The project is co-designed with young people, who ‘own’ their house project, making both practical and financial decisions. The House Project Programme is accredited by AQA which gives participants EET status and supports them into a secure education and/or employment pathway.
The House Project approach is underpinned by a psychologically informed practice framework (ORCHIDS) which highlights the importance of autonomy, competence and relatedness on wellbeing, and staff are trained in trauma informed practice. The project is based on positive relationships and support continues for as long as young people need it.
The House Project originated in Stoke. Phase 2 saw it expand to five further localities. The National House Project charity was established in 2018 with ambitions to develop 30 House Projects in the next 5 years, and support existing pilots. Data identified by the project shows that, through the project, 64 young people are living independently and there have been no tenancy breakdowns or evictions. The average annual cost of running a project is £180k which is offset by moving one young person from independent residential placement (£230k).
The DfE-funded independent evaluation published in 2017 identified positive outcomes for participants, including: providing a home; improved self-esteem; a community of support; strengthened educational commitment and purposeful future pathways.