Everyone should have a chance at a stable home

“I’ve always been someone who likes to stand on my own two feet. I started working and moved out of my home just five days after leaving school. At 15, I had a steady job to pay for my own small flat.

Jump to 2007, I lived in a nice two-bedroom house in Temple Hill with my cat, and I could afford the rent easily. But then, I had an accident at work and needed a lot of time to get better, which messed up my money situation. My work paid me my full salary for 12 weeks and then half of it for another six weeks. They kept my job open for a year, but I started falling behind on rent with less money coming in. The council only helped pay for a one-bedroom flat, not enough for my house. My landlord was sympathetic and let me pay back the rent slowly, but I still owed an entire month’s rent.

On 3rd March 2007, my landlord and I agreed that I should leave the house. It was supposed to help me find a new place to live, but the council didn’t see me needing urgent help. They put me on a waiting list where I had to compete for homes. Even though I returned to work, I couldn’t afford a high rent or deposit of a private house.

After eight years of trying to get a council house, I asked for legal advice and talked to someone at the council. By then, I was taking care of my dad, who was very sick, and I couldn’t do that while moving from place to place. The council told me to try renting privately or find a shared place.

That’s when GCHA came in. They called me about a house I had tried for. Because I was busy caring for my dad, I said I’d only look at the house if I really had a chance of getting it. They agreed.

I saw the house on November 3rd, 2015, and immediately said I was ready to sign the papers. The next night, I met Felicity at the house, signed everything, and moved in.

GCHA really helped me a lot during this tough time. They understand that people need good homes, not just those in terrible situations. I waited a long time, but GCHA realised this wasn’t right.

Getting a house from GCHA before my dad died meant a lot to me. It showed how important it is for everyone to have a chance at a stable home, not just those in the worst situations.”


Do you have a story of your time as a GCHA resident that you would like to share? We’re collecting stories to put on our social media channels and on our website as we continue to celebrate our 60th anniversary. Please get in touch via general@gcha.org.uk and let us know your story!