We're supporting Homes at the Heart

We’re supporting Homes at the Heart – a national campaign calling on the government to make a once-in-a-generation investment in social housing.

It’s a rallying call for the powers that be to put social homes at the heart of the plan for social and economic recovery following the coronavirus crisis.

The pandemic has highlighted the need for secure, high-quality, affordable homes and, for many people, support to live in them.

The National Housing Federation, which is leading the campaign, says investing in social housing will help the country recover from the pandemic by boosting the economy, creating jobs and improving people’s lives when our nation needs it most.

Some of the worst affected by the crisis include low-paid key workers living in homes they can’t afford, rough sleepers, homeless families in temporary accommodation, older people in unsupported homes, and families stuck in overcrowded conditions.

One woman who really appreciates her new PCH home is Nikki Waters, who was desperate to find somewhere to live before the birth of her baby next week.

House hunting while heavily pregnant was no easy task, especially during lockdown, when viewings were cancelled.

She eventually carried out an online viewing for one of our homes near Butcher’s Park Hill in Tavistock.

Nikki said: “I was sleeping on my mum’s sofa and also sofa surfing with friends and I was getting to the stage where I was having to consider private rented housing because I really needed somewhere – but they weren’t doing viewings.

“My current home came up and I did an online viewing. I was really happy with how it looked. When I saw it in real life, it looked even better than the pictures.

“From the day I viewed it until moving in was just a week and a half.”

Nikki is supportive of the Homes at the Heart campaign, adding: “It’s especially important for young people. I know quite a few people who don’t have anywhere to go.”

As you can see from the images, many of our other residents are also backing this campaign.

Mum Rachel Clancy said: “PCH has kept me informed during lockdown. The weekly emails and text messages have provided the latest up-to-date information meaning I could keep myself and my family as safe as possible.”

Alex West-Thomas added: “In our safe, secure sanctuary we all know as home, we were filled with warmth and the hope that during this pandemic we will all be protected.”

John Clark, Chief Executive of Plymouth Community Homes, said: “We fully support the Homes at the Heart campaign – having a safe, secure home was at the very centre of the country’s strategy to protect people from the spread of Coronavirus, and that will continue to be key to our long-term recovery. At PCH we strongly believe that a good life starts with a good, affordable home, and to make sure everyone has that chance, we need to invest in housing as a country.

“That means building more homes, improving the standard of existing homes and making sure rents are affordable for those on low incomes. It also means providing support to help people keep their homes and nurturing the kind of community spirit that helped us to get through the Coronavirus pandemic so that neighbourhoods thrive.

“We will play our part locally, regionally and nationally to ensure that the interests of residents living in Plymouth and the South West are front and centre of the Homes at the Heart campaign.”

The campaign is a partnership between the Chartered Institute of Housing, Crisis, the National Federation of ALMOs, the Association of Retained Council Housing and the National Housing Federation; along with over 60 supporters from across different sectors – from Carers UK to NatWest.

For more information on the #HomesAtTheHeart campaign visit: www.housing.org.uk/HomesAtTheHeart.