TL's mother tells us how her son has thrived since moving into his own home.
“When our son returned to Sheffield following a spell at residential college we were really concerned that he would lose any independence skills he had learned. We also learned that he did not enjoy community living at all so that was not an option open to us. Also we wanted him to have the same opportunities as his sister to live away from us, despite the fact he is severely autistic, has a complex communication disorder, epilepsy, behaviour which challenges and a Learning disability.
We approached our local council and were introduced to a transition social worker, who told us about supported living and the option of shared ownership. After a lot of hard work on our part in finding suitable properties, we were introduced to My Safe Homes- a brilliant organisation- who told us about Advance Housing and family funded shared ownership- although family funded isn’t the only option for HOLD.
We found a house and Advance surveyed it and gave us the go ahead. We then put in 27% of the asking price, TL received benefits through the DWP for the other portion of the mortgage, which is in my son’s name, and Advance own 8%. This has worked really well as our son pays Housing benefit for the 8% and his repairs are done for him through Advance.
Once we had identified the house we all, including TL, had a meeting with Lee Abbey of My Safe Homes, who talked about mental capacity and understanding mortgages. With prompts and images TL was deemed to have sufficient mental capacity and then we worked with Advance Housing alongside us.
TL lives in a three bed-roomed semi-detached house, with a bathroom, dining room, lounge and kitchen. The house has revolutionised our son’s life. He loves his home so much that he won’t even visit us at ours- we always have to go to him. He is really proud of his home, calling it `The Castle’. He knows his address and proudly tells people who ask him where he lives. He lives “alone” albeit with 24:7 care. He is able to make simple choices about the colour he wants his walls painting, for example. Because he lives in the community he is known at the local shops and pub and tries hard to communicate with people in the shops, which is incredible as he is severely autistic. He is really happy for the most part and is well supported to ask his circle of support to visit him.
We know that, should he wish to stay in it, TL has a home for life without the problems of short term tenancies. This gives us great peace of mind.”