Now in its eighth year, #HousingDay celebrates ‘the importance of home’, the key role a decent, safe and genuinely affordable home plays in people’s lives.
Not many understand the real meaning of a true home more than Warrington Housing Association tenant Margaret who has lived through the trauma of childhood abuse, foster care and bereavement, abusive marriage, and the spectre of homelessness.
In fact, the former teacher would go as far as to say, being able to access affordable social housing when she needed it most “saved her life”.
Margaret ended her abusive marriage after becoming afraid for her small children’s safety. Her husband left the family, sold the house from under them, and went back to live with his parents.
With no family of her own to turn to, Margaret said: “We were left without a home. I had nothing of my own; no money, but we could not stay in that situation. I needed to protect my children, with my very life if necessary. That is when I was put in touch with Warrington Housing Association.”
Margaret, then in her thirties, was determined not to let history repeat itself.
She said: “I only had a small teacher’s pension and social security but WHA was so kind and, I would say, saved my life. If it had not been for their support, my little brood may not have survived without being put into care. I was determined not to let that happen as it had to me.
“They provided me and my three small children a lovely home that I still live in now. I and my three toddlers began a new life in this lovely house.”
That “decent, safe and genuinely affordable home” gave the family the safety and springboard they needed to thrive.
Margaret added: “I’m so proud of my three children. My son is now an architect. My middle daughter is a staff nurse at Warrington General Hospital and my oldest daughter is a very experienced care worker for the disabled.”
“I am so grateful for all the help and support I have received from Warrington Housing Association for saving my life and that of my children, who are now serving the community as their life’s work.”
Margaret, now 70, still enjoys the support of Warrington Housing Association as she plays an active role at WHA’s over-50s centre LifeTime. She spent the lockdown taking part in quizzes and exercise classes over Zoom and Facebook art tutorials, in between helping her keyworker daughter with childcare.
She added: “Thank you WHA for all the support throughout this Covid crisis. God bless you.”