A word from one of our residents

Monday 12 October 2015

Anne bought a brand new Shared Ownership property with Riverside Home Ownership in Summer 2015. Here, in her own words, Anne tells us about the difference it made to her life.

I am 70 years old and I'm currently a shared owner with Riverside Home Ownership, owning a 25% share of a two bedroom Open Quotebungalow in an over-55s scheme situated in the Belle Vale/Lee Valley area of Liverpool. I pay a monthly rent to Riverside on the share I do not own.

2011 was a big surprise in my life and also for my family. After a long time struggling to work and look after my husband, we finally made the decision to apply to Riverside, due to a visit from another Housing Officer enquiring about our health, and after suffering damp problems in our home.

My husband had previously retired at age 50, due to disability and finding his night shift work stressful, and he then developed heart disease/irregular heartbeats. The medication he was given helped his heart but fifteen years later he had also developed lung problems due to the heart medication. I was amazed at him wanting to move, but we decided to go ahead.

We researched and found the waiting list for rented properties to be long. In the meantime, we tried looking around Lee Valley and came across an advertising board for Riverside Home Ownership. We were shown around the new scheme and the Belle Vale area by the Sales Negotiator, and we decided to purchase 25% of one of Riverside Home Ownership's two bedroom bungalows.

A typical RHO bungalow

Bungalow

It wasn't a large house but because it was without stairs, it really benefitted my husband's chest problems as he didn't have to exert himself. My husband said the bungalow helped a lot. I couldn't believe my luck, as we lived in a problem area before and we were now a lot closer to our daughter in Netherley.

Unfortunately, I became a widow in 2014 after my husband was taken into hospital with complications from his conditions, and suffered a fatal heart attack. I wish I could have seen him get well, but he was only in our new home for two and a half years then our little paradise came to an end. He was a great man with a softly spoken voice, he was kind and never missed an opportunity to do someone a kind act. I miss that welcome home when I'd done the shopping - first thing he'd say was 'do you want a nice cup of tea?'. I have missed my husband, but try to be brave for him, myself and my family.

My daughter is a constant stream of confidence for me with all the new arrangements, bills and updates. I find that bit hard. I like doing a bit of shopping, but feel lonely sometimes and have to be careful with both my health issues and managing my pension. I keep busy by doing my housework and garden, I look after my daughter's bulldog during the day, and I do some cleaning for the local parish priest. I'm now applying to help in the hospital chapel, and maybe take some patients to mass. I sometimes chat to neighbours, who have been very kind to me.

I also volunteer with Riverside by attending meetings and focus groups, such as a recent one on customer experience. We try to find solutions together with the staff for new and old residents, when they need some help. If they are elderly or unwell, we talk and suggest things to do that can offer friendship and support. I couldn't believe my luck moving into the bungalow and being closer to my daughter - I still can't relax and afraid to talk too much about how I like living here in case it goes wrong! Anyhow,Close Quote before I go I would just like to say to you - don't be too hard on your husband or partner, as you will surely regret it if you don't carry out those little acts of everyday kindness.

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Riverside Home Ownership

We're the specialist leasehold and affordable home ownership division of The Riverside Group Limited, one of the UK's largest housing associations. As well as building, selling and letting a wide range of property types, Riverside Home Ownership provides services to, and manages the leasehold of over 4500 homes across the UK.