Terry Galloway & Diane Bialek  - The Training Hub

Nottinghamshire Live News Report:

A family of four who were forced to live out of a hotel room for weeks have been rehoused by a former landlord who now helps the homeless.

Karen Hall, 43, and Jon Shaw, 51, lost their jobs working in construction in October 2018, and began to rack up rent arrears over the following months on their property in Ravenshead.

After being served an eviction notice, they were forced to move out on November 5 this year and were subsequently made homeless.

Gedling Borough Council put them up in temporary accommodation because Ms Hall's daughter, Rebecca Turner, 22, and her baby son, Keanu, were living with them at the time.

The four of them were forced to live out of a single room for two weeks, having lost everything - including their company cars and mobile phones - since losing their jobs.

"We were given a family room but you imagine being stuck with three different generations for 24 hours," Mr Shaw said.

"It is hard to accept when you have never been in that situation before. We had 15 minutes to move out of our home.

"We were advised to go all together to the hotel for two weeks, we had four of us in one room. It's not just people in doorways, there are different levels of homelessness."

Ms Hall added: "I had been working for the company for over 16 years and it ceased trading in October 2018 and it all spiralled out from there.

"We had a clean history and we lost everything. We had from May to November to find somewhere to live, I can see how it breaks people."

However, while they were living in the hotel, the council put them through to Terry Galloway.

Mr Galloway lived in and out of care in Manchester until he was 16, during which time he lived in more than 100 places and was separated from his siblings.

He later found his sister, Hazel Galloway, but she was murdered by her boyfriend Andrew Grundy in Devon in 2008.

After working as a landlord, he eventually opened his own property management business - Norman Galloway in St Ann's - and decided to use his past experiences to help other vulnerable people find a home to call their own.

In November, Mr Galloway housed Rebecca and her son in Netherfield and on December 24, Mr Galloway found Mr Shaw and Ms Hall a new home but "a stone's throw away".

"We've only been going three months and what we do is try to think outside to box to protect the landlord and the tenant," he said.

"One of the big issues for landlords is Universal Credit, but we can get direct payment on day one from the DWP.

"One of the reasons why people are homeless is rent arrears, so if we can stop this, then we have everyone's interests."

Mr Galloway said out of 552 homes he has reviewed, 88.77 percent of private landlords would refuse tenants on housing benefit.

He says his job is to engage with landlords and convince them to rent the property out to families who are either living in temporary accommodation or on the brink of homelessness, and care leavers like himself.

And for Ms Hall's daughter Rebecca, he convinced a landlord in Gedling to rent out their property, which had stood empty for two years, to herself and her now one-year-old son.

"We set the the rents to the local housing allowance rates for single people so the landlord can get direct payment and the tenant can afford it," Mr Galloway added.

"Our applications [for tenants] are mirrored to what homeless people need and the assessments they get.

"When we are selling the tenants to the landlords we say these people have had a hard time, we say they are going to get tenancy training about their rights and how to report things such as anti-social behaviour.

"So when we get to the landlord we say they might have had a bit of trouble in the past but we have been doing all these things to help them maintain a tenancy.

"We had to call the [Mr Shaw and Ms Hall's] landlord 10 times to persuade them."

The property management company in Carlton Road has a number of floors, in which Mr Galloway says will be used for training tenants on how to hold down a house of their own.

His agency also runs a community interest company called Norman Galloway Homes, which provides supported accommodation to help rehouse people facing homelessness alongside the seven councils in the county, as part of the government's rough sleeping rapid rehousing pathway.

Mr Galloway helped to introduce council tax exemption for working care leavers in Nottinghamshire, and he is now campaigning to get it introduced in all 200 councils across England.

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