Moving into a spacious SimpliCity home has given a new lease of life to a family-of-four previously living in a studio flat in west London.
Leroy Sterling-Williams, who now lives in Dagenham with his partner and two daughters, says he “still can’t believe” what they could afford under SimpliCity.
SimpliCity is a service offered by Notting Hill Genesis which supports working households who cannot easily access social housing, but are also unable to afford to rent or buy at market rates, or access shared ownership.
This was the exact situation bus driver Leroy found himself in.
“We’d known about SimpliCity for a while through the Notting Hill Genesis website. What appealed to us was the fact it’s for the ‘squeezed middle’,” he said. “My income of £30,000 a year was not considered sufficient to rent a two-bed property on the open market.
“When we tried to get into social housing we were told we could not go on the housing register as our income is more than £24,000. That left us living in a studio flat as a family of four.”
Once they had a chance to view the three-bed property, it didn’t take long to make the decision to move across the capital, which they’d done in time to enjoy Christmas in their new home.
“We weren’t sure at first about moving all the way to the opposite side of London but once we saw the place I immediately fell in love with it," he added.
I could see my children enjoying the huge garden in the summer and knew my eldest daughter would love having her own bedroom.
“It was in excellent condition and I knew my partner would enjoy all the extra kitchen space. We decided to take the leap of faith. After all, I could still get to work and we live close to a tube station.
“The process of moving was very smooth and very quick. I registered an interest in the property and explained our current living situation and was immediately contacted. The viewing was arranged very quickly. The SimpliCity team is very efficient, while the moving process was simple and straightforward.
“I have already recommended SimpliCity to my former neighbours and will continue to recommend it to others. I really think it’s something the government should think about adopting themselves.”
Syed Shah, SimpliCity team leader, added: “We are so pleased to have been able to help Leroy and his family move into a spacious home that meets their needs. We know how difficult it can be to find a family home if you earn too much for social housing but not enough to rent privately or buy.
“We hope they will be happy in their home for many years to come.”