Residents live in fear of eviction from Southsea homes run by charitable trust

A MAN is '˜distraught' after being evicted from a flat he has lived in for over a decade.

Saturday, 10th March 2018, 2:48 pm
Updated Saturday, 10th March 2018, 4:04 pm
Malcolm Horn has been evicted from his home at the John Thompson Trust in Southsea where he has lived for many years Picture: Ian Hargreaves (180208-1)

Malcolm Horn, 66, faced becoming homeless when out of the blue members of The John A Thompson Memorial Trust, an independent charity, issued him an eviction letter.

Malcolm had two months to find a new home, despite the trust having at least nine vacant flats.

Malcolm said: ‘The trust has changed. I’ve never had any complaints, always paid my rent on time. Now I’m told pack your things and get out with no explanation why.’

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Using his savings, Malcolm paid a solicitor to delay the eviction process.

He said: ‘I had to stay locked in my room through fear of being forcefully evicted.’

Residents at the trust’s home in Festing Road, Southsea, say they are ‘living in fear’ that they could be next.

One resident said: ‘I waited seven years to get a flat here, it used to be a wonderful place to live. Now it’s like a prison. You’re walking on eggshells, but a lot of us have nowhere else to go. We just have each other.’

Dawn Staker, a cleaner and friend of the residents said: ‘You can hear the fear in their voices. If it were my mother or father, I would be moving heaven and earth.’

When approached by The News, the trust declined to comment, saying only that it had agreed to a meeting with residents to address concerns.

The city council found Malcolm a new flat which overlooks Portsmouth Dockyard, but the solution is bittersweet. He said: ‘I’ve been very lucky. I’m excited to start over but I fear for my friends at the trust home.’

Councillor Luke Stubbs said: ‘It is worrying to hear some residents are distressed and concerned. I hope they and members of the trust will be able meet to establish common ground to see if a resolution may be possible.

Portsmouth South MP Stephen Morgan said: ‘I have been liaising with a number of residents to see how I can assist as their MP about this and similar cases.

‘I understand the trust is meeting all residents in due course, an action I welcome. I hope this helps resolve any issues which remain outstanding. I am committed to supporting any resident with constituency matters.’