Man fighting eviction from family home after death of his mother
PUBLISHED: 13:09 06 August 2017 | UPDATED: 08:10 07 August 2017
A man is being faced with eviction from the home he grew up in because of the death of his mother.
Leslie Skeet, 59, has lived in his parents’ council house in Durham Avenue, Gorleston for half a century.
He was his father’s long-term carer before he died 15 years ago and then for his mother, Phyllis Constance Skeet, who was 88 when she died last year of pneumonia.
Three weeks after his mother’s death last June, he was visited by a housing officer from Great Yarmouth Borough Council who said he would have to downsize as he had no need for a second bedroom.
Mr Skeet, who has no brothers or sisters, said he had all his memories at the home.
He added: “People come round to see me, I have a shop on the corner, a bus stop. I have got everything I need.”
He said he had been offered two alternative places to live, a one-bedroom flat in Rollesby and a place in Rodney Road near Great Yarmouth seafront.
But he said he turned them down, adding: “The council wants to move me away from my home and friends to a place where I don’t know anyone and have no-one to talk to.”
Mr Skeet, who has disabilities, has been supported by his local borough councillor, Adrian Myers.
The leader of the recently established Tribune party spoke to magistrates to delay Mr Skeet’s eviction, which had been scheduled for last month.
The stress has taken its toll on Mr Skeet, as he said: “It has been a year of hell. I have not even had the time to grieve the loss of my dear mum.”
A borough council spokesman said: “There are circumstances where a tenant dies and a remaining family member does not succeed to the tenancy. In these circumstances we will assess the housing need of that family member and, where appropriate, offer alternative accommodation.
“Unfortunately, where the person does not accept a number of suitable offers we have to proceed with possession proceedings.
“This will usually coincide with a live offer of suitable alternative accommodation to ensure that the person is not left without housing at the time that the property is recovered by the council.”
A new date for Mr Skeet’s eviction has not yet been set.