Meet Ben, “I am proud to be part of an organisation that cares about people and gives people not just a house, but the chance to be part of a community a chance to find employment and a chance to turn a house into a home." | #50faces

Meet Ben, “I am proud to be part of an organisation that cares about people and gives people not just a house, but the chance to be part of a community a chance to find employment and a chance to turn a house into a home."

I grew up in a typical northern town of Rotherham.  I have two brothers one of who is a professional Golfer, or at least thinks he is, and the other works for the council sorting out pot holes and stuff on roads. I guess you could say working in housing runs in the family as my dad has spent most of his life working in housing and my mum works for the council doing local land charges.

Prior to that, she had a flower shop. I have always been quite close to my family so found it quite hard to move out of home and go and explore the world.

My first home was my family home back in Rotherham. I was lucky to grow up in a home my parents owned through their hard work and sacrifices to give my brothers and I a good life. We got on well with our neighbours and my brothers and I would always be out with the other kids who lived on the street playing football, our house was in the middle so we used our driveway as the goal.  We were always involved in the local community, for instance through the church, football or community Cricket team, there was a good sense of community spirit, which is typical of many northern towns.

Home to me is a place where you can come to relax, where you feel comfortable in your surroundings and there is that sense of familiarity.  For me Rotherham will always be home, because it is the place that has influenced me and made me into the person I am today.

Before going to university, I went to work in America, which was an awesome experience, and I have made friends from all over the world, which has also brought the benefits of free accommodation when going to visit them.

I studied housing at university, mainly because of my dad. Whilst at university I was fortunate enough to get a job with a Housing Association in Sheffield, before moving up to Harrogate in North Yorkshire to work for the council there.

I took the decision to move to London because London has always fascinated me with its rich history and diversity. I also thought it would present a good opportunity to meet new people and get some good experience in a very contrasting environment to the countryside of North Yorkshire.

That’s why I don’t plan to buy a home – because I would prefer to have more flexibility about where I live and in London, the cost puts me off completely.  I do feel sorry for the younger generation particularly when you factor in that people are going to be coming out of university with 50k plus debt before even starting to consider home ownership.

I have never really understood the British obsession with owning a property.  I think the issue with home ownership is that people are seeing properties more and more as an investment and not as somewhere to live, and London is a good example of this. 

I think Shared ownership and things like London living rent are good ideas for people who can’t afford to get on the property ladder without help and think that Wandle and other RPs are amazing. They represent everything that is good with the housing world. The properties that Wandle are building and providing, for those most in need of them, reinforces the reason why Wandle exists, to give people that most basic of things a place to live. I am proud to be part of an organisation that cares about people and gives people not just a house, but the chance to be part of a community a chance to find employment and a chance to turn a house into a home.

 

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