Disabled dad freed from his ‘prison-like’ home

A disabled father whose inappropriate social housing left him confined to his front room for years says he has been given his life back after a councillor helped improve his home.

New Linx housing tenant Glyn Emmerson spent four years living ‘like a prisoner’ because his visual impairment and brittle bones made it too dangerous to leave the ground floor of his Winthorpe home.

He and his wife Carla had been told the property would be adapted to meet Glyn’s needs but it wasn’t until Coun Mark Smith became involved that the work was finally carried out.

“My standard of living was very poor, I was not able to wash, I was a prisoner in my home as I couldn’t even get out of my front door,” said Glyn

“The house is 100 per cent better now and Mark has been a lot of help, it was him who got it to happen, if it hadn’t been for him I didn’t think it would ever have happened.”

Without a ground floor bathroom, Glyn had been forced to visit his father’s house in Skegness just to wash and slept on his front room sofa rather than the upstairs bedroom with his wife.

Because the improvements he required cost more than a disabled facilities grant could cover, Glyn feared he would be separated from his family and made to live in a round the clock care facility.

Coun Smith helped bring together various agencies including Lincolnshire County Council’s public health department, East Lindsey District Council’s housing team and senior figures at New Linx Housing Trust to find additional funding and a way round the problem.

After nearly two years of campaigning the work finally began on a ground floor extension so Glyn could sleep in a bed with his wife, and wash in his own home.

Additional improvements, such as widened doors and a ramp also mean he can enter and leave his home using a wheelchair, which was previously a major challenge.

“It’s brilliant for the simple reason that I can go outside again - I feel like going out in the street and shouting ‘I’m free,’” said Glyn.

Though thankful for his home improvements, Glyn believes the system is flawed and fears there are others less fortunate than himself who remain trapped by their circumstances.

“I don’t think the authorities talk to each other and they’d rather you just stopped complaining than do anything to help,” he said.

Coun Smith also found it difficult to work within the system and believes there should be a ‘one stop shop’ people can go to for all their housing needs.

He said: “I found it frustrating that people like Glen had to jump through hoops just to have a decent standard of living.

“As a dad I know I want to be with my family and that’s why I wanted to help Glyn.”