Families taken off housing list after Gosport Borough Council ‘U-turn’

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TWO families have been left angry and disappointed after the council changed its mind on their housing situations.

Karen Poole and Emma McCluskey are living in Barclay House, in Gosport, while they wait for homes.

22/01/15  KB''Karen Poole (left) and Emma McClusky who with their respective families have found themselves living in temporary accomodation in Gosport which they say is totally unsuitable. 'Picture: Ian Hargreaves (150041-1) PPP-150122-185911003

22/01/15 KB''Karen Poole (left) and Emma McClusky who with their respective families have found themselves living in temporary accomodation in Gosport which they say is totally unsuitable. 'Picture: Ian Hargreaves (150041-1) PPP-150122-185911003

But since moving in, they have been told by Gosport Borough Council they are no longer in line for them.

After investigations, the council told the families they made themselves intentionally homeless and do not qualify to be on the housing list.

Mum-of-two Karen said: ‘The council need to be doing more to help us.

‘When we moved in, we received a letter saying we were on the housing list and we even got a bidding number to bid on accommodation.

22/01/15  KB''Karen Poole (left) and Emma McClusky who with their respective families have found themselves living in temporary accomodation in Gosport which they say is totally unsuitable. 'Picture: Ian Hargreaves (150041-1) PPP-150122-185911003

22/01/15 KB''Karen Poole (left) and Emma McClusky who with their respective families have found themselves living in temporary accomodation in Gosport which they say is totally unsuitable. 'Picture: Ian Hargreaves (150041-1) PPP-150122-185911003

‘But the council has done a U-turn and changed its mind.

‘Barclay House is not the best living arrangements. I am in a wheelchair so movement is difficult.

‘It is unfair we have been taken off because they think we decided to be homeless.’

Karen was put in Barclay House with husband Sayo and children Tia, 13 and Jordon, 15, in October last year.

The couple were forced to sell their house in Rowner after getting into debt. Also, their home could not be adapted for Karen’s wheelchair. She added: ‘We had no choice but to sell the house.

‘We looked around for an alternative but couldn’t find anything so we went to the council for help.’

The family are trying to save for new accommodation but Sayo’s wages do not cover the £223 rent per week.

‘The situation is affecting us all,’ Karen added.

‘My mum is worried sick and my children are getting depressed. My son is trying to take his GCSEs.’

Emma has found herself in a similar situation.

She moved into Barclay House with her sons Caine, 17, and George, 13.

They moved from Hereford to Gosport to care for Emma’s grandparents who were suffering from long-term illnesses. Shortly after moving in, her grandparents died and the house was put up for an equity release scheme which allows people over 55 to release cash in their house without moving.

Emma said: ‘We weren’t allowed to stay in my grandparents house and ended up in Barclay House. We were put on the housing list but in December, the council took us off it because they said we had made ourselves voluntarily homeless.

‘They said we didn’t have to move from Hereford to Gosport, it was our choice.

‘But I did it to care for my grandparents. My sons are suffering from the stress of it all but the council just don’t want to know.’

Both families have appealed the decision but are unsure when the problem will be sorted.

Karen said: ‘The council say they have received our appeal but it is in a queue and hasn’t even been looked at yet. They can’t give me how long it will take.’

A spokeswoman from Gosport Borough Council said they carefully consider the move-on options for homeless households.

‘We do have a range of options to consider for accommodation,’ she said.

‘What is suitable for each household will depend upon their needs and if they can be considered for a move-on plan.

‘There is no legal right to be automatically accepted on to the Housing Register. Homelessness does give anyone accepted on to the list a degree of priority once on the list, but not a right to be put on the list.’

She added: ‘Whether an applicant is qualified for the Gosport Housing Register is a matter of meeting clear qualification requirements.

‘For example, the law requires all homeless people to be qualified provided they do not break other qualification rules. ‘Gosport has a number of qualification rules and if the applicant does not meet all of the rules they will not qualify.’

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