After spending their life savings on buying their first home, Steph and Matthew Neville have decided to lend the property to asylum seekers.
The Christian couple, both 35, took out a loan and put a deposit down on a three-bedroom house worth £100,000 in Birmingham earlier this year.
But after reading about the plight of refugees and immigrants, they opted to hand the keys over to those in need having sought out tenants through the charity Hope Projects, which works with asylum seekers in the West Midlands.
The couple, who will continue to own the property, have even managed to raise enough money to cover the lodgers’ bills for a year while they remain in their community flat above a nearby church.
Steph, a primary school teacher, said: “Like so many other people, we have been saving for all our working lives with the aim of using our savings to buy a house for ourselves. But when it came to it, we realised there were people who were destitute and desperate and who needed a house more than we did. We don’t need a house because we’ve been living at Carrs Lane Church for three years and are really happy there.
“Matthew and I will continue to own the house but we have asked Hope to find tenants who will live there. It is the perfect solution because we are investing our money in a property, yet are helping people who literally have nothing. Whoever moves into the house won’t have any money of their own, so we have managed to raise enough to keep them there for the first year. There are some very negative views of asylum seekers, so we don’t want the house to be targeted and the people to be picked on. They have suffered enough in their own countries and the journey to get here, we don’t want them subjected to abuse in their new home.”