Lewes brothers told to leave council home of 50 years after mother dies
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Dale Summers, 55, and his brother Paul, 60, said they have lived at the house in Pellbrook Road for 50 years.
But after the death of their mother, Frances Dorothy Summers, in May they were told by Lewes District Council that they do not meet the criteria for council housing.
Dale said: “We’re not happy at all.”
Paul said: “This has been our family home. I’m having sleepless nights.”
Dale said the family moved into the house in 1973. Their father died in 2016, leaving their mother’s name on the tenancy, and Dale and Paul hoped to take it over after she died.
But Dale said: “Two weeks after my mum had died we got a letter through from the council and she hadn’t even been buried.”
He said this letter explained that someone from the council would be in touch and said a housing officer rang after Christmas. The brothers were asked about their wages and savings and were told that they had enough savings to rent privately.
Dale thinks the decision is wrong, saying his money would be depleted too quickly if they started renting privately.
Paul said: “My savings are suppose to be for when I retire. I’m 61 this year, I’ve been saving since I was 20.”
Dale added: “If my brother has a stroke or heart attack how are we supposed to pay if we’re renting?”
The brothers said they have not tried buying a place, but do not believe they would get a mortgage because of their age.
A Lewes District Council spokesperson said: “The sons made an application for a council home, but they do not meet the criteria required.
“In this case and all others, we always engage with all those concerned in advance, explaining the process and ensuring they have access to housing advice. It should be noted that we currently have 611 applicants on our housing register, all from people who do meet the criteria, including not having the means to buy or rent their own home. Many of those waiting for a council home are living in unsuitable emergency or temporary accommodation, with some having to also manage complex needs and other vulnerabilities.”