May 18 2013 Latest news:
by Alistair Kleebauer, Senior reporter
Sunday, March 17, 2013
A 45-year-old woman with a history of mental health problems has been sharing a single room with her two grown-up sons after being evicted by Redbridge Council.
The mother-of-three, of Newbury Park, who does not want to be named, is being helped by Ilford voluntary group Re-Start to address her rent arrears which came to a head when her father died in December.
The woman, who suffers from depression and who is on jobseekers’ allowance and housing benefit, has been placed in a series of temporary homes by the council during the past 17 years.
She said: “I came into rent arrears. It was too big for me and I was so busy with family. It all took its toll. I couldn’t cope with life and there hasn’t been any network of support.”
She was evicted from her Perkins Road home, which she shared with her 17-year-old son, on February 14 despite offering to pay £50 a month to the council to address her debt.
On the same day, she was admitted to King George Hospital in Barley Lane, Goodmayes, after suffering breathing problems and an anxiety attack and was diagnosed with pleurisy.
She was discharged on February 18.
Since then, she has been living in a single room in shared accommodation belonging to her eldest son, who is 27, and her teenage son in Newbury Park.
She said: “I can’t really stay there. My son has been enduring this with me.”
Moinul Khalique, executive director of Re-Start in Riches Road, which helps people with mental health issues return to work, said: “She’s absolutely devastated. She’s a very vulnerable woman.”
A council spokesman said due to her “very significant level of rent arrears”, the woman was advised she faced eviction in March last year.
She added: “She was asked to provide information to housing benefit to assist her claim but the information was not received.
“Eviction will only happen after all opportunities to make a mutually acceptable agreement have been exhausted.”
She has been offered 21 days to apply for a review of her case.