Steven's story

We helped Steven Barnes to downsize to a smaller home to save him money.

Welfare Reform changes such as the ‘Bedroom Tax' have had significant impact on some of our residents. Tenant Steven has been able to turn a negative situation into a positive with a move to a new home.

Steven lived in his three bedroom house in Weaste, Salford, for more than 30 years and has seen many changes along the way. He said: “When we first moved in, there were no roads, just mud, and we couldn't even decorate as the walls were so new."

Steven first moved into the property in Westcray Crescent with his wife, and although now separated, had his family in the house - one son and two daughters. He is also now a grandfather three times over.

When the 'Bedroom Tax' hit, Steven was finding it difficult to cope with the extra costs. He contacted us for support and we suggested downsizing to a smaller one bedroom property. This also meant Steven did not need to pay the 'Bedroom Tax', saving him £22.50 a week.

Steven said: "At first it was a shock – I was like ‘this is my home' - I don't want to move. But when I thought about it, it gets lonely in the house, it gets cold and I can't afford the heating. All my kids have moved out, and taken their stuff with them so I just have two empty bedrooms.

"Now I've seen where I am moving, I am happy. Everything is perfect with the new place. It's a nice area, and nearer my grandkids. My daughter has just had a baby, so I'd like to be nearer to help.

"It will be hard, it's a close knit community here and I've been neighbours with some of these people for more than 20 years. I'll be having a little moving party.

"Salix Homes is helping with the move so I won't need to do any of the heavy lifting. They even gave me boxes and bubble wrap to help with the packing. My son is going to help me move my fish tank!"

First published in November 2014