Gayle's story

Gayle's story

Gayle is a 38 year old lady with Down’s Syndrome.  She lives in her own home in West Oxfordshire, shared with two other people, and close to her parents.

Gayle attended a special needs school before attending primary school and the local comprehensive school where she was in the special education unit.  She then went on to college part-time to learn independent living skills.   At home she had two brothers, one younger and one older.  When they left home for their further education her parents Ian and Mary were worried that she was getting a bit bored just being at home with them.  They started to think in earnest about her next step and a possible long-term living solution that would suit them all.

In 2001 they came across Advance Housing and in speaking to the shared ownership team they realised there was a possibility, through the HOLD (home ownership for people with long term disabilities) scheme, that Gayle could part-own her own home. 

In 2002 a four bedroom house close to where Ian and Mary (Gayle's parents) live was identified by Advance as a suitable purchase.  Two other families were also interested in this option and the families, Advance and the care team worked together to move the three shared owners into their new home in January 2003 where they receive 24/7 support.                    

Gayle helped to choose how her room was decorated and her independent living skills blossomed when she moved into the house.  She also enjoyed volunteering at the local college for a number of years.  Gayle meets her Mum for tea on a Friday and comes each week to their house for Sunday lunch.  They go on holiday each year and she also visits her brothers in London.

In 2006 one of the shared owner’s circumstances changed and he had to leave the property so a replacement shared owner was found.  Again Advance was heavily involved in assisting all parties in this change of part ownership of the property.

Ian and Mary said that they were guided every step of the way in the purchase process by Advance.  They have had to deal with changes in benefits and Support for Mortgage Interest over the years but the three families have supported each other to resolve any issues.

Part owning her own home has brought Gayle’s parents peace of mind knowing that she has somewhere to live in the long-term and that she is settled, happy and living as independently as is possible, with others.  It also gives them confidence, because Advance is the other partner in the shared ownership agreement, as they help to maintain the property over time.