As a housing provider our top priority is the health, safety and wellbeing of you, our customers. With that in mind, we want to take this opportunity – National Hoarding Awareness Week – to share information about hoarding, as well as information on how we, and our partners, can provide support.
Like many disorders, hoarding is not easy to define, and it is often misunderstood. It is not usually a choice and is often a symptom of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). Hoarding is a type of compulsion and the person effected often doesn’t see it as a concern; therefore, tailored and expert support is required to combat it.
The NHS define hoarding as: ‘where someone acquires an excessive number of items and stores them in a chaotic manner, usually resulting in unmanageable amounts of clutter. The items can be of little or no monetary value.’.
This definition is useful in understanding the foundation of hoarding, however it can be complex, so it is important for us to carry out a full review of the situation to ensure we understand the root causes and can formulate the best pathway to recovery.
How we can help
Our Housing team have trained specialists who are able to carry out bespoke support if you, or someone you know, is experiencing hoarding. We have the tools to provide practical support (such as clearance and storage solutions) and can also signpost you to external agencies that offer additional advice.
We are pleased to have achieved positive outcomes for our customers experiencing hoarding and will continue to do so into the future by:
- Setting out manageable actions to ensure a positive step-change to the condition of a property
- Honest, open conversation around why you, or someone you might know, is experiencing hoarding
- Agreed, regular visits (when it is safe to do so) to review your progress and ensure you are appropriately supported
- Long-term personal support for as long as required
- Arranging skips and removal vans for unwanted items
We know that good results come from developing strong partnerships with support services and we work closely with them to increase our support provision.
Looking to the future
In line with government advice, we will begin to safely increase our services to ensure everyone is receiving the help they need. We know that the COVID-19 crisis has impacted the effect hoarding has on an individual, so our Housing team are working hard to introduce new, effective procedures and guidance.
External support services
If you, or someone you know, want to seek expert help for hoarding, we recommend visiting the organisations below. You can also contact us for advice and support on 0300 123 1 567.