Housing Day 2020
We are proud to be taking part in #Housing Day on Wednesday 7th October. This is an annual 24-hour social media event to celebrate the positive impact of social housing.
There is a different theme each year and this year's will focus on ‘the importance of home', in support of the national ‘Homes at the Heart’ campaign calling on the government for a once-in-a-generation investment in social housing.
Check out our Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages, for stories and quotes from residents, saying why a safe, secure place and somewhere they can call home is so important.
Helping a victim of Domestic Violence
Miss S had suffered a recent history of domestic abuse. Although several attempts were made for her to safely leave her partner, she always chose to remain within the home she shared with him. However, due to the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown, the situation quickly escalated and soon became intolerable. One day during the start of lockdown, Miss S safely left the property and called her Support Officer who had been in regular contact throughout due to the increased risk. Miss S informed the Officer of her location and that she was now homeless. Aware that this was an opportunity to escape her perpetrator and not return this time, the Support Officer informed Miss S that PHP had temporary furnished properties immediately available, so transport was arranged and she moved in that day. As Miss S had left with only one bag of clothing, the Support Officer arranged for additional furniture to be installed, using items from PHPs furniture recycling scheme and also gave further assistance so that Miss S would feel safe and supported.
We’re really pleased that Miss S has recently been nominated to remain at the property as a secure tenant. She now has a permanent home where she feels safe and secure.
Mrs S said: “I am truly grateful for all of the help PHP has given me. I would have never been able to leave without the support. I am finally able to live my life again. If anyone else is in the same position as I was, reach out and ask for help as it is there.”
I enjoyed it when I moved into my flat at the sheltered scheme and felt like I fitted in straight away. Where I was before it was only a bedsit. My new flat gave me more room and I could take my dog out more. I am doing volunteering now, it stops me self-harming and helps with my mood swings from my mental health. I get support from neighbours, I can have a coffee with them and it really helps as I have places to go when I feel anxious. I do bits of gardening, I have friends and because I feel settled here, I have been able to volunteer with PHP and helped with the food project.
Before Covid, I was also helping with the dinners at the scheme, I would collect the money, set the tables up in the mornings and helped to take the plates after the meal was finished. It helped me to get to know people. I feel more relaxed and comfortable now and my confidence has gone up. I feel valued, people appreciate me and what I do. I always have someone to talk to. It feels like home.
After living abroad for about ten years, I returned to the UK and bought a house thinking that I and my family would be secure for years to come. Unfortunately, due to the recession in the 1990s, I lost my house along with many others. Suddenly we were homeless. My wife and children went to live with her parents and me with mine, this lasted about two years. Eventually, we were offered a flat in a block of maisonettes on a housing estate in Poole and have been there ever since.
We have a great community spirit, always looking out for each other. This really showed itself during lockdown, when residents lucky enough to be able to go out were able to shop for others who were not so fortunate. One of the best things about local authority housing is you can be assured you have help in lots of different ways if needed.
It’s a shame that so many people in the private sector have a view that people who live in social housing are freeloaders, this is not true and really needs to be addressed. Lots of my friends were from Council Estates and went on to be successful in business later on.
As for me, I was raised on a Council Estate and know first-hand the comradeship and community which can develop!
“Social housing has given me a secure base to rebuild my life, add value to others and share in a sense of community that inspires me every day. Living in social housing is nothing to be ashamed of, you won’t find a better bunch of people because they are rich in community, speak their minds and know what the real value of life is. And what’s been a comfort about living in social housing during Lockdown, is the acts of community, resilience and kindness that you see every day. There is always someone to say hi and talk to.”
Joanne and her daughter Elsie lived in temporary accommodation for a number of months before moving into one of our new builds. Joanne said:
“I still can’t believe we’re here, it’s amazing and there’s so much space! I’ve seen such a change in Elsie too, especially as she has her own room, she’s so happy. I’m living somewhere that I can feel proud of and add my own personal touch to. I can invite my friends and family around now. Our neighbours are lovely, they have children of a similar age to Elsie and they often play together. Everyone is so nice and people are always ready to have a chat. It means the world to be here. It’s safe, secure and truly is our home.”
Carole has fond memories of growing up in council housing.
"When my parents were first married, they lived in a small flat in Poole. In 1952 due to their growing family, they were offered a two-bedroom house which was their first house together and when I came along, we moved to a three-bedroom house. A real sense of community existed. You knew everyone and people would look out for each other. We had such a wide variety of shops within the area, it really felt like a self-contained community and you just didn’t need to go further afield. I am still in touch with several of my friends from school. We meet up regularly and all have a shared affection for the estate we grew up on and agree unanimously they were really great times."
Derek & Sue share their story
“Due to some difficult circumstances in our lives, In 2004 we found ourselves in living in private rented accommodation. We were 6 years away from retirement and very aware that once we retired we would find it difficult to afford renting privately. We applied to go onto the housing register and 4 years later in 2008, we were eligible for Sheltered Housing. We love our home and feel safe in the assurance that we have a secured tenancy. We also have a lovely network of friends through being involved residents too.”