Jenny* had been a resident with us for a long time with no issues ever raised over her tenancy throughout. She came onto our radar when the Fire Service contacted us following a fire incident at the property.
They told us that her home was in a state and that we may want to take a look. A Housing Officer and Tenancy Sustainability Officer went out to visit Jenny to view the property. She didn’t answer the door and there was no response to calls through the letterbox explaining who they were. Concerned for Jenny’s welfare, the decision was taken to contact the Police – something which was again communicated through the letterbox.
When concerns were raised with the Police it turned out there were other agencies concerned about Jenny’s welfare too. As a result, there was no choice but to gain entry to the property. When the door was pushed, it became apparent that something was blocking it. Eventually Jenny came to the door having removed a barricade that she installed across the door frame.
She said she was very embarrassed by the state of her home but our Officers reassured her they had come to assist. Once inside, it was clear that Jenny was living in a dangerous environment with mess and disorder in all of the main living rooms. Talking with Jenny it became clear that 3 bereavements and the end of a long-term relationship had hit her hard and she had steadily declined. The situation at home had got so bad that she no longer had family over because she was ashamed.
Our Officers suggested a service offered by our partner Enserve which could be arranged for clearing and cleaning her home. Payment for this service was agreed on a re-charge basis to be paid back in instalments. Jenny agreed to this and the visit was duly arranged. Despite her initial excitement, prior to enserve’s visit our Tenancy Sustainability Officer received a message from Jenny saying that she had concerns over such an invasive clean of all of her rooms. A compromise was reached with enserve agreeing to approach one room per visit rather than the whole job. Jenny felt this would work much better for her.
Our Tenancy Sustainability Officer received a really positive message from Jenny saying, “My kitchen has been cleared and it looks lovely. I can now fully enjoy my flat again”.
The newly cleared and cleaned rooms gave Jenny her space back and the chance to start over. Her family had also been invited for a visit now she could accommodate them at her home.
A follow-up visit from our Housing Officer confirmed Jenny has kept up to her new space and she was most complimentary about the service she had received.
We fully encourage residents to come forward and speak with us should anything affect home life. We have access to a wide range of support services through our Tenancy Sustainability team.
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*Not actual resident name.