This is the story of 62 year old Sidney (Sid) and how HOLD has been used in an unusual way to help him part-own his own home.
Sid is from Gloucestershire and has mental health conditions. He lived with his Mum and step-Dad until they both passed away around 15 years ago. The house where Sid grew up was left to him when his Mum died and he struggled to do his best to maintain his home and himself.
When Sid stopped working a few years ago his neighbour Stu realised that his situation was becoming worse and he felt the `house was not fit for human habitation’. Neighbours kept an eye on Sid and one of them in particular, Colin, helped him out as best as he could. It seems that Sid was not able to look after himself and he did not have the finances to bring the property up to a habitable condition. The neighbours were very concerned as Sid didn’t seem to have any external support or benefits and his self-esteem was very low.
One of his neighbours, Colin had been aware of Advance and approached them about Sid and his situation to see if there was anything they could do through the HOLD scheme.
Through using a `recycled grant’ with the agreement of Homes England, Advance was able to buy the property from Sid then sell him back and portion. As part of that arrangement Advance needed to make the property safe and habitable. The house was always very cold as there no existing heating or floor coverings in the property. Sidney was always walking around with thick jumpers and coats and regularly struggled with colds, flu and chest infections due to the coldness of the property.
Sid had never lived anywhere else that he could remember and wasn’t keen to leave his home. Finding a rental property on very short term let in the area proved impossible so a novel solution was found and a cabin was built in the garden where Sid happily lived while the work was carried out. Running hot water was installed and general overall improvements were made to make the home habitable in the long term. The neighbours in the village all look out for Sidney and many donated new bedding, furniture and other items to help refurbish his new home.
Another neighbour, Stu checks in on Sid regularly and keeps an eye out for him. Stu said: “I’ve seen a difference in Sid since his home has been renovated. His hygiene has improved, he takes pride in his home and his self-esteem seems to be better as well.”
Mariana Senior, Home Ownership Manager reported that when she visited Sidney recently he said that he had never been so nice and warm as now. He was very grateful for Advance and loves his new home.