YMCA East London (FYMCA) residents, staff and guests came together on Thursday 17 July at the charity’s headquarters to celebrate the opening of the first 10 mYPads in Walthamstow.
mYPads are modular self-contained studios developed by FYMCA in response to the complete absence of housing in London which can be afforded by ex-homeless young people who have gained employment at the minimum wage.
Among the guests to mark this important phase in the developing mYPad story were Jennette Arnold, Greater London Assembly Member for North East London, and Cllr Saima Mahmud, ward councillor for the London Borough of Waltham Forest.
YMCA East London Chief Executive, Timothy Pain said:
‘I thank Jennette and Saima for their committed support of the mYPad project; it would not have happened without their personal interventions.
I am deeply disappointed that such an affluent city as London does not provide any accommodation which can be afforded by young homeless people who have worked hard to turn their lives round and secure employment. We have developed mYPads to give our employed residents dignity, self-respect and their first private space for only one third of their minimum wage. It’s a vital temporary stepping stone between living in a hostel and securing a rented property. It has been a long hard road to reach today, but it is with great pleasure that we witness the start of something liberating.’
Before cutting the ribbon to open the mYPads, Jeannette Arnold said:
‘We have to take responsibility for our young people, and we should not be satisfied that so many vulnerable young people lack their own space. YMCA East London’s innovative mYPads put hope back on the table for young people living on minimum wage who desperately want a space of their own. I am delighted to have played a part in getting the mYPad project off the ground, and am proud to have been asked to open London’s first mYPad scheme.’
The Guardian and nPower listed the mYPads as one of the UK’s ten greenest new housing projects of 2013.
YMCA East London will be opening 20 mYPads in Leyton this autumn.
Image: Jennette Arnold cuts ribbon. See the development of the mYPads on our mYPad image page