent.

If you are aged 16 or 17 and were referred by social services, they must offer you continued support if you are evicted. If they don't, get specialist legal advice.

Use Shelter's directory to find a face-to-face adviser in your area

Call Shelter's Advice Line on 0808 800 4444 if you are threatened with eviction.

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