As a housing association our responsibilities go beyond standard landlord duties and support is always available to residents in need. In this case the solution for a resident in need of help actually resulted in the end of his tenancy with us, but was the right outcome for him.
Jonah* was a long-standing resident who occupied a top floor flat. This suited him until he unfortunately suffered a stroke which affected one side of his body and speech. Placed in respite care to recover, he eventually decided to check himself out and return home. Carers visited his home four times a day to help with cooking and dressing etc. whilst other agencies provided assistance with mobility and speech.
Jonah missed his independence as he could no longer manage the stairs from his flat and was completely reliant on carers to help him get in and out. As result he felt isolated and deeply unhappy.
His Housing Officer (HO) recognised Jonah’s worsening condition and started to look for suitable alternative accommodation for him. The HO would visit sheltered housing schemes on his behalf and take videos of the viewings to show Jonah. Finally, a suitable home came up and his HO arranged - through an Occupational Therapist - to transport Jonah and a friendly neighbour in a wheelchair adapted taxi to view the accommodation. He was delighted with the flat because he would be able to access the front door and garden without assistance.
Whilst the flat was being prepared, Jonah returned home to sort things out before moving. Unfortunately, the stroke affected progress and packing his things presented a real challenge for him. To assist, his HO arranged for a Discretionary Housing Payment to pay his deposit advance on the new flat and also go toward a packing and moving service.
The next step was to get back in touch with Jonah’s Occupational Therapist to arrange for specialist equipment to be delivered to his new home. This included a hospital bed and electric wheelchair which would enable him to live independently in his new ground floor flat.
The HO had also recognised that Jonah was not getting the appropriate income that he was entitled to and so applied for an Attendance Allowance for him.
This was a very complex case that involved many different agencies working together and recognising that things many of us take for granted were hard for Jonah in his condition.
The process has taken ten months from beginning to end but Jonah will be moving into his new home at the beginning of December, just in time for a Christmas which he can now enjoy independently.
The work and dedication shown by our Housing Officer highlights just how important people are to a social landlord. Jonah may no longer be an Accent resident but we are thrilled to have helped him achieve a much better quality of life.