'Petrified' OAP fears for future after eviction notice
- Credit: Sonya Duncan
A 67-year-old pensioner fears he will be homeless after being told he would have to move out of his flat.
Shane Ward said he has been given notice to leave his first-floor flat in Stalham's High Street, but he is now running out of time to find a new home and with only three weeks to go, fears being made homeless.
Mr Ward, a pensioner who has medical conditions including Type 2 diabetes, chronic inflammatory lung disease and asthma, said he felt like he had nowhere left to turn.
He said: "I'm absolutely petrified because there's nothing I can do. It's a disgraceful situation for an OAP to be in."
Mr Ward said part of the difficulty was getting his housing benefit cleared with any potential new landlord so a tenancy agreement could be made - a process which took longer than a month.
He said he had appealed to North Norfolk District Council (NNDC) and North Norfolk MP Duncan Baker for help.
His landlord, Tony Bamford, said Mr Ward was given warning six months ago that he would have to move out, as the flat needed to be modernised and potentially sold afterwards. An official eviction notice was sent two months ago.
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An NNDC spokesman said they could not comment on specific cases, but said the council would act in times of crisis to prevent homelessness wherever possible.
The spokesman said: "In line with the Homeless Reduction Act, if someone presenting to the council is evidenced as homeless or threatened with homelessness within 56 days, then this will trigger the housing options team to open a homeless application and provide the applicant with full housing options."
Mr Baker said his team was trying to help Mr Ward share his Section 21 eviction notice with NNDC.
He said: "Once this is done, we will urge the council to treat Mr Ward as a priority case, so we can avoid him being homeless at all costs.
"The government is moving towards abolishing the Section 21 notice, so landlords can no longer evict tenants at such short notice, without good reason. I fully support this much needed legislation and it will undoubtedly help many people facing this problem."
The government is set to reveal more details about the changes to Section 21 early this year.