St Albans family face eviction from their home of 30 years
- Credit: Archant
A grieving family says it is being forced apart by the district council which is prepared to make a bereaved father homeless.
The Ward family claim to have lived happily together in their Dellfield home in St Albans for almost three decades.
Despite losing the love of his life, Glennie, who died suddenly last summer aged 51, Tony has carried on working as an HGV lorry driver and looking after his two grown-up children.
Tony, 54, and son Matthew, 23, and daughter Kirstie, 20, say they have lived in the three-bed property since Glennie moved them all in to help care for her elderly parents.
When Glennie’s parents died, she was given a new tenancy and all council paperwork was put in her name.
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She died quickly following a diagnosis of lung cancer in June last year. The couple had been together more than 30 years.
Tony’s sistesr Michelle Ward, 48, now fears that the council will make her brother homeless.
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It will re-house Kirstie, who suffers with anxiety, and Matthew, who has epilepsy, which is not currently controlled. They will be eligible for a two-bedroom property but must choose who gets the one tenancy being offered.
The family has yet to accept the offer of one tenancy or Tony’s impending homelessness.
They were served individual ‘notice to quit’ letters on Tuesday, instructing them to leave by December 15 or face court action for repossession.
In addition, tthe council is still addressing letters to Glennie - one addressed to Mrs G Ward last week thanked her for her call.
Michelle said: “Kirstie has now got anxiety and because of the stress, Matthew’s epilepsy is getting worse.
“His dad is going to be kicked out on the street, his mum’s died and on top of all that, their distress is increased by letters addressed to her.
“The council don’t care at all. I thought they were there to help people and they’re kicking people out. Their priority is to get the house back and not give a jot about Tony. They have no compassion at all.
“It was Glennie’s family home, where she grew up as a child, and then went back with her own children. They gave up their house to move in and care for her parents.”
Cllr Dreda Gordon said: “It was a sudden death and sometimes when that happens, paperwork isn’t all in order. I would hope that the council would treat this family in a sensitive way, given the tragic circumstances.”
A spokesperson for the district council said that because the documentation did not depict Mr Ward as living at the property, he had no rights to a tenancy.