Sian Humphreys tries out the keys to her new Hamilton flat.
Sian Humphreys will always need 24-hour support with all the basics because of her disability, but that hasn’t stopped her moving into her own flat.
Sian has a condition called Angelman Syndrome and until recently she was living at home in Ngaruawahia, where her parents mainly provided the around-the clock help she needed.
But in June, Sian moved into her own place in Hamilton. Her Dad, Peter Humphreys, says they were look for a new kind of living situation for Sian – one that allowed her more freedom, and one that allowed them to step back a bit.
“We didn’t want residential care. We wanted a flatting situation or shared care or boarding situation,” he says. “We still want to be massively in her life, but we need time out.
“I approached Accessible Properties about 14 months ago to try to establish what there was in the form of accommodation for somebody like Sian,” Peter says. “I was surprised to learn that she was just as eligible as anybody else to become a tenant. So we put her name down on the waiting list and informed Accessible Properties what Sian’s requirements were. We then approached MSD for an assessment of Sian’s eligibility for social housing with income-related rent. Sian was high up on the list and we waited for a disability-friendly property to come up.”
Accessible Properties Tenancy Manager Val Johnston worked with Peter to have her housed through the MSD housing register.
“We want her to have a life,” Peter says. “I just want her to have a type of house that she can turn on the TV and not have someone turn it off.”
Peter says Sian, who may never reach the landmark life events that their other children will, now has the opportunity to start a life that will be as independent as she is able to manage.
“We will still be the main caregivers for Sian, however we can now begin the next stage of sharing her care so that Sian gets used to other caregivers in her life. Without a home of her own this would not be possible. So a big thank you to all those who helped to make this happen.