Housing Changes Lives: New affordable home
SFHA's Housing Changes Lives campaign is highlighting why it’s vital that all political parties commit to investing in the social housing sector because of the impact that housing associations and co-operatives' homes and services have on tenants' lives.
The Gray family, Home Group
Moriag Gray and her family were able to move into a new three-bedroom home thanks to the team at Home Group Scotland. Despite the pandemic and various lockdowns, the team ensured that the family were moved into a suitable home and that everyone had the space they needed.
Moriag Gray said: “I’ve only been a Home Group customer since February last year, but I don’t think I could go back to a private landlord now. The team have been beyond fantastic. I managed to move to a new house twice last year and get married. I could never have done it without them.
“We initially moved into a two-bedroom Home Group flat in Kirkliston at the end of February 2020. The flat was great but, as we quickly discovered, our two girls aged 11 and 14 really needed their own space to focus on home-schooling and to be able to socialise online with friends due to the pandemic. They didn’t have their own rooms, and we had to convert one of the cupboards as a makeshift office space.”
Moriag built up a strong relationship with housing manager, Magdalena, who knew the family needed more space and worked hard to make it happen.
Moriag continued: “Magdalena couldn’t have been more supportive. She knew that we needed an extra bedroom and was on the lookout for a bigger flat for us.”
But Magdalena did better than a flat and managed to secure a three-bedroom house for the family. Moriag was given the keys on 18 December and, after a lot of help from Magdalena, the family moved in on the 22 December.
Moriag added: “We were absolutely thrilled with the house and decided to surprise the kids with it. My husband filmed their reactions at seeing the house for the first time, and they were over the moon.”
On top of the house moves in 2020, Moriag had another big event to organise – her wedding.
As Moriag and Andi both work in the food industry, they have remained working throughout the pandemic, and the new home means that the girls have their own space to work and socialise with friends online.
Moriag concluded: “I can’t thank Home Group enough for this opportunity. We would never have been able to get a home this size in Edinburgh without their help, and they have really made the last year more bearable. Because the team were so efficient and organised, it meant I had more time to work, home school and plan my wedding. They really made a big difference.”
As part of its Scottish Parliament election manifesto asks, SFHA is calling on all political parties to commit to delivering 53,000 affordable homes, including 37,100 for social rent, between 2021 and 2026.
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