Our stories: Homes for Independent Living
We are proud to share some of the stories of people who have used our Homes for Independent Living services.
Please note names have been changed for confidentiality.
Adapted home for an adapting life
Jane was a tenant living in a one bedroom flat. Due to health issues she couldn’t stay there as needed full time care and due to the location of the property she would have been housebound.
Jane was temporarily living with a partner who was caring for her in another housing association property, however this wasn’t suitable for her disabilities or large enough for the family.
A larger adapted property became available this was offered as a transfer for Jane. Her partner then gave up his housing association tenancy to move in and made a joint tenant, so they didn’t lose their rights.
Since moving in we’ve adapted the bathroom to a wet room and they are very happy in their new home.
Reversing the downward spiral
Victor’s story …
Victor is a tenant in Homes for Independent Living who was working and paying rent. Due to health issues he had to stop working and the rent was not being paid. We realised there was an issue when the direct debits started failing as Victor did not make contact to let us know.
Through persistence we managed to make contact at the property and find out about the situation and give Victor advice on applying for benefits and help with completing the forms.
Victor had anxiety and depression which caused him to bury his head in the sand and not deal with his issues and he had a lot of debts. We also helped him to apply for a Discretionary Housing Payment to go towards his arrears. He was also granted a payment from our Tenant Welfare fund to buy credit for his phone as he had no money to top it up so couldn’t make the applications as he was finding it very difficult to go out.
Support referrals were made to external agencies and food bank vouchers given. Throughout we followed procedure and got a court order in place, which helped as it meant that the DHP was paid and half of the arrears were cleared. Benefits were put back into place and Victor is now getting on top of his other debts. Universal Credit is now paying us directly and Victor has started working again. Though there are still arrears Victor is working to reducing these and we will continue to support him to sustain his tenancy.
Persistence pays off
Mr and Mrs Acorn’s story …
Mr and Mrs Acorn used to live in a Squared three-bedroom house in Luton for many years. During the period of their tenancy their family got bigger and bigger and their last child was also disabled.
The three-bedroom house became very small and unsuitable for them. They were on the transfer list for suitable 4/5-bedroom accommodation for many years without success as this type of accommodation is rare to come by.
They turned down many offers of accommodation as felt it was not big enough or suitable for their family.
In 2019, they bid for a new built 4-bedroom house in Luton and came first but unfortunately were denied the opportunity because there was another family in more need than them.
We supported them to speak to the council and make a compelling case by gathering evidence from all the medical professionals that had worked with them. Eventually they were given a brand new four-bedroom house with a ground floor wet room adapted to meet the needs of their disabled child.
They accepted the offer and moved into their new home at the end of 2019.
The flooring conundrum
Mary’s story …
Mary is one of our vulnerable tenants living in a ground floor flat in one of our blocks of flats in a nice location.
She is very much into cleanliness and requested that her sitting room carpet flooring be replaced with a new laminated floor because of her sickness, although there wasn’t anything wrong with the carpet and there was no reason for us to replace it.
We negotiated with Mary to help her buy brand new laminated flooring worth about £700 and agreed for her to pay it back over 18 months. We also fitted the floor free of charge. Mary was very happy and grateful with the outcome.
Unleashing the artist inside
John’s story …
John was a tenant living in an HMO (house of multiple occupation) which Squared purchased in 2017. John had been living in the HMO for a few years and unfortunately the living conditions meant he had to share facilities and did not get much privacy. He was not coping well, and his wellbeing was being affected. He was asked if he would like to go onto our transfer list which of course, he did and was soon added onto the list. Before he knew it, he was being offered a flat of his own.
John moved in and immediately made the flat his home. He was given some information on Music 24 as John was in a band and played the ukulele. Music 24 is a Luton based charity who play music to people suffering with Dementia. John fitted in very well with the group and has now been volunteering every week for 3 years. He has also found his inner artist and has taken to art work to occupy his mind. John is ever so thankful to Squared for giving him a flat so he could start a new chapter in his life, as his whole lifestyle has changed for the better and his wellbeing and health has improved.
Sharing is caring
Anna’s story …
Anna had always worked but unfortunately became unemployed which caused her to feel anxious and worried about how she would pay the rent and live. She called her Customer Relationship Manager (CRM) who immediately put her mind at ease, providing her with advice on the process to claim benefits and signposted Anna to other organisations such as the Food Bank and Luton Rights who could help.
Following the advice from her CRM, Anna was able to apply for Universal Credit to help pay her rent and they also discussed a payment arrangement which was suitable for Anna, to pay any arrears on her account. Luton Rights, who help people find employment, put her onto an IT course and she learnt new skills she would never have learnt in her old job. She then successfully went on to find a job in the care sector that she had always wanted to do. She has now been there for 3 years and loves it as she gets to help people in her community.