Two sisters whose mother died from Covid now face being evicted

Two grieving sisters whose mother died from Covid now face being evicted from the council house they have lived in since they were children because it has three bedrooms

  • Natasha and Sam Dearn told they must leave home in Seasalter, near Whitstable
  • Canterbury City Council said not possible to remain in three-bedroom house
  • Petition been filed with asking council to reconsider the eviction of the sisters
  • Two grieving sisters could face homelessness after they were handed an eviction notice from their local council following their mother’s death from 新冠病毒.

    这位 27 岁的女子此前曾表示,“参加奥运会对她来说意味着一切”,她说这是她从小就“梦想”的, 38, a frontline care worker, and Sam Dearn, 40, a manager and hairdresser, were told by Canterbury City Council they would need to leave their childhood home in Seasalter, near Whitstable, 肯特郡, two days after their mother passed away.

    The council told the sisters that it would not be possible for them to remain in the same house due to it being a three-bedroom property.

    The sisters have since described how the ordeal had taken its toll on their mental health and left them ‘waiting in limbo’.

    Sisters Sam Dearn (剩下), 40, and Natasha (对), 38, were told by Canterbury City Council they would need to leave their childhood home in Seasalter, near Whitstable, 肯特郡, two days after their mother passed away from coronavirus

    Sisters Sam Dearn (剩下), 40, and Natasha (对), 38, were told by Canterbury City Council they would need to leave their childhood home in Seasalter, near Whitstable, 肯特郡, two days after their mother passed away from coronavirus

    Natasha said: ‘It’s been really hard on both our mental health as it feels like a lot to have to deal with in a really short space of time.

    ‘I don’t think we’ve probably grieved for our mum as we haven’t felt secure where we are.

    ‘The worry of receiving that eviction letter and in the middle of a pandemic and the potential that we will be homeless.

    ‘We got through Christmas and New Year with still no contact from the council.

    Natasha and Sam made contact with the council’s homelessness team on December 1 and were told on December 22 that they could not bid for any houses as they were not currently homeless.

    They continued to pay the rent on the property and took on the liability for council tax and bills while trying to arrange their mother’s funeral during a pandemic and continuing to work.

    Later on January 12, two workers from council’s housing team knocked on the door and told Sam and Natasha there was a strong likelihood that they would have to find somewhere else to live.

    They were told that there was no point in bidding for a house as they were only in band four meaning they were not a priority for rehousing.

    The council workers told the sisters that once the eviction paperwork had been filed they would be able to be pushed up the list.

    Natasha said: ‘When we asked what the time frame would be we got nothing, so still waiting in limbo, we expressed that we would like to stay at Lucerne because it’s where we feel safe and have the support from our neighbours and friends at what has been such a difficult time.

    The sisters made contact with the council's homelessness team on December 1 and were told that they could not bid for any houses as they were not currently homeless

    The sisters made contact with the council’s homelessness team on December 1 and were told that they could not bid for any houses as they were not currently homeless

    A petition has been filed with Canterbury City Council calling on them to reconsider the eviction of the sisters from their home on Lucerne Drive. 图为: GV of the street

    A petition has been filed with Canterbury City Council calling on them to reconsider the eviction of the sisters from their home on Lucerne Drive. 图为: GV of the street

    ‘Once again it was vague as to whether this would be able to happen.

    ‘We were even informed that we are in credit with our rent.

    ‘We cause no trouble to them, we go to work, come home and sleep. We understand we are two people in a three-bedroom house but even said we would be willing to buy a bedroom tax, which was shut down straight away.

    Natasha said she felt that the interaction was very distressing saying ‘we cried at the door. I’ve felt we’ve had no compassion or sympathy from the council.

    A petition has now been filed with Canterbury City Council asking them to reconsider the eviction as it is the pair’s childhood home.

    The council said they were working with the sisters to find a solution to the housing situation and that they were sorry for the loss of the pair’s mother.

    A spokesman for Canterbury Council said: ‘This is a very difficult and sensitive situation and our deepest sympathies go out to Sam and Natasha on the death of their mother last year.

    ‘We are continuing to discuss their housing position with them, but regrettably it is not possible for them to stay in this property long term because, as a three-bedroom house, it is bigger than the two-bed home they need.

    ‘We currently have 385 families on our housing register who need a three-bed property, and we cannot keep people in under-occupied council accommodation when the demands on the waiting list are so high.

    ‘One option that we are currently talking to Sam and Natasha about is to offer them a discretionary tenancy, where we would move them to a new home of an appropriate size that meets their needs, in line with our approved housing allocations policy.

    ‘With this potential solution, they would become council tenants with the housing security that brings.

    ‘Private rented accommodation may also be an option and there are a variety of ways in which we can support them to do that.

    ‘We are aware of the petition, but for the reasons set out above, we sadly cannot meet its demands in this case.

    ‘But people can be reassured we will do all we can to resolve Sam and Natasha’s housing need in the most appropriate way possible.