A customer has avoided losing her home thanks to help from Wycombe Homeless Connection (WHC).

The tenant of a home in High Wycombe was found to be living in terrible conditions due to one of the worst cases of hoarding we have witnessed.

As well as the home being dangerously full of possessions, the garden was also completely overgrown and full of rubbish.

Once we gained access to the property it was also discovered that the home had been severely neglected by the tenant and there was a hole in the bathroom floor and significant movement to the downstairs floor.

After months of trying to help the tenant with advice and referrals to support agencies little progress had been made so we were left with no option other than to take court action.

A breakthrough was made this summer when the tenant went to seek advice from Wycombe Homeless Connection.

Staff and volunteers from the charity helped her gain legal advice, but also went beyond their usual remit, helping her tidy up the house, clear away excess items, and make certain repairs.

Due to the improvements everyone agreed that a Suspended Possession Order would be acceptable, rather than an outright possession order.

At High Wycombe County Court on Thursday 8th November this order was agreed by Judge Childs for a period of two years. There are very strict conditions attached that allow Red Kite to regularly check the property to ensure it is still maintained.

Now the property is clear we can can assess the home to establish the exact damage that has been caused and make a start on carrying out the work to fix it.

James Boultbee, WHC Operations Manager, says:

“This was an exceptional occasion, where we helped a family in housing crisis in a very unusual way. Sometimes problems just mount up and people find themselves weighed down by all the pressure. I’m pleased that we were able to relieve some of this pressure and help ensure that they avoided being made homeless.”

Trevor Morrow, Red Kite Community Housing’s chief executive, said:

“This was a very complex case that had been ongoing for a number of years before we eventually gained access in December 2017.

“After offering advice and help we were left with no option other than to seek possession of the house as it was not being maintained to the standards that are set out in the tenancy agreement. The property was causing issues for neighbours and affecting the way they were able to enjoy their homes.

“After intervention from Wycombe Homeless Connection significant improvements were made and we really hope our customer is able to maintain the standards we expect.

“We will now be visiting the home regularly to help and support the tenant to keep the house in good order. We would like to thank Wycombe Homeless Connection for the work they have done with us to achieve a positive outcome.”