Younger people seeking accommodation across Chorley and South Ribble are being given support through a new house-share scheme.

The scheme is being piloted by Leyland-based social landlord Progress Housing Group and South Ribble based youth charity Key.

The OurPlace project offers shared accommodation and ongoing support to people under the age of 35 who are looking for accommodation and may not want to live on their own or can’t afford to.

By offering a house-share rather than the social isolation of a temporary single-bed property, Progress Housing Group and Key aims to give people who can no longer live with their family, or are in need of accommodation, a better i ntroduction to living independently.

As part of the project, prospective tenants are asked to take part in pre-tenancy training provided by Key, which is designed to equip them with the skills to attain and sustain their own tenancy.

The training covers topics on the rights and responsibilities of being a tenant, budgeting, debt, paying bills to health cooking on a budget.

The first young people to take part in the OurPlace project are James Timms, 19 Amanda Blakeley, 27 and Zoe-Marie Belshaw, 23, who moved into a shared house in South Ribble in May.

Zoe-Marie was facing homelessness due to family breakdown and was looking for accommodation when she was told about the OurPlace project.

She said: “I needed to find a place to live fast but wasn’t keen at the thought of living on my own. The OurPlace project was perfect for me as I didn’t think I could afford living by myself.

“Sharing the house means that the rent is a lot lower as we all pay for our own rooms but split the bills.”