A DISABLED Trowbridge man could go home again by next May after being given a start date for repairs to his fire-damaged flat.

Michael Gaffney, 49, says Sanctuary Housing Association have told him work will begin to repair his ground floor home on December 11.

Ten months after a blaze badly damaged his flat at Woolpack Meadows on January 25, Mr Gaffney can finally see light at the end of the tunnel.

Mr Gaffney said: “I had a meeting with Sanctuary’s housing officer at the Premier Inn last Wednesday.

“She told me that work on my flat is finally due to begin on December 11 and they are hoping it will take 18-20 weeks. I should be able to return home by the end of April or the beginning of May.”

Mr Gaffney, who suffers from osteoarthritis and epilepsy, has been living in Trowbridge’s Premier Inn since the fire and water damage to his flat.

He is still angry that Sanctuary Housing refused to let him return after the fire to collected treasured photographs of his late mother, Christine.

After the floors collapsed, virtually all of his personal possessions and furniture were damaged by the weather.

“I am still annoyed they did not put a tarpaulin over the hole in the roof to protect the property. I have lost most of the photos of my mum and personal possessions.”

Mr Gaffney moved into his flat in 1995 to be close to his mother and has lived there for 22 years.

He is looking forward to returning home in the spring and to seeing his two pet cats Felix and Sooty again. They are lodging at two separate catteries all paid for by Sanctuary Housing.

After the fire, all the tenants were moved out and the property fenced off. The other tenants have since moved on. Mr Gaffney is the only one wanting to go back.

Katie Poole, Operations Manager – Housing, said: “The building suffered significant damage as a result of the fire and it has taken longer than expected for work to begin. We are pleased we now have a start date for the remedial works and will continue to keep Mr Gaffney supported and updated on progress throughout.”