We are highlighting the contribution supported housing makes to Stoke-on-Trent as part of today’s Starts at Home day.

‘Starts at Home’, now in its second year and run by the National Housing Federation, celebrates how supported housing helps hundreds of thousands of vulnerable people regain their independence and confidence.

We provide a wide range of vital supported housing services including sheltered accommodation, refuges for domestic violence victims, and supported housing.

Our support comes as uncertainty surrounds the future funding of supported housing. The National Housing Federation and its members are campaigning to persuade the Government to commit to ensuring that every person who needs extra support has a home that meets their needs.

As part of the campaign, we have also written to local MP’s Gareth Snell and Jack Brereton calling on them to champion supported housing in Parliament.

Tim Sheail, Housing Services Director at Staffordshire Housing Association said: “There is overwhelming evidence that supported housing such as sheltered and extra care helps older people to remain active and independent for longer in a safe and secure environment.

“It is particularly important as people face major life changes such as recovering from an illness, difficulty with walking or coping with loss of a partner.  As a major provider of supported housing in Stoke we are backing this campaign to raise awareness about the value supported housing provides both for individuals and the wider community.”

David Orr, Chief Executive at the National Housing Federation said:“Supported housing helps people to live independently and achieve their aspirations in a safe and secure home. It is a critical time for supported housing; we must highlight how vital a lifeline it is to so many vulnerable people and show Government why supported housing should be put on a secure and sustainable footing for the future.”

Patricia is a resident of West End Village, one of SHA’s supported housing schemes in Stoke. She moved into her two bedroom apartment in 2011, after she and her husband struggled with the stairs, and experienced repeated incidents of anti-social behaviour and an attempted burglary which left them scared to leave their home.

Patricia’s husband died 9 months ago, “I would never have got through it without the support of the people here. I have friends all around me and we look out for each other every day.

“Without supported housing I would be very frightened living on my own in a house that I would struggle to get around. And I’d be relying on my children to help me get out and about to the shops and feeling very lonely.

“Living here has given me my independence back and helped me get through the grief of losing my husband.”