The Exeter warehouse that's been transformed into affordable homes

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An abandoned Exeter warehouse is being renovated and turned into 26 new homes for young people who are ready to move out of supported accommodation.

The self-contained studio flats will help to house local people who are ready to live independently but cannot find anywhere affordable to go.

The YMCA says the new homes are part of an initiative to tackle Exeter's housing crisis.

They say that in the past year housing need has increased by almost a quarter, with more than 350 young people waiting for one-bed accommodation in the city.

At Sidwell Studios the rent for the one-bedroom apartments will cost £140 per week including bills and wi-fi.

The flats will cost only £140 a week inclusive of bills and Wi-Fi.

No deposit or advance rent payments are required to begin a tenancy and housing benefit will be accepted.

It's hoped the Sidwell Studios will help young people to feel embedded in their community and provide financial security, according to the YMCA.

It says staff will provide early intervention to any residents getting into financial difficulty with a focus on getting the tenancy back on track.

Gemma Mathews, 26, has been supported by the YMCA to get her qualifications and she hopes to move into one of the 26 flats - the first she will be able to call her own.

The supermarket worker said: "Trying to find a flat in Exeter is really expensive. I don't understand why it has to be so high. You know, it's just so difficult for me or for anybody else to find a flat of their own."

The £2.7million refurbishment of the warehouse was carried out during the pandemic.

The building has transformed from what it used to look like as a warehouse.

Simon Jones from the YMCA said 62% of all housing need in Exeter is for one-bed accommodation and "there just isn't any of it"

He added: "There's massive demand. I mean this is the biggest need in the city without a doubt."