Real Life Stories: Housing People and Changing Lives

BHT’s Housing Services provides short term and permanent housing to around 500 people, in Brighton, Eastbourne and Hastings. Here are three comments received from current and former tenants.

From a former tenant at Richardson’s Yard

Good morning Jenny. This is to confirm that last week Frida I came to the office to give thanks for the support that I was given by Bht by being offered accommodation, when I was really in need. I don’t know how id have survived without Bht. I really appreciate all your help from the deepest part of my heart. I also came to inform you that I’ve finally found a new accommodation. It has been agreed with the City Council for me to serve the notice and move out on 11/7/16. Thanks so much for everything.

From a resident of our abstinence-based project in Brighton

I moved into BHT’s supported Abstinence based Project in February 2014. I had never lived on my own before and found the support from staff invaluable. The staff gave me confidence, motivation, balance and an opportunity to become independent with the skills to manage my home and live a happy healthy life.

After 2 years of support and the new found skills and confidence I was ready to move on to a new chapter in my life my own independent flat. My key worker linked me in with the New START project at BHT and I was given a new support worker. She has helped and guided me through the challenging process of looking for private rented accommodation.

After 6 months of looking I am now finally proud to say I’m moving to a new flat with my girlfriend. I feel happy and excited but apprehensive if I’m honest. I feel nervous to be solely responsible for my own tenancy and home but I know I’ve got the skills and confidence to manage well thanks to everyone at BHT.

I would like to thank all the BHT teams involved in my journey to independence and in particular Shane. Kate and Sarah.

This final item was first published on my blog in May 2016

I’m 52 and live in Hastings. Back in 2015 through no fault of my own I had to give up my home. I was devastated and never been homeless before. I found it really hard to tell my family and friends so I only confided in a couple of them. I stayed at a friends on a sofa and next day someone else’s. They were lovely to me as I have a jack russel 3 year old .

In the end instead of putting on my friends I started to stay in the car in a carpark near a holiday park, so was able to use the toilet and freshen up. It was very cold, me and my dog cuddled up under a few throws as I didn’t want anyone to see me night times. I went and put my name on the housing list in Hastings and I was offered emergency accommodation but they couldn’t take in my dog so I had to carry on in my car.  It wasn’t long before I was able to bid on one bed flats. I could finally dare to see an end to the devastating and humiliating time I and my dog had gone through.

Out of the blue I received a phone call from Shirley. She said them words I had waited for 4 months to hear, “we have a flat with Brighton Housing Trust that we think would suit me.”

I met up with Shirley the next day, we had trouble with the lock so went back the next day. I loved it so much and knew this was the right place for me. I went to the office and signed the tenancy agreement and they handed me the keys.

I cried with relief, but it didnt just stop there. Shirley was able to get me help for furniture and cooker from the Magdaline charity trusts which was so generous. I don’t know what I would have done with out all the help. I have been in my beautiful flat with my dog TY for 3 months now.  The Brighton Housing Trust continue to help me in any way and I feel they are a massive safety net around me and thankyou from the bottom of my heart and especially to Shirley xxx”


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