It’s no secret that the pandemic, cost of living crisis, and housing crisis has made life more uncertain and presented unique challenges for many people. For Peter, whose hoarding behaviours and mental health worsened through the pandemic years, maintaining a safe and secure tenancy was becoming almost impossible. 

Sustaining Tenancies have been working alongside Peter since October 2022. His story reflects the power of our collaboration and his own will and determination. It has been a journey of capacity building and seeking a long-term support network, so Peter is able to maintain his independence, sustain his tenancy and be the leader in his life. 

Peter experienced a challenging childhood growing up in the foster care system. He was also living with undiagnosed ADHD and autism, which affected his ability to connect socially and develop close relationships. Daily tasks became particularly challenging during the pandemic as Peter became fearful of contracting COVID-19 due to his compromised health concerns.  

To avoid leaving the house, Peter began ordering food online and accumulating garbage in his home. This in turn led to a rodent infestation developing in Peter’s home, which affected his physical health after breathing in toxic air for an extended period of time. Peter’s living conditions had clearly become dire, but he was resistant to engage with services out of fear of judgement from providers.  

Initially, Peter was reluctant to engage with Sustaining Tenancies; however, over time, he developed trust with our team, allowing us to support him to identify risks and goals within his home. When the Sustaining Tenancies team first began working with Peter, they created a case plan led by Peter, identifying specific areas of support. The team began with a de-clutter and deep clean. They then advocated and liaised with Peter’s property manager to sustain his tenancy and secure safe long-term housing.  

The team allocated a weekly lifestyle support worker to assist Peter with basic nutrition as well as social inclusion and interaction so that he could learn social cues to more easily navigate grocery shopping. The team continues to support Peter to access healthcare and NDIS appointments, including financial support to obtain an autism assessment. This has helped Peter to maintain his independence and work towards his goals of participating in community and social activities. Peter is building his capacity and ability to advocate for himself as he becomes more aware of his own needs. 

Over the last 18 months, we have seen Peter’s capacity improve significantly to the point where he can maintain his own home and socialise and interact with people. From being incapable of leaving his home for three years, to now interacting with his community and taking pride in his home, Peter’s life has changed for the better. 

If you are struggling to manage your tenancy or are having issues at your current property, please email and our team will be in touch to discuss how they can support you