Eastbourne pensioner could be made homeless: ‘I don’t know who to turn to’

A 70-year-old man from Eastbourne has had his housing benefits cut and could be made homeless.
Peter Mcdonald was told his benefits would be cutPeter Mcdonald was told his benefits would be cut
Peter Mcdonald was told his benefits would be cut

Peter Mcdonald has lived at 17 Granville Road for seven years as part of a house share. He said other than moving rooms within the house back in December 2020 due to issues with a tenant, his circumstances have no changed at all. When Mr Mcdonald changed rooms a different agent was in charge of the property and when the agents changed this year, the council saw the room change and stopped the benefits.

Mr Mcdonald said: “When the agents changed, that’s when the paperwork caught up and the benefit stopped. When the council realised my room had changed, that’s when the problems stated. It all collapsed.”

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He got a letter on September 13 saying that his housing benefits had been cancelled due to a change of address and this was in effect from September 5. Mr Mcdonald is retired and on medication. He said: “I’m devastated, I don’t know who to turn to. They’ve cut me dead. I can barely sleep, I’ve lost weight, and this is twisting the life out of me. I could be kicked out - I’m losing the will to live.”

What followed was weeks of confusion and stress for Mr Mcdonald. Now his current agent has got in touch with EBC explaining the situation and on October 24 Mr Mcdonald went down to Eastbourne Borough Council (EBC) to fill in a ‘change in circumstance’ form but he’s concerned it could be months before it’s sorted and in that time he could be kicked out with nowhere to go.

These issues were raised with EBC and a spokesperson said: “We had not received all the information needed so contacted Mr Mcdonald today (October 26) to take further details over the phone and are now progressing his case.”

To this news Mr Mcdonald said: “I’m at the mercy of the council now but if this means things get sorted then that’s such a relief – I’ll sleep tonight! Nothing has changed other than my room number and all this stress has been caused by a case of diabolical confusion.”