"There were still holes in the walls. I was afraid that if I made a stand against the landlord I would lose my tenancy and be back on the street."“I’ve lived in private rented accommodation for two years after a period sleeping rough.
“My landlord had been slow to carry out repairs so I paid for improvements myself, which left me with financial difficulties and arrears on my energy bills. But there were still holes in the walls.
“I also had no control over my heating as the boiler and bills were shared with the downstairs flat.
“Groundwork helped me to secure grants to repair the walls and a Warm Homes rebate on my electricity bill. They also helped to persuade my landlord to install a boiler in my flat, so I had control over the energy I use.
“I was afraid that if I made a stand against the landlord I would lose my tenancy and be back on the street. But Groundwork was a godsend. They were polite, patient, professional and extremely helpful.”
Michael (not his real name) was helped by Keep Warm, Stay Well, a project funded through the Department of Health’s Warm Homes Healthy People Fund, with the aim of reducing deaths and illness within Hertfordshire due to vulnerable people living in cold housing. Groundwork advisers carried out home visits, offering practical help and advice on sources of assistance.