I have worked with Marie for around 6 months. She was referred to me as herself and her family were living in temporary accommodation and had accumulate large rent arrears. The family were unable to big for properties through Swindon Homebid because of their arrears. Marie and her family failed the affordability assessment due to over spending in some areas, leaving the family believing that they were unable to pay their rent.
During the time that myself and Maisie, her Housing Officer worked with Marie, she has made some very positive changes to the way that herself and her family spend money. Marie has now paid off all of her rent arrears and is now bidding to move in to a Council property. Below Marie tells us about her experience of working through the Green Light to Housing programme.
How did you feel when you were first told that you were being referred to the Green Light to Housing programme?
I was worried and anxious because I didn't know what to expect. I thought everything would be okay after doing affordability assessment. I didn't realise the changes I would have to make, because I was classed as homeless and living in temporary accommodation I didn't think I would have to do this. I am glad that I have done it now.
How has the Green Light to Housing programme helped your family?
It has helped me to see where we were spending our money and what things we didn't really need or were able to cut back on. Jenna advised me to set up direct debits to pay for my bills and I have found that since setting these up, I don't feel so anxious about receiving bills, final demands and threats of court anymore, because I know its being paid each month. I feel like a weight has been lifted now that I don't have these worries.
Would you say that the programme is worth following?
Yes, because Jenna helped me to realise what things I could save money on. Like you know, I was getting my nails and hair done every couple of weeks. I don't get my nails done anymore and I'm thinking of growing my hair long just for a change. It has helped me to see where I have been wasting my money. I will continue to keep up with these changes once I move into my new home.
Since living in temporary accommodation it has been Jenna and Maisie that have helped me out of my situation. Jenna had not just done her bit by passing me onto the correct person but she really cares and has continued to support my family when I have had any questions. Maisie kept me up to date on any changes with rent and answered any other payment queries that I've had. They have both gone above and beyond their jobs. What they do with the affordability work could be seen as nosey, but they have really helped me to find ways to tweak spending and can help people get ready to be accepted into a Council home.
We have moved around a lot and can't wait to get a place. We are now bidding for properties so that we can move to a place that we are able to make our home for years to come.
To find out more about the Green Light to Housing programme, click here.