Cardiff YMCA Housing Association

Work Incentive Scheme

The Scheme gives homeless participants a range of incentives to encourage and support them into voluntary work, training and employment whilst living at the hostel, to help move them away from benefit dependancy.

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Registered Charity in England and Wales (1015485)




  • Education/Training/EmploymentEducation/Training/Employment
  • Health/WellbeingHealth/Wellbeing
  • Poverty Alleviation/ReliefPoverty Alleviation/Relief


  • Women & GirlsWomen & Girls
  • Young People (18-30)Young People (18-30)
  • OtherOther



The disincentives to work whilst in receipt of Housing Benefit and living in a homeless hostel have been overcome at Cardiff YMCA HA by developing the Work Incentive Scheme. The Scheme gives participants a range of incentives intended to encourage and support them into training and work whilst living at the hostel. The scheme has been operational since 2004 with numbers increasing throughout that time from an occasional worker to a steady 20% of hostel residents having a place on the scheme. Staff support and motivate residents to find and maintain paid or voluntary work and help set up work and voluntary placements. Not only has the scheme benefited the individuals involved, it has promoted a positive work culture within the hostel and demonstrates that it is not always unwillingness to work that is at the root of the unemployment issue. We would like to continue and develop this scheme for hostel residents in Cardiff. The operating costs of which, are £40,000 pa. The WIS is unique in hostel provision in Cardiff and its incentives give added value to the Foyer placements. To date WIS has been cited on Radio Wales, promoted at the Cardiff County Council Annual Homelessness Conference, the Connect Housing Magazine, Supporting People News Letter, and in recognition of its success, has been awarded the Pat Chown Award for Innovation in Housing.