Able2UK Losers

Southampton Council force a disabled resident to move out of their home

Michelle Proud and Shawn Peters

Southampton City Council is forcing a family to move out of their council house after a grandma asked for accessible adaptations to be made on the property on behalf of her new partner.

Michelle Proud, 52, is a grandmother-of-nine, she has lived in a three-bedroom semi-detached house in Thornhill, Hampshire, since 2002 with her children.

Her new partner Shawn Peters, 50, lives with the family, but has recently been advised by an occupational therapist he needs a stairlift and walk-in shower as his health condition, postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome, has progressed.

Proud phoned the council asking for the suitable adaptations, but was told there were rent arrears of £3,900 on the tenancy agreement she shares with her ex-husband.

The council told Proud she could not remove her ex and dad-of-five Shawn until the family covered the cost.

Shawn paid the cash, but Southampton Council now say the family must move out within the next four months, although they can bid to downgrade to a one-bed flat.

She told the Daily Echo: “I can’t see how the council can throw us out like this – this has been my home for more than 20 years.

"We will have to turn to family or we will be on the streets."

Southampton Council told the family they had to move out just after Christmas.

Peters said it 'feels like they have played us for fools.’

He added: “This just feels to me like the council don’t want to pay for the facilities that I need and so have decided to throw us out.

“I used to be a coach driver and loved my job – I don’t want to be ill, but I have no choice. Now the council want to force us out of our home - it feels like discrimination against the disabled.

“I paid that £4,000 thinking it was for us to keep our home. I could have used that money for my health.

“We both have children, grandchildren and four dogs – we wouldn’t be able to have that in a one-bedroom flat.”

A spokesperson for Southampton City Council said: “Regretfully when one party to a joint tenancy serves notice to ends a tenancy; this ends the tenancy for both parties; this is a matter of housing law not a decision made by the council.

“Southampton City Council has a duty to make best use of available housing stock due to an acute housing shortage in Southampton, especially for three-bedroom accommodation.

“The Council must consider the needs of the remaining household members left in occupation when a tenancy is terminated in this manner."

[ Southampton City Council had to apologise for failings in their children’s social care department in 2020 which was called  a “sense of chaos”. ]

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