For Scottish Housing Day I have been asked to share what my home means to me, especially during this unprecedented time of a world pandemic caused by Covid-19. The way we feel about our homes changes over time and under different circumstances. I have been a Grampian Housing Association tenant for the best part of twelve and a half years, my mother and I moved into the house in Findochty during May 2008. Mum has since passed away after a three-year battle against cancer. During this period, our home was a refuge and a place of comfort to mum and that feeling of comfort remained in the familiar surroundings after her passing. 

This year we have all, out of necessity, spent more time in our homes than we normally would. For those of us that had to shield the experience of lockdown may have been different than the majority. I have been fortunate to have had a lot of assistance with shopping, carried out by neighbours if needed but in the main by my immediate neighbours’ son and daughter in law. Medication prescriptions were arranged by the pharmacy to be delivered; both were a concern at the outset. My home became a safe place, a refuge, a sanctuary from the onslaught of a killer that we cannot see and that would be a struggle for my body to deal with. My front door became a barrier to the outside world which was and still is having extreme difficulty getting the virus under control.

One of the things I like about the house in which I live is the dedicated drying area. My family have always been keen gardeners, in fact I come from a line of market gardeners traced to the Lincolnshire and Northamptonshire areas. The area around the house has lent itself well to plant containers and an area has been converted to host wildflowers, my bit for pollinators, with no insecticides. This gives me opportunities to get outside and potter about, which certainly helps to maintain a healthy mind. The house is situated in a quiet landscaped area composing of 7 bungalows and 8 apartments. We have had loft insulation, cavity wall insulation and photovoltaic panels installed, which has helped with reducing our energy costs. Last year our bathrooms were upgraded which has made a huge difference to my mornings because it is light and bright and does help set my mood for the rest of the day especially as the wet room was reinstated. This year we are having our windows and doors replaced, Covid-19 restrictions permitting.

Simon RogersYes, I like my house and where I live and I am always conscious that without so many people working hard in the background none of the above would be possible. I like that Jenn, our housing officer, and Katie, tenant participation lead, called to make sure I was okay during lockdown and that made and makes a difference.

 

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