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Muswell Hill council tenant fears homelessness just months after mum’s death

PUBLISHED: 15:06 21 August 2018 | UPDATED: 15:06 21 August 2018

Tina Williams recovers from a toe amputation with her husband Lee, inside the Barnet Council home that she has lived in since 1978. Picture: Polly Hancock

Tina Williams recovers from a toe amputation with her husband Lee, inside the Barnet Council home that she has lived in since 1978. Picture: Polly Hancock

Archant

A bereaved woman fears Barnet Homes is about to make her and her husband homeless – less than two months after her mother died and she suffered an accident that left her with two toes amputated.

Tina Williams and her husband Lee outside the Barnet Council home that she has lived in since 1978. Picture: Polly HancockTina Williams and her husband Lee outside the Barnet Council home that she has lived in since 1978. Picture: Polly Hancock

Tina Williams, 54, told the Ham&High: “I just feel like walking out and dying on the streets. I am not fit enough to live on the streets and that’s what’s it feels like is going to happen.”

Neighbours and friends have rallied around Tina and Lee — who remain in the home despite being told that the tenancy would cease at the end of July — with a petition attracting 150 signatures.

Tina has lived at the house in The Vale, Muswell Hill, for 40 years. But when her mother Alice Roberts, 86, died in June, she had no formal right to succeed the tenancy, as it had already been passed on once – the legal limit.

The same weekend her mother died, Tina suffered a serious foot injury when she trod on the broken glass of a fallen cabinet in her kitchen. She was rushed to hospital and had to have two toes removed.

Now Cllr Barry Rawlings (Coppetts), Barnet’s Labour leader, has taken up her case. He told this newspaper: “I can understand the logical case from Barnet Homes – there’s a huge council house waiting list. But this is just inhumane.

“It’s a ‘computer says no’ situation where this couple have been bombarded by letters since her mother’s death. Tina’s a part of the community, and especially with the disability she’s now got, we need to realise that the home is adapted for her.

“It’s about time we started thinking about homes as homes, not just housing units.”

A spokesperson for Barnet Homes said: “We are sorry to hear of Mrs Williams’ recent loss and our thoughts go out to her and her family.” They added Tina’s application was still being reviewed and no final decision had been made.

“As this is not the first application for succession on the property, legislation exists that prevents us from automatically passing Mrs Williams mother’s tenancy to her. However, we assess each case on an individual basis.” Barnet Homes will meet Tina again at the end of August.

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