New Build, New Start
Every one of our 79,000 customers has their own story to tell, hear from Anthony as he tells us in his own words how he found himself living on his brother’s sofa after a relationship breakdown and how he found his feet again thanks to an Aster home.
You can read more stories like this from people just like Anthony all over the country in today’s #Housingday which is happening on Twitter and Facebook right now.
Join the conversation and share your thoughts about the sector and what it means to you to play your part.
Anthony Daniels, 35, has been an Aster customer for six weeks and in that short space of time his life has turned around – and according to him it’s all thanks to the ‘endless help and support’ from Aster.
Anthony was paying a mortgage on a house when his relationship broke down and sadly so did he. He said: “I was very unwell emotionally, work suffered, my finances suffered, and I was too proud to ask for help.”
He ended up talking to someone who suggested he should see if he could get help with housing. Anthony said: “I just assumed that because I was a single male, I was expected to work and wouldn’t be able to get any help.”
Anthony stayed with his brother sleeping on his sofa and applied for housing. With support from a homeless prevention officer he started to bid on properties but unfortunately, he was unsuccessful every week.
Then out of the blue he got a phone call to say there was a property for him in Oxfordshire.
Anthony recalls: “I had felt so low for such a long time that I thought it was all too good to be true, but I just went with it, not really expecting it to lead anywhere.”
Anthony was offered a newly built flat and says that the lettings officer was really helpful and he got a phone call within a few weeks to say he could collect the keys to his new home.
“I couldn’t believe it. Every day I still wake up and can’t believe what I’ve been given.”
Anthony says he has had ‘endless help’ from Aster, not just with finding a new home, but help with his CV and training courses to get him back into work.
“I was astonished by the help available from Aster – I didn’t know where to start or what I wanted to do next, but I knew that I wanted to work.”
“Aster is more than a housing association, people are there to help and cushion you when you need support – you shouldn’t feel ashamed to ask for help.”
Anthony’s physical health had suffered with the stress of his situation and at one point doctors told him he was at risk of having a stroke. Luckily, this is no longer the case and Anthony puts this down to the ‘overwhelming support’ he’s received from Aster.
With his physical and emotional health improving on a daily basis, Anthony felt ready to get a part time job to help support himself. He said: “My health has been improving since I moved into the flat – you can’t put a price on that.”
Anthony describes the feeling of living in his home as ‘lovely’ and recognises that there’s a partnership between Aster and its customers saying, “As customers we have to make the effort too, it works both ways.”
Anthony is settling in to his new home well and wants to share his experience so other people know they’re not alone.
“I really want single men out there who may be thinking they’re on their own that you’re really not – there is help out there.”
“Social housing is so looked down upon, but I live in a brand new flat in a stunning location – I couldn’t ask for more.”
Anthony talks fondly of the ‘strong team of people’ at Aster who have helped him on his journey so far, saying: “I feel like I have a support network of people who genuinely care – everybody does what they say they will.”
“I have had such a positive experience with Aster and I am grateful to have been given a second chance in life.”