An estate agent has taken to Facebook to offer 20 empty homes to homeless ex-service personnel in a bid to get them off the streets and help them turn their lives around.
Paul Banning, owner of Tyneside-based Belle Vue Estates, shared his random act of kindness on his personal page on Wednesday, where it's since been shared almost 60,000 times.
“Somebody put a post on Facebook of an ex-serviceman with a blanket over them and I just thought; ‘This isn’t right’,” Banning told Chronicle Live.
“We have got plenty of empty properties on our books that aren’t being taken on. I just can’t see the point of us having empty properties when these guys are on the streets."
Banning intends to give the homeless ex-veterans the keys and rent free of charge and to help them apply for housing benefits. He hopes that in doing this, they will continue to rent once they're back on their feet.
He said: "I just thought I need to do something about this. We want to help them start again. If they are on the streets they won’t have an address and won’t be able to apply for jobs.”
Belle Vue said that they have been "inundated with requests" since Banning's post went viral.
It is unsure whether Banning owns the empty properties that he is offering, or if he has permission from the owners.
Huffington Post UK have reached out to Belle Vue Estates for comment.