Homeless woman from St Albans seeking housing told by council she has 'no connection to the community'.

PUBLISHED: 16:55 04 March 2016

Elizabeth Kerley has been homeless since 1st September and been forced to sofa surf because the council has refused to do more to help as she is not deemed 'old enough' or vulnerable

Elizabeth Kerley has been homeless since 1st September and been forced to sofa surf because the council has refused to do more to help as she is not deemed 'old enough' or vulnerable

Archant

Elizabeth Kerley, 60, who has been sofa sleeping since last September, grew up in London Colney and also lived in Cotlandswick for 27 years.

Despite a doctor’s letter informing the council of her condition she has been told she is not considered vulnerable or old enough for her case to be seen as urgent.

Ms Kerley said: “It is ridiculous to say I have no connection to the community when I was born in the area and my parents are buried in London Colney.

“My things are just all over the place at the moment, this should just not be happening.”

She was also told the fact she took medication for panic attacks and anxiety made no difference to her case.

The doctor’s letter, dated November 13 last year, read: “She [Elizabeth] has been sleeping on friends’ sofas since September 1, her possessions are scattered around other people’s garages or sheds. This is making her feel more low and anxious. I would be grateful if she could be re-housed shortly as this is very unsettling for her and making her more depressed. She needs to have a stable home environment.”

Ms Kerley had been living in Barnet until September 2015, when she was forced to move out as her landlords sold up.

Since returning to the St Albans district, Ms Kerley has been told several times that her age and situation do not make her a priority to be rehoused.

Friends of Ms Kerley have expressed concern for her welfare.

One said: “Lizzy is not by herself here as there are a lot of others out there.

“I just think this is all so wrong and I’m sure there are hundreds of people who would agree.”

Another said: “How is it even possible to not consider any elderly woman of 60 years to not be vulnerable even if she happens to be in good health and of sound mind.”

St Albans council’s head of housing, Karen Dragovic, said: ‘We provide advice on housing options to all members of the public who approach us for assistance.

“This includes advice on finding accommodation in the private rented sector.

“In order to be eligible for our housing register, applicants need to meet certain criteria as we have a high demand for affordable housing in the district.”

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