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National Hoarding Awareness Week

Posted on 20 May 2019

To mark this year’s National Hoarding Awareness Week (20-24 May), we wanted to share some of the great work carried out by our Tenancy Teams to help ensure the safety, and improve the lives, of some of our most vulnerable residents.

“National Hoarding Awareness Week was started by the Chief Fire Officers’ Association in 2014 to highlight the serious, and often misunderstood, issue of hoarding,” explained Ann Greaves, Hyde Tenancy Team Manager for the South.

This case shows just how desperate hoarders’ situations can become.

When Tenancy Officers Allison Morris and Sarah Murphy visited the Brighton home of one of our residents, David*, who was suspected of hoarding, they were shocked at what they found.

“The property was in a terrible condition,” Allison said. “Doors to rooms could barely be opened, there were no lights working and the floors were covered in rotting food and rubbish, which was literally touching the ceilings. David was living in his bedroom, which consisted of a flea-ridden mattress, a microwave, and a kettle.

“We realised that we had to act quickly to help David, who explained he had suffered a mental breakdown three years before, which was when he started hoarding. I recognised how difficult it was for him to ask for support but told him we would help.

“I agreed an action plan with David and worked with his mental health worker and the Successful Tenancies team to secure funding from Hyde’s Residents’ Assistance budget, to arrange for the home to be cleared and cleaned. We also drew up an Acceptable Behaviour Contract, to agree how we would work together to try and prevent his home from deteriorating again.

“After many hours and visits, the transformation has been amazing – to both David’s home and his wellbeing. David’s mental health worker was hugely grateful for our support and understanding and how we provided a positive outcome for him.”

Ann added: “This is just one of the 62 hoarding cases we have received this year. These are often very sensitive situations and I’m delighted to say we have already resolved 61 cases, which is a fantastic result for the team and, more importantly, for our residents.”

For more information visit the National Hoarding Awareness Week website.

*Not his real name