Houses, cottages, flats, apartments, maisonettes, studios, detached, semi, terraced – these are terms we as estate agents hear every day of our lives. They are the lifeblood of our business, but the common theme is they all represent the concept of “home”.
We are privileged to be a nation of homeowners. Property is right up there with the weather when it comes to conversation fodder! We can’t get enough of it, along with the perceived personal security offered by bricks and mortar that has long been a creator of wealth.
Either way, we are all the lucky ones! Because whilst we have been focussing on what to buy or where to rent, most of us have been unaware of, forgotten, or one has to admit, ignored, the plight of the ever-increasing number of homeless people. Those who have been dealt a raw deal in life, and to whom house prices are irrelevant. As are en-suite bathrooms, choice of carpets, views from the bedroom, quality of kitchen fittings, proximity to the station, size of garden or a host of other attributes that we tend to take for granted.
Homelessness has many causes, such as family breakdown, redundancy, repossession, a criminal past, or even people who have represented their country in the armed forces but struggle to settle into civilian life. Each of these is a tragedy in its own right that is compounded further by homelessness.
This article is not an appeal for money. It is simply a reminder about our priorities, and to think of those who don’t share the simple pleasures we take for granted, such as changing into something comfortable after work, watching TV on the sofa with our loved ones, enjoying a meal with friends, or simply getting into a cosy bed at night.
So let’s remember those who don’t have the luxury of a roof over their heads. And if you are in the fortunate position to be able to be charitable, do follow the instinct to do so, especially at this chilly time of year.