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Tenant rebuilds his life with a Together Housing home

Tenant rebuilds his life with a Together Housing home

To meet Craig Oddy now, it’s hard to believe how much his life has changed for the better. In just a few years, he has gone from sleeping rough in a train station in Bradford, to having a warm flat and being back in work. Craig says moving into a Together Housing home played a big part in rebuilding his life.

After his marriage ended, Craig lost his home and his job. His mental health suffered and he was in such a bad way he had to go to A&E. Craig couldn’t pay his rent and ended up on the streets for a short time. “It was soul destroying,” says Craig, “it was winter, freezing cold. I had couple of nights in a hostel and then it was a case of finding a shop doorway or sitting in Bradford Interchange for the night. I had nothing, just the clothes I stood in.”

Craig managed to get a temporary bedsit and from there moved into a flat managed by another housing association. The photo taken at the time shows the few possessions he had when he moved in, but at least he had a roof over his head.

Image 1 Craig Oddy

 

Craig Oddy

Unfortunately, that was just a short-term tenancy and soon he was looking for new accommodation.

After Craig put in a bid for a Together Housing flat, the Neighbourhood Officer suggested another place that he might like in a different part of town and he took it. “At that time I was doing temporary and voluntary work,” says Craig, “but then I had another problem – I was put onto Universal Credit. My first payment was delayed and I didn’t want to get behind with my rent. I didn’t know what to do.”

Craig spoke to Together Housing and an extra payment to cover his rent arrears was arranged to start as soon as he got his Universal Credit. “They were really helpful,” says Craig, “and it only took a phone call to sort it out.” If you move onto Universal Credit, tell Together Housing immediately. You can text UC HELP to 66099 and one of our friendly, expert advisors will contact you, or you can phone your Customer Service Centre.

“By now I was ready to go back into full time work,” says Craig. “I had a proper home and I was feeling much better.” He applied for a job at a DIY store and after starting on 24 hours a week, Craig is now working 39 hours a week. “I can’t believe how much my life has changed in a few years. I’ve got a job I love and have a nice, warm flat to come home to at the end of the day. Having both my home and my job has given a massive boost to my confidence. My feeling of self-worth has returned and best of all I’m now back in touch with my family.”

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