Littlehampton mother and daughter fear being made homeless after housing delay

A Littlehampton mother fears she and her daughter could be made homeless after what she said was a delay in finding alternative housing.

Wednesday, 23rd January 2019, 10:58 am
Updated Thursday, 7th February 2019, 6:34 pm
Michelle Major in her shop, Mutant Mods. Pic: Kate Shemilt

Michelle Major, 39, lives in a one-bedroom housing association property in the Kingley Gate estate in Littlehampton.

Her 22-year-old daughter moved in around five months ago after the breakdown of her marriage.

She had been living on a military base for three years with her husband and three-year-old son.

Michelle Major in her shop, Mutant Mods. Pic: Kate Shemilt

Now Michelle fears she will be removed from her home for breaching the terms of her tenancy, which states the property is for a single occupant or spousal couple.

Arun District Council’s delay in finding an alternative, she said, was putting them both at risk.

“I think the council should be named and shamed for what they are doing,” said Michelle, who is classed as disabled due to autism seizures.

“We have been let down by so many organisations. There are good people out there who are not given help.

“My daughter is a good person. We work, we are not just sat on benefits. They shouldn’t be putting people in a situation like this.”

Michelle owns vape and piercing shop Mutant Mods in Bayford Road, Littlehampton, while her daughter works as a carer.

Alongside the risk of homelessness, she said, the move meant her daughter's son was forced to live in Scotland with his grandparents.

Until her daughter is found a place of her own, she said she was unable to regain custody of him.

Michelle said her daughter had been offered rented and shared accommodation, but was unable to take them up as her food allergies made sharing kitchens impossible and her eczema placed her at risk of infection from shared spaces.

She has been made a Band C priority – the lowest level – and completed the forms with the team that assesses homelessness risk three months ago.

Her mother said she believed council departments should communicate better and be more sympathetic to their situation. The pair have a meeting on Monday, she said.

A spokesman for the council said: “Arun District Council is aware of the circumstances of this case and is working through the available options with the household involved.”