A FAMILY faced with eviction from their home have been told by council officials to wait for the bailiffs before action will be taken to re-house them.
Matthew Wheeler and his partner Tamsyn Gregory, of Deep Lane, Clifton, are now in a desperate race against time to find a suitable place to live before the notice to quit their rented home runs out on April 29.
The situation is further complicated because the couple youngest child, Zayne, aged 19 months, is seriously ill with a range of life-limiting medical conditions. He was allowed home at Christmas after ten months in hospital and needs specialised equipment to help him breath and feed.
After intervention by Calderdale councillor Colin Stout (Ind, Brighouse) the couple have been granted a reprieve of up to a month but still have the ordeal of losing their home hanging over them.
Coun Stout is to meet Cath Miller, team manager for Doorways, Calderdale Council’s housing advice service, today in a bid to find a resolution to the family’s difficulties.
“I can understand the family’s frustration. I’ve found it almost impossible to find out any information to help them because it’s been the Easter holidays. But people don’t stop having housing problems just because it’s the holidays. Thankfully the landlord has been as reasonable as he can be and now agreed to allow them a bit longer,” he said.
The couple, who have two other children, Danyal and Tobias, said they were upset that Zayne’s illness did not give them a higher priority on the council’s banding system.
“We are not happy about how things are and we have asked the council to upgrade us to silver plus but we don’t qualify for it apparently and they won’t say why. We have produced letters from the Primary Care Trust, from the Community Care team, Zayne’s consultants and they still won’t accept that we need to find somewhere desperately,” said Matthew.
Tamsyn said she was not prepared to sit in the house waiting for the bailiffs to knock.
“We have three children in this house I am not going to stay here and wait for the bailiffs to be braying on the door, threatening us,” she said.
To qualify for silver plus status the family must prove they need to move on medical or welfare grounds or that they live in insanitary or overcrowded housing.
A spokeswoman for Calderdale Council said: “If someone is given notice by their landlord, we advise them of their legal right to remain in the property until a court has awarded possession back to the landlord. This gives Doorways an opportunity to work with people to help prevent them becoming homeless, either by helping them to remain in their home (if possible) or to find alternative accommodation.
“It is advised that the family contact the Doorways team manager, Cath Miller to discuss the case.”