Ian and his daughter Gayle

Gayle is 40 years old and happily lives in a home she part owns, with two other shared owners, close to her Mum and Dad.

Here, Ian tells us about his daughter Gayle and about how he and his wife have peace of mind knowing she lives near them but in her own home.

How it all began

Gayle attended a special needs school in West Oxfordshire before attending primary school and the local comprehensive school where she was in the special education unit. She then went on to college part-time to learn independent living skills. At home she had two brothers, one younger and one older. When they left home for their further education we began to worry that Gayle was getting a bit bored just being at home with us. We started to think in earnest about her next step and a possible long-term living solution that would suit us all. It never crossed our minds that she couldn’t do it.

Gayle needed to find a long term housing situation and so, with two others, also with Down’s, our plans began to take shape.

In 2001, we came across Advance Housing and we realised there was a possibility, through the HOLD (home ownership for people with long term disabilities) scheme, that Gayle could part-own her own home. It seemed incredible but as we looked further into this government backed scheme it became clear that it could work for us all.

What is HOLD?

HOLD is a route into home ownership through a government backed scheme (England only). As a specialist provider of housing and support for people with long term disabilities and mental health conditions, Advance has supported more than 1,000 people to part-purchase a home of their choice from the open market.

Who is eligible? If you are over 18 years old, have a recognised long-term disability and can fund a deposit and legal fees of around £15-20k, this could be the programme for you.

How does it work? Advance buys the property you choose and then sells a share of the equity to you under the HOLD shared ownership scheme. Shared Ownership is part buy/part rent. This means you can buy a share of the equity of a house or flat. Advance will rent their share to you and will provide certain maintenance and repairs to your property to make sure it stays in a good condition. This is covered by a service charge to pay for essential repairs and maintenance on the property over the time you own it.  Over time you have the option to increase your percentage share (stair casing) in the property if you wish.  

HOLD worked for Gayle and her friends

It took two years of careful research and preparation, with Advance working alongside us every step of the way.  In 2002 a four bedroom house close to where we live was identified as being suitable. The two other families were also keen and along with Advance and the support team they worked together to move the three shared owners into their new home in January 2003 where they receive 24/7 support. 


Find out more about Advance Housing on their website. For more information on HOLD (home ownership for people with long term disabilities) click here.