Family could be sent to homeless shelter as council plans to boot them from home after mum dies

By Ruby Gregory, Local Democracy Reporter

A grieving family who suddenly lost their mum two months ago are getting kicked out of their own home because the council wants the property back.

Jordan Savell, 24, and his sister Emily, 19, have a matter of days to find somewhere new to live because Croydon council has asked for the property in Dunley Drive, New Addington, back after their mum Lisa, 55, suddenly died from a brain aneurysm in June.

According to housing law, Jordan and Emily can’t take on the tenancy because they’re not a spouse or a civil partner, though they are listed on the tenancy as living at the three-bed property.

The siblings have until August 14 to find alternative accommodation before handing the keys back to the council.

In an email sent to Lisa’s eldest child, Keeley, a council officer said: “I understand this must be a very upsetting and distressing time for you and your siblings, and you are also worried you may not be able to afford alternative accommodation. I would suggest that you contact our homeless prevention team who may be able to assist you further.”

Keeley told the council in her reply the news of her mum’s death “has come as a great shock to our whole family” saying her two siblings “have been affected considerably by this and were unprepared”.

She added there had been “a significant impact on their health and particularly mental health”.

Their dad, Ricky, who works as a carer for his own mum, blasted the council’s actions as “disgusting”.

He said: “Excuse me, they’ve just lost their mum and you’re booting them out onto the street? They’re mentally in serious trouble after losing their mother and now they’re homeless.

“I just think the way these councils work is just absolutely disgusting. How can you just kick them out when they’ve just lost their mum? It’s disgusting.”

Ricky said he is very concerned his children will be sent to a homeless shelter and that this would have a detrimental impact on his youngest daughter, Emily, who he said is suffering from depression.

He said: “My 19-year-old daughter is suffering really badly. They only just buried their mum the other week, it’s put them under so much pressure. They’re really good kids, they’re such lovely kids. They don’t know which way to turn. I try my best but I can only be there for them mentally.”

Ricky has been unable to provide accommodation for his kids as he and Lisa made the difficult decision to sell their five-bed house after his business collapsed a few years ago. He said: “I’m actually homeless myself, I lost a five bedroom house, I lost everything.

“I had my own TV ariel company and the business just went downhill, it just went down and down and down and it put a lot of pressure on me and Lisa and caused us to split up and sell the house and the money I made on the house was spent on renting.”

Ricky went on to say: “You cannot send a 19-year-old girl to a homeless shelter – you know what it’s like with the drunks. She’s 19 and she’s going to have the rest of her life without her mother and now you’re going to boot her out on the street – seriously?”

Ricky said Lisa’s death was unexpected and was a shock to the whole family. He said: “Lisa actually said to me two weeks before the operation, ‘do you think I’m going to die young?’

“I said, ‘no, you’re not dying, you have a grandchild on the way and you need to be alive for this kid, you’re going to be a nan’, but she didn’t make it.”

Croydon council has been contacted for comment but did not respond by the time of publication.

Pictured top: Lisa, left, and her five children (Picture: Keeley Savell)

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