Trevor was married for 25 years when he lost his wife, his job and his home all within six months.
Luckily, he had a friend who was in the process of selling their house and allowed Trevor to live there. However, when they sold the house, Trevor had two weeks to find somewhere to live.
“I lost everything,” said Trevor. “In the space of six months, I went from having a wife, two kids and a beautiful house, to nothing. I was living in a house in Shipley, on the dole. The house was sold and I had to be out within two weeks. I had never heard of Yorkshire Housing because I had never rented anything before. My family and social and support network are in Bingley so I wanted to be there.”
But it wasn’t easy to find somewhere.
“No one would take me on”, said Trevor. “Private landlords were asking for six months’ rent up front, which I couldn’t afford. I went on Rightmove and saw a flat from Yorkshire Housing so I contacted them. Natalie [Yorkshire Housing neighbourhood officer] said to come and view the property. My situation was serious because I was going to be homeless in weeks. Some people lie about this but I was really up against it. I didn’t think I would get it.”
Trevor was successful in getting the apartment and can now begin to get his new life on track thanks.
“I got the two-bedroom apartment in Bingley and my daughter will come and stay with me. So I am getting back on my feet, thanks to Natalie and Yorkshire Housing. I am so relieved now. I feel I have a little bit of security. I had nothing. I thought I would be sleeping in my car. I really appreciate the help.”
Asked about social housing and the perceived stigma related to it, Trevor said: “It is not about perception it is putting across that you have security. Sometimes it is the bad reputation of an area that is seen more than the people living there.
“For me, social housing is a stepping stone. I can move forward now. It gives you the stability that you wouldn’t have with a private landlord. You feel that you would be out on the street next week with a private landlord. There is more stability here.”