THE partner of a hero who died saving the lives of two young girls swept out to sea says she faces being made homeless – because the council can’t find a property for her and her beloved cat.
Tracey Hall, who is still coming to terms with the death of her beloved Marco Araujo after he drowned off the Hot Walls in 2012, has lived with her mum in a council home in Wellington Street, Southsea, since the tragedy as she’s struggled to cope with life on her own.
But her mum is now moving into a property more suitable for her medical needs and Tracey has to move out because it’s too big and another family on the city council’s housing list will come in.
Ms Hall says the council has failed to find her anywhere, but it blames the fact she wants to keep her pet cat Mickey, a gift from Marco.
Yet the grieving mother-of-two says Mickey is her only ‘living, breathing’ reminder of the man she loved for eight years – and she says she can’t expect her family and children who live elsewhere to put her up, so she faces living on the streets.
Speaking to The News, an emotional Ms Hall said: ‘I am at the point in my life where I have given up.
I’ve told my mum that I have no energy, and I would rather lie on the beach where Marco left to go into the water.Tracey Hall
‘I’ve told my mum that I have no energy, and I would rather lie on the beach where Marco left to go into the water. I’m tired of having to fight.
‘All I have asked is for someone to care and help get me back on my feet so I can have any form of life.
‘It’s been a complete downhill struggle trying to get life back on track.
‘I lost my father last year and I nearly lost my son who had a serious brain injury.
‘But the council has turned its back on me.
‘I told them after Marco died that, given the circumstances, I couldn’t continue living in our home in Grafton Street.
‘And the council said that when I was ready, they would re-house me.’
Ms Hall is angry the council is happy to remember Marco’s actions by putting up a plaque and giving her certificates praising his actions – but not to help improve her life.
The council insists it is doing all it can to help Ms Hall and that she is on the register for a home, but due to its policy on keeping pets in properties it means there aren’t options at the moment.
Council housing manager David Mearns said: ‘Our every sympathy goes, as always, to Ms Hall’s situation, and we have been actively trying to find a solution.
‘Ms Hall is currently on our housing waiting list, but has requirements which make accommodation that meet those needs hard to come by.
‘Ms Hall has specified that any accommodation offered must allow pets, and be in particular areas that she wishes to live.
‘Unfortunately, housing stock, especially one-bedroom properties, is in short supply, and whilst we do all we can to find suitable properties, these requested factors further restrict the options that are available.
‘There are no immediate plans to evict Ms Hall from the current property, and we will continue to assist her in finding alternative accommodation. Though if there are restrictions on whether the property has pets or is in alternate areas to those requested, it may not be exactly what she is looking for. As always we endeavour to do our best to meet applicants’ needs where possible.’
Marco was 33 when he dived into the Solent alongside teenager Connor Faith to rescue two distressed youngsters on July, 26, 2012.
The two girls, Destiny, then aged four, and Courtney, 10, and Mr Faith, who was then 17, made it back to safety.
But despite extensive searches, Mr Araujo could not be found.
His body was found in the Solent on August 7, 2012.