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Getting the keys to independence

Posted on 24 May 2018

Forty-nine year old Mike Gall is looking forward to having more independence when he moves into his brand new Hyde home in Maidstone.

Mike who has autism and dyspraxia, currently lives in supported housing, but after a year of searching for the right home he is delighted to be moving into his brand new one-bedroom flat.

“I cannot wait to move in here – it’s awesome,” he smiles. “There is so much space. It’s four times the size of my existing flat and seems a lovely peaceful place.

“I’ve liked this area for a while and was hoping something might come up around here. It’s easy for me to get the bus into town or work too.” Mike works as a volunteer for a local charity shop, where he helps to sort out the donated books for sale in the shop or online.

His new flat also means he can bring his passion for reading home. “I have enough room for some bookcases here, which means I can finally get all my books from my mum's house, which will be great. I moved out more than four years ago, but never had enough room for my books.”

Mike will continue to receive support to help him in his new home and has ongoing help from family members, who arrive armed with tape measures to take readings for new curtains and blinds.

“It was important to us to help Mike find the right home that will meet his needs,” says his sister, “we really want him to be happy here.”

This new home is another step towards living independently for Mike, a big change after four years in supported housing. Nevertheless he remains positive and excited by this new challenge. “I cannot wait to just be a bit more independent,” he explains, “having my own home where I can close the door and do as I please. Watch TV or just relax will be amazing. I really feel like this will be a home that I can finally call my own.”

Mike's flat is part of 50 new affordable homes developed by the Hyde Group in partnership with Bovis at Orchard Fields, Maidstone. The homes are a mixture of general needs rent and shared ownership. A further 50 homes will be available later this year.

Matt Ostler, Head of Empty Homes and Lettings at Hyde said: “It’s great to hear how happy Mr Gall is with his new home. He is just one of the many people we have helped this year and we look forward to helping more people find a home of their own.”

Last year Hyde helped 5,535 people find a new home with 1,789 homes being let. So Hyde gives five people a new home every day, helping them get out of unsuitable or temporary accommodation and into a place of their own.

The average home in Kent now costs around £309,893, which is 11 times the local typical salary, making home ownership impossible for many. The need for housing has never been greater and we are committed to building as many homes as we can, to play our part in alleviating the housing shortage.