A family of eight fears homelessness as their three-bed house is set to be demolished.
Michelle and Matthew Love Bicknell of Birmingham are pleading with the council to find a new home for them and their six children after being given an eviction notice.
The couple – whose children range in age from eight to 15 – say they have been told they should pack their bags and go before Christmas because their landlord was forced to sell.
They say they have nowhere left to go because they believe there is a shortage of three- and four-bed council homes in the Kinghurst area – and because of Mitchell being out of work for health reasons, the pair say. That They Can’t Afford to Keep Hiring Privately, Reports Birmingham Live.
“We should be entitled to a house if the council is toppling these,” said Michelle, 35. Everyone else is and I don’t understand why we aren’t.
“We’ve already done a bedroom small for five years.”
The family home is to be demolished to make way for new homes and shops, with work being done by Solihull Community Housing – which runs housing services for Solihull Council.
As a result, the council acknowledged that with the availability of “extremely limited” four- and five-bed properties in the borough, a “very small number” of households would “lose their homes”.
According to Mitchell, his house is the only one that was not razed before the properties were taken down and he says he is unable to bid on the properties until 56 days before the eviction notice expires on December 12.
The families are concerned they have nowhere to go this Christmas – and Matthews claims they are not getting the help they need from the council.
“From day one, they (the council) promised that even if you were a private rented tenant, we would help you,” the 36-year-old said.
“They’ve gone back to everything they said to a private tenant. That’s not fair.
“We should have been treated like council tenants.
“They want us to go out and just leave. What do I do with six kids and a disabled wife?”
Solihull Community Housing has insisted that their officials help the family find alternative housing.
A spokesperson said: “We understand that going home can be a difficult time, and as such we have dedicated officers working with affected families.
“The officials will discuss a range of housing options on a case-by-case basis to help families find suitable alternative housing.
“The challenge is greater with large sized families as the availability of four or five bedded properties is extremely limited.
“However, we are working closely with those affected to support them in finding alternative housing that meets their needs.
“We have conveyed to those families in private rented accommodation that they are eligible for support of up to £2,000 with rent in advance and a deposit if they move to another private rented property.”
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